A new longitudinal study at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth focusing on the online activities of the Inc. 500 has found a huge drop in the number of companies maintaining corporate blogs over the past year. The UMass researchers, under the direction of Nora Barnes, has been following this group for several years. Only 37% of those interviewed had a corporate blog last year, down from half of those interviewed in 2010.

Coca-Cola Polar Bears Will Watch, React to Super Bowl in Real Time
In an ambitious bid to dominate social media conversations around the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola is rolling out a campaign in which its polar bear mascots will react in real time to the big game, even the ads. The two animated bears, one sporting a red scarf signaling his support of the New Yor…

Sh*t Politicians Say Video Arrives
The latest political parody — Sh*t Politicians Say — just hit YouTube, keeping the unstoppable Sh*t [Insert Stereotype] Say meme alive for yet another day. Go ahead and bemoan the meme all you want; you’re still going to watch the clip. And you should because it has multiple purpose…

15 Killer Quotes From Sh*t People Say Videos
This meme is certainly making a strong case to be one of the biggest of 2012. Sure, the first episode of “Sh*t Girls Say” was uploaded at the end of last year, but who’s counting really? The results that Google yields when you start typing “Sh*t People Say” are as far-ranging in quality as they a…

Coffee History

An Old African Legend

Coffee plant has been discovered much earlier than the civilized world got to know it. This memorable event occurred approximately in the 800 A.D. According to an African legend, Kaldi, the goat shepherd, had been grazing his flock when suddenly he noticed that the goats began dancing around coffee bushes growing nearby. This seemed strange to their herdsman who decided to taste these magic berries that agitated his cattle so much. Soon he has also been caught in the general hilarity.

The Arabic Coffee Empire

After just a couple of centuries (circa 1000 and till 1600 A.D.), coffee moved to Arabic countries. Namely there it took its modern shape - the beans were first roasted and brewed for drinking but before this popular method came into life, the beans were pressed with animal fat and milk and rolled into balls. The Arabs took these beads with them while traveling as some kind of energetic remedy. Only after a couple of centuries the Muslims discovered that the beans could be drank and prepared but this beverage is still far from the modern drink.

The Arabic population also used the plant as a kind of holy water in their everyday life: dervishes were falling into a trance with its help, growing in wisdom and finding the right way to wander; the religious people had to have more energy and strength to stay awake while praying and doing their business and the coffee beans were right there for them giving the energy they needed. Thus, coffee has been everywhere in Muslims life and was the integral part of their culture. And anywhere the Arabs spread their culture and religion, they brought with them coffee beans as well. However, not until that in the 1600s the outer world got the possibility to drink coffee – the beans were constantly exported but in such a way (roasted or boiled) that no European or other nations except Africa or Arabic regions had the access to the plant itself.

Coffee and a Piece of Smuggling

According to an old legend, a half wanderer and the other half contrabandist of an Indian origin named Baba Budan left Mecca – the cradle of Islamic religion, a shrine for pilgrimage- with the fruitful coffee seeds under his clothes. Thus coffee reached India.

Europe: The Thirst for Money

At the beginning of the 17th century (in 1615) an Italian trader showed the world the coffee beverage brought from Turkey. But the product in its final shape wasn’t worth a brass farthing in the judgment of the merchants who were eager for profit. Thus, the rush for the coffee seeds started.

The Dutch at the Head of the Line

The Dutch dealers left behind the whole Europe bringing in the coffee plant for the first time in 1616 and later, in 1696 they even established the first coffee property located on Java colony (Indonesian territory now) possessed by Europeans. Hereby, the coffee growing gave the Dutch a lucky chance to gain a lot of money and omnipotence in the whole Europe. But every story has its own ending. The biggest mistake was presenting coffee trees to the European aristocrats and forgetting that this might lead to spreading the coffee plant outside Europe.

The Way the Coffee Plant reached Martinique

In circa 1714 Louis XIV received a coffee tree as a gift from the Dutch – for the Royal Botanical Garden in Paris. Some time later a naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu turned out to visit Paris on his voyage to Martinique. He was so eager to get some coffee tree clippings (but was not allowed) that even took the liberty to sneak into the Garden and steal a coffee branch. While on officer’s travel to Martinique, a passenger impatient for capturing the coffee seedling broke down a stick from the cherished plant; the French ship was grappled by pirates, then the storm came down to them. All in all, the young mariner gave up a half of his fortune because of this magic tree. 
However, the shoot took its root deep into the Martinique soil and brought forth over 18 millions of trees in circa 50 years. Its offspring later will contribute to its popularization into Latin America’s mass market.

