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I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed "Espresso Shot". It was such an enjoyable escape from the daily mess of life and horrible goings on in the world.
The "Fish Squad" were hilarious--I hope you include them in future stories. I also liked the way certain characters realized and seemed to embrace their changing relationships (I don't want to ruin anything for anyone who has not read the book yet, but I hope you understand what I mean)--although I must admit a couple of times you had me worried!
What can I say about Mike Quinn? It's too bad (but not at all surprising) that such a great guy is fiction! And of course, I love all of the coffee tips and recipes. I do have a question: Will Clare ever meet Mike's kids? And what about his soon-to-be ex-wife? (I know, that's two questions!). But the ex-wife, that would be interesting!
Thanks again for such a great story. When you do your book tour I hope you make a stop in Michigan.
(If you think I've "spoiled" anything, please feel free to edit my post).
Hi Nicole! What a great post! Thank you! First of all, you haven't spoiled a thing. (The spoilers that concern me have to do with giving away pieces of the mystery puzzle). Second of all, I really like your "Mike's ex-wife and kids" idea and YES in the coming books, we will definitely be meeting Mike's ex-wife as well as his kids and certain members of his big, colorful Irish family. I'm so happy you enjoyed "The Fish Squad" - the former head of New York's Sixth Precinct (which patrols the West Village of NYC) was a woman - and that is RARE in the NYPD. The Fish Squad is my little tribute to her - and all the great women cops out there. SAAAALUTE!
Michigan is such a great state! I would love to visit your stomping ground on a book tour - keeping fingers crossed that readers keep buying and reading and enjoying the Coffeehouse Mysteries...In the meantime, I want to thank you sincerely for reading my books and for posting about what you liked. It's a great help to me to know what readers think - and you have some great thoughts and ideas!
Java joy to you, Nicole -
I hope you'll come back to my virtual Village Blend again! (Enjoy this virtual box o' biscotti! Wish I could offer you the real thing but this is a virtual coffeehouse! LOL!)
My first cannoli
I just realized that I forgot to sign my posting for "Taking the girls to the library". Thank you for the cannoli, Cleo. It made me laugh to remember my first cannoli at the age of 21. I had gone to Boston with 2 friends in 1976 and were walking the Freedom Trail. We stopped at an Italian pastry shop and I decided on this scrumptious rolled pastry. I asked what it was and the lady (giving me a very strange look) said "It's a cannoli!" I replied that I had never had one before. She said "Where do you live that you've never had a cannoli before?!" I had to admit I actually blushed when I replied "Indiana". Now I can say that I've had cannoli in Italy, but my true love is tiramisu.(Can you believe that my spell-check doesn't recognize the words cannoli or tiramisu? I had to add them to the "dictionary".) I have received "Espresso Shot" and can make myself a fresh cup of coffee, disconnect the phone, children, etc. and read my book! LMK when you start your cross country signings, Cleo. I'll turn up if you make it to Indiana (Illinois, Ohio, or anywhere within a tank of gas).
~~Judy Mac aka Meemaw
Cleo's reply: HILARIOUS story, Nurse Judy!! LOL! You made my night! AND...your post inspired my husband to stop by our neighborhood Italian bakery (bread to die for) and buy me two delicious, sweet, freshly-filled cannoli - YUM - I made mine last for 2 days, which was easy because a typical New York Italian cannoli is so big and so rich, that half of one with a cuppa java can easily fill you up!
I received "Espresso Shot" yesterday and read it cover to cover. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! Oh, dear, what to do until January. . . Thanks for another great read!
Cleo's reply: AWESOME!! Nice to hear from you again, "geekette"! Love your posts. Per January—I'm now reviewing the page proofs for my next book (written under my second pen name, Alice Kimberly)—and if you don't laugh out loud at least once on this one, I'll eat my fedora!
