Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Local Coffee Shops with The Worst Service

I know a lot of people are not going to like this post because it may mention one or more of their favorite local coffee shops, however I feel that this list of the three local shops with the worst service has been warranted. If you disagree, feel free to share a comment and tell The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot, why that shop doesn't deserve to be on the worst service list.

Here we go...

(1) Kiva Han - I visit this shop often, that's no lie, because they have great coffee and great food. Plus the atmosphere is the classic 'quirky college coffee shop' and it certainly pleases, but the service does not. Almost every time I visit Kiva Han, alone or with friends, and place an order something from the order is usually forgotten. Some may say that is a trivial mistake, but I work in customer service, and one important rule is to always be attentive to the paying customer and when an employee can never seem to get an order straight, it can be a turn off. Needless to say, the end result is always up to par and I wouldn't stop giving Kiva Han my service.

(2) The Beehive - I haven't been to The Beehive in over a year and don't plan on ever going back. This is definitely one of the coffee shops with the worst service. The employees are rude and to top if off, the coffee isn't even that great. The atmosphere at The Beehive is unwelcoming in my opinion and not worth putting up with for a cup of coffee when there is so many other great local places.

(3) Morning Glory Coffeehouse - This shop takes the cake for bad service. The food is great, the coffee is so-so (the fancy cappuccino art that make in the foam deserves more recognition) and the service is terrible. This shop has such an attitude about that totally ostracises many of the local community members who would otherwise frequently visit this very convenient shop. This is the closest shop to me, out of the three of this list, and I hardly ever go to it. I always feel unwelcome when I visit this shop. When it was first opening I know a lot of the local community members were apprehensive at first, however the social gap can not be closed if the shop itself refuses to stop being apprehensive to the community.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Summer Coffee Recipes

Summer is in the air and so is the graduation season. College and high school students around the world will be celebrating graduations over the next few months. We all know one of the *most* important parts of the graduation party is the menu. So spice up your Summer par-tay menu with these great coffee recipes that will surly make a Summer classic a phenomenal recreation.

Our first recipe will be a great side dish with burgers, franks or sausage -Brandied Coffee Baked Beans. These only take about ten minutes to prepare and spice up traditional baked beans with molasses, brandy and of course, coffee.

Coffee Barbecue Sauce -the second recipe- is a great glaze for meats prepared on the grill. The coffee gives this Summer fav an extra kick of tang.

The third recipe is a light and aromatic, fresh citrus side of Coffee Risotto. This side would be great with fish or sandwiches. Another ten minute recipe that combines instant coffee, with two popular Summer flavors vanilla and orange. This recipe will surely surprise your graduation party guests.

And finally, we can't forget dessert! Guests will be delighted by Palm Beach Brownies with Chocolate Covered Mints! These brownies are extra rich thanks to the espresso added to the mix.

Try some or all of these coffee recipes at your grad party and congrats to all who are taking the next step and celebrating their academic accomplishments.

Take some pics of yourself and your guests at your grad party (enjoying a cup of joe or a coffee recipe) and share them with The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot! Post them on Facebook (link to The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot FB page via the side bar on the right) or e-mail them to gfranciscus@gmail.com and they will be posted on the blog!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Half Price Books: Bargain Bar

This weekend I visited the Half Price Books location on McKnight Road in the North Hills. I go to Half Price Books, a lot. Half Price Books is a used and new book store, which opened it's first location in 1972 in Dallas, TX. Half Price Books sales books, magazines, dvds, cds, vinyl albums and more at discounted prices. You can even turn in your old books and other items for a stipend. Half Price Books stores are in 16 states, with four Pennsylvania locations:

  • Ross Park Mall Area 4932 McKnight Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237

  • Monroeville Area 3757 William Penn Hwy. Monroeville, PA 15146

  • Robinson Area 219 Summit Park Dr. Pittsburgh, PA 15275

  • South Hills Area 4000 Oxford Dr. Bethel Park, PA 15102

This weekend when I was at Half Price Books I noticed something more that the North Hills location offers that made my visit even more enjoyable, a complimentary coffee bar. That's right. One of my favorite things to encounter. If featured fresh brewed coffee, a few different varieties of powdered creamers and various sugar packets. This coffee was deliciously warm and pleasant as I sipped out it and browsed through dvds and books.

Also, another complimentary coffee bar alert! The new Market District Giant Eagle at Robinson, 100 Settlers Ridge Center Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, features a free sample coffee bar at the far left side of the super-duper market, past the pharmacy and right next door to the olive oil and vinegar bar (take the virtual tour here). This is quite possibly the largest and most intricut Giant Eagle I have ever been in. At this coffee bar you can also pick from a vast selection of coffee beans, grind them yourself or have the Giant Eagle employee grind them for you for purchase. And for you tea-lovers, the Market District coffee bar was also featuring fresh brewed tea samples.

Is there a complimentary coffee bar that The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot doesn't know about? Share it with us!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Special Thanks...

After I made a visit to the Steamers coffee shop Downtown last week, I realized how much I appreciate all of my followers and readers of The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot! It's great to know that my blog posts are being read and enjoyed by many.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Pocket Coffee -A Sweet, Bite Size Treat

So, yesterday the Easter Bunny ;) left me a sweet treat in my basket, Ferrero's Pocket Coffee. I'm sure some of may have never heard of this chocolate before.

