Category Archives: General

Have your cake … and drink it, too!

KingCake_1A party is best shared and so is a pot of coffee, which is why we like to bring Mardi Gras on the road with our Carnivale Cake coffee. Community© Carnivale Cake coffee hits shelves in January to kick off the carnivale season.

Of course, what would Carnivale Cake coffee be without a little Carnivale Cake/King Cake as well. Mardi Gras season and King Cakes go hand in hand with literally hundreds of thousands of King Cakes being consumed at parties and office lunch rooms every year.

The coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. This is referred to as the Feast of the Epiphany, or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night. King Cake continues the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany with a special cake to honor the Three Kings. This tradition originated in Europe where a bean or a coin would be hidden inside of the cake for good fortune to the finder. In Latin America a small figure, representing the Christ Child was placed inside for the same purpose.

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Today, the tradition continues with people all over the world. The tiny baby in the King Cake is generally plastic now and many times provided with the cake so the party host, and not the baker, can insert the “baby.” In offices, schools and homes the King Cake is a weekly tradition from January 6th until the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, with whoever gets the baby usually buying the next cake. And, of course, whoever gets the baby in the cake on Mardi Gras day has to bring the first King Cake next year on January 6th.

16292_CarnivaleCake_SS_12ct_lrg_jcOriginally, King Cakes were a simple ring of braided dough with a small amount of decoration. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. Some bakeries have been creative with stuffing and topping their cakes with different flavors of cream cheese and fruit fillings. We’ve also gotten creative too and added Community© Carnivale Cake coffee to our offerings.

Since King Cakes come out during every Mardi Gras carnivale season, they are also called Carnivale Cakes which is how we named our coffee. With the King Cake being the centerpiece at many Mardi Gras parties throughout the season, it only makes sense to pair it with the “king” of all flavored coffees, Community© Carnivale Cake coffee.Share the Mardi Gras spirit while having your cake and drinking it, too!

Tips to Enjoy Mardi Gras

Orleans_StreetFirst, start with the “king” of all flavored coffees, our delicious Community® Carnivale Cake coffee with light vanilla and cinnamon flavoring.

Next — Plan ahead: Make your hotel reservations early. Most of the Central Business District (CBD) and French Quarter hotels require 4- or 5-day minimum stays, and book blocks of rooms beginning as early as August. The key is to book as far in advance as possible. Check out recommended hotels close to the action or BestNewOrleansHotels.com.

Plan your transportation: During Mardi Gras weekend, the French Quarter is closed to vehicular traffic. Only French Quarter residents and hotel guests with special parking passes can get by the police barricades. Off-site commercial parking lots can be expensive and fill up fast, and taxicabs are more difficult to find. So make sure you know how far away your hotel will be, and ask your hotel concierge or front desk to help you with route times, traffic and parking.

Do not double-park or park in driveways, on neutral grounds (medians), in front of water hydrants, within 15 feet of curb corners, too far from the curb, or on the parade route within 3 hours of a parade. Your car will get towed away and/or you’ll receive a fine.

Get there early: For the biggest parades rolling in the evenings on the weekend before Mardi Gras, plan to get there about 4 hours ahead of time to get a great spot. Parade routes can look empty one moment, but the crowd size can swell fast within an hour or two of the parade, making that front-row spot four or five people deep.
Check the weather forecast: It can be very warm or it can be very cold, so plan accordingly. Wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and layered clothing.

Catch Mardi Gras throws: Bring a large, sturdy plastic or cloth bag to hold all your caught treasure. Enjoy jumping up to catch beads, doubloons, cups, coconuts, ladies shoes, stuffed animals, etc. Feel free to yell at the float riders “Throw me something, Mister!”

Don’t reach down to pick up beads, doubloons, etc.: Don’t reach down to pick up beads, doubloons, etc. unless you are very careful. Otherwise, your fingers will never be the same. Put your foot on it, and when it’s safe (between floats), you can bend down to pick it up. Also, floats cannot stop on a dime so make sure children do not get too close when reaching for throws and no running into the street between floats for a trinket.

4th Generation Owner Matt Saurage recently appeared on WFAA Good Morning Texas to provide a information on Mardi Gras and Community© Coffee Carnivale Cake.

4th Generation Owner Matt Saurage recently appeared on WFAA Good Morning Texas to provide a information on Mardi Gras and Community© Coffee Carnivale Cake.

Plan your meals ahead: Restaurants on the parade route are usually full, so make your plans early with those that accept reservations. If they don’t, plan to wait a while to get a table, eat street vendor food, or pack your own snacks and sandwiches. Also, bring wet wipes or tissues with you to clean up before eating. Your hands will get very dirty, and it won’t be easy to find a sink and soap.

Have a meeting place: Make sure everyone knows where to meet in case anyone gets lost; and give your children notecards with your name, address, hotel phone numbers, and pre-arranged meeting place on them just in case. Thousands of people are on the street, and it is very easy to get separated.

