Tag Archives: york

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!

Starbucks and Yahoo Team Up to Offer In Store E-Books and Movies

Starbucks has teamed up with Yahoo to offer their customers e-books and movies in an attempt to encourage them to “stay a while” and purchase more items at Starbucks.

Starbucks, who traditionally charged for wireless internet, began their free wireless internet campaign in July of this year.  Now when you access Starbucks’ wireless service, you will be welcomed to watch moves, read books or enjoy access to some paid sites  from their partners, some of which include The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, Apple’s iTunes, local news provider Patch, and Zagat.

If you want to read the books at home, you may purchase them through the internet service.  Starbucks makes a small profit from the purchase.  

The e-books on the network are being offered through the Bookish Reading Club, a partnership with publishers, including Harper Collins, Hachette, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster.

Some books will be offered as excerpts only – but the customer will have the option of buying the whole book if interested. Some material will be made available on the network before its release date. One of the first such offerings is a preview of Anita Shreve’s upcoming novel “Rescue.”

New York Women Attracted To The Smell of Coffee

A study has shown that New York women are attracted to the smell of coffee, according to a report by NBC New York
.

The study was conducted by the  Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation and sponsored by Ax Men’s Grooming Products.

The study also noted that women around the US prefer different smells.  In Philadelphia they like the smell of clean laundry, in Los Angeles the prefer lavender and the ladies of Dallas like campfire smoke.

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

Starbucks Launches “Starbucks Reserve”

Starbucks has announced the introduction of an ultra premium coffee, Starbucks Reserve, to their menu.  A 12 oz cup will sell for nearly $3 in Seattle and other select markets.  The coffee will be released on August 31st.

Starbucks has chosen to pitch the product in New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Miami.  Starbucks will preview the coffee in select markets on August 28th.

Coffee Prices Increase in NY

Coffee prices are at a 12 year high in New York due to the weak dollar.  The US dollar dropped against the six other major currencies, even after gaining in the last five sessions.

The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials gained as much as 0.5 percent before a plunge in wheat prices dragged the index down. Coffee climbed 6.1 percent last week on speculation that too much rain will hurt crops in Brazil and Colombia, the world’s largest producers of arabica beans.  “The lower dollar is giving coffee a little bit of bid,” said Hector Galvan, a senior trading adviser at RJO Futures in Chicago. “There’s also some speculative buying” following last week’s increases, he said. 

Bloomberg reported that Coffee has gained 33% this year in te global market.

New Yorkers Crazy for POO

Kopi Luwak, also known as cat poo coffee, is taking New York by storm!  It is made from the fecal droppings of a cat like creature, the civet.  New Yorkers are shelling out $30 a cup for this unusual treat, according to the NY Daily News. 

The civet, which is from Indonesia, creates a brew that is very “earthy” in flavor.  Kopi Luwak was featured in the movie “The Bucket List”, being the only coffee that Jack Nicholson’s character would drink.  The character is later horrified to learn exactly where is liquid delight origionated.

Beans Prepared By Animals

In the Philippines coffee is becoming a big business.  Coffee trees grow abundantly on these islands.  But the Philippines have a little more help in making coffee “extra special” than other counties do.  How is that?

Some Philippine beans get a little extra  processing which makes them the most expensive coffee beans in the world.  This processing is handled by an unlikely employee who gets paid in coffee cherries.  His taxes, if you will, are then pooped out in the form of processed coffee beans which are quickly collected and packaged for your enjoyment.  So just who is this little worker?

The civet is a catlike creature, although not actually a cat.  He is nocturnal and furry.  He loves coffee cherries and in return for his delicious feast the enzymes and acids in his stomach ferment the beans and when they are excreted from the animal’s intestinal track they produce a lovely chocolaty and smooth brew with no bitter aftertaste.  These lovely beans sell for hundreds of dollars a pound.  As you can imagine, civet farms are popping up all along this impoverished region.  Indonesia also has this coffee, better known to the world a copi luwak.

The fact that these coffee farms are on the rise may help; the consumer by bringing down cost.  However, with such high margins one as to wonder if they are getting the genuine deal or a knock off of the origional. 

“Because of its increasing popularity, there is more civet coffee than ever, but I don’t trust the quality,” said Rudy Widjaja, 68, whose 131-year-old family-owned coffee store in Jakarta, Warung Tinggi, is considered Indonesia’s oldest.

Goad Sibayan, a purchaser of these coffee beans, has found some issues with the much sought after coffee.  He went to Cordillera to a arm known as Pat-ogs and inspected their beans.  Upon inspection he said he would pay just under top-grade price. He had found some impurities — inferior beans that the civet had spat out; beans chewed on, not by civets, but bats — that were indiscernible to all but Mr. Sibayan’s expert eye or, rather, tongue.

