Coffee & the environment

The environment is our collective responsibility.

We need to make sure we dispose of things properly (i.e. prescription drugs, oil, batteries, etc.). We need to make sure we use everything to its potential–don’t just throw that pair of shoes out because it’s out of style! Keep them, keep using them, they still work. We need to consider what we do now, that is wasteful or problematic, that we can slowly and eventually change — and this is where coffee comes in.

Coffee is a delightful habit, but it can also negatively impact the environment. Every little change adds up in our individual lives, and if each individual makes a few small changes, we can have a big impact. So what does that look like for the average caffeinated individual?

  • Reuse iced coffee plastic containers. I refill mine with iced coffee from home or turn them into my water container.
  • Bring your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop.
  • Decline the plastic drink stopper.
  • Re-purpose coffee grounds–compost, soaps, candles, etc.
  • Reuse and re-purpose coffee filters.
  • Forgo Keurig pods and use the reusable pod with your own coffee grounds.
  • Go into the coffee shop, don’t use the drive-thru.
  • Reuse coffee bags — upcycle. Sew them into purses or totes (or, give them to someone who can sew them into purses and totes πŸ˜‰)
  • Reuse coffee cups — the cups are made for coffee, and sturdy, why not give them another go?
  • Reuse/re-purpose coffee cans — they are strong containers! If you have no need for them, find an art teacher, they can definitely use them!

These are just a few ideas and suggestions. If we all chose a couple of things to upcycle, re-use, re-purpose, imagine how much we could stop going to landfills. If we all stopped idling in our cars, imagine how much gas (and money) we’d saved, and how much cleaner our air could be. If we all shared our best practices, and implement just a few, we could change the course of history–and still enjoy our coffee, win-win y’all, win-win.

Coffee — and a slide

Drink your coffee. Go down the slide.

New Ground coffee is opening shop in London — and the shop features a giant slide. Yes, like the kind in a playground.

I have never tasted their coffee, but I would be willing to say that the ambiance, at the very least, would be a whole lot of fun. And, as if the slide and laughter of those sliding down aren’t enough, New Ground is invested in decreasing recidivism and supporting the community at large. They train and hire ex-offenders to work for them. They give people a second chance–and any organization that believes in people, that allows them to re-enter the world with work and a chance to start over positively, that’s the kind of organization I want to promote and support. Next time I’m in London, I know what coffee I’ll be sipping first.

Italy: to-go

Recently I posted a brief summary on some of the differences between the US and Italy as it pertains to coffee, and coffee culture.

Now, sometimes you notice things right away, and sometimes you don’t realize things until much later. This is a much later realization:

No need for a to-go cup.

The quick espresso, the quick shot of coffee, is a momentary event. It’s served, you may or may not add sugar, you chug it, you leave the bar. That’s it.

Since it’s a brief stop, there’s no need for a to-go cup.


I was standing at the bar waiting for my drink, hearing all the glass clinking, enjoying the sounds–I don’t know why but I like the hustle and bustle noise–when it dawned on me: there’s no paper or plastic anywhere.

In fact, once it hit me, I instantly started looking around for any sign of paper cups. Nothing. I looked for cardboard sleeves, wooden stirrers, drink stoppers, and everything else associated with a cup of coffee to-go. Surely, I was mistaken. But there was nothing.

Three weeks into my Italian stay, I started backtracking to every bar and restaurant, had I seen a to-go cup–anywhere? From this moment on, I started looking for signs of a coffee to-go. Any signs, any options, any markings for a to-go option; I looked everywhere. After 6 weeks in Italy, I recall one in Rome, which I attribute to the abundance of tourists, and I found one in Bassano del Grappa. Nothing in all my other travels (Galliera Veneta, Castelfranco, Vicenza, Cittadella, Treviso, Padua, Venice, Verona, Asolo).

Italians may drink a lot of coffee, but they’re not producing nearly as much paper and plastic waste with their caffeinated habit–not as much as we do in the States. It’s pretty amazing and quite the contrast, and while I love the idea and the concept of it all, I sure do miss my big American cup to-go. I miss being able to savor some added almond milk and flavor in the morning. πŸ˜‰ β˜• So, it’s great for the environment, and I definitely appreciate it, but I’m not a complete convert. For now, it’s just another difference to note. 😊

Coffee Humor

With so many hilarious tidbits, sayings, memes, and posts on coffee . . . let’s start a catalog of some of the best coffee-inspired humor.

Stay tuned for a new section, a new series of posts, entitled “Coffee Humor.”

Also, consider this an all-call, if you find something good send it over!

But what about this place?

  • Let this be the next segment of “But what about this place?”
  • Let this be an addendum to my previous statement “Bring the suggestions, I will always go!”


I recently stumbled across the following article: Coffee Shop with Fish Swimming Right at the Foot in Saigon.

I did some digging and read more on this coffee shop and the concept. I have come to the conclusion that I just can’t do this.

I feel like I’m adventurous, but I don’t think I’m that adventurous.

I can’t sit in ankle deep water, in an artificial tank, with fish just swimming by my feet as I try to drink my coffee. I would be too jumpy and end up spilling my coffee! And honestly, it just sounds gross. I don’t want the smell of coffee disrupted by the smell of feet, or fish.

