Coffee Beans Buying Guide

by: Philip Barton (reading – 2.11. - 8.11.)

For centuries, coffee has been one of the most beloved drinks worldwide. Whether in a coffee shop, a restaurant or at home, People around the world drink it and enjoy it. Coffee has many varieties and tastes. One drink of coffee does not always resemble another.

Coffee beans make a huge difference when it comes to the taste of coffee. Good quality beans are the first and most important step to achieving a great quality drink. But with so many varieties on offer, it might be a daunting experience to make your selection. That’s why while choosing coffee beans you should have at least a basic knowledge about the subject and make sure your supplier is a professional and only offers good quality ingredients.

The main types of coffee beans come from Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta. Coffea Arabica is considered a higher quality ingredient, but Robusta may also produce a decent drink. Other species like Coffea Liberica and Coffea Stenophylla are less commercially successful.

Another important factor to consider when buying beans is their geographic origin. Coffea Arabica growing in India may produce a totally different flavor than the ones raised in Central America. Even within those regions you may find “sub-regions” that will produce various flavors. So consult your supplier as to the source of the ingredients and their respective flavors.

The roasting process is also a very important influencer on the ingredients’ quality. While you can find good commercial coffee beans, artisanal coffee roasters produce the best quality ones. Blends potentially produce better flavors.

Once you have established the source and types of coffee beans that you want to buy make sure you follow these steps, which will help you ensure you buy good quality ingredients:

1.Predetermine what kind of flavor you enjoy: mild or full-bodied, floral-tasting, nutty or winy, and so on, and select the products accordingly

2.Buy freshly roasted beans, for the best quality drink

3.Smell them Good quality beans look and smell appetizing

4.Taste before you make your purchase You can tell which ingredients taste well even in their “raw” shape

5.Check whether they are broken or splintered “Damaged” ingredients will also damage the quality of the drink they make

Paying attention to the advice offered in this article will help you make a better, more educated purchase when you start your journey towards the best coffee for you. However, there is nothing better than experimenting. After you try a few types of beans, from various sources and roasters, you will eventually land on the one best suited for you.

About The Author

Philip Barton is the author of this article on Espresso Coffee.

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The Jobs Of Celebrities Before They Were Famous

by: Gail Kenny (reading – 9.11. - 15.11.)

Anyone who is becoming disillusioned with their online job search and has found themselves looking enviously onto the effortless lives of celebrities can take comfort in the fact that they haven’t always had it this easy. Even the most glamorous celebs have crumpled discarded CVs that they’d rather we never see. Fortunately, the internet has made it rather easy to research celebrities’ embarrassing occupations before they were famous.

Without further ado, here’s a list of 10 celebrities’ jobs from before they were famous:

Sir Bob Geldof – Pea Canner

The outspoken former frontman of the Boomtown Rats and face of the ‘Make Poverty History’ movement took on all kinds of dead-end jobs before finding his calling in music. He worked as a road navvy, a hot dog vendor, a slaughterman and finally an exciting career in pea canning before getting a job as a music journalist in Canada.

Sylvester Stallone – Porn Star

Stallone’s tough reputation may have begun in one of his first pre-celebrity jobs – a lion cage cleaner! Years later, after dropping out of Miami University, Stallone pursued his acting dreams, but the ‘Rocky’ star had a long way to go before he was famous and his place in Hollywood history – one of his first films was called ‘Party at Kitty and Stud’s’, which is exactly as high brow as it sounds. This silver screen ‘classic’ was a hardcore pornographic film, which has since been repackaged on the back of Stallone’s success as a softcore release entitled ‘Italian Stallion’ – a reference to Rocky Balboa’s nickname.

Rod Stewart – The Grave Digger

After trying out for a football career with Scottish giants Celtic and London minnows Brentford, a young Rod Stewart decided the glamorous career of a footballer wasn’t for him and opted for the not-so-glamorous career as a grave digger. He wasn’t there for too long though, before pursuing a career in music. The Maggie May songwriter took up street singing, travelling around Europe… indeed he was actually deported from Spain for vagrancy for his art!

Madonna – Dunkin’ Donuts Worker

Madonna is now one of the best selling female music artists of all time, but somehow this will have seemed an unlikely scenario for her 20 year old self upon arriving in New York with just $35 to her name. Over the course of these tough months before she became famous, the ‘Like a Prayer’ singer made ends meet by taking on a range of low paying jobs including a stint serving customers at ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’. An exhibitionist even in those days, she also took on some nude modelling work to supplement the limited fast-food income before finding her celebrity job calling.

