Saturday, July 31, 2010

How rude! We've forgotten to introduce you!

To those of you who've been wondering, 'who's the cute new the girl behind the counter?', her name is Alex, and she's our new book store clerk and barista extraudinare.

Talk about right place, right time.

Jefferson and I were starting to discuss how busy the morning rush was becoming, and that Jefferson was struggling to give the best possible customer service he could on his own. In walks Alex. Buys a coffee, hangs out for a bit, and asks if we're hiring. Alex said she came to us specifically because she liked what she read about us on our Blog and thought, that sounds like a cool place to work. Complimenting the owners. Already on a good start.

She's fresh out of college, with a Literacy major, looking for some kind of work to keep her occupied until she finds, as she puts it, a 'real job'. She went to College in Montana, and moved back to Colorado recently. She loves water sports, and she brews her own beer (and she's damned good at it too... we know, she's given us a few bottles to sample).

What we love most about Alex (apart from the delicious home brews she brings in for us) is her cool, calm, and friendly personality. We love her genuine enthusiasm for her work, and for the success of our store.

For example - most of you would be shocked if you knew that Alex had no barista experience before she came to RW&B. I say shocked because of the quality of the drinks she now prepares. Well yes, Jefferson can take credit for training her in everything he knows, but she's gone over and above what Jefferson taught her. We happened to mention in conversation one day that eventually we'd like to start creating latte art with our coffee drinks. Alex jumped at the opportunity to learn something new, and after a few Googled online videos and practice sessions, look what she can do now!

Get a latte to stay next time you're in, and you too can have your own Read, Write & Brew art in your latte froth... as long as Alex is behind the counter.

Oh, and remember that article in the Denver Post a few weeks back? Alex's parents thought of the idea to mention us and get us that free feature article!

So, talk about setting the bar high, hey: quick learner, personality, latte art, home brewed beers for the boss, free feature article in the Denver Post! Future RW&B employees, you've got your work cut out for you to try and top that... and we're waiting eagerly to see what you come up with!

Oh, and Alex..
Please don't ever find a 'real job'.
We like you too much.

From Jeff, Jules and the kokopelli's.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Java Junkies of the month - Jack and Melissa

Jack was one of the very first customers to walk through the door at Read, Write & Brew, and has been coming in almost daily ever since. He lives in the condo complex across the street, and discovered us one morning while going for a walk through the neighbourhood. He came in daily for his usual, which was a cappuccino. Then he started coming in with Melissa, his caregiver. He got her hooked on us (she comes in sometimes without Jack now), and she got Jack hooked on our White Chocolate Mocha's. He wasn't interested in trying anyhting new, but after she talked Jack into taking a sip of her white mocha one day, just to taste it, it's been Jack's 'usual' ever since. For the summertime, Melissa has switched to the frappé version though. Jack still likes his hot.

Q: What book are you reading right now?
A: (Jack) Patton (no author given).
A: (Melissa) ..something by Dean Koontz, but I can't remember the name of it right now...

Q: What is your favorite author/book?
A: (Jack) No favorite author. I like Non-Fiction books best.
A: (Melissa) Stephen King.
Q: What do you do for work?
A: (Jack) I'm retired now, but I graduated from CU and worked in the army, and when I came back to Colorado I worked for the government.
A: (Melissa) Professional Caregiver. My husband and I also own our own hardwood flooring business.
Should we plug their business? Of course we should!
If you need new hardwood floors, or your old hardwood floors refinished to look like new, look no further than the 'Rocky Mountain Floor Company'. Website

Jack has travelled the world, and 17 years ago married his wife, Francie. He has a total of 5 kids, 16 grandkids and he even has great-grandkids!
Melissa is also married with two kids.

Q: What would you like people reading this blog to know about you?
A: (Jack) I've met the Queen of England.
Jefferson: Really, as in 'Queen Elizabeth', the current Queen of England?
A: (Jack) yes.
A: (Melissa) I've met Mr T!

Thanks Jack and Melissa for being great customers and loyal supporters of our 'lil 'ol coffee shop and used bookstore. Jack and Melissa received a $10 Read, Write & Brew gift certificate for being our July Java Junkies.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We were the featured business in yesterdays 'Your Hub'!

For those of you who read The Denver Post, you may have noticed your 'lil old Read, Write & Brew featured in the Your Hub section of yesterdays' paper. If you didn't catch it, here's the write up they did on us.

(If you click on the image you will be able to see an enlarged version that you'll be able to read).

How awesome, right? We were so excited, first of all to get recommended, and second of all, to make it to print!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Java Junkie of the month - Nick Roman

Introducing Nick Roman - our June Java Junkie. Nick's in pretty much 5 days a week for his fave drink, 1/2 caf Americano with skim.

Nicks a licensed CPA, and has been married for 10 years, with two kids, 7 and 8 years old. Golden has been his home for the past 10 years, and we're glad he's made Read, Write & Brew his home for coffee. He's one of our most frequent regulars.

When he's not crunching numbers, sipping coffee, or spending time with the wife and kids, Nick loves to scuba and ski. He's been skiing in the Dolomites (Italy) and scuba diving in Palau. Pretty exotic, huh!

When randomly asked what his favorite dinosaur is, the answer is an Argentinosaurus, also known as the 'silver lizard'.

Something you may be surprised to know about him: in High School he played in both the state championship football and state championship soccer game in the same year.

His personal motto is, "Live life while you can, then die and be done with it."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nervous About Alzheimer's? Coffee May Help

I found the following story on the NPR iPhone App:

Nervous About Alzheimer's? Coffee May Help
by Allison Aubrey

- June 28, 2010

It's an appealing notion that our daily pick-me-up may also confer a range of health benefits. And for coffee drinkers there's a lot of research percolating. Several studies suggest that a daily caffeine habit may help protect against Alzheimer's disease. But there's a catch. The cup or two a day that most Americans drink doesn't seem to be enough. Researchers say 500 mg of caffeine, or about five cups of regular coffee, is the dose that seems to protect the brain.

Five Cups A Day

This may sound like an excessive amount of caffeine. After five cups, lots of us would end up with the jitters and be making extra trips to the bathroom. But some coffee lovers are hard core:

"I drink five to six cups a day religiously," says Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, part of Florida State University. Arendash says he's convinced that caffeine is protecting his brain.

Arendash and his colleagues at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center have been studying the effects of caffeine on the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease. They've found that adding caffeinated water to rodents' diet results in big improvements. The mice perform better on short-term memory and thinking tests. But only if they get enough caffeine.

"The human equivalent of two to three cups of coffee does not have benefits in our Alzheimer's mice," says Arendash.

Arendash's team also documented that these super-caffeinated mice end up with about a 50-percent reduction in abnormal amyloid proteins, which are thought to play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's.

The typical American drinks about a cup and a half of coffee a day. "So you can see that many of us are below that threshold level that we believe confers protective benefits," says Arendash.

Evidence Not Conclusive

The Alzheimer's mice studies on caffeine are intriguing to researchers who are trying to translate the findings into advice for humans. But interpreting an animal study can be tricky.

"It's always a good starting point," says Joan Lindsay of the University of Ottawa. "But we never know how well it's going to hold up with humans." After all, people are a lot more complicated. And researchers have learned that mice can respond really differently than humans do to a drug, an environmental toxin or a change in nutrition.

Another challenge is to find a reliable test of the memory of mice. Arendash uses a mouse maze to assess the spatial memory of his Alzheimer's mice. He puts the mice in little swimming pools with lots of alleys and dead-ends to see how quickly they can find and remember hidden escape platforms. Similar computer-based maze tests are used in human studies.

"The first thing that is lost in Alzheimer's is short term memory -- the memory for what happened a few seconds or a minute ago," says Arendash. "That's what (the water maze) is focusing on."

Observations Of Coffee-Loving Middle-Aged Folks

There wouldn't be as much interest in Arendash's mice studies if scientists hadn't also begun to gather some evidence that a steady caffeine habit is beneficial to people, too.

One recent study comes from Finland where researchers followed about 1,400 coffee drinkers for more than two decades. Researchers found one group seemed to benefit the most: the people who'd been drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in their 40s and 50s.

"They had about a 65-to-70-percent reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in their 70s," says Huntington Potter, a neurobiologist at the University of South Florida. Potters says effects held up even when researchers controlled for things such as cardiovascular disease, which can influence the risk of dementia.

A few other smaller studies in Europe have led to similar findings, but experts say the research only establishes a correlation between coffee drinking and brain protection.

"I'd hesitate to say that there's epidemiologic evidence that coffee prevents Alzheimer's disease," says Reisa Sperling, an Alzheimer's researcher at the Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard University.

It's possible that these regular coffee drinkers might have other habits in common that could explain the protective effect. "People who are very active in mid-life are more likely to be drinking coffee than couch potatoes," says Sperling. Maybe the coffee drinkers aren't benefiting from the coffee as much as they are from keeping their minds and bodies active. The studies make it difficult to suss out.

Coffee Drinking Can't Offset Genetic Risks

Sperling says Alzheimer's is an incredibly complicated disease. Exercise and good nutrition do seem to be protective, but a person's risk is largely determined by genes. No one behavior or diet change -- like coffee drinking -- can erase that risk.

If future research brings stronger evidence that caffeine may modify the risk by some small percentage that means coffee lovers will have one more reason to drink away.

Just make sure those five cups don't keep you up all night -- sleep is important to health, too. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

To learn more about the NPR iPhone app, go to