Tavolo sale, the Japanese love vacpots, and more!
Posted August 22, 2001 9:20pm
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Once more, a big thanks to everyone who helps contribute to the costs for this site. Another $50 raised since the last rant - spectacular! Thanks to Jonathan, Scott, Howard, Dan, Jean, Sylvain, Richard, Matthew, Eric, Patrice, Joshua David and John. Muchly Appreciated.
It appears that Tavolo (I thought they were dead!) is having a huge firesale on all their kitchen goods. 40% off, across the board. For a few short hours this morning (Aug 22), some lucky buggers got even bigger discounts off two decent Super Autos - a Saeco Vienna Deluxe at $200 (normally retails online for $520 or so) and a Krups Orchestro for $250 (I've seen it locally for around $1300 Cdn, or about $850 USD). Sadly, those machines are listed as out of stock. But some steals remain - a Gaggia Baby for $209 which is amazing; a Gaggia MDF grinder for $140 new (amazing!), and even the despised but still sought after Francis!Francis! X1 for $299. If you're in the market for a quality machine, check it out. The Baby/MDF combo at $350 is a bargooon.
We finally launched our new website for my company last week. You can find it at www.webmotif.com . It is a long time coming, and still needs a lot of work, but we had some press releases (be warned, it's 250kb) to get out the door, and the site had to be done. I don't publish this info on this site often (like, never) but we do hire out our services - if your company is looking to have its website updated, or create one from scratch, or you want a state of the art content management system, you can give us a call or visit the site for more info.
Speaking of this, we're also developing a new "skin" and some increased functionality for our WIPS (web integrated content management system) to match our new corporate look. I mention this here because it is (sigh) yet another delay for the new CoffeeGeek site. I'm so fed up though with the delays... I want it done and launched, probably more than anyone else.
Vac Pots and the Japanese
We had a dinner party last weekend. The guests were my programmer and his girlfriend, and two visiting women from Japan who were in Vancouver for a few days. We had Korean BBQ (where you set up two gas-fired stoves at the dining table, and use purpose-built dome-shaped pans on top - meats are in little bowls around the table and the guests cook as they eat). A tradition in my house is the "vac pot ceremony" after dinner, usually with a tasty desert like cheesecake or some exotic euro-pastry I picked up at Costco. Because there were six of us, I planned to use the two Hario Nouveau 5 cupper models I have for the office.
We have our dinner, and I pull out the vac pots, thinking the Japanese women would like this - familiar territory for them, because I thought vac pot coffee was super popular in Japan. However, they had never seen such a device before. In fact, they didn't even know about Hario, which I thought was as ubiquitous in Japan as Pyrex is here in N. America. But they drank and knew coffee - they even knew about Kopi Luwak!
So we brewed at the table after dinner, and they were amazed. Out came the cameras, and clickety click. They even had us take pictures of their smiling faces next to the vac pots! And they freaked over the taste of the coffee.
After dinner was completely done and we were saying our good byes, I gave them a half pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain (Wallenford, from Riley's coffee)/ Kona (Peaberry, from SmithFarms) that I roasted myself the night before. They knew of JBM, not of Kona, but were blown away nevertheless. I never saw such rapidfire head bowing and cries of "sougay" (translation: "great!") in my life. I wish all the folks that I give coffee to were that enthusiastic :-) Actually, most are, but some treat it like, "oh, gee, thanks... coffee. great." :-)
Other Bits and Bites
Had an interesting talk today with Jim from www.1st-line.com today on the phone. Jim's great. Very serious about customer satisfaction too. While sites like Tavolo may offer blowout sales, one thing Jim (along with a few other retailers) offer that Tavolo can never do - personalized and caring service. If you're in the market for anything coffee related, you can't do wrong buying from him. To this day I have never heard a solitary complaint from anyone I've directed his way... I can't say that about many other retailers - don't get me wrong - the others are highly recommended too, but Jim stands out.
Anyway, we spent about an hour on the phone today, talking and gossiping like a couple of old biddies over tea (what the hell is tea?). One cool thing - Jim wants to come on board as both a columnist on the new CoffeeGeek site (for information, not promotion purposes), and also wants to get involved in the site's promos and contests, meaning that some LUCKY BASTARD out there might end up winning some serious coin dream package down the road... I'm looking forward to any kind of involvement that company may have with us.
And on that note, time to wrap up this latest installment. Once again I want to thank everyone who took some of their hard earned money, no matter how small or large, to donate to this site and it's associate costs. You guys rock.
Till next time, thanks for stopping by!