Category: Chicago

Coffee Review: Stewarts European Dark Roast (Chateau de Loraine)

Stewarts Coffee European Dark Roast

I’ve been on a Stewarts Coffee kick recently, for obvious reasons. Stewarts Chateau de Loraine coffee, its European Dark Roast, was included in the package and is the subject of my latest coffee review.

Brand: Stewarts
Chateau de Loraine (European Dark Roast)
Body: Medium-to-full
Price: $7.24 for a 12-oz can (online)

This coffee has an interesting story, or so says the label on the can: During the 20s, Loraine, the wife of Stewarts Coffee’s founder requested the company make a darker blend. Apparently she was a big entertainer, and many of her European friends were used to bold coffee – something Stewarts had not yet made – and she wanted to impress them. And “Chateau de Loraine” coffee was born.

While it’s certainly much bolder than Stewarts Hawaiian Blend Coffee, it’s not as bold as a more finely-ground espresso blend – Cafe Bustelo, for instance – but still packs a bit of flavor.

It starts out with a very toasty, nutty flavor and evolves to have a slightly sweeter finish. Again, it’s good either black or with a bit of skim milk, but you won’t want to dress up this coffee too much.

Verdict: Again, Stewarts delivers a great coffee for the price. It’s a great alternative to, say, a whole bean, single-source coffee. It might be hard to find in some stores, but is worth ordering from the Stewarts website, or Amazon, when it’s in stock there.

Coffee Review: Stewarts Hawaiian Blend

Stewarts-Hawaiian-Coffee-reviewSeveral years ago, I wrote my first cigar review. At the time, I knew nothing, really, about reviewing cigars. I knew I liked them, and I knew I liked to write. I eventually wrote a lot more reviews, and even created the Cigar of the Week section of my blog.

Last week, I received a box of coffee from Stewarts. I decided that as I drink my way through it, I’ll try to review each of the coffees. I’m not promising a “Coffee of the Week” section, but hey – who knows?

Brand: Stewarts
Hawaiian Blend Coffee
Body: Mild-to-medium
Price: $7.24 for a 12-oz can (online)

Stewarts coffees are usually the best you can find out of a can, and its Hawaiian Blend is no different. It contains 100% Arabica beans, a rarity for canned coffee.

It’s a medium-bodied coffee that’s smooth enough to drink black, but tastes just as good dressed up a bit. (I put a bit of skim milk in for my third cup.) The finish is sweeter – a bit citrus-y and a touch creamy.

Verdict: Overall, it’s a great coffee for the price, and it makes me excited to try Stewarts’ Kupanaha Kona Blend, one of its newest coffees.

Guess I’ll be drinking Stewarts coffee for a while now!

Last summer, I compiled a brief list of good Chicago-made products. Recently, Steve Blair, Retail Director of Stewarts Coffee, stumbled across the list and decided to send me a “thank you” package (picture below) of various Stewarts coffee blends, most of which I’ve never seen before in my local supermarket.

Stewarts coffee

If you’re familiar with my blog, you may have seen some of my “Cigar of the Week” posts. To thank Steve, I’m going to review each of these coffees as I enjoy them. (Of course, I won’t open them all at once!) I might even pair them with a cigar or two for a morning smoke.

Stay tuned.

The state of Chicago tech networking events

Yesterday, I attended a startup networking event, run by the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center. At the event, there was a great mix of startup founders, press and investor types. (Surprisingly, there were no social media consultants in sight — a good thing.)

In short, it was easily one of the best tech networking events in Chicago I’ve attended. The space was nice, I learned a lot from everyone I talked to and there was a great sense of collaboration, rather than competition, from everyone there.

There’s a great need for more events like this in Chicago. What other tech- and startup-related events in Chicago do you attend? If you’re not in Chicago, are there any you attend in your city or town? Why do you attend?

Video of the Day: Mary Nisi, Chicago Independent Radio Project

I like to think I’m fairly in the know when it comes to Chicago media, but I was at the DIY Trunk Show on Saturday when I first learned of the Chicago Independent Radio Project. (Those event tables pull me in every time.)

I figured that if I had never heard of it, you may not have either. So here’s an interview with Mary Nisi, a CHIRP board member.

What are your thoughts on the project? Do you think it’s a good idea? Do you think it will work?

Tidbit of the Day: Co-hosting the Feast for Smart Marketers #20

You heard it here.

I’ll be co-hosting GasPedal’s 20th Feast for Smart Marketers later this month, along with folks like Rick Murray, president of Edelman Digital, Dick Costolo from Feedburner/Google, John Seebeck from Crate & Barrel, Liz Strauss, David Armano and others.

There’s sure to be some good talk about emerging media, and, of course, some great conversation. Register here, if you’d like, and I hope to see you there!

Tidbit of the Day: Family of ducks hangs out on Chicago’s Clark Street

A funny thing happened right outside my window Saturday night: A family of ducks, probably from nearby North Pond, walked over to the corner of Clark Street and Arlington Place and just…hung out.

About a dozen folks from nearby bars gathered around the ducks. I started snapping photos, but Momma Duck got a bit nervous and started to gather up her ducklings, so I backed off.

Someone called Animal Control, but they didn’t come, so the ducks were ushered into a cardboard box and released back at the pond.

Anyway, here are some photos: