Utah Coffee Expressions Review

Utah Coffee Expressions gave me a taste of what they had to offer and then left me wanting more. The sampler pack they sent me set the table, but it didn’t serve the appetizer, let alone the main course. My particular preference leans more towards full sized products than samples. The frustration I felt towards this sample has more to do with me being fussy than anything this company did or could have done differently. I like to have enough experience with a type of coffee to be able to talk about it without straining for the right sentiments. 

I have had the opportunity to try several types of coffee from Utah. For a state that might be thought of as the opposite of a coffee contender, they carry their weight and deliver many quality brands. Getting through the list of companies from this state has been quite the journey. I will give Utah Coffee Expressions credit though. They replied to me in a timely manner and were more than happy to fulfill my request. I didn’t expect their package to arrive so quickly. To my surprise, it landed in my mailbox before I had a chance to wonder when it was coming.

The best kind of coffee is one that has a lot going on. It’s the kind of coffee that beckons for you to drink it before you ever even pour a cup. Many varieties of coffee fall flat before they have a chance to deliver on their promises. This coffee is not one of them. It’s bold, but not so bold that it will overwhelm the average coffee drinker. 

I love it when coffee goes down easy. You’re able to breeze through it without having to worry about any hiccups in the roast slowing your journey. I had that experience with each cup of Utah Coffee Expressions coffee.

I will add Utah Coffee Expressions to the list of destinations of coffee haunts in my area. I want to meet the people whose coffee fueled so many pleasant evenings. Trying a certain variety is one thing. Meeting the people responsible for that coffee is something else entirely.

I can’t help but want to develop relationships with the coffee producers near me. I’m in their backyard. As a person who writes about coffee, I feel compelled to put them at the top of my list.

Utah Coffee Expressions, if you’re reading this, let’s talk soon.

The Sneakerless Shoe Guru

I recently started reposting pictures of sneakers on one of my Instagram accounts (@thecoffeeencyclopedia) and it got me thinking of a new project. I want to write about sneakers of all kinds as well as highlight other creators of sneaker related content. The only problem with that is I don’t own a single pair of sneakers. I own two pairs that might be considered sneakers, but I would never show them to a fellow sneakerhead for fear of being laughed out of the building. I have a lot to learn and I plan to do just that.

Why does someone who doesn’t really own a pair of sneakers want to learn about them and become part of the culture? It’s simple really. I realized a while ago that my shoe game is difficult and I need to step my game up. Plus, I’m tired of wearing uncomfortable shoes and desperately want to find new options that aren’t going to make it feel like I’m walking on glass wherever I go. In my experience, sneakers achieve this objective and I want to see what’s out there. I also want to investigate the knockoff market and find companies that are making shoes for the more budget conscious among us.

I get that it seems weird that a blog that has coffee in the title is talking about shoes. As you can probably see, this blog has become a mish mash of topics I’ve started. I will continue to expand what’s covered here because it’s easier than having to start a new blog every time I want to talk about something different. I look forward to engaging people in the sneaker world and eventually building relationships with the companies that manufacture them. Since many sneaker companies are massive corporations, this will take some work. As someone whose shoe game is atrocious, I look forward to changing things for the better.

How do I start? I decided that the best way to explore this topic would be to find the most expensive sneaker and then work my way down from there. I will deviate from this path from time to time if something strikes my fancy, but the previously stated approach will be the underlying format. I don’t want to paint myself into such a corner that I end up running out of content. With this open ended way of thinking, nothing is off limits and this project will proceed indefinitely.

Mary Kay Cosmetics: My Experience

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Back to Makeup/Cosmetics Page

Recently, my wife signed up to be a consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics and, as with any other project, we planned to do it together. The only experience I’ve had with pyramid schemes…I mean “multi-level marketing companies” (or MLMs)…came when my mom dabbled in Amway and Avon in the 90’s. Those experiences were fleeting and I had little insight into the inner workings of these businesses because I was so young. I thought that times and changed and modern day MLMs had a model similar to the relationship companies have with their affiliates on the internet. I thought that the people who were doing all the work (the consultants) to sell the products got to set the tempo and Mary Kay stood back, empowering them every step of the way. I’m a fool.

With MLMs, there’s always a catch. When I say catch, I mean the part of an MLM’s business model that tips the scales in their favor and creates a relationship that feeds off the person who’s caught and only benefits the MLM. Some of them reveal their catch sooner than others. Some of them hide their catch under all sorts of industry language and sales gibberish to soften the blow and pretend there isn’t a catch. I’m here to tell you there’s always a catch. If you decide that going into business with an MLM is the right thing for you, keep an eye out for it.

I thought that my wife and I could create a scenario where she pitched products to people while directing people to the online portal I managed. While she was covering things in our area, I would take to the internet and act like an ambassador to the brand, singing their praises and slinging their products. We wouldn’t have to dump all sorts of money into it and, when each product was sold, Mary Kay and my wife and I would benefit. Win-win, right? Wrong!

My delusion came crashing down when the person that signed up the person who introduced my wife to Mary Kay started talking about inventory. Apparently, Mary Kay practically requires all their clients to invest thousands in inventory. And there was the catch. Mary Kay does not care about their consultants. How much an individual consultant sells is irrelevant to them because they’ve already gotten paid. A consultant could strike out and sell nothing and Mary Kay would still line their pockets. The whole thing made me feel gross.

We decided that Mary Kay was not for us the moment they started to twist our arm to buy inventory. It made no sense for me to invest tons of money into something when I had zero clients. I would have not been able to recoup my investment for a long time. Who buys stuff from people who are embroiled in an MLM’s nonsense? Chances are that group of individuals is already being served by other people who are stuck with an MLM. I would have zero chance getting their business unless I started to get unethical and take business away from other consultants. As the reality of my bad investment would become more apparent, desperation would set in. My sales pitch would turn dishonest and my support system would get tired of it.

Are you thinking of doing business with Mary Kay? If you are, stop it.

There are so many better ways to spend your time and money.

Kaffe Mercantile

I received a reminder of the existence of Kaffe Mercantile on my Facebook feed. I couldn’t remember whether i wrote about them in the past, which is a sign that I need to write about them right now. I believe I went to one of their establishments once. I was impressed with how cozy their establishment was and the quality of their products. I reached out to them at some point, but I don’t think those conversations went anywhere.

As far as content creators go, i’m one of the least arrogant. I never assume that I am owed anything from the companies i contact. I realize that every company gets countless requests from people like me wanting to write reviews and get products. I have been told no so many times that the word has almost no meaning. I don’t let it get to me. I will deal with 999 rejections to get that one acceptance.

I forget whether Kaffe Mercantile rejected me though. I think the conversation started, they had no interest, and things fell apart shortly thereafter. That’s a shame. I am a person who writes about coffee and they’re up the street and around the corner from me in multiple directions. It stands to reason that a partnership between us would make sense.

Regardless of what happens going forward, I would like to reiterate the fact that I’m impressed with Kaffe Mercantile. They have multiple locations in a market that’s crowded with faceless corporate competitors like Starbucks and Bean & Brews. I love it when smaller coffee shops make it, especially ones that treat their customers well while making great coffee. How could you say anything bad about that?

This post should serve as an open letter. If the wonderful people at Kaffe Mercantile would be willing to have me, I’d love to come in and try some of their wonderful drinks. I would also like to talk coffee with them. I am not an expert by any means, but I love to hear from people who are passionate about their craft. I end up learning a lot and it’s always an enjoyable experience. Maybe that’s what will happen here. Who knows. I certainly hope so.

The Essential Phone Part #4

I can’t help but feel annoyed when I write so much about a product, but I never receive a reply. That’s not what persistence is all about though. A persistent person is faced with these kinds of challenges and doesn’t let them get in their way. They know that they’re not gonna get what they want right away, so they have to keep working at it until they do. In the case of Essential, I have put together several parts thus far and the only reply I received was one message thanking me for my kind words.

I started the series as a way to get the attention of the company that was interesting to me. I still want together their attention. I feel like they’re doing great work and not getting the attention they deserve for it. That doesn’t mean I’m saying that I’m the person that’s going to get them noticed. I just know that if I continue to talk about it someone might come across them and it might start a conversation. You can’t get it so people start talking unless you put the point across that there’s something worth talking about.

Tech reviewers have covered the Essential phone pretty extensively. Anyone who is anyone in this room has talked about this phone. Why am I trying to add my voice to the discussion? This is a question a lot of people asked themselves when they dip their toes into unfamiliar waters. I feel like this is a crazy question. Why not? Why are the people who have cultivated a huge audience reviewing these products the only voices who should be talking about them? If more people talked about technology, perhaps the new products coming on the market wouldn’t seem so intimidating.