To read more about Mr. Sibayan’s trip to the Philippines, please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/world/asia/18civetcoffee.html?pagewanted=2

Irving Farm Coffee Aids in Relief Efforts for Haiti

Irving Farm Coffee Presents: Help Us Help Our Farmers

Aid in the Relief Efforts for Haiti with the Purchase of 

Haitian Highlands Pic Macaya Coffee

Millerton, NY (February 2010) – As part of the Haitian Relief Effort, Irving Farm Coffee Company will donate 100% of the profit from their new Reserve Select Haitian Highland Pic Macaya coffee to Konbit Sante, a Maine-based volunteer partnership working to save lives and improve healthcare in Haiti.  The limited supply “in season” coffee is grown by small landowners in the Pic Macaya National Forest, one of only two national forests in Haiti. Bird friendly and wet processed in micro lots by coffee farmer Pievy Polyte, when roasted the beans create a dark coffee with hints of almond, chocolate and ripe fruit.  The beans are sold to Irving Farm Coffee Company under Direct Trade guidelines. The coffee is available packaged in eco-friendly ½ lb bags. For additional products and ordering information visit www.irvingfarm.com.

 

About Irving Farm Coffee Company

“All About the Bean”

Located in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, Irving Farm Coffee Company is committed to directly sourcing beans from growers on small estate farms from around the world.  Micro lot batches of beans are roasted fresh daily according to a profile that enhances the flavor, aroma, and body of each bean.  Irving Farm Coffee Company embodies the philosophy of “farm to farm” and “farm to cup”, constantly seeking  seasonal and micro lot coffees from unique growers and origins around the globe.  Irving Farm coffee is available packaged ground or whole bean in ½ lb (Reserve Select) and 1 lb bags. All of the coffees are roasted to order for guaranteed freshness.

 

About Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership

Started in 2000, Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership is a Maine-based volunteer partnership working to save lives and improve healthcare in northern Haiti. Rather than developing a second, parallel health system, Konbit Sante works with the Haitian Ministry of Health and with Haitian colleagues to build capacity within the public system for Haitians to care for Haitians. To date the partnership has created specialized programs to improve care in pediatrics, internal medicine, infection control, neighborhood outreach, and women’s health. To learn more about Konbit Sante visit www.konbitsante.org.

Starbuck’s Via Instant Coffee Flops in NY

Starbucks failed  to impress New Yorkers with their new instant coffee during its launch this week.  Starbucks launched their Via Ready Brew, which is instant coffee in single packets, across the United States and Canada.  It was price pointed at $1 per pack.

According to CEO Howard Schultz , “It took a lot of courage to say that even though instant coffee is the worst cup of coffee you can have, we are going to reinvent it.”  One New Yorker told the Daily News that, “It’s bad,” while another observed, “You can get a cup of coffee for $1 on every corner of New York City that tastes better than this. Maybe it’s a product for people in other cities. I don’t see it selling here.”

So how will Via Ready Brew do in the rest of the United States and Canada?  Time will tell.

The Plug is Being Pulled on Laptop Use in Some Coffee Shops

Due to the economic downturn, many New York coffee shops are pulling the plug on laptop use by their customers. Some are limiting hours that laptops are allowed to be used, others are locking down the electric plug-ins.

So what is the problem? With so many people on unemployment, coffee shops are filling up with people who are using too much table time and buying too little product. Some patrons are bringing their own tea bags and asking for “hot water” at the coffee shops. Others are bringing sandwiches from home. All of this adds up to coffee owners struggling to keep their doors open, even if the place is packed with bodies.

“You don’t want to discourage it, it’s a wonderful tradition,” says Naidre’s owner Janice Pullicino, 53 years old. A former partner in a computer-graphics business, Ms. Pullicino insists she loves technology and hates to limit its use. But when she realized that people with laptops were taking up seats and driving away the more lucrative lunch crowd, she put up the sign. Last fall, she covered up some of the outlets, describing that as a “cost-cutting measure” to save electricity.

Norm Elrod was “devastated,” he wrote on his blog — called “Jobless and Less” — when he spotted “little plastic covers on the electrical outlets, secured with little padlocks” at Espresso 77. “But I knew why they had done it. I used to be one of the abusers,” Elrod confesses on his blog, “sipping a two-dollar cup of coffee in a to-go cup for hours.” He now tries to spend more while he is using the coffee shop’s internet service.

Some shops are charging for internet connection to combat this growing problem.

To read more on this subject, please feel free to visit http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124950421033208823.html