—GeekGirl2, Cleo Coyle
The Ghost and the
by Alice Kimberly
Pub: January 09
Book #5 in
FYI for those of you unfamiliar with my Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, (aka my "ghost" series) here are the titles in order:
1 The Ghost and Mrs. McClure
2 The Ghost and the Dead Deb
3 The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library
4 The Ghost and the Femme Fatale (just released in May)
5 The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (to come this January 09)
(You can learn more about this series by clicking on the dancing ghost in the left column of this Web site! Cheers!)
I love your Village Blend mysteries. How do I get them autographed? Looking forward to Espresso Shot.
Cleo's reply: Hi Kris - thank you for reading! I'm glad you live in CT - it's close enough to NYC that you might be able to attend a "Coffee with Cleo" event I'm planning with Joe, the Art of Coffee - the Greenwich Village coffeehouse that inspired my own fictional Village Blend. (There are 3 Joe shops in NYC - the Waverly Street Joe's is pictured right. Food and Wine magazine just named it one of the top coffee bars in the country.)
The evening will (hopefully) be a combination of a coffee tasting or espresso-making lesson on their pro machine combined with a book signing and talk about writing culinary mysteries. This evening will take place sometime in 2009. I'll be sure to give you plenty of notice in my newsletter and on this Web site about when and where and how to sign up for the limited seating.
If the "Coffee with Cleo" event goes well the first time, I hope to do more of them in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) And if they go well locally, I really hope to take the coffee on the road around the country.
So stay tuned, Kris (and everyone who would like Espresso Shot signed) - Cleo is hoping to come to a city near you in the next year or two.
In the meantime,
if you keep reading,
I'll keep writing!
Wishing you Java Joy,
Another one brought to the light!
The other night, I treated one of my fellow nurses to a cup of IRW and her first words were "OH, MY GOD! This tastes like coffee smells! This is the best coffee I've ever had!" I gave her the web address of Counter Culture coffee and allowed her another (small) cup. I guarantee she will be online, buying coffee ASAP. BTW, I am waiting for my book VERY patiently!!!!! Amazon said it was shipped!!!! I really need a shot of espresso!!! I think I'll go sit on my mailbox like Snoopy, looming like a vulture, waiting for the unsuspecting mailman to drive up and....GIVE ME MY BOOK!!!!
Cleo's reply: Ha-ha-haaaaa! Love it! Hi again, Nurse Judy! I hope you enjoy Espresso Shot, too (the book not the drink! LOL!) Lemme know what you think of the saga of Matt's wedding...
My book was delivered today...
and I just finished it! So good! Very impressed. I guess I can't go into detail yet.
Cleo's reply: Hi Jazdia!! So happy to hear you enjoyed Espresso Shot! You can write more if you like or ask me questions (just don't reveal any spoilers!).
Java joy to you for reading--and for posting, too!
Espresso...and baseball !
I will be at B and N tomorrow..to get my copy of Espresso Shot. Eager to read it. Well....the Brewers are in..at least for a while..and sigh...the Mets are out. What a day in baseball on Sunday..wow. Made for some very tense moments for sure. When I hear anyone say...what's brewin'.. I will think of coffee and the Crew !
Cleo's reply: Hi Mary T.! Always great to hear from you. (I'm trying to proof the site more closely since I know your watcheful eyes are out there!)
Go Brewers! (That's for you and all of Wisconsin.)
I know how you feel. I will always (heart) my Mets - no matter what! When you read Espresso Shot, I'm sure you'll notice 'he reference to Mets' stadium. Funny story...
While writing the book, I wanted to refer to the beloved old "Shea Stadium" (which is located in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens) - but I knew that by the time the book would be published, there would be no more Shea! So I had to refer to the stadium as the Mets' stadium. Just an example of the sort of strange problems that can crop up while one is trying to write a contemporary novel! Cheers and let me know what you think...
Ready for Espresso !
I will be going to B and N Tuesday to get my copy of Espresso Shot...looking forward to reading it !
Cleo's reply: Excellent! Come on back and let me know what you think.
Got it Friday, read it and LOVED IT!!
—Barbara Belfair, WA
Cleo's reply: Hiya, Barbara! So great to hear from you again - and I'm really glad you enjoyed the book!!! Thanks for reading - and especially for dropping by again to post. Come on back now, y'hear?!
