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Coffee/Tea | Manolo's Basement of the Bargains
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Horn of Plenty?

Okay, so it’s not quite a horn. It’s more like a bowl. In fact, it is a bowl carved out of the root ball of a Chinese fir and filled with organic goodies!

Vivaterra Bowl Of Plenty There’s whole-bean organic fair trade coffee, Garden of Delights herbal tea, twelve organic handmade chocolate bonbons, and a half pound each of dark-chocolate-covered almonds and espresso beans. Once the delicious filling is finished, the bowl remains as a handsome reminder of your generosity…to a friend or to yourself.

When it was introduced at VivaTerra, this superfantastic spread was priced at $179.00. Right now, though, it’s marked down 30% to just $125.00.

Give it to someone who deserves deliciousness.

Pass the Portmeirion

When I wake up and see a cloudy, dreary, potentially rainy day outside, there is nothing I long for more than the chance to lay on the sofa with a cup of good tea, a plate piled high with dainty finger foods, and a bit of Jane Austen. And when I imagine this, here is what the cup and plate look like:

Portmeirion Up the Garden Path Teacup and Plate This teacup, saucer, and plate set from Portmeirion is in the Up the Garden Path pattern based on the writings of Laura Stoddard and the illustrations in her books. Delicate shades of pink, ivory, and other soft pastels result in a pattern that’s restful, with an air of the old-fashioned about it.

The set comes beautifully gift boxed, which is nice whether you intend to give it to yourself or to someone else. All pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe, too. For all it looks so delicate, Portmeirion dishes are built to last even in the face of some adversity.

Best of all, right now Amazon has this charming set on sale. The list price for the set of cup, saucer, and dessert plate is $28.75, but right now you can get it for just $20.00.

Why at that price, you can afford to get a set for yourself, and a few to give away.

Oh, and if Jane Austen isn’t your thing, I think it would go admirably with nearly any romantic novel or film.

The Daily Grind, Only Better

If you love coffee, then you know one of the most important keys to a good cup of java is freshly ground beans. Nothing else gives quite the same aroma or flavor. I learned this at my mother’s knee many years before I learned to lean on the hallowed bean each and every morning.

As a child I would stare, wide-eyed, as she started her industrial strength coffee grinder in order to get one precious cup of life-giving caffeine. One large, precious cup.

And so it was that I found this KitchenAid Pro Line coffee grinder at Cooking.com and was overcome with a sense of rightness and nostalgia:

KitchenAid 7-oz. Pro Line Burr Coffee Grinder, Nickel Pearl Oh, it’s not the same, of course. Instead of one setting to grind your beans, this one has fifteen settings so that you can find the precise one that pleases both your taste buds and your chosen coffee making process. Whether you’re looking for espresso fine or French press coarse, you can adjust the setting to fit your needs. And since it runs at an enegry-thrifty 450 RPMs, there’s minimal heating of the beans as they grind, and less noise than most professional grade grinders.

Best of all, it’s on a heck of a sale right now. The suggested retail price on this baby is $299.99. Cooking.com usually carries it for $199.99, which is a fabulous deal. Right now, though, during their pre-holiday sale, you can get this incredible coffee grinder for a mere $169.99! That’s $130.00 off the retail price!

If you’re a serious coffee drinker, you cannot afford to pass up this deal. And if someone on your Christmas list (or with an upcoming birthday) loves coffee, now would be a great time to get them the perfect gift.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some space on my counter for a new grinder.

Ooh La La in Black and White

Do you need to find a gift for a couple getting married, student moving away from home for the first time, or just about anyone you know who isn’t averse to a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa in the morning? Want to give something pretty and practical but inexpensive?

How about this:

Rosanna Parisian Wallpaper Mug Set Rosanna’s Parisian Wallpaper Mug set is the perfect thing to solve your gift-giving dilemma. Four elegant 10oz. stoneware coffee mugs come packed in an attractive matching hatbox. Just add a colorful ribbon and wait for the thank you note!

Oh, and did I mention the price? The regular retail price on this set is just $30.00, which is more than reasonable. I would certainly pay that to put a smile on the face of someone I care about. On the other hand, I could go to Amazon, get the same set for just $9.00, and put the same smile on even more faces.

You do the math. I’ve got mugs to buy.

Sweet, Life-Giving Caffiene

Somehow a late night shaking my generous booty at a concert followed by a distinct lack of sleep (Get your minds out of the gutter, people! My cat kept trying to push me off the bed) has left me with coffee on my mind. As I huddle over a large mug of the Nectar of Life, I think how good coffee makes existance moderately bearable, except when it makes it sweet and meaningful.

If you don’t have one, now might be a good time to toddle over to Amazon.com and take a look at this cheerful and generous French press.

Candy Apple Red French Press Simple to use, pretty to look at, and a great way to impress your coffee-loving friends, this French press will deliver up to eight cups of the good stuff in no time at all.

