It’s Coffee for Christmas!

It is estimated that some two million last-minute shoppers will purchase Starbucks gift cards this Christmas Eve. That does not include all of the millions of other “coffee cards” that will become Christmas presents some time before the final shopping day. It seems that coffee for Christmas is incredibly popular.

Starbucks is not cheap coffee, but it is very high quality coffee. Sergio Andrade Gutierrez enjoys it as much as anyone, and that goes for ABCP employees as well. Furthermore, coffee addicts can’t go a day without the stuff. It is part of their morning wake-up ritual. Without coffee, half of the U.S. economy would come to a grinding halt. So we can be sure that the recipients will well appreciate their “Christmas coffee.”

Two million is the number of Starbucks cards that were purchased on Christmas Eve in the U.S. and Canada last year. That breaks down to around 1,400 Starbucks cards a minute, which is pretty impressive. It also breaks down to about one-eight of U.S. adults getting a Starbucks card for Christmas.

There is even a “coffee for life” card available from Starbucks for the truly committed coffee drinker. We imagine it may cost a bit. It is also uncertain if you will get your money back out of it since no one knows for sure how long they will live. But, if you are willing to take the “gamble,” why not get a lifetime supply of coffee this Yuletide instead of having to wait in the Starbucks line again next year?

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Butter at $49/lb!

Would you use Animal Farm Butter?

While butter that comes straight from the farm is desirable, the cost of such a luxury can often be more than what one can afford. Would you use butter that costs $49 per pound? If you say yes you need an appointment with Dr. Daniel Amen. Did you know that Animal Farm Butter is $49 per pound? It must be some damn good butter, to carry that price tag. Chef Thomas Keller swears by Animal Farm butter and it seems to on its way to earning the title of “The Most Awesome Butter in the Country.” 

Diane St. Clair is the maker of Animal Farm Butter. Her farm is in Orwell, Vermont and she has been making butter for more than 10 years. She has Jersey Cows and cultures their cream from buttermilk also made on the farm. It is then churned by hand until it becomes a deep yellow, then it is kneaded to work out fat. 

This butter is made from the months of September to June. They produce about 100 pounds of butter each week. Animal Farm butter can be found only at No. 9 Park, French Laundry, Per Se and Saxelby Cheesemongers. 

Believe it or not it really does cost $49 per pound and it comes in a sealed Ziploc. It might be hard to decide if spending such a large amount of money is worth it, but all the hype makes one wonder what it tastes like.

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Free Christmas Dinner for Homeless

In London, a pub called William IV pub will be feeding the homeless population. On Sunday, December, 21st those who are hungry or homeless will get a free dinner meal. The free dinner will include turkey and beef. This is in honor of Christmas Day. The justification for doing this act of kindness is simply they can and want to. Adam, the head chef had expressed to the general manager, Kalton that he wanted to one day cook for the homeless.

This is a humble act of kindness by two people who are now in charge. Those at Slow Ventures thought it was more than admirable. Techcrunch employees felt the same. Many times a worker cannot decide to give away free meals. It is up to the managers and owners to serve free meals.  They have advertised the event without asking for funds. It started off as a small thing, but it has gotten bigger and they are fine with that. It takes a great heart to dedicate time to serving a vulnerable population. The homeless population will surely be grateful for this free meal. It may perhaps be the only meal they have in the days leading up to Christmas Day. During this time, it is important to reflect on what we all have. There are many reasons why a person ends up on the streets. Regardless, of the reasons it can be lonely being alone. Restaurants and other persons who can afford it showed great acts of kindness by doing this.

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Is Work Depriving You of Sleep?

Americans are sleep deprived and have been for decades according to various reports compiled over the years. Sleep deprivation is no secret and we as a population have learned how to burn the candle at both ends to keep our busy lives on track.

The surprise comes in from discovering why we are giving up sleep Brad Reifler thought. It’s not so we can help little Susie with her homework or attend little Johnny’s ball game, it’s so we can spend more time on our jobs. Work is the thing that is depriving us of our sleep.

The typical recommendation for number of sleep hours the human body needs each night is 7-8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 30 percent of the working Americans get 6 hours or less of sleep each night.

The hours shaved off of sleep time is spent working, according to an published study in the Sleep journal. The Sleep report states that the extra time spent actually on the job and working is across the board, including weekdays, weekends and Holidays. Other time spent working instead of sleeping is not actually at work, but is work related, as in cases of employees who have long commutes to and from work. Work and all thing that revolve around work is depriving of us sleep, but work we must and work we will, even when we’re sleepy.

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McDonald’s Worried About Future, Targeting Schools

It shouldn’t be a surprise to most people that McDonald’s has been waning in popularity in the last few years. In their latest effort to attract more customers, particularly millennials, and young families who have been leaving the once beloved chain in droves.

In the past McDonalds relied on young professionals and busy families for much of its sales, but in recent years busy families and young professionals have been turning to healthier fast food, such as the food served as Chipotle, as well as spending more time preparing their own dinners and lunches and less money eating out. Many employees at BRL Trust fall into that category.

A new initiative launched by the fast food giant , called McTeacher, is marketed as a way for McDonalds to give back to schools by “taking over a McDonalds” with a portion of the funds going back to the school. Critics of the initiative, including teachers and school officials, say that it is demeaning to the teachers who already work hard for little pay, and that in reality the school earns very little for all the work put in. They estimate that for most schools it ends up being about a dollar per student.