Michael Dell – Dishwasher

At the age of 12 the founder of Dell computers, Michael Dell was washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant for $2.30 an hour. With Dell Inc. now worth over $16 billion, I would hope that the CEO is allowing himself a better salary than he earned at the restaurant.

Helen Mirren – Amusement Park Promoter

Long before she was famous and had won her oscar, SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, Dame Helen Mirren had the slightly less glamourous role of attracting punters to use the rides at an amusement park in Southend on Sea. It’s unclear whether she won as many accolades in this period of her life.

Paul Daniels - Accountant

The magician and entertainer Paul Daniels was in the army, serving in Hong Kong during his national service. On his return he began training as an accountant in the civil service before leaving to run a small mobile grocery business owned by his parents. While performing magic in the evenings, the door to show business was eventually opened to him.

Jack Nicholson – Mailroom Worker

The veteran actor and star of classics like A Few Good Men, The Shining and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was reportedly discovered working in MGM’s mailroom. Before that, the three times Oscar winner had worked in a toy store and as a lifeguard.

Jerry Seinfeld – Lightbulb Retailer

Before he became famous as a comedian and sitcom star, Jerry sold lightbulbs over the phone. After no doubt being on the end of several aggressive customers, Jerry made fun of his former career on his hit sitcom by telling a cold-caller that it was a bad time and asking if he could call them back later when they’re at home trying to relax.

Brad Pitt – Man in a Chicken Suit

Now regarded as one of the most desirable men on the planet, you’d be hard pushed to see that in Brad Pitt when he handed out flyers outside El Pollo Loco Restaurant in Los Angeles dressed in a chicken suit! Even the role of refrigerator delivery man, although a step up, is a far cry from his current status! As the most embarrassing celebrity job in the list, we can’t imagine Brad looks back fondly on his occupations before he was famous!

So, aside from a slight feeling of smugness, what have we gained from seeing what these celebrities’ occupations before they were famous? Not much, but it’s clear that celebrities come from all walks of life and you never know when you might be spotted. Hopefully that’ll give you the impetus to return to your online job search with renewed vigour, after all sir Bob Geldof wasn’t stuck canning peas forever!

About The Author

Gail Kenny is the managing director of Puregenie – and online recruitment agency for the travel industry. The site caters exclusively to talented individuals with skills and experience to succeed in the online environment, and businesses looking to increase their online presence. Although the site is mainly travel focussed, it also displays vacancies in the hospitality and leisure industries.

Monaco Yachts

by: Laura Ciocan (reading – 16.11. - 22.11.)

Sea and rich people: where else to find a better combination than in Monaco! A real yacht parade can be admired throughout the year in the Hercule Port besides the local yearly yachting events. From imposing, big-sized ones to neat, small, jewel yachts. If you are a yachting amateur or if you are hardly interested in the matter (as I was before seeing this impressive display) you will find something to like here.

There is a restraint, exclusivist rich group that has a thing for yachting, mainly because they can afford to! You and I, we both know that we'd like to own even a small, "unpretentious" sailboat, don't we? And have at least once dreamed to relax on the deck of a luxury yacht in Monaco. But, hey, who needs a yacht in a so busy world? Do we wake up in the morning with nothing better to do than dress in white completely (maybe some blue too), have our cafe au lait (maybe a croissant also if not on diet) and go to the quay ordering around the employees to rub up better that side? We certainly don't! If you say you do, that's another story!

What better place (and object) for a competition: who has the bigger, more expensive model, envies arise, disputes start... Shirley Bassey reportedly complained of the big size of "Le Grand Bleu" belonging to the Russian billionaire Abramovich. The yacht apparently spoiled the view on the port of her uphill apartment. Well, what else would you like rich people to do?

Besides occasional cruises and constant care some rich people find a practical use to their yachts: some rent them, others live there. Owning a yacht can be extremely useful if you are a tax exile, especially UK citizens who live in Monaco but work in the UK. Renting is very profitable, especially during holidays season or when big events happen in Monaco: prices go from EUR25,000 per week to EUR365,000 per week, depending on the size and facilities.

Some of world's famous yachts rest in the waters of the bay. Some of them are so big that they have helicopters on their top decks. Among worlds' 100 largest yachts are:

Octopus - owned by Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder;
Tatoosh - owned also by Paul Allen;
Atlantis II - owned by the Niarchos family, descendants of Onassis’ rival Stavros;
Le Grand Bleu - owned by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich;
Delphine - owned by the American car magnate Horace Dodge;
Montkaj - owned by Prince Mohammed bin Fahd, son of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd.

Following its policy of capitalisation of all (though scarce) natural resource, the Principality quickly became aware of the potential of the Hercules Bay and started a yachting tradition. There is a Yacht Club founded in 1953 by Prince Rainier and it was all along supported by himself and his son Albert, who is also its President. The Yacht Club de Monaco gained international fame attracting worlds' greatest names in sailing to came and do battle on the Monegasque waters.

Naturally, there are also prestigious yachting events of international interest, excellent opportunities for yacht owners all over the world to show off. There is Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, Challenge Inter-Banques, Monaco Classic Week, Fete de la Mer, Régates Corporatives, Monaco Yacht Show. The events are organised with the support of H.S.H. Prince Albert I and of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III. All of these events have display and competitions parts, except for Monaco Yacht Show which is the greatest in-water yacht exhibition in Europe, without competitions show.

So, rich or less rich, you can enjoy for free at least a great show if you happen to be in Monaco at the right time. Welcome aboard!

About The Author

Laura Ciocan writes for where you can find all you want to know about living in Monaco

Travel To Machu Picchu

by: Alexander Quiroz (reading – 23.11. - 29.11.)

One of the most visited sites in the world today by travelers is Machu Picchu. It is located in Cuzco, Peru in the high Andes Mountains. It is approximately 724 miles away from Lima, the Peruvian capital. A typical trip by land on a bus takes about 20 hours. One could also take a flight and arrive there in a heartbeat of one hour. The starting point usually begins in Lima.

The ruins sit surrounded by the Andes Mountains at about 11,024 feet above sea level. The name Machu Picchu literally means “old peak”, translated from the Quechua language. It was discovered by Hiram Bingham on July 24, 1911 while he was in charge of a Yale University expedition. It was in this landscape that the Incas built Machu Picchu at the end of the fourteenth century.

The climate is mild, warm and damp. It has a year round average temperature of 55F during the day. There are typically two seasons, a rainy season which lasts from November to March and dry season, which lasts from April to October. Most travelers prefer to travel to the site during the dry season.

Personal Travel Experience

I had the pleasure of visiting Machu Picchu 22 years ago around this time when I was a small child. I was accompanied by my mother. The scenery was beautiful and breathtaking. We took a train from the city of Cuzco and it took us just a few hours to get to Machu Picchu. Then we had to take a small bus up the trail all the way to the top. Nowadays, there are two ways to connect from Cuzco. One is a Tourist Train, which only operates in the high season. The trip takes four hours and returns in the evening. Then there is also the Autovagon, a tourist service that takes three hours to get to the site with an evening return trip as well. Both leave in the early morning hours.

We highly recommend you to put Machu Picchu, Peru as one of your top travel destinations to visit in the near future. The experience will be unforgettable.

About The Author

Alexander Quiroz is Peruvian American and Founder of , a great place to get answers to Travel questions and more.

Alligators - Nature's Perfect Ambush Predator

by: Steve Bis (reading – 30.11. - 6.12.)

Alligators truly are nature’s best ambush predators. The simple fact that they have been in existence since the age of the dinosaurs is amazing. Within this long period of time they have not at all changed except that they are a little smaller. If you can go back 100 million years ago and catch a glimpse of an alligator it would look exactly the same. With that being said they must have a pretty darn good survival strategy, one that includes hunting and eating other living creatures.

Now I’m going to walk you through how an alligator goes about killing it’s prey, I want you to imagine being the alligator. It all starts with the alligators ingenious natural design. At the top of their head are their eyes and snout. So the alligator can completely submerge its body leaving only it’s eyes and nose to scan the surrounding area.

From here the alligator can very easily locate unweary prey that comes up to the water’s edge looking for a drink. Then suddenly it vanishes not to be seen underwater. This is where the alligator is deadliest, evolution has granted alligators the ability to hold their breath for literally hours underwater.

Next, quieter and more undetected than a stealth bomber, the alligator creeps closer and closer to it’s unsuspecting victim at the water’s edge. Literally getting feet from it’s prey without the animal knowing.

Then with the speed of a bullet lunges out and snaps down on it’s prey, using jaws lined up with bone crushing teeth that can exert three thousand pounds of pressure per square inch. Once in these jaws it’s all over there is pretty much no escape.

The alligator drags it’s prey underwater and drowns it in minutes, and since the alligator can hold it’s breath for and hour plus this isn’t a problem at all.

This my friends is nature’s perfect ambush predator. There is no other creature that has been using the same hunting technique for over 100 million years, never once having to change a bit. The American alligator along with it’s other crocodilian cousins are not only nature’s perfect predators, but nature’s best survival story.

About The Author

Stephen Bis is a wildlife enthusiast, who owns a website about the american alligator -