Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks Coffee

At last, it is time to cover what I referred to on my first coffee review as my measuring gauge, Starbucks. This is because Starbucks is neither gourmet nor vending machine quality, it is simply a good cup. It stands in the middle, and for that reason, it is my point of reference.

Starbucks’ Menu

While at CityWalk, the wife indulged my request to stop for a cup of my favorite roast from Starbucks, their blonde roast — the fact the that wife is blonde is but a fun coincidence. Fun fact: I’ve been a gold member of Starbucks’ rewards program since 2011, but an enthusiastic patron since 2009.

Review: When I bought this cup, I thought I would not even need to try it to write this review. I’ve been ordering this cup (almost exclusively) for at least four years, and drinking Starbucks in general for ten years. And yet, I was conflicted. I tasted it, and there it was, the comforting, smooth, mouth-watering flavor of bright, crisp, coffee. But I wondered, is it it’s familiarity that made it so comforting? Was I biased? Maybe, but I’ve had enough variety in my life to objectively deem it a decent cup of lightly roasted coffee. Like I said, it is a good cup.

At $2.45 a grande (medium), and I know that price by heart (or $2.85 if you’re paying the CityWalk location premium), this cup is a solid choice. After all, there is a reason why Starbucks is a coffee juggernaut around the world. Before I present The Ramdolfi Score, I feel the need to clarify that when this cup is freshly made via pour over, it is closer to a 7/10. Alas, your average morning brew is not always up to par. The Ramdolfi Score: 5/10.

Tell me, are you a fan of Starbucks? Do you prefer dark roasts or light roast? Are you a black coffee or frappuccino type of person?

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(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee

It was a Monday morning and I woke up slightly disoriented, my body mildly aching, and in desperate need of water — for once, not the result of libations. My wife and I were exhausted from our wedding day just hours ago. We checked out of the hotel, and I beckoned my first cup of coffee as a married man.

Blue Bottle Coffee’s Menu

Not just any cup would do on this momentous occasion. No, I had to make this one count, and that’s exactly what I did. The wife and I drove to Ventura Boulevard to secure a cup of my absolute favorite coffee in the United States, Blue Bottle Coffee.

Review: On this hot summer’s day, a 16oz New Orleans cup of iced coffee was the perfect first cup to christen my caffeinated marriage. From the first sip, this cup is worthy of praise in every way. It is a lavish beverage, rich in flavor, essentially flawless. Indeed, it is smooth, refreshing, and satisfying, but it is also so much more. It is comforting like a parent’s hug, soft like a cashmere sweater, and gentle like a lover’s caress. In short, this cup is the nectar of the gods.

At $5.00 a large cup, this cup is as close as it gets to buying happiness. In the words of Matthew Broderick’s most iconic movie character: “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” The Ramdolfi Score: 9.7/10.

Tell me, have you ever had Blue Bottle Coffee? Do you prefer hot or iced coffee? Did you get that pop culture reference?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Reasons for Joining a Startup

Reasons for Joining a Startup

Today, much like every day, I woke up excited to go to work. It’s not a feeling I had felt since I first joined the workforce, and even then, I don’t think I ever felt this motivated. The reason? I work at a startup.

My startup, which shall currently remain unnamed, is in many ways exactly what you would imagine: ambitious youth, cutting-edge technology, exciting projects, and risk, lots of risk, an unusually high amount of risk actually. To paint an accurate picture of the level of risk, understand that I joined one week not knowing if I would have a job the next, and I would do it all over again.

Let me be clear, this is not my first job out of college, I am of sound mind and body, and I was not unemployed. In fact, I had a great job. I worked in Downtown LA (at the Deloitte building to be precise) where I had a corner office with a view of the city and earned an above-average salary. So why, then, would I leave? Why not, I ask back.

Sure, I gave up financial stability, job security, and the comfort of the familiar. But there is never truly a real guarantee that you will not lose your well-established job tomorrow (or that you’ll succeed in it). The difference is that at a startup this is not a secret. However, instead of focusing on the negatives, I chose to focus on the positives, among which are the following:

Opportunity: While your contributions at a large company may (or may not) be appreciated, they are likely to be but a drop in the bucket. At a startup you can make waves! For example, with no more than 5 years of experience in my field, I could only suggest ideas that more often than not led to nothing at my old job. Here, I am impacting processes and procedures. I am bringing about efficiencies that previous employers could only wish to accomplish. At the same time, opportunity has many faces at a startup. Specifically, there is no task too small or too large for anyone on the team, and thus you are able to wear many different hats and take on responsibilities unimaginable at an average desk job.

Excitement: I may not have been struck by lightening only to be in a coma for 9 months and wake up a speedster, but I do have some of the excitement of being the fastest man alive. I effectively work at STAR Labs, or at the very least it sure feels like it. My startup is past the handful of nerds in a garage stage and is now leasing a large R&D building that both looks and feels like the birthplace of a particle accelerator. That alone, is inspiring. The real magic however, lies just past the facade and among the rows and rows of overachieving, multicultural, ambitious peers who are literally developing the future. I cannot think of many more exciting things than, well, trying to change the world.

Happiness: This is the part where I acknowledge the fact that startups are not for everyone. I am completely aware that the same water that softens the potato also hardens the egg. Some people prefer a routine life, without challenges, without change, without risk, and that’s ok. But if you’re like me, you’re averse to the ordinary and crave the extraordinary, (to a degree) the avant-garde. If you’re in this pioneering camp, a startup will not only satisfy your needs, it will bring about something that you likely lost along the way ever since you first started paying bills: Happiness. More specifically, the happiness that comes with following your dreams.

Regret: Lastly, there is perhaps one single most important reason why I decided to join my startup, and that is regret, or in this case the lack thereof. I can say with absolute confidence that I would have always regretted not taking this opportunity, even at the cost of its almost insurmountable amount of risk. This, I believe speaks to more than just joining a startup; taking calculated risks, pertains to a way of life.

Ultimately, I would much rather live a life filled with rich experiences that may or may not work out, than look back at the end of my life longing to have done what I did not have the courage to do at the time. Thus, at the end of the day, if you’re wondering whether to take a leap of faith, be it with joining a startup or otherwise, ask yourself: What type of life do you want to live?

(Featured Image by: RawPixel)