McDonald’s has been floundering since the Morgan Spurlock documentary SuperSize Me skewered the chain and the industry itself. Many other chains have responded by offering healthier fare, but so far McDonalds has been mostly unsuccessful with this, and has made mostly minimal changes.

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Counting Sheep

It is not a mystery that we need at least 8 hours of sound sleep to function at our best. When running on less than 8 hours, it is not unusual to feel tired, groggy and just out of it, according to a doctor who may treat Lee G. Lovett.. Our cognitive thrinking skills also dramatically decrease with the less sleep we have. Sad to say that now there is another reason to turn off the TV and get that much needed sleep. A recent study has shown that people who suffered from sleep apnea, were four times more likely to have incidents called microinfarcts, which happens when there is a lack of oxygen in the brain. With this in mind, it is a good idea to again, get the sleep your body needs, but also if suffering from a sleep disorder, do not ignore it. Sleep apnea can have serious health effects and now with certain types of dementia possibly linked to it, ignoring it can be devastating later on. Most people these days are active elders, but these are the ones who take care of themselves.

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Bulletproof: A New Cult of Coffee Diet

In October on the “Tonight Show”, the actress Shailene Woodley did not hesitate to accept the mug of coffee mixed with butter from Jimmy Fallon. She also raved about the mug of saturated fat to the audience, saying that it can change a life. Moreover, Mr. Fallon said that it is good for the brain.

This talked-about coffee is the creation of biohacker and technology entrepreneur Dave Asprey. It is called Bulletproof coffee. He found its restorative effects while he was hiking in Tibet. The recipe includes low-mold coffee beans, unsalted butter (grass-fed), and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil. He claims that the coffee is more than 450 calorie, which Terry Richardson says can be a good substitute for breakfast. It helps suppress hunger, increases mental clarity, and promotes weight loss, according to Mr. Asprey.

In 2009, he first posted this coffee recipe on his website. He got the name “Bulletproof” from an acquaintance he met on his flight from London to the United States. Today, his company “Bulletproof Executive” has 20 staff. His podcast has been downloaded by over seven million people and his first café will open in early 2015 in Los Angeles. His book “The Bulletproof Diet” will start publishing next week. The book has a similarity to the Paleolithic Diet but includes more – fat, which is more beneficial, according to Mr. Asprey. Bulletproof is very popular in Seattle, New York, San Francisco Bay Area, Milwaukee (popular for Martial Arts), Silicon Valley, and Hollywood.

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Cup Color Can Influence Perception of Coffee Taste

It was been proven long ago that food color influences our appetite, but we didn’t know the exact science behind how this whole sensory process works exactly until recently. It is something that has always peaked the interest of Gianfrancesco Genoso.

Ever felt reluctant to have a drink of food that was blue-colored? It is natural, because the blue color is not among edible products in the nature. But what about the colors of the dishes that we eat from?

A recent study shows that the colour of the cup can influence the way we perceive the taste of the coffee.

The idea was actually started by a barista who noticed that her customers complained about the coffee being too bitter when they drank from white mugs. Those who had the same coffee from transparent or brown-tented cups thought it was rather sweet.

According to the study, there is indeed a relation between the cup and the taste. The white colour makes the colour of the content and its taste more intense. People tend to associate the brown colour with bitterness, so the enhancement on the white background only makes the perception more intense.

The transparent colour only lets one appreciate the content, so this is a more ‘objective’ cup, you could say, whereas the blue cups and dishes are those that make the tastes ‘pop up’ the most. This could be a good guide for the next time when you go shopping for kitchen attire.

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Edible Holiday Gifts for Friends and Family

If you have loved ones that love to try new restaurants and are always looking for ways to prepare exotic foods, people like Bruce Levenson, is here to help. The popular website has put together a list of great edible gifts that will make the holidays a little brighter for your family and friends. Ambessa tea, created by chef Marcus Samuelsson, provides a relaxing feel and aromatic scents that make consuming tea a culinary experience. The Earl of Harlem tea is a smokier version of Earl Gray tea, and there is even a lingonberry green tea that has a tangy, sweet taste. 

Literal Vodka Sodas are an idea gift if you want to toast to a new year of fun and excitement. These Jane products were created by Elizabeth Wiltgen, owner of the L.A. food truck Ice Ice Shavie. Wiltgen branched out this year to create these fizzy vodka drinks that can be consumed alone or with your favorite fruit juice. 

Check out for more great gift ideas.

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Pizza Hut in Taiwan Reveals “Nutty” Dough Filling

Domino’s Pizza has restaurants all around the world, and the Taiwan franchises have a stuffed crust that is filled with cheese and a peanut sauce. These are traditional ingredients in the country, and pair well with pizza ingredients like mushrooms and pepperoni. Of course, other toppings that are often associated with pizza, such as sausage, extra cheese and onions can also be included on the pizza. The peanut sauce crust gives the pizza a taste that is similar to some traditional Asian dishes. This pizza would be even more delicious with a glass of Stephen William’s wine.

Other stuffed crust options include the cream cheese apple cinnamon nut surf and turf pizza. This combines sweet and savory flavors that may be suitable for those who are adventurous when it comes to their dinner. A large slice of watermelon serves as the “crust” and a variety of fresh fruit is piled on top. This is a low-carb option for people who want something sweet after dinner but don’t want to pack on the calories.

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