Kitties and Coffee? Welcome to the Cat Cafe!

There is wave of new coffee shops popping up across the nation, and the coffee here benefits more than your health!

Cat cafes seem to be all the rage lately.  So, what is a “cat cafe”?  These cafes are awesome! They are traditional cafes in that they sell coffee and some light snacks, but they have an access door to a whole other land, a land of precious kitties to cuddle with while drinking your coffee.  And the best part, if you fall in love with one of these kitties you can take it home!!!!  That’s right, these cafes house shelter kitties and they are adoptable.

So how does this work in general?  Of course you have health department regulations to comply with, so how is that done? The facilities generally tackle this issue by separating the food and drink preparation areas from the kitties in a separate room where the kitties have no access.  This allows the food preparation to remain sanitary.  Some of the cafes also work with outside vendors to provide snacks for their patrons.

Cat cafes allow you access to great coffee, while also providing a space for those people who are not necessarily “cat people”.  That’s right, if you are allergic to the cats you can still contribute to their little cafe sanctuary by going in and enjoying a cup of joe without entering the cat room.

Most cafes charge admission to the cat room which generally includes a specialty coffee.  This admission fee helps to support the kitties.  They have to eat too you know!

I cant’ think of a better way to spend an afternoon than to drink coffee and love on kitties.  I’m in love with the concept!

We charge extra for rude????

I was completely taken aback, and amused I must say, to learn that one cafe in France is “charging” customers for their rude behavior. I like the concept in theory, but I wonder how it would actually works in practice.

NBC News reported that a cup of coffee at a certain little cafe in the town of Nice costs about $9.50 USD if you order it straight up. If you ask for your coffee politely and say “please” you get a huge discount that lowers the price of your coffee to about $6 USD. That is a darn good “coupon”!

It gets better! If you are extremely nice you can get your coffee for about $2 USD by going the extra step and greeting your barista a “good morning”. Heck, I say “good morning, hope you have a great shift, happy evening and hope you sleep well!” Wonder if I could get my Joe for a buck if I did that? Might as well try, can’t hurt, might help! 🙂

The thing is, the discounts aren’t real, they are only perceived to be real. Fabrice Pepino, the cafe owner, has never actually charged more than approximately $2 USD for a cup of coffee, but the customers find the sign threatening a steep price for their bad behavior entertaining and it lightens their mood. He says some even give it a go and try to get the “deep discount”. Sorry folks, in reality “good morning, hope you have a great shift, happy evening and hope you sleep well!” won’t get you any better deal, but it will sure make your barista’s day better and I believe, in turn will make yours a little better too. Kindness rubs off on others that way.

If you want to see the picture of the menu that went viral on twitter you can see it here: http://nbcnews.to/1byNv0v

Seattle’s Best Coffee Building Thousands of Drive-Thru Only Cafes

Seattle’s Best Coffee is planning on building thousands of “drive-thru only” cafes. The first will open on November 21st in front of the SoDo Gateway Shopping Center in Seattle.

Not only will they serve coffee, they will also serve breakfast sandwiches and mini-pies.

I’ll Have a Latte and a Hack: No Thank You!

We all do it, find our favorite cafe with a “hot spot”, sit down with our computer and work, or play, the afternoon away.  But is our daily indulgence becoming a little risque?  Maybe so!

Enter the HACKER!  While we are sitting there cup deep in blissful liquid gold, some of us are being violated by a good for nothing hacker.  Well, that is a date I would rather not have, thank you very much!  I’ll drink alone, maybe I’ll have a scone while I’m at it, me and my computer, by myself or with friends, but no uninvited guests. 

A New York Times articlefrom February 16th  drew attention to the new vulnerabilities faced by Wi-Fi users. In particular, a free program called Firesheep. Firesheep makes hacking your fellow cafe-goer a simple, user-friendly, DIY affair. It  takes advantage of a lack of end-to-end encryption, allowing hackers to grab your cookies which are the bits of code that identify your private information. This enables hackers to act as you on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, or eBay.  Sites that use HTTPS, rather than HTTP, are safe from this sort of hacking.  Banking sites generally use HTTPS, but Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and EBay do not. 

New York is advising people of this Internet cafe issue.  Senator Charles Schumer spoke at Birch Coffee in Madison Square  Park in Manhattan.  He described  the HTTP protocol as “a welcome mat for would-be hackers” and a “one-stop-shop for identity theft.”  Its important to note that when you are using Internet hot spots, you are taking a risk if you are using HTTP. 

Until the larger companies that store our data stop using   HTTP, and start using HTTPS I suggest that you be aware of any unusual activity that might show up on your account.  Be your own watchdog!

Corn Coffee Now For Sale in Manila

Daveo City in Manila now has a new coffee product being provided to the group Coffee For Peace.  Corn Coffee!!!  Farmers from Sumilao will be providing the corn coffee.

“Our corn coffee is special because it’s caffeine-free, all-organic and all-natural, with no additives and no preservatives,” said Maria Carmela Sue P. Otarra, spokesperson for the Sumilao Agri-Enterprise (SAE), Inc. comprising local farmers. The Coffee for Peace, which used to be called Peace-building Community Cafe, sells and promotes civet coffee beans from the mountain ranges of Davao and Cotabato.

Cafe Grumpy in NY Bans Laptops

Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea, NY is fed up with extension cords being ran all over their store.  Although their Brooklyn location welcomes those with laptops and noise cancelling headphones.  The owners, Caroline Bell and Chris Timbrell have been the target of much bad publicity for their ban in the Chelsea location.

Cafe Grumpy has opened up a third location with a different design intended to forever fix their “laptop” problems.  The new location in Park Slope has no chairs…at all, unless you count the bench outside of the coffee bar for those who choose to linger.  It does have a counter in the rear of the shop and a chest-high table in the front.

“I don’t think I’d ever do a bigger space with tables and chairs again,” Ms. Bell said. “I appreciate the idea of when you go someplace and it feels like a home away from home, but I don’t think it should be a home office away from home.”

This type of grab-n-go coffee bar is becoming more common around the  country and especially in New York.  “There’s clearly a philosophy behind the coffee bar,” said Christian Geckeler, who describes his ongoing odyssey to taste the country’s best coffee on Manseekingcoffee.com. “It puts the emphasis on the coffee and the barista.”

To read more check out the New York Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/dining/25coffee.html