Geek Market Coffee

SnowWhite

Hello Coffee Lovers,

We will be debuting our newest coffee flavour at the end of the month at Geek Market.

Introducing our newest coffee flavour:

Snow White’s Wake Up Potion

A Green Apple medium roast that’s recommended by Six out of Seven Dwarfs.

SnowWhite

Now available for order at http://coffee.jeneric-designs.ca/

What coffee would you like at Geek Market

Select all the coffee you want to buy at Geek Market in the following poll and we’ll make sure the most popular ones will be available at the end of March.

What coffee should be available at Geek Market

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Thank you and good coffee drinking,

Éric

Coffee Testers Club

Coffee-colour

Coffee-colour

Hello Coffee Lovers,

Last week I sent out emails and made a few facebook posts for our new Coffee Tester’s Club. It’s been way more successful than I expected and that’s great.

We need your help in deciding what our new flavour will be. Our team of professional testers has narrowed it down to 4 options. We need you to help us narrow it down further.

For the low price of $5 you’ll get four 25g bags of coffee. You’ll drink them and then fill out a survey. The flavour that is everyone’s favourite will then be added to our regular rotation.

It’s not too late to help us decide on our next flavour. Sign up for the Coffee Testers Club!

The deadline for signup will be February 19th at noon.

Yay Coffee!

Éric

Coffee at Disney World and Universal Studios

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Hello Coffee Lovers,

It’s no secret that I love coffee. So when I go on vacation I look for good coffee. It’s a weird obsession that my wife, thankfully, tolerates.

When I first went to Disney World and Universal at 28, I expected that they would either have their own coffee company or have Starbucks everywhere. I was half right. The coffee at the parks and resorts can be split into three categories: Terrible, Starbucks, and Gourmet.

Coffee at the Parks and Resorts

Terrible

I’m pretty tolerant of bad coffee, but the stuff they sell in Disney World and Universal Studios is terrible. It varies from booth to restaurant from being weak to sludge and everything in between.

If you’re at any Disney Park, except Magic Kingdom, skip the coffee at the restaurant and get some Joffrey’s.

If you’re at Universal Studios or Magic Kingdom, get Starbucks.

Universal offers coffee in their rooms and it’s passable, but you’re better off waiting for Starbucks.

Starbucks

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Both Disney World and Universal have Starbucks in their parks. Disney World has a location in Epcot and a location in Magic Kingdom. Universal has a Starbucks in each of their resorts.

Both have them in their shopping districts (Universal Citywalk and Disney Springs.)

Gourmet

Starbucks is, unfortunately, the best you’ll get at Universal.

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Disney World has an arrangement with Joffrey’s coffee. They are a gourmet roaster from Tampa Bay. They supply coffee to Disneyland, Disney World, and Disney’s Hawaiian resort Aulani. The coffee is good. It’s not revolutionary but it’s definitely worth looking for around the parks.

Joffrey’s also supplies the resorts and the rooms with coffee. Staying at a resort that has good coffee is always a treat. They have kiosks in Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Springs, and Hollywood Studios that sell good coffee.

They are also the coffee used for the better sit down restaurants, including Belle’s Castle. Some of the sit down restaurants have pour over or French press that is to die for and certain resorts have unique blends.

A notable mention for coffee is the Moroccan Pavilion at Epcot that sell a Moroccan coffee that is both yummy and packs a punch.

Bringing Home Coffee

If you enjoyed Joffrey’s coffee, they have a store in Disney Springs that sells both Tea and Coffee. The selection is limited here though. If you try a coffee from a kiosk or your resort and love it you can normally buy a bag from them. (I regret not buying some Kenyan coffee from Animal Kingdom.) They also have an impressive selection on their website with decent shipping costs to Canada.

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Disney itself sells Mickey’s Really Swell Diner Coffee. The regular roast comes in large cans and the flavoured ones come in packs of eight small cans. You can also get a small can with a Disney Coffee Press. The coffee itself is exactly as it says. It’s good diner coffee (I’m drinking some now). Some of the flavours are better than others, but overall the flavoured coffee is good.

You can also bring Starbucks beans home with you, but they’re what you’d buy almost anywhere, with the exception of the light roast beans that vary from country to country.

 

Overall the coffee at the parks is worth drinking and definitely worth experimenting with.

Enjoy your Coffee,

Éric

The JenEric Newsletter

The following was originally posted on the JenEric Coffee Blog


Hello Coffee Lovers,

The best way to get information on New Products, Discount Codes, Events, and Sales is through the JenEric Newsletter:

The Newsletter comes out the first week of a new month and is packed with information about coffee and all our other products.

