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.

National Cookie Day

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 by

Cookies are such a happy little food. You can’t be truly sad when you’re eating a cookie. The other undeniable thing about cookies is they scream to be dunked. That’s where we come in. Milk and cookies? We’re not going to deny it. It’s a timeless pairing. But coffee and tea are where it’s at in the beverage world. There is no better reward for successful adulting (I know, it’s not a real word) than a steamy cup of vitality to dip your cookie in. With National Cookie Day coming up, we used brewed tea to bake spicy, sweet Chocolate Chai Tea Cookies. Guess what we did with them? We dipped them in coffee, like the rebels that we are. Step aside milk, coffee and tea are coming for you.

Believe it or not, there is a science behind dunking. Cookies taste better when dunked; it’s not in your imagination. Some cultures even apply rules to their dunking. In Australia “Tim Tam Slam” is a six-step process where dunking enthusiasts bite off the corners of their cookie, use it as a straw to slurp up their beverage of choice, and then pop the cookie in their mouth for ultimate consumption. Dunking dissolves the sugars of a cookie, releasing its flavor and softening the texture. It draws in the liquid so it’s easier and more pleasurable to eat.

The UK honors a “National Biscuit Dunking Day.” We looked into it and for all intents and purposes, what the English consider a ‘biscuit’ would be seen more as a cookie in the U.S. I’m sure you can find someone to argue this claim, but that’s a can of worms for another day. The holiday was born to make physics accessible by focusing on a cheerful subject matter. The founder of this holiday, physicist Len Fisher, was surprised by how quickly the day gained attention and popularity. Almost every UK newspaper celebrated, posting Washburn’s Equation, which explains capillary flow in porous materials. The science of dunking became a household subject matter.

Now that you have been graced with this life-altering, scientifically-proven epiphany, you can celebrate National Cookie Day in expert fashion. We’re not saying milk doesn’t have a place in the dunking world, we’re just saying it’s more of an accessory than an essential. I mean, you can’t argue with science, right? There goes coffee and tea, stepping in and upping the ante, once again.

Try this physics experiment out yourself with our favorite cookie recipe and your coffee or tea of choice and share your experience in the comments below!

Servings 3 -4 Dozen


1 Cup Butter Softened

2 Cups Sugar

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar Packed

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbsp Old World Chocolate Chai Tea, strong brewed

¼ cup cocoa

4 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

3 Tbsp Milk

2 Tsp Vanilla

Ground Cinnamon



Begin by creaming the butter, adding in the cocoa, sugars, eggs, tea, and vanilla.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing well.

Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the Oven to 350*.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut the round shapes.  Place them on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes then remove from oven and let cool before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling.

While the cookies are cooling combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl.

Spread a little bit of the glaze on each cookie and add a dash of cinnamon.


Father’s Day Gift Guide

Monday, June 4th, 2018 by


Feeling a little perplexed about what to get Dad this year? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list we put together of some of our favorite items that we think will make a memorable gift.

June Roaster’s Blend:

Whether seeking a liquid companion for his warm weather adventures or simply something to savor as he relaxes in the sunshine, our June Roaster’s Blend is the perfect summer brew for Dads. The smooth blend of Guatemalan and City Roast Papua New Guinea has delicate notes of caramel and a warm, lingering finish. This sweet, mellow blend is versatile enough to enjoy hot or iced, and far too tasty to miss out on. Help Dad kick start his summer in style.

Chemex Pour-over & Filters:

Coffee purists already know how great the Chemex is, but this easy to use and artistic coffeemaker is perfect for Dad. The Chemex looks both futuristic and old fashioned at the same time. Simple and elegant yet groovy and – dare we say it – funky. Surely, this is a case of form over function, right? Wrong… coffee aficionados have backed the Chemex since 1941 for its pure coffee flavor with no bitterness. It has been called one of the 100 best designed products of modern times. It’s even on display at the MoMA! Check out our helpful guide on how to use a Chemex coffee pour-over here.


Bodum French Press:

If Dad prefers a silkier, heavier cup, this classic French Press brewer is a great Chemex alternative. Enjoy a cup of full-bodied coffee from a classy Bodum 8-cup French Press and taste the difference. Designed in the fifties and still produced with the same meticulous craftsmanship, these little masterworks show how profoundly preparation method can enhance your coffee’s flavor profile and complexity. These presses exhibit the practical, sleek design of the definitive Chambord French Press and come in a 12 cup and 8 cup size. If you’re not familiar with French Press coffee, this is the key to getting the most out of your coffee at home. You can learn how to use a Bodum French Press right here.

Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder:

Speaking of Dad getting the most out of his coffee, coffee beans must be ground right before coming in contact with hot water in order to develop their full flavor profile. This is where the electric coffee grinder BISTRO becomes part of the coffee making ritual. BISTRO is continuously adjustable – twisting the upper bean container determines how finely ground the beans will be. But there’s more to it than that. Most coffee grinders use plastic containers to receive the ground coffee but plastic and ground coffee don’t go together well – static makes the coffee spill all over the place. As glass is inherently static-free, the new BISTRO comes with a borosilicate glass container to catch the ground coffee. BISTRO makes for an excellent no-spill coffee grinder. Not only is this a timeless method for brewing coffee, but it will give Dad a coffee experience he is sure to love.


