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Starbucks Mobile Reaches Blackberry

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Starbucks Blackberry App

Gift cards are great. They show you that the giver took enough time at the checkout line to think of a place that you’d like and lock you into spending a certain amount of money at that establishment. The only problem with the gift card idea is the transmission of funds. You have to carry around another de facto credit card. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a gift card in my wallet if I ever need to open a door, but I already have a Ralph’s card for that.

All you iPhoners out there already have the ability to load up your phone with Starbucks Starbucks giftcards, but recently, the iPhone’s ugly cousin, Blackberry, got the power as well. When someone gives you a gift card, you just enter it into the app and chuck the card in the recycle bin. Next time you order your French Press (seriously, it’s off menu, but go to a store and try it today) all you have to do is quit Facebooking long enough to open the Starbucks app. The barista on register will scan the barcode on your phone and you’re good to go. Technology, FTW! See the full post »

Tea and Biscuits: The Charleston Tea Plantation

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Charleston Tea Plantation

The Charleston Tea Plantation, located on Wadmalaw Island in the lowcountry of South Carolina, is the only working tea plantation in the United States. Growing over 320 varieties of the Camellia Sinensis plant (originally brought over from China in the 1700’s), the tea garden produces both black and green teas.

Despite their deliciously libacious start in China, the plants didn’t successfully produce tea here until 1888, when Dr. Charles Shepard founded the Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville, South Carolina. But when Shepard died in 1915, his formerly award-winning tea bushes grew wild. It wasn’t until 1968 that the bushes were transplanted and took hold on a former potato farm on Wadmalaw Island, transforming the land into a place for experimental tea research. In 1987, a third-generation tea taster named William Barclay Hall purchased the land and converted it from a research and development property into a commercial business. The Charleston Tea Plantation was born. See the full post »

FTW: TY KU Illuminating Liqueur

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TY KU Premium Liqueur

What the world really needs is a fine beverage institute (Mutineer Academy, anyone?) where people can go and research ways to revolutionize the fine beverage industry. Case and point: Kirk Spahn + Trenton Ulicny, two American entrepreneurs that transformed a grad school project into a revolutionary fine beverage brand worth millions. But, it didn’t happen overnight.

“It took TY KU years of dedicated exploration to source the purest waters, exotic superfruits and finest teas. These exceptional ingredients are masterfully combined to create a refreshing citrus taste that proved to be well worth the efforts.” — TY KU website.

The first product they launched was TY KU Premium, a unique blend of premium Asian sake and soju with soft citrus, fresh melon, teas, and botanicals — packaged in the world’s only illuminating bottle. Yep, that’s right. The bottle actually glows. FTW! See the full post »

“Blogger Tax” Sparks Turmoil in Philadelphia

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Philadelphia, oh Philadelphia.

Instead of going after illegitimate black market companies who are stealing American tax dollars, Philly has decided to target bloggers. Yes, folks. I said bloggers.

According to the Philadelphia Department of Revenue, blogs qualify as legitimate businesses and are subject to the same licensing laws required for any business located within city limits. And no matter how great or little the profit, Philly wants its cut from the blogging community. See the full post »

Craft Cider Industry On The Rise

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Apple Tree

There are over 1500 breweries, 6000 wineries, and more than 100 micro distilleries in the US. What more could anyone ask for in the land that practically rains down alcohol in the streets?

How about some hard cider?

During the time that our founding fathers were setting up shop here in these great states, President John Adams was known to claim that cider (before the distinction of hard and sweet) made for “an exceptional breakfast drink”. As it was between 3-6% abv at the time, it made for an ideal family beverage and, oftentimes, replaced water. As the German settlers began to immigrate over, beer quickly became the reigning popular drink. Post prohibition, cider struggled to retake its foothold in American drinking culture.

Until now, that is. See the full post »

BAZI: Energy + Nutrition = Healthy Fuel

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BAZI Energy Shot

Earlier today, BAZI International Inc., provider of nutritional foods and beverages designed to help enhance physical health and overall performance, announced the official launch of its primary product, BAZI (pronounced Bah-Zee) — an alternative energy shot containing eight super fruits (jujube, acai, mangosteen, goji, pomegranate, blueberry, raspberry and seabuckthor) and a variety of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals.

“Unlike other energy shots that overload the body with excessive caffeine, sugar, B vitamins, taurine, and other artificial stimulants, BAZI combines nature’s finest ingredients for increased energy and better performance.” — Kevin C. Sherman, BAZI President and CEO. “With BAZI, there’s no crash, no warning label, and no adverse effects to your health. Pure and simple, BAZI is energy and nutrition.” See the full post »

Big Brother Is Watching: Surveillance of Coca-Cola Employees Provokes Strike In Washington State

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Coca-Cola -- International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Around 5PM yesterday evening, approximately 500 Coca-Cola employees, from six “Teamster Local Unions” across Western Washington, went on strike as a result of the company’s “surveillance and intimidation of its employees” and its “refusal to bargain a contract in good faith.”

Coca-Cola is currently under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for serious and repeated violations of federal labor law, including “surface bargaining”, surveillance of its employees, and threatening to retaliate against workers for engaging in protected activities. See the full post »

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The Trump Organization and Talbott Teas Partner to Introduce ‘Trump Tea’

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Trump Tea
Just like King Midas, everything the Trump Organization touches turns to gold, and this venture is sure to be no different. The company just announced its partnership with Talbott Teas, purveyor of upscale, gourmet teas. Together they will launch Trump Tea, a collection of four whole leaf gourmet tea blends created by Talbott Teas’ master blender Shane Talbott.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Talbott Teas on this collection of tea which offers the opportunity to indulge in an affordable way. Our mission was to create unique blends that would make the tea-drinking experience both relaxing and luxurious.” — Cathy Hoffman Glosser, Executive Vice President of Global Licensing for The Trump Organization. See the full post »

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