And it’s on sale. Regularly priced at a quite reasonable $49.95, the price has been slashed to just $38.58. As if that weren’t enough, it also qualifies for free shipping under the Super Saver Shipping deal. On top of all that, it qualifies for the 4 for 3 program, as well. Buy four qualifying items and get the lowest priced on free. See site for details. Spend the money you saved on a store of top-notch beans. Call me. I’ll bring pie…just as soon as I wake up.

KitchenAid Kitchen Aids at a Deal

Okay all you serious foodies and coffee lovers! Now is the time to race over to Cooking.com and get great deals on selected KitchenAid products. They’ve slashed another 20% off their already deeply discounted prices for a great selection of KitchenAid kitchen aids. Coffee grinders, food processors, their justly lauded stand mixers…and this handsome, powerfully-built espresso machine are all on sale right now through the 25th.

KitchenAid Espresso Machine This baby is impressive. Its dual-boiler construction allows for brewing and steaming at the same time, and it’s specially designed not to drip or require wait time between shots. It has a rotating frothing arm so that your milk turns out just right for lattes or cappuccinos.

Comes complete with single shot filter basket, a double-shot filter basket, an 8 1/2-ounce stainless steel frothing pitcher, tamper, 7-gram coffee scoop and shower screen brush. That’s everything you need except the coffee beans and the espresso cups!

The suggested retail price on this fabulous machine is $599.99. Cooking.com usually sells it for $499.95, but now through June 25, you can get it for just $399.96! That’s more than $200.00 off the list price, and that’s a good deal.

Make mine a cappuccino, please. With a dash of cinnamon.

An Arty Cuppa

When I wake up in the morning for my daily dose of caffeine, I like a bit of whimsey with it. So imagine my delight when I ran across these delightful cup and saucer sets whilst browsing the Gevalia website.

Fine Art Cups and Saucers Have your coffee or tea in high style from the Mona Lisa or the work of Claude Monet. The VanGough, alas! appears to be gone forever. And I have a particular fondness for those irises.

A set of two cups and saucers in your choice of design was originally $42.95. Now, however, you can toast the art world from a great work of art for just $22.95. Or, if you want just one, it’s now $14.95, marked down from $21.47.

At last I think I’ve found a replacement for my greatly mourned American Gothic coffee mug that sadly met its demise a few months ago. Oh, Mona? Want to come have coffee with me?

Espresso Yourself

I love coffee. I love espresso. I sometimes wake up longing to attach myself to an espresso IV…except that I’d rather taste it going in.

One of these days, that means I’m going to have to convince Mr. Twistie that there is room both in the budget and the kitchen to put an espresso machine on the counter. When that day comes, this is the one I want.

Jura-Capresso Espresso Machine Why this one? This Jura-Capresso espresso machine not only looks great, but has the sorts of features I’ve been looking for. It’s programmable, can make eight cups of espresso, has a built in grinder and water filter, and is reassuringly made in Switzerland. With precision instruments, that’s always a good sign.

More than that, the customer revue at Amazon includes the following line:

If you can tie your shoes, you can use one of these machines.

Now that’s what I call reassurance!

If you’ve got some spare cash lying around and a Jones for espresso drinks, this might be a great time to get it, too. Right now, Amazon has it on sale for more than seven hundred dollars off the list price. That means you can get it for just $1,998.00. Now if I could just find that much spare change in the sofa cushions….

Tea For Four

There’s nothing like a relaxing cuppa and a little something either sweet or savory in the middle of the afternoon. Of course it’s more than possible to simply dunk a Lipton’s tea bag into any random mug and snag a Krispy Kreme…but then the ritual and the sense of self-nurture is lost.

To have a good, soul-sustaining afternoon tea (high tea is, ironically enough, not the fancy one but a working class version of dinner) there needs to be a bit more. A pretty tea pot, some good quality tea, and hopefully cucumber or watercress sandwiches can really make the experience something more than a simple snack.

Ralph Lauren clearly understood the concept when he designed this charmingly festive tea set.

Ralph Lauren Tea Set

There’s a nod to the East in the bamboo handle on the pot and the four Asian style tea cups with no handles or saucers. Add some simple dessert plates, and you’ve got the perfect look to delight the eyes along with your taste buds. And since the set has been marked down from $135.50 to a mere $99.99, you’ll have enough left over for some good tea and a couple small treats, besides.

Make mine Darjeeling, please.

Get the Java Jive…and a $20.00 Gift Card

Coffee, that sweet nectar of life! Let us celebrate it as it deserves.

Coffee Ad Set This gorgeous set of three canvas prints showcases vintage advertising art of three popular European coffee brands. The attractive lines will grace any wall, and the bright colors will perk you right up, even while you wait for your coffee to brew.

Best of all, if you order them from Smart Bargains, you’ll get them at a great deal. Available elsewhere at $349.00, Smart Bargains has the set for just $219.99 for a savings of 36%!

What’s more, if you place an order for more than $100.00 exclusive of shipping charges and taxes by 2:59AM EST 2/29/08, and you will receive a gift card worth $20.00 off your next purchase.

Folks, that ain’t beans!

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