Maybe I am overthinking it, but this is one place I don’t find appealing, one place I cannot say I will put on my list of places to try–but maybe you could try it and let me know how it goes? 😬

Keurig v. Coffee Pot?

This is a work-related question:

Which is better for the workplace: the Keurig or the coffee pot?

Benefits of the Keurig:

  • Individual taste preferences more readily available for all
  • Everyone can bring their K-cups and use their own K-cups
  • No clean-up required
  • Depending on the Keurig, there may be options for various serving sizes

Benefits of the coffee pot:

  • More coffee available at one time
  • More people know how to use it–it amazes me how many people need constant direction on a Keurig
  • Arguably less wasteful–I have read and heard that the K-pods are considered wasteful due to their single-use nature
  • Arguably cheaper–think the cost of a big tin of coffee v. a pack of K-pods

This is a simple question that led to an extended discussion and no definitive answer–so I ask, which is better for the workplace: Keurig or traditional coffee pot?


Coffee & Poop: Thanks SEO

I recently took a digital marketing class through eCornell and started learning about SEO: search engine optimization. I had heard the term but through this coursework and some added research I feel like I have a greater grasp of what it is and how it’s used.

In my learning and research, I was directed to Answer the Public to generate quality questions and ideas that not only provide inspiration for posts, but also help me find the right words to promote readership.

Nevermind the technical aspects or purpose or application of new learning. What I discovered was that the keyword “coffee” often leads to, or is connected to, the word “poop.”

I typed “coffee”, 197 questions were generated, the following stood out:

  • Are coffee enemas dangerous?
  • Are coffee enemas safe?
  • Can coffee cause constipation?
  • Will coffee constipate you?
  • Will coffee cause constipation?
  • Will coffee make you poop?
  • Which coffee makes you poop?
  • Why coffee makes me poop?
  • Why coffee enema?
  • Why coffee makes you poop?

That’s 10 poop-related questions. 10 direct references to coffee and bowel movements.

And what-the-hell is a “coffee enema”? Well, I didn’t know, and of course I had to look it up, and now I’m terribly frightened and grossed-out.

My reflections, conclusions, on coffee and a SEO keyword search:

  • Coffee belongs in your mouth. That’s it. I don’t want to hear anymore on this topic.
  • All food and drink consumed will be expelled, that includes coffee. However, it appears coffee and poop are quite closely related and associated with one another. Who knew?
  • Despite it’s clear connection–this will be my only bowel, poop, #2, constipation, etc. related post.

. . . and there you go–thanks SEO, you’re frightening.


Caffeinated Idea

So, there are beer flights–a presentation of small glasses, each glass is filled with a variety of beers to sample.

Wonderful idea. Excellent experience. I highly recommend it.

Now, how does this apply to coffee?

Well, with the advent of so many milks to add to your coffee, what if there were coffee/milk flights?

Caffeinated Idea: Coffee & Milk Flight

  • One type of coffee poured into four glasses.
  • Each of those four glasses has a different milk added.

A coffee & milk flight allows the coffee drinker to sample, taste, comment, and decide which milk goes best with their coffee.

What do you think? Could this work? Could this be a thing?


What is coffee?

My third attempt to answer β€œWhat is coffee?”

Coffee is . . .

  • an acceptable drink–any time of the day (me)
  • my valentine (me . . . and a whole lot of other people)
  • essential (me . . . and a whole of other people)
  • my blood type (meme/mugs)
  • the most important meal of the day (meme)
  • the gasoline of life (meme/mugs)


But what about this place?

Let’s be clear:

There are a plethora of options for coffee. Everywhere. Anywhere. There is no shortage of options.

There is great coffee being served in many of these places. Forget the places with bad coffee, or mediocre coffee. I do not care about those places. I need not comment on where they are or who they are–they/we know who they are.

Now, the places serving great coffee. The coffee may taste great, but it may be served with a bad attitude.

I have worked in public relations as a tour guide. I have worked in retail. I have worked as an educator. Relationships are everything. Attitude is everything. Delivery is everything.

A few people have suggested places and I have actually been to some of these locations. Recently someone said what about _____, they have great coffee. I responded in the affirmative, they do have great coffee, but each time I have gone to that place the servers have been rude. Interestingly, this same person responded with: I know! This led to a long conversation on the importance of service.

I try my hardest not to be negative. I try my damndest to consider alternatives. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and a second chance.

Here, on Cups and Comments, I only want to talk about the great places–the great places all-around. We all have bad days, but if I come back, if I come back multiple times because the coffee is indeed good, and I’m still treated poorly, or spoken down to, or brushed aside, I will not put you here. People need to feel safe and happy while they drink coffee, otherwise it’s way too bitter and nobody likes that.

So what about _____ or _____ or _____? But what about _____? Well I’ll try it; in fact, I’ll want to try it a few times if I have the opportunity. But it has to be a great experience all-around, an overall wonderful place to savor coffee, in order to make it on this forum.

Bring the suggestions, I will always go! But know that I take this seriously–so just because I try it, does not mean I will recommend it. All recommendations come from the heart, from a great coffee experience, from an outstanding overall experience, always.

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