Ferrero America is the company that produces Ferrero Rocher chocolates, however the Ferrero Italy branch of the company is responsibile for Pocket Coffee and other imported favorites, Nutella and Kinder.

Pocket Coffee is a creamy, dark choclate shell, when bitten, releases a gush of espresso. It's very rich and very surprising. I didn't expect this candy to be so full of coffee, I though there would just be a small dab, not a mouthfull! This truely is a shot of Italian espresso in your pocket!

I have noticed this treat, as well as other Ferrero Italia products at Pennsylvania Macaroni Company in the historic, Strip District. I also found another great review of this product at CandyBlog.
Watch a YouTube video for Pocket Coffee here!
Have you tried Pocket Coffee? Tell The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot all about it!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Steamers Coffee & Tea: Downtown Pittsburgh's Hidden Coffee Oasis

I can't deny it, I absolutely love the Steamers Coffee and Tea Downtown location. It just simple delivers the best service, coffee options and menu around.

I've been visiting Steamers a lot and not just because it is in such close proximity to my college at 307 Fourth Ave, The Bank Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Steamers menu is lite and delicious, featuring paninis, salads, fruit cups, yogurt parfaits, sweets, cookies, pepperoni rolls and of course a vast selection of coffee and tea drinks. They have a great no-guilt, light menu of coffee drinks featuring sugar free syrups (my fav is def the Hawaiian coffee).

The service at Steamers is amazing and the atmosphere is quaint with a lounge room in the back, great for meetings or even getting some homework done!

Steamers is a family owned business, since 2003, with three locations in Cranberry, New Castle and Downtown.

The Steamers Downtown location is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit their Web site to receive a coupon for the Downtown location and for more information.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot Celebrating Over a Year of Blogging!

As I'm sure most of you know, The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot, has celebrated its first birthday on January 26th, 2010.
The PGH Coffee Pot has grown a lot over it's first year in the blog-o-sphere and I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who has contributed to and followed the blog. Keep reading and keep sending me your comments and critiques.

Thanks again!

Keep the coffee brewing,
Gloria and The Pittsburgh Coffee Pot

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coffe Kids

I found this web site, www.coffeekids.org, yesterday when I was surfing the web.

This is an organization that helps coffee-farming families improve their quality of life. Their staff works with local organizations in Latin America to create programs in education, health awareness, micro credit and food security. These efforts allow coffee farmers to reduce their dependence on the volatile coffee market.

Anyone can help by donating or supporting members. There are already over 400 businesses that support this organization.

You can check out the ck blog or web site for more info!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An Interesting Story

So this is pretty funny! The other day some family friends came over to visit and exchange (belated) Christmas gifts.

After talking for awhile, they gave me my gift. A $20 Gift Certificate to Istanbul (formerly Your Inner Vagabond) and a set of gift cards equaling $10 for Mocha Marianne's (formerly Bank Tower Coffee). I thanked them and they giggled to themselves, explaining they had quite a story to tell me.

In the weeks before Christmas, they were trying to decide what kind of gift to get me. They wanted to buy a gift card, but they wanted to buy one that was unique. They knew I loved coffee and decided to do some research for some cool and different places on the web.

When they sat down at the computer, they searched for unique coffee shops in Pittsburgh and stumbled across what they called "a great coffee blog". Unbeknownst to them, it was mine! They couldn't believe what they found.

Wrap-up -Christmas Countdown Tips

Tip #25: Merry Christmas!

Tip #24: It's Christmas Eve! Enjoy an elegant dinner at Enrico's Ristorante in Shady Side and finish off dessert with a cup of La Prima Espresso.

Tip #23: Treat a special female coffee lover with coffee themed jewlery from www.coffee-wear.com

Tip #22: Find unique coffee ornaments at Cafe Press.com and trim the tree!

Tip #21: Bring a warm travel mug full of your fav brew with you when picking out a real Christmas tree.

Tip #20: "Music for Coffee Beings" is a great stocking stuffer for the coffee drinker that loves great coffee tunes. Buy at www.musicforcoffeebeings.com

Tip #19: Be charitable this season and volunteer to serve coffee (and meals) at a homeless shelter or a nursing home.

Tip #18: Include children in the holiday coffee and conversation by serving them a decaffeinated blend.

Tip #17: Shop for coffee colored clothing at www.mixnshop.com/?color=coffee

Tip #16: Stick to news years resolutions and drink fresh brewed coffee, with zero calorie sugar and zero calorie creamer instead of buying coffee shop drinks loaded with sugar and empty calories.

Tip #15: Instead of milk and cookies, maybe Santa would like like some fresh brewed coffee. The extra jolt would help him get through Christmas Eve.

Tip #14: There are tons of coffee books to give as a gift to a coffee lover. Try Chicken Soup for The Coffee Lover's Soul.

Tip #13: If the hustle and bustle and the holiday and new year season is making you drag, try coffee flavored caffeine supplements to give you a boost.

Tip #12: Give a gift card! Your Inner Vagabond coffee house has changed to Istanbul, a Mediterranean Eatery and Lounge. It still has the same great atmosphere, food, coffee and live music.

Tip #11: If you run out of peppermint flavored coffee and you're in a jam, try placing a few tabs of peppermint mints on top of your ground coffee. When the water filters through while the coffee is brewing, it will flavor the coffee.