Reflection on Blogging Journey

Keeping up with this blog through out the year has definitely been a journey. It has been fun to explore the different facets of my passion for coffee through writing. I have also enjoyed being able to share the insights of a coffee aficionado to my family and friends. Although there were some great moments captured by my blog this year, there are some things I could have done better.

I found myself sometimes limiting how much I wrote because I didn’t have much time and knew I only needed to meet the minimum content requirement for the blog review assignments. However, I have a huge passion for coffee so I know that if I would have taken the time to expand upon my thoughts then my blog could have had even more to offer. The experience will benefit me in the future because I now understand the importance of creating your own brand in order to advance in the field of mass communication. Having an active blog with longevity and a decent following would be great professionally because it shows employers that you are well versed in creating content, promoting it and using content management systems.

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Statistics from WordPress of my blog.

My best week of blogging, in terms of post views was on November 21. This was the day of one of my very first blog posts. I believe that this was the most popular post and week of the year because of the platform I publicized on it. I was surprised to find out that when I promoted my blog on tumblr, not many views occurred. However, when I promoted it on twitter and facebook, the views sky rocketed in comparison. Through this experience I have learned the importance of promoting my blog through the right platform and at the right time of day.

Favorites’ Report Card

Hello everyone! So the year is wrapping up and the holidays are upon us. Along with the seasonal brews that brings, finals are upon us. So while students are getting final grades in all of their classes, I want to use this post to give final grades for the year for some of the coffee shops I frequent the most. I decided on the grades based off of a combination of atmosphere, customer service, beverage quality and price. I hope you enjoy!

Through out the year, Mochas and Javas has been one of the local coffee shops I have frequented the most. This is because I love their iced toddies and it is located very close to campus and where I work. I give Mochas and Javas a ‘B+’. This is because they have amazing iced toddies and vanilla lattes. Additionally, the baristas and cashiers are always super friendly. However, they are a bit pricy, as my favorite drinks are all at least four dollars for every cup. Overall, I would recommend this coffee shop!

By and far, Stellar Cafe has been the caffeine destination I choose when I need to study. I love the atmosphere and the friendliness of the workers. I give Stellar Cafe an ‘A-’. The coffee house deserves this grade because of the atmosphere, customer services and the drinks. However, what makes the cafe fall a little short of the perfect mark is the caffeine levels in the drinks. My favorite drink here is the Hotsy Totsy, which is a dirty chai (a chai tea latte with shots of espresso). However, I find that the caffeine levels are a bit weaker, and I have to get extra shots for the same boost I get from less shots of espresso elsewhere.

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Stellar Cafe in the winter.

San Marcos has definitely killed it (in a good way) when it comes to the local coffee shop game! So I would recommend trying out my favorites along with the abundance of other choices in the city.

Life of a Coffee Addict

Hello, all! Here is a photo gallery of the coffee equipment I have invested in for myself at home. It is very useful when looking to brew at home.

Brewing at Home: Part II

There are those who like just an occasional cup of coffee and then there are those who can’t stand to go a day with out a cup of Jo. This post is for the latter. I want to tell you guys about some of my most favorite coffee purchases. These are ones that may have taken a few dollars at the time, but are definitely still paying off. I would recommend any avid coffee drinker to make these purchases. And here’s why…

The first purchase is a coffee grinder. The one that I have is by Hamilton Beach and cost me only $15 to buy at Target! It is a very simple machine, but very useful. Having a coffee grinder allows you to do so much more with your caffeine. Waiting until right before you use the coffee to grind the coffee beans allows for a fresher and stronger beverage. This means that grinding your own coffee makes a stronger cup as opposed to buying it already ground.

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Drinking my favorite at home brew!

The next purchase I would tell you to make is to buy an espresso machine. Any brand suffices. The one that I bought was used, but basically brand new. So I got it for a steal! Having an espresso machine to use at your leisure is amazing. All the time I will just make a latte or an undertow to give me an extra boost. It is also a great thing to use while entertaining. If you think you ever want to be a barista at a public place or even just an at home barista, having your own equipment is a great starting point!

Brewing at Home: Part I

It is no secret that San Marcos is covered with coffee shops. However, as a college student on a budget, I understand that sometimes going to your favorite coffee shop is not an option. Whether it be due to getting transportation or having enough money on you to invest in your favorite potion of caffeine, there are days when you have to get your coffee fix in a different way. Personally, I always make sure my home is as equipped for coffee as a coffee shop. Although many may not be that enthusiastic, there are definitely a few coffee purchases that are worth making and benefit you for a long time.

The first coffee purchase I would recommend making is in just a standard drip coffee machine. These are great because you can schedule them to automatically make coffee at whatever time of day you want. The other great thing is that you can find them starting at only $25. Another thing you will need is a package of coffee filters— but since we are college students looking to save a couple of bucks, invest in the five dollar permanent filter! This is a plastic filter with a sturdy netting, and you simply use it and wash it and then reuse it again. And you don’t have to worry about keeping your coffee filters stocked!

Furthermore, the next important, and most obvious thing, is to purchase your coffee! The key to picking your favorite brew is to determine whether you are more of a medium, mild or dark brew type of person. This all depends on whether you like your coffee more bitter (dark), in-between (medium) or not too strong(mild). I have never not found a coffee I wanted at H-E-B. My personal favorite is the Seattle’s Best medium blend.

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The great thing about H-E-B is they have a coffee dispensary with descriptions of dozens of unique blends. Now, this may seem like a lot to purchase, but this basic foundation will have you drinking cost conscious caffeine in not time! Buying coffee in bulk is always cheaper!

For an even more fun experience picking your favorite brew, try visiting the new local coffee dispensary Redbud Roasters! They won a local award for being one of the best new businesses in town and I hear nothing but good things about the place and its selection.

Review of Man vs. Coffee

Hello everyone! So I am taking a different approach to today’s blog post. Rather than telling you about the local San Marcos coffee shops and my opinion on them, I am going to review another coffee blog. I chose to review a blog called Man vs. Coffee. This is a great blog because the writer is a young person who works at Starbucks and knows his coffee stuff pretty well.

Similar to the posts on my blog, the barista posts reviews of his favorite coffee shop. My favorite part about his site is you really feel like you are going along on a coffee journey with him. The very first post on Man vs. Coffee is called Coffeeology. This clever title is above a blurb that explains all things coffee to those who may not know or are new to the Death Before Decaf clan.

Along with being informative, the blog supplies great reviews of small town coffee shops. With each of the posts there are multiple photos.

A picture of Blue Cat Cafe from the Man Vs. Coffee blog.
A picture of Blue Cat Cafe from the Man Vs. Coffee blog.

This is great for readers who like to be visually stimulated rather than just mentally focused on reading about shops. Also, the blogger sometimes includes videos of live music performances at the coffee shops he reviews. The only thing I would say could be changed is that he recorded the video portrait style. It is better to record at a landscape orientation in order to fill up the frame and make the video more aesthetically pleasing. Overall, I really like Man vs. Coffee and would recommend that you stay updated with the blog.

Thanks for reading! And always remember, Death Before Decaf!