Healthy Perks: Coffee Fixes Everything

HealthBlogEmail_BCan food change the way you feel –for the better. Some experts say yes with even those wonderfully most-craved items like a delicious cup of great tasting coffee have a place on the mood-boosting eating and drinking plan.

So if you’re feeling guilty for downing your morning cup of joe, maybe this will perk you up. In the National Institutes of Health Study of more than 400,000 people, researchers found that the more coffee people drank, the longer they lived. Also, drinking up to six cups daily (caffeinated or decaf) was associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease, lung disease, stroke, diabetes, and infections.

Obviously genetics and lifestyle choices including healthy eating and good nutrition are long-established links to good health but it’s good to see our personal favorite—coffee—working its way up the list.

And the health benefits don’t stop there. Drew Ramsey, MD, co-author of The Happiness Diet states that the foundation of good mental health is good wholesome food and lists coffee as one of these power food/drinks.

Also, if you feel that your morning coffee soothes your soul, it’s not your imagination, especially for ladies. A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health study found that women who drank at least two cups of coffee regularly had a 15 percent lower risk of depression than those who didn’t drink any coffee and their risk decreased by 20 percent when they downed four or more cups of joe a day.

As an added bonus drinking as little as two 8-ounce cups of coffee with breakfast may help you eat less the rest of the day. In one study published in Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, overweight study participants given this amount of coffee consumed 550 fewer calories per day. The study credits caffeine, as well as a compound called chlorogenic acide, both of which may suppress appetite.

After nearly 20,000 different studies on the subject, the results are still a bit mixed. “Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful,” says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies.

So good mood, health benefits and potential weight loss – all good reasons to head to the coffee pot for another round, in moderation of course.

Boost Your Resolution Planning

NewYears_Customers_V2_CSD_email_temp1_560_420When you pour your first cup of coffee, it will come as no surprise that caffeine boosts attention and focus, but it’s especially good for simple cognitive tasks. Anywhere from 40 mg to 250 mg of caffeine increases alertness. That’s less than you think – simply one cup can provide the boost you need to power through some of your more routine tasks.

You can take full advantage of that little extra momentum to clean out your inbox while you sip, sort mail, make necessary call backs, etc, any of those little tasks that many of us put off and allow to pile up.

Of course, with New Year’s around the corner, it’s a great time to enjoy your java while writing down your resolutions. If your New Year’s resolutions from last year have gone unresolved, you’re not alone. But here are some quick tips to help you get a little further along this year.

  • “Put some thought into it,” says Richard O’Connor, author of “Happy at Last: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Finding Joy.” And avoid knee-jerk New Year’s resolutions, he says. “I encourage people not to make cheap resolutions, but to save it for something meaningful.”
  • Limit your list to a number you can handle. “It’s probably best to make two or three resolutions that you intend to keep,” says O’Connor. That way, you’re focusing your efforts on the goals you truly want.
  • Make a plan. Everyone needs a path to get to where they want to be. Create a goal with a series of measurable, specific steps to check your progress along the way and ensure you achieve your resolution.
  • Write down the goal and visualize it regularly. Writing and visualizing are effective tools for fulfilling a goal because they fix it firmly in the subconscious, says Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Remember that slip-ups are part of the process too. Forgive yourself if you can’t maintain your plan perfectly. Just keep adjusting and moving forward toward your goal.

Happy New Year’s!

Louisianans Reminisce on Cajun Christmas Tale

Community Coffee Company:

Only in Louisiana indeed!

Originally posted on The Daily South:

Alligators replacing reindeer? Only in Louisiana, where Cajun Night Before Christmas author James Rice created a muskrat-wearing St. Nick whose gators fly with different names (“Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an’ Alceé…”). We asked five Bayou State tastemakers to share their favorite lines and memories from the swamp-based story, including beloved artist George Rodrigue who passed away last weekend.

John Besh
Profession: New Orleans-based chef; restaurants include August, Lüke, Borgne, and American Sector

“When I was young, I was captivated by the sketches of the Louisiana I knew, with bayous, skiffs, and even alligators.”

Courtesy of WYES/Besh Restaurant Group

Courtesy of WYES/Besh Restaurant Group

Irvin Mayfield
Profession: Trumpeter and bandleader at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse and founder of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

“It’s a classic tale spun in a Southern way. And who doesn’t love the idea of 8 alligators instead of reindeer(?)”

Courtesy of Greg Miles/New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Courtesy of Greg Miles/New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Donald Link

View original 160 more words

Dazzle Overnight Guests

Choc_ToppersChocolate is always a good start.

Add an extra hint of chocolate to your Community® coffee with a chocolate covered spoon. Melt your choice of chocolate, dip the spoon in the mixture and freeze overnight. Stir it in with your coffee. It’s a simple, yummy treat — Great for adding a little spark in your morning routine or to dazzle your overnight guests.

Or for an extra Christmasy treat, try using a candy cane dipped in chocolate as your spoon. Then you get a chocolate and peppermint addition to your morning cup of coffee.

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Consider setting up a flavored coffee bar. Brew pots of each of the Community seasonal variety coffees and organize them in individual carafes with fun name plates noting each flavor. Your guests are sure to enjoy your early morning flare.