This week’s will have a special discount on our Coffee Club Subscription.

JenEric Gourmet Coffee is part of the JenEric Designs Family, which includes the following:

Subscribe for all the awesome that is JenEric Designs,

Éric

Coffee is a Comfort Food

winter morning coffee

The earliest memory I have of coffee is my mother saying, “Don’t bother me until I’ve had my coffee and cigarette.” The dark brown sludge of instant coffee mixed with powdered milk was bitter, thick, and beyond disgusting.

We all have memories associated with our favourite food. I read an emotional article The Case for Bad Coffee; it’s a good and emotional read. I can’t criticize anything in it; it’s an emotional piece about the writer’s relationship with coffee. I would object to associating Starbucks with good coffee, or all diners with bad coffee. The two aren’t that far apart.

My Coffee Story

Something happened when I was eight: my mom got a job. She started working full time at a women’s shelter. A lot changed because of that job. We moved into a house, she became more confident, we started buying bagged milk, she bought a drip coffee machine, she quit smoking, and she started buying flavoured coffee.

That’s when I started taking notice. The smells of Amaretto, French Vanilla, Caramel, Irish Cream, and Chocolate floated in the house instead of the burnt rubber smell of her old instant coffee.

I can’t tell you when I started drinking coffee. I know it was sometime in high school but the exact date or year is lost to my terrible memory. I do know that the flavoured coffee was mostly for holidays and special occasions and she bought Timmies for everyday drinking.

The smell of flavoured coffee transports me back to our little house and Christmas in Northern Ontario, sipping Irish Cream coffee with the smell of holiday cooking and the howls of winter outside. There was a figurative, as well as a literal, warmth to discussing everything and anything at the breakfast table over a cinnamon coffee. I still have the cheesy Santa head mugs we drank from. I haven’t had the heart to unpack them since she died.

winter morning coffee

When I moved out on my own the first thing I bought was a coffee maker. It was tiny and made one large cup. I used it for ramen almost as often as I did for coffee. I used that machine until my third year university when I needed to pull all-nighters. I fondly remember making a large pot of coffee and working from 10pm to 8am on a 2000 word essay.

Caffeine fueled my university. My video editing job was Caramelo from Second Cup, my convenient store job was Vanilla Hazelnut Van Houtte’s, tour guiding was German Chocolate cake from Timothies, and late night classes were an extra-large triple-triple from Timmies.

They were never as good as the weekends when I went to visit my Mom and we had her coffee and watched a movie, chatted, or just argued.

When I graduated, I tried to get into Starbucks or exotic coffees. They were always bitter and over-roasted (I didn’t know that at the time, I just knew it wasn’t right). I tried to be “grown-up” and drink espresso or cappuccinos but my heart always yearned for the warmth of flavoured coffee.

Heart VS Stomach

My heart yearned for the warmth of flavoured coffee, but my stomach took that way too literally. Acid reflux was the result.

Most (some exceptions like Second Cup) flavoured coffees are made from low quality beans. Low quality beans are exceptionally bitter and acidic compared to other beans. The flavour masks the taste of both of these properties.

Unfortunately due to my stomach problems, I can no longer drink flavoured coffee without multiple uncomfortable issues. (I’ll spare you the details.)

Heart Wins!

I couldn’t find any place that made flavoured coffee with high, or even medium, quality beans. I was reduced to drinking unflavoured coffee.

Although my stomach was happy I missed the days of yummy flavours.

That’s when I got the crazy idea of making my own coffee. With the help of the internet, I started roasting in a hot air popper and loving the coffee.

I looked online for coffee flavouring. I found a lot of syrups (mostly made with corn syrup and tasting of red dye #5) and a few coffee flavourings that cost over $100 a bottle.

I wondered whether coffee flavouring and candy flavouring might be interchangeable. I found a random message board comment saying something like, “I don’t see why not?” and proceeded to run several days’ worth of experiments. (There’s a secret to when you need to flavour the beans.)

That’s when I decided to sell gourmet flavoured coffee.

JenEric Coffee

I now have delicious coffee I can drink and that reminds me of my mom. I think she’d have particularly liked the Mint Chocolate Chip and the Butter Rum.

Coffee is a food that is associated with a lot of social activities and a lot of interpersonal interchanges. It’s natural that a person would associate the coffee they drink with the people who are around or the events. It’s one of the things that makes coffee special and it’s one of the reasons I love it.