I also dislike the fact that audience size is the sole measurement of a reviewer’s worth. A big crowd does command more attention; however, it does not prove that the creator is somehow better at what they do than someone whose audience is smaller. I don’t believe that my articles about Essential are a waste of time. I will continue to write about them until I am able to forge a bond that leads to me discussing their future products as well as the phone known for currently. I want to put down all my thoughts about them and see where things go later on down the line.

Blair’s Sauces and Snacks Preview

Blair’s Sauces and Snacks is a company I’ve heard a great deal about ever since I started watching Hot Ones on the First We Feast YouTube channel.

Hot Ones features Blair’s Mega Death with Liquid Rage as the hottest sauce in their rogues gallery of fireball inducing buffalo wings. After seeing countless celebrities look down the barrel of this sauce and wither while ice cold Sean Evans, the host of Hot Ones, lobbed questions at them from across the table, I couldn’t help but reach out to them.

I was pleased to find out that they had a lot of products in their repertoire that play on the same theme. They’re all geared towards melting the mouths of anyone who’s daring enough to try them. I am intrigued by businesses who want to go out of their way to do one thing particularly well. Whether it’s the coffee companies I’ve covered or purveyors of hot sauce, if you’re focused on selling a particular type of product, you should go above and beyond.

The best part of Blair’s Snacks and Sauces is the affordable prices they attach to each of their products. Normally, when you venture off the beaten path and buy something from a specialty manufacturer, you’re left with a sky high bill. That’s not the case with this company. You could load your cart up with all their products and be pleasantly surprised when you see the final price sauce.

Any time I find a product that I like I want to have more and more of it. This becomes a problem when the product in question is out of my price range. I find solace in the fact that nothing on Blair’s Snacks and Sauces’ website costs too much. I would be able to get a healthy dose of their wonderful sauces without having to worry about it.

I’m fond of hot sauces in all their forms. I have locked horns with some of the most ferocious brands in the industry. I feel remiss in avoiding this one, especially since it’s billed as an insurmountable challenge on one of my favorite shows. In these situations, I look at it as though there’s no better time to make amends than the present. I will reach out to them as soon as I can. Perhaps we can forge a relationship. I’m hoping they send me a bottle or two so I can learn the true meaning of liquid rage.

What I Want to be as a Technology Content Creator

As someone who consumes a considerable amount of technology related content, I’ve noticed a number of trends. The first being the fact that so many creators in this genre act like they’re solely responsible for the content they’re releasing when really every piece of content is the result of the concerted effort of a team of trained professionals. I’m not faulting people who embrace collaboration to make their content better; however, I feel like they need to be more honest. Don’t create the impression that a piece of content is created by one individual just because they happen to be the focal point. Generate an identity that’s more indicative of the group that’s responsible than an outdated presence that has nothing to do with current realities.

I am a person who is fully invested in whatever I’m creating. I feel weird reaching out to other people to work on content. I worry that I will be reduced to nothing more than a byline at the end of the of the collaborative process. That’s not to say that I will avoid collaborating in the future. I’m saying that the opportunity has to be right. It has to fit within my mission and be conducted with people who share my creative vision. I will never compromise another person’s voice as long as they don’t do that to me. I’ve worked with people in the past who went out of their way to question everything I put on the page, forcing me to twist my words to fit what they wanted.

I love technology and I want to talk about it in a way that makes it more accessible to people who might otherwise be intimidated by new devices. There are so many misconceptions about technology that I want to dispel. I hate the fact that the dialogue about new technology has become so pretentious that nobody wants to get anything other than the most basic, affordable device out there. That needs to change. I believe that any concept can be broken down and simplified to the point where it’s understandable by the masses. It just takes someone who wants to work on their content to make these concepts more appealing on a universal level.

Technology can be a tremendous tool. I feel like it’s being underutilized and stuck in a state where it’s used for nothing but frivolous purposes. Granted, every person has the right to use the devices they purchase however they see fit. At the same time, if millions upon millions of high functioning devices are used for nothing more than basic purposes, I feel like we might as well go back to the olden days where we all had to deal with bricks with buttons. The big issue here is how all tech reviewers present their devices. They do it from an “all specifications all the time,” meaning they read off the box rather than telling you what a device actually does. I believe that every person should get a detailed breakdown of every possible thing their device can do for them.