 

Finishing Touches

Take the time to be thankful this holiday season. Don’t get so caught up in planning that you forget to enjoy your holiday. You’re supposed to be celebrating with friends and family, so keep it simple.

  • Calculate the time of your guests’ arrival so your food is done and you can enjoy the party. The last thing you want to be is running around stirring pots and heating up rolls when you could and should be welcoming guests and catching up.
  • Choose appetizers that are easy to restock and to eat. You want people to mix and mingle, and overly complicated and drippy foods can hinder conversations.MyFirstCup_GS_83857_lrg
  • Add a touch of elegance. How about a table-side coffee preparation in a French Press? The French Press is a more elegant way to brew your coffee. It relies on the “steeping method,” in which the coffee grounds are completely infused with hot water, extracting the flavor. You simply add hot water, let it steep and press down the plunger. This method results in a heavier-bodied coffee. Also, consider sippable holiday treats like the new Community Bread Pudding , or traditional seasonal favorites like Community Bananas Foster and Pecan Praline flavored coffees.
  • Think about a fun remembrance. It could be as simple as custom wrapping cookies or snapping instant Polaroid photos for guests to take with them. You want to not only enjoy your party but be able to have a memento to remember it.

Overall simplify and keep it fun.infinity

Keep in mind during this holiday season that coffee gift sets can make a great hostess gift as well as a unique present for any coffee connoisseur. Coffee lovers have a variety of items from which to choose to fit any budget and taste preference. Check out CommunityCoffee.com. Also, to learn more about  Community Coffee Company, watch our latest videos.

Designing a Good Time

filigreeHoliday menu design doesn’t have to be complicated, but there is an art to it. Consider the style of your event and what tone you’d like to set. In general the more formal the party, the more formal the food should be.

Consider including a selection of flavors and textures. Perhaps serve something spicy, something creamy and soothing, and then add something crunchy.

Always start with a staple dish that most people will eat. This would be a typical dip that every palate can enjoy. Then you can get creative with other complementary foods that your more discerning palates will enjoy.

Try to keep your perspective. Take advantage of recipes that you can make ahead of time. That way, you can enjoy the party, too. Make vegetable casseroles ahead of time, but put toppings such as buttered breadcrumbs in a separate container and add them just before baking to keep them crisp. Pie crusts, rolls, cookies and other baked goods can be prepared a week ahead and frozen. holiday_bread_puddParties are meant to be fun and enjoyed. A top priority on your to-do list should be enjoy the moment.

Visuals are important so think about the shape and color of food. If the food looks good, people will try it. If everything you offer sits on little crackers, you’re not providing any visual variety.

Remember your dessert finale paired with just the right coffee. A general rule of coffee-pairing thumb is the richer the dessert (i.e. chocolate, praline or peanut butter flavoring), the darker the roast. Also, sippable holiday treats like Community Bread Pudding, Bananas Foster and Pecan Praline flavored coffees can also add a lovely finishing touch. You were going to brew a pot of coffee anyway, why not kick it up a notch with a unique holiday flavor?

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Keep in mind during this holiday season that coffee gift sets can make a great hostess gift as well as a unique present for any coffee connoisseur. Coffee lovers have a variety of items from which to choose to fit any budget and taste preference. Check out CommunityCoffee.com. Also, to learn more about  Community Coffee Company, watch our latest videos.

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What We’re Thankful For…

We’re thankful for our military, many of which don’t have the luxury of coming home for the holidays. There are many organizations that help by offering programs to ensure our military get a taste of home. Of course, we recommend a cup of home.

We’ve been doubling orders to military APO/FPO addresses to the tune of more 19,000 pounds of coffee given to support our servicemen and servicewomen. Send 4 bags of coffee to your loved one and we’ll match your order plus throw in an offical Community Coffee Military Match mug.

Enjoy your holiday and turkey and remember to be thankful for those serving to protect our freedom.

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Give thanks to our troops with a Military Match Gift Box, click below for more details!

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Thanksgiving – Last Minute Tips

 shutterstock_2636008We’ll be quick because Thanksgiving is here. So even if you’re an experienced cook who’s prepared Thanksgiving dinner multiple times, there are ways to make the meal taste better and the preparation more seamless. Here are quick last minute tips to help you pull off the holiday dinner without a hitch.

  • Heat plates and meat platters at 300 degrees for 5 minutes so food will stay hot longer.
  • Ice, ice and more ice. It is always needed in big quantities. Get what you think you need, and then add an extra bag.
  • Let the turkey rest after roasting by removing it from the roasting pan and letting it sit about 20 minutes before carving. The juices will go back into the meat, giving you a moister main dish.
  • Toasting nuts will intensify the flavor of pecans and other nuts used in salads and other dishes. Put them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven about 7-8 minutes.shutterstock_627603

Finally, you’ve worked hard so enjoy your party plus our special offer on some delicious coffee. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Give thanks to our troops with a Military Match Gift Box, click below for more details!

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