 

Enjoy what you love!

Éric

A Study in Aether (My Book is being Published)

study ebook cover

Hello My Imaginary Friends!

I’ve gotten word that my first book A Study in Aether has been sent to the printers. It’s also up on Renaissance’s website.

I’ve been working on this book for nearly seven years.  In that time, it’s been completely re-written twice, changed names three times (Elizabeth and the Lost Mittens, The Mitten Wizard were the other names.)

I’m so excited!!!!

Elizabeth Coderre has always known that there was something strange about her home town, Baker Ontario, but it isn’t until her English teacher disappears that she starts to find out how strange. Getting through classes, killer kitten swarms, and bullies are going to be the easy parts of surviving at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle High. Elizabeth and her best friends, Jackie and Angela, are up to the challenge… they hope.
Elizabeth Coderre has always known that there was something strange about her home town, Baker Ontario, but it isn’t until her English teacher disappears that she starts to find out how strange. Getting through classes, killer kitten swarms, and bullies are going to be the easy parts of surviving at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle High. Elizabeth and her best friends, Jackie and Angela, are up to the challenge… they hope.

What’s Next

Sometime this month the books will come in and the publisher will put them up for sale. They’ll be available directly from the publisher or from Amazon. They’ll also be available at multiple events around Ottawa.

I’ll do my best to be at the same events, either selling coffee or just for the book. That way you can get a signed copy. Eek!

Book Launch

Some time in October there will be a multi-book launch held by Renaissance Press and S.M. Carrière.

That will be the official launch party for the book and there will be some other awesome titles available.

Dates

Once I know the official dates I’ll let you know. Trust me, you’ll get sick of hearing about this if you aren’t already.

 

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Éric

 

Ownership of Ideas

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Congratulations!

You made something, a piece of art, movie, song, book, story, sculpture, etc. Legally you own what you made. It’s called copyright. What that means is that no one else is allowed to make money from your thing unless they pay you for that right (Unless you gave up your rights to a distributor or publisher). There are exceptions and loopholes but our laws say you own it.

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Your thing becomes viral and super popular. People start writing fanfiction, drawing fanart, making filk, and dissecting every detail about your thing. That’s great. It gets others into it. Your fan community is now self fueling.

You licence out your thing to game makers, movie, television, music, etc. You’ve made it, yay!

You notice that a piece of fanfiction that you read about your thing has had the names changed and is selling ridiculously well. But still using your ideas…

You notice someone has made a Kickstarter to make a fanfilm and it’s in the millions. Using your thing as a basis…

You notice that someone has taken a small sample of your thing and turned it into an earworm that everyone has heard.

You notice that some dumbass has used part of your thing for Geeky Coffee names or logos and is doing ok business. But it’s still your thing…

There are two ways to react to people using your thing to make money, and the most natural one is anger. You get angry and hire a team of lawyers to make sure you get the money from licensing that you deserve or to get them to stop doing what they’re doing. I mean, in theory everything with your thing affects how your thing is seen. You don’t want to hurt or dilute the brand of your thing. How dare they!!!

Or there’s the super-chill way of dealing with it; that is to ignore what they’ve done and make the next thing. You’ve made lots of money, so who cares, right?

Both approaches are extremes and the answer is somewhere in between, I think. You see, I’m not sure where the line should be drawn between fair use and plagiarism.

As a creator, I’m uncomfortable with the idea that someone else could play or change my stories for their own benefit. I’d hate to find out that my book’s characters have been stolen, twisted into a poor semblance of porn and resold to billions. BUT, I’ll be overjoyed when I look on Fanfiction.net or DeviantArt and find fan creations based off my work.

As a consumer, I want more stories, more books, more fanart! I want buttons, coffee, shirts, posters, and all the things!!! I want to tell everyone about the super awesome cup I got based off my favourite thing.

The ethics are obvious; Don’t steal! But does my use of a drawn picture of a Dalek and the name Davroast really count as stealing? I’m not saying it’s mine, I’m just showing my love.

I know that when I’m ready for mass production, I’ll have to change the names of most of my coffee.

 

I do not have the answers. What do you think?

Éric

My 2016 Resolutions – Mid Year Review

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It’s that time of year again; the one where I check my resolutions and see how optimistic I was feeling when I made them.

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1. Write 500 Words a day

½ Accomplished

I’ll give myself partial credit for this one. I haven’t been great at it but I’ve been writing something.

2. Complete Everdome before April

Failed

Ouch… I finished it before July… only 1 and a half months late. But I did finish.