All Roads Lead to…Brazil

This event might never happen if it were not for the desire of the Brazilian government in the 1727 to enter the coffee market. Naturally there was no legal way to do that and Lt. Col. Francisco de Melo Palheta enters the scene. His mission was to obtain coffee seedlings by any means and he did it but not without the help of a woman. Being dispatched to French Guiana, the brave colonel starts his coffee mission and goes easy choosing the least resistance – the governor’s spouse. The officer’s sweetheart falls into net of the charming Brazilian and convinced by him that several coffee branches will remind Pahleta of her, gives the artful man the coffee seedlings hidden in a bouquet of flowers. From this moment rises the glorious Brazilian coffee empire – the absolute coffee leader that introduces coffee to the mass market. The curtain falls, the auditorium burst into ovations.

**Some Good Coffee Quotes**

A morning without coffee is like sleep.~Author Unknown

As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.~Author Unknown

Be a coffee-drinking individual - espresso yourself!~Author Unknown

Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee.~Stephanie Piro

Coffee and tobacco are complete repose.~Turkish Proverb

Chocolate… Coffee… Men… Some Things are Better Rich.~Author Unknown

Coffee has two virtues: it is wet and warm.~Dutch Proverb

Coffee Should be Black as Hell, Strong as Death, and Sweet as Love.~Turkish Proverb

Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.~Jessi Lane Adams

Coffee, which makes the politicians wise, And see through all things with his half-shut eyes.~Alexander Pope

Decaffeinated coffee is kind of like kissing your sister.~Bob Irwin

Deja Brew: The feeling that you’ve had this coffee before.~Author Unknown

Don’t laugh at the coffee. Some day you, too, may be old and weak.~Author Unknown

Forever: Time it takes to brew the first pot of coffee in the morning.~Author Unknown

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world.~Author Unknown

Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

He was my cream, and I was his coffee - And when you poured us together, it was something.~Josephine Baker

I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee.~Carly Simon

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.~T.S. Eliot

I make serious coffee - so strong it wakes up the neighbors.~Author Unknown

I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.~Ronald Reagan

I think if I were a woman I’d wear coffee as a perfume.~John Van Druten

No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.~Henry Ward Beecher

The voodoo priest and all his powders were as nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself.~Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case, 1995

That’s Strong Coffee

That’s Strong Coffee

There are a few notable dark-roasted blends you’re likely to find at most coffee shops.

Espresso Roast: these are usually dark, robust blends with a caramel-like sweetness. Espresso roasts are specifically created to stand up to the intense process of brewing espresso, but can be brewed using other methods with great results.

  • Body: full
  • Acidity: low
  • Flavor Pairings: caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom

Italian Roast: the name refers to the way in which the coffee is roasted: very dark, as is popular in Italy. Italian roasts are a blend of beans from different regions, but often have those from Latin America in common.

  • Body: Full
  • Acidity: Low
  • Flavor Pairings: chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, nuts

French Roast: these blends are roasted even darker than the Italian Roast. While French Roasts are not actually full-bodied, their flavor is strong and intense, often with a smoky quality–they have a relatively small, but loyal following.

  • Body: light to medium
  • Acidity: low
  • Flavor Pairings: toasted almonds, toasted hazelnuts, caramelized sugar

Let me know your thoughts on this one.

    "Deja Brew: The feeling that you’ve had this coffee before.
    Good Morning All….Have a Fabulous Saturday!!!"

    Starbucks Profit Shot Up…

    Starbucks Profit Shot Up By 10 Percent during Holiday Season


    Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), which is the biggest coffee-shop chain in the world, reported its 1st quarter profit that rose by 10%, as customer purchased more specialty drinks in the holidays.

    Net income in the period, which concluded on January 1, increased to $382.1mn or $0.50 per share in contrast with last year’s $346.6mn or $0.45, as said by Starbucks today in a statement. Analysts estimated $0.49, the average of 25 forecasts amassed by Bloomberg.

    CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz has spent over a year in scheduling beverages and merchandises for the holiday season. The company looks to increase its sales with a low-calorie peppermint mocha, which was added as a new entrant in the menu list this year, together with Keurig brand single-serve capsules and Via instant coffee.

    Chief Financial Officer of the company, Troy Alstead stated in a telephone interview that it was the best holiday season in the history of Starbucks. Consumers loaded $500mn on Starbucks gift cards in Dec.

    The company narrowed its estimate for profit not including some items to a range of $1.78 to $1.82 per share for fiscal 2012 in contrast with a previous estimate of $1.75 to $1.82. On an average analysts forecast of $1.83.

    Starbucks dropped by 1.9% to settle at $47.40 as of 4:54 p.m. in New York’s time after increasing by 1.2% in the regular trading. The shares added up by 43% in 2011.

    Starbucks operating income as a percentage of revenue tightened to 16.2% in the 1st quarter from 17% in 2011, as a result of higher commodity costs, as said by the company.

    "Good friends, good life, good coffee, Good Morning!"