National Brownie Day

Friday, December 7th, 2018 by

There’s something really satisfying about being thrifty. I’m one of those people that responds to compliments on my attire with a “I dug this out of the clearance bin!” Ok, I’m not that crazy about a deal, but almost. I’ll admit, I’ve purchased clothing at 5 Below- it was a “Mo’ Mummies, Mo’ Problems” Halloween shirt. I just had to! One of my favorite ways to save a penny and pat myself on the back is to repurpose items I no longer have use for. I do it with furniture and clothing from time to time, but it manifests most often with food. I hate wasting, so I’ll throw leftover bacon in a frittata or season last nights’ chicken for tonight’s tacos. With National Brownie Day on the mind, I came up with what could quite possibly be my best Frankenstein thus for: Sea Salt Caramel Mocha Brownies with real brewed coffee!

We do a lot of coffee drinking during the work day, as I’m sure many of you do. How could we not with endless fresh roasted coffee at our fingertips? The daily dilemma I encounter coincides with my 3pm slump. I’ve still got a full two hours to go and dinner definitely isn’t making itself. “Should I make fresh coffee?” I ask myself. “Will anyone else drink it?” I torture myself over this for a while and walk around to see if anyone will coerce me into doing what I want to do. The desire for coffee inevitably wins but sometimes there is half a pot left as I gather my belongings to leave for the day. This time around, I poured the leftovers into a pitcher and left it in the fridge overnight. I had a brownie recipe on my mind!

I grew up with foodie parents and cooking shows were a primary source of entertainment in our household. I watched a lot of “The Urban Peasant,” where frugality and functionality were incorporated into devising recipes. James Barber looked for ways to spice up and reinvent household items in creative combinations. I saw a lot of like-minded chefs during my first year at Coffee Bean Direct. In our annual chili cookoff, many of the contestants used coffee and tea in their recipes. Not only were my coworkers amazing cooks but they introduced me to the world of Coffee Chili, Chai Chili, and a plethora of inexpensive, flavorful, nuanced dishes. They obliterated my stodgy notion that coffee and tea belong in your mug. You’re telling me I can fuse caffeine into my lunch? Mind blown.

I have to admit, I get a little thrill whenever I find a deal. I laugh wickedly when I arrive at friends houses with homemade caramel lattes and they asked me where I stopped. I save my time and money with shameless amusement. No $5 drinks for this girl! I’m addicted to finding a good deal. It only took a single taste test for me to know I had stumbled upon genius with this Sea Salt Caramel Mocha recipe. Feel free to use flavored coffee if you want to push the envelope. I used our Colombian Supremo, brewed strong, but any leftover coffee will do! You just want to make sure it’s at least slightly cooled before you mix it into your ingredients.

Do yourself a favor and brew that extra pot. The more leftover coffee you have, the more you basically have to bake these mouthwatering brownies. I mean you could just throw your leftover coffee out. But that’s like pouring potential happiness down the drain. Don’t wonder what would’ve been. You’re better than that.

Brew, bake, and celebrate! Let us know how it turned out in the comments below.


1 cup butter

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup of caramel bits

about 2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 -3 teaspoons strong brewed coffee


Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with heavy foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.

In a heavy large saucepan, heat 1 cup butter and chocolates over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, stir together eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, coffee and vanilla. Stir into warm chocolate mixture; cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until brownies appear shiny, begin to crack on top and appear set. (Do not overbake.)

Stir in the caramel bits. Drop the sea salt all over the top of the batter, a pinch at a time.

Cool completely in pan on a wire rack; then cut into bars.

New Site Preview

Friday, September 25th, 2015 by


Most of us find change at least mildly irritating, and change is everywhere all the time, so when the search bar on your favorite coffee website is in a new spot, it just might be the little thing that puts you over the edge. Consider this advanced notice: the search bar on our site is moving, and that’s just the beginning. We’ve been hard at work on a new site, which we hope will convince you that change is a wonderful (and beautiful) thing.

Here are some of the key changes you will see on our new site:*

  • Responsiveness (aka adaptability). Whether you’re browsing our site on a mobile, tablet, or desktop device, our site will respond to the device you are using. While viewing and shopping is possible on mobile devices using our current site, our new site will be much more mobile-friendly, requiring less scrolling and resizing, making it easy to navigate between products and checkout.
  • Easy Navigation. With more options available to you on the home page, you can get where you need to go with fewer clicks.
  • Improved searching. You typed Guatamalan. You meant Guatemalan. We know.
  • A simplified account page. Instead of navigating between pages while reviewing your account information, your previous orders, written reviews, wishlist, address book, and any gift card balances will all be in one place.
  • A user-friendly reviewing process. Were you confused when we mentioned reviews? That’s probably because the “add your review” button is pretty hard to find when browsing our products. Our new site will invite feedback, making it easier to contribute and browse reviews.
  • Free shipping countdown. We’re adding a countdown feature to our checkout page so you can keep track of how close your order is to qualifying for free shipping as you add items to your cart.
  • A new color scheme. It’s still us, we’re just prettier now.