3. Start and Finish a New Novel

Not Yet Accomplished

I’m not sure I’ll finish this year but I’ll certainly start something. As much as I love the disaster movie idea I’m leaning towards a First Person Adventure or a Time Travel love story; maybe a Middle school Novel about being a monster.

I have lots of plans!

4. Read 30 Books

On Track

Goodreads says I’m at 13 for the year. I should be at 14 by the end of this month with means I’m only a little behind. Should be easy? Who knows how much reading I’ll get done with Dragon? Although I do plan on reading to her at night before bed.

5. Write a Monthly or Bimonthly Serial Story

On Track

If you haven’t read Wargrave Island, my mystery serial story, go check it out. I’ve written 6 of 12 parts and people are dying fast.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop a total of 16 Coffee flavours

Success!

I have officially done 16 flavours and I have 2 others I’m playing with.

Check out all our flavours!

7. Develop a simple concept for a Youtube show.

Not Yet Accomplished

So… I have a concept. I have the software. I just haven’t had the time to refine it yet.

8. Playtest the various stages of FADDS and prepare it for submission in 2017

On Track

This is going REALLY well. We’ve tested the early levels and they work beautifully. The mid levels are coming along well and this fall I’ll run oneshots for the higher levels.

The next step is editing for me. I need to go through the book a few times and clean up the language and standardize the wording.

9. Update JenEric-Designs.ca and add a proper webstore.

On Track

I’ve done some major upgrades. Even added a Newsletter. I’m slowing adding more functionality.

There are big changes coming to JenEric Designs. If you want to find out what they are sign up for our Newsletter.

10. Prepare Memories of Faust for submission *New*

For those that don’t know. My first book A Study in Aether has been bought by Renaissance Press yay!

The sequel is a little darker and unfortunately more complex. It needs work and I’m planning on doing some heavy edits later in the summer.

 

So out of ten we have only 1 failure and most are still possible. It’s ambitious but I’m hoping I’ll make it. If I don’t, I’ll just blame Dragon (I’m kidding… probably).

 

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?

Éric

Being Hateful

Trolls

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Sometimes I forget my rule of not commenting on mean comments.

Someone commented on an ad for the Goat Story Mug on facebook and posted a video about how it was hipster crap.

I was mildly offended seeing as I’m really enjoying my mug. Yes, it’s a little hipster but it also really useful for a klutz like me. I’ve dropped more than my share of coffee cups with disastrous effects. I’ve dropped the Goat Mug several times now and it hasn’t even leaked. That’s pretty damn good for something that cost $25.

So of course the original poster’s reaction was to attack me and then his friend joined in. I think overall they called me fat, stupid, and compared me to a tv character I don’t know. It still hurt, despite being pretty lame. I was tempted to go all Cyrano on them but decided it was a bad idea.

If you really want to read it, it’s here. (Please don’t comment to defend me. They’re not worth it.)

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It’s brought two things to mind. I wish Facebook had a way to declare that someone stole a photo. But more importantly it reminded me that it’s easy to hate.

Hate is easy

I’m just as guilty as anyone else of making a comment about Nickleback or something else that’s easy to hate.

It’s fun to pick on something and feel superior. It’s an easy joke and an easy boost to our self-worth. It’s also hurtful and mean.

It’s a great way to cover insecurities or fear.

Orlando

I don’t think I can talk about hate or fear this week without mentioning the Orlando Massacre.

It happened because of hate and hatefulness. Some say it’s a hate crime against the LGBTQ community and others say it’s a Terrorist attack against the US. It’s both. It’s also the act of a deeply deranged person who was filled with hate.

See, here’s the problem with hate, it eats at you and makes you the worst version of yourself. You hate and that makes you angry. The anger makes you hateful which makes those around you angry with or against you; either way it fuels the anger.

It’s easy to be angry and hateful. Much easier than trying to understand the loss, hurt, or pain. It’s easier to be consumed by hate than to be destroyed by sorrow.

Events like this are an opportunity for us to go towards hate or towards understanding. The true antithesis of hate is knowledge. When you can understand someone, you can at the very least feel some compassion.

When someone is being hateful and mean, it’s important to understand that it has more to do with them then it does you. That means that a lot of the hate you need to ignore. Get a hug from a friend or talk it out with someone who cares about you. 90% of the hate you won’t be able to change.

If it’s something you feel is important, however, then you need to talk about it. Know who you’re talking to and remember that not everyone is worth your time. Sometimes it’s better to cut the hate out of your life.

 

Take care,

Éric