Stainless Steel 30oz Tumbler & Coffee Bean Direct Mug:

Keep iced coffee cold and hot coffee steaming with this 30-oz stainless steel travel mug! The double walled stainless steel design affords excellent thermal performance, helping Dad keep his drink icy cold or piping hot for hours. Featuring a slide-lock press on lid to prevent party fouls and the logo of your favorite coffee roaster printed on the side. Our 14-oz mug is just as cool and will certainly help coffee stay hot. Either of these options will make sure Dad is sipping in style!


We hope this guide was helpful, and wish all the Dad’s out there a happy Father’s day! Was this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Unique Gifts for Coffee & Tea Lovers

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 by

Knowing that someone is a coffee or tea lover doesn’t necessarily make them easy to shop for. Chances are they already have everything they need to brew their favorite beverages at home. However, before you decide to go with a gift card, check out this list of gifts we think any true coffee/tea person would love to receive. You might want to add a few to your own letter to Santa (translation: share it with your friends and family on Facebook).


Ajiri Tea

One of the most exciting new additions to our website, Ajiri Tea, is a robust and flavorful Kenyan black tea, available in bags or loose-leaf, and packaged in boxes with beautiful hand-crafted labels. The sale of Ajiri Tea benefits the Ajiri Foundation, which creates business for small-scale farmers and employment opportunities for Kenyan women. 100% of the profits fund educational expenses for orphans of Western Kenya. Read more about the Ajiri Tea Company and the communities they support on their site,

The Ekobrew Filter

Stores have been pushing single-serve brewers hard during the holidays. You may have bought one for a friend or received one yourself, only to discover their hidden cost. Not only do pre-packed cups cost an average of $30 per pound of coffee, but the grounds inside have been allowed to “gas-off” (go stale) prior to packaging so that the sealed cups do not explode. The Ekobrew filter saves the day by allowing you to brew any fresh-roasted coffee you like in most single-serve machines, no pre-packed cups required. It’s easy to clean and at $9.95, a bargain that will save lots of money down the road. You can find more info and a list of compatible brewers here.

Bodum Bean 8-cup French Press

The French Press is the perfect gadget for coffee lovers who enjoy having control over every aspect of brewing—from steeping time to water temperature—to bring out the best in their beans. Simple and elegant, it’s hard to improve upon the original design, but this press has a few fine qualities that make it a standout. Easy to use and dishwasher-safe, the Bean press is well-insulated and completely spill-proof. Perfect for the pre-coffee klutz.

Jasmine Pearls

One of the highest grade teas available at Coffee Bean Direct, Jasmine Pearls make a perfect gift for the tea lover. The pearls are hand-rolled green tea leaves and buds that unfurl upon steeping to release a gorgeous aroma and sweet flavor. Truly a special tea!

Holiday Balls
For some reason this flavor is a tough sell with men. That’s a shame because it’s delicious. Reminiscent of another seasonal favorite, Zombie Cure, it features caramel and popcorn flavors plus a surprise (don’t worry — it’s chocolate). If you’re uncomfortable giving your Holiday Balls order to the friendly and professional women who answer the phone here, feel free to substitute the word “orbs,” or place your order discreetly on our website.

Bodum Tea for One 12-oz Double-Wall Tea Strainer

Tea lovers know that the best stuff doesn’t come in a teabag. But it can be cumbersome to haul steeping gadgets around with you on your travels. Beautiful to look at, Bodum’s Double-Wall Strainer is made of lightweight thermal glass, and includes a removable fine-mesh filter (which can fit inside most mugs). The silicone lid doubles as a coaster, and the whole thing is dishwasher and microwave-safe.

The Kone

Having endured the Jersey leg of “Superstorm Sandy’s” East Coast Tour, my romance with fancy modern gadgets took a hit. Without power, the carafe was the only useful part of my coffee maker, and only because I was lucky enough to have a gas stove and clean drinking water. I used a filter-holder and poured hot water over my grounds, hipster-style, and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed coffee more. The Kone is a well-designed and versatile reusable filter, and makes a delicious pot of pour-over coffee, compatible with just about any coffee pot or carafe.

Hand-Crank Grinder

I never gave any thought to this before Sandy struck. I think it was only day three of the black-out here that I tried to club my coffee beans with a rolling pin (it doesn’t work). An old hand-crank coffee grinder would make a fantastic addition to an emergency kit. Modern technology has certainly improved the grinder (these are a great choice when the lights are on), but a die-hard coffee lover will want one of these stashed next to the D batteries in case of emergency.

Coffee Bean Direct Coffee/Tea Lovers Gift Baskets and Sampler Packs

Between our Sampler Packs and Gift Baskets, we have the perfect gift for every coffee and tea drinker. Our Assorted Coffee Sampler includes a variety of flavors and roast levels—a great gift for two (or more) people with different tastes, or for the person who likes a little variety in their cup. If you’re after something more specific, check out our Gift Baskets. You can choose premium coffee only, decaffeinated or flavored coffees, green, herbal, or traditional black teas.

Bodum Thermal Vacuum 15-oz Travel Mug 

If you’re a Coffee Bean Direct customer, chances are you are no longer able to enjoy the coffee available at that pit stop on your way to work. Until we infiltrate gas stations nationwide, you’ll have to brew a pot at home and take it to go. Since you care about how your coffee tastes, you already know that your drinking vessel matters and a good travel mug is hard to find. This one scores high on heat retention and ease of use. Stainless steel, with a tight fitting, closeable lid, it fits easily in any cup holder and is dishwasher safe.





Father’s Day Gift Guide

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 by

Father's Day Gift Guide