*Not all of these changes will be implemented at once, but expect to see them soon!

Fresh From the Kiln: Our New Artisan Mugs

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 by


It’s been a while since we’ve carried a Coffee Bean Direct mug, but we recently updated our bean and arrow logo and decided to celebrate with a new mug design. Our durable and beautiful Artisan stoneware mugs are for you lovers of things rustic, beautifully imperfect, and one of a kind. Here’s our first batch, fresh from the kiln at Goose Creek Pottery in Rosemont, NJ, where potter Ted Green makes each wheel-thrown mug, one at a time.










These mugs are a labor of love and made by hand. As a result, they vary slightly in size and glaze pattern. Dishwasher and microwave safe, they are functional works of art, worthy of our fresh-roasted best!

How to Throw a Weird and Wonderful Office Baby Shower

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 by


Today we threw the mother of all baby showers for our COO Marcie. In celebration of the much anticipated baby Walter and his Greekness, there were Gyros, togas, columns dripping with plastic grapes, and the delicious love child of two wonderful things: baklavacheesecake. Here are the ingredients for a great baby party:

1. A radiant pregnant woman in a gold laurel headpiece.



2.  Your coworkers wearing their bed sheets.






3. High hair.



4. A ton of delicious food.




5. Art projects/creepy souvenirs (below: design-a-onesie and the play-dough baby challenge).




6. Babies and dogs in togas.





7. Just a little violence. No CBD baby shower is complete without a pregnant woman wielding a stick. We wrapped things up with a pinata. Sesame Street fans should skip this part. 

Behind The Mugshot: Tristan

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 by

In case you haven’t heard, #MugshotMonday is a weekly feature in the world of social media in which our staff steals the spotlight from our handsome coffee and tea.  You can find our mugshots on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter and follow along for more behind the scenes photos, new products, and discounts on staff favorites.

Meet Tristan, our Copy Writer and and one of our No-Shave November mugshots. Here he ponders a world without whiskers, dabbles in deflection, and shares a glimpse of his Dark Black soul.


You are our Copy Writer, but if you could assign yourself an alternate profession, what might that be?

Captain aboard the Starship Enterprise. First Officer would be okay too. Just not the Chief Engineer. I’m not especially competent in the field of theoretical physics.

What is your preferred leisure-time reading material?

Most of the time, I read fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. HP Lovecraft is a favorite author of mine as are Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Ayn Rand. I also read a lot of non-fiction centered on the middle ages. Currently, I’m infatuated with the Byzantine Empire and the 4th Crusade. I’m currently stalking a book on Amazon by a dude named Lars Brownworth called Lost to the West which explores Byzantine history through the eyes of some of its greatest and most infamous figures. I could go on like this ad nauseam so I’ll stop before you and I both end up asphyxiated from a lack of oxygen in the air.

What facial hair style or facial hair icon, from any time or place, real or fictitious, do you most admire?

Definitely Ambrose Burnside. If you are what you eat, then Mr. Burnside most certainly ate a legend. He was a pioneer in the art of beard design. Once, he was summarized as, “tall, just a little stout, wearing what was probably the most artistic and awe-inspiring set of whiskers in all the bewhiskered Union Army.” In other words, if we had no Burnside, we’d have no sideburns, and who would want to live in such a dreary de-whiskered world?

Assuming you were allowed to play, what was your favorite childhood toy/game?

It would be easier for me to deflect this question with humor than to actually answer it. Let’s just say my memory is known for being a little spotty and that conjuring up this information could prove to be quite taxing. I do recall enjoying my Ghostbuster toys immensely. During the day I’d zap ghosts and save the city, and at night, I stood them up in front of my bedroom door so they could protect me from any monster that might have been prowling through my house at night.

If you were a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?

Do I have to pick a color? The crayon box has shades in it too. The shades always get neglected. I feel bad for them. I’d want to be a shade… like Dark Black or some such.

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

I’d want to be Eddard Stark from the Song of Ice and Fire series. Despite anything that might or might not happen (notice the lack of spoilers), he encompasses all the virtues I aspire to. He lives according to his own code and conscience, following it without reservation and without asking permission. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, he treats others with dignity and respect. Truly, Eddard Stark is the man.