Java joy to you,
Well, not only am I hooked on your wonderful mysteries, but I have started to grind my own beans and bought a French press. I follow all your directions and I am now able to get a much better cup of coffee. Sometimes it doesn't turn out just right, but I keep trying. I think it is a fine art!
Cleo's reply: Hi Ellen! You made my day! It's great to hear you love the mysteries and extremely gratifying to hear that the books enriched your culinary joy - even if only a little bit.
I subscribe to the "island" theory of living. Every day can be trying - but if we have little islands of joy in the midst of the storms, it can really get us through. Enjoying a delicious piece of pie or a fresh cuppa joe can be that little island. We deserve it. Warmest wishes and...
Java joy to you,
Another great review!
The 9/1 issue of Library Journal has a STARRED REVIEW of "Espresso Shot"!
Check out libraryjournal.com. Librarians use Library Journal to select titles for their collections as well as to recommend books to customers. I presented the coffee house series at a "Coffee, Books and Conversation" discussion. Two participants came back to say they had started to read the series and loved it!
Click here to go LibraryJournal.com
and see the
of ESPRESSO SHOT.
(You will need to scroll down
to the "Coyle, Cleo" entry...)
Cleo's reply: AWESOME!! Thank you SO much for telling me, Marlene! I've put this on the front page of my Web site. This is the best news in the world! In my "book" (LOL), librarians are the keepers of the literary culture. So this pretty much puts me in Hog Heaven!
Great to hear from you again, too. Come on back now, y'hear?!
Cheers and Java joy to you,
Oh, what a difference a new batch makes!
I just opened my other bag of Purple Princess and was very pleasantly surprised by the increased aroma of the beans over the first bag. I closed my eyes and inhaled. I could smell the flowers, yes, the lavender, and thought I could smell a faint herbal scent almost like fresh hay. I couldn't wait to see how it would brew up and it was a winner! I don't think I'll take this bag to work to share. BTW, I am OUTRAGED!!! I had stored a partial bag of IRW beans at work (I had the bag wrapped in a Walmart bag and stowed in the bottom of the employee refrigerator) and someone stole them!!! AARRRGGHHH!! I was reduced to drinking percolated Starbucks! It almost wasn't worth it!
Cleo's reply: Great update on the saga of the Purple Princess and the IRW (Ethiopian Yirgacheffe - Cleo's January Coffee Pick). It is good to find a coffee one can love! (Especially when you're an overworked nurse working on a masters degree in your spare time - LOL! Thanks for posting again Nurse Judy. Come on back now, y'hear?!)
Dilbert Coffee Quote
Was at the bookstore today and saw a dilbert cartoon where someone was being interviewed for a job and was asked what his goal was is response? "My goal is to replace my soul with coffee and become immortal"
—Chelle in Canada
Cleo's reply: LOL!! Hi Chelle!! Here's another funny Dilbert cartoon. Oh, so appropriate for the financial meltdown of the US market. (My philosophy - drink more coffee and start all over again. The boulder will continually roll down the hill and we will have to continually push it up again. This is nothing new. Life is work. But if we're wise, we're singing while we push - and we're all pushing together.)
who is STILL hanging in there, even though her first hardcover is being released the same week as the biggest stock market crash since the Great Depression. Sigh.
Thank you for the tea...
Cleo's reply: You are very welcome, obscure one.
what is your inspiration
what gave you the idea to name your series Coffeehouse mysteries...
Cleo's reply: Hey there! Interesting question. If you click back to the Home Page and scroll down, you'll see my feature article (Posted 9/15/08) about a great coffee bar in New York called Joe, the Art of Coffee. That should help you understand...
Warmest java wishes,
Taking the girls to the
I pre-ordered The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (since it was paperback, I felt obliged to spend some more money on some more books). And speaking of books, I sell my read (and re-read) books to the local used book store so I can buy, yes, more books. I take my daughter and granddaughters (ages 3 3/4 and 2 1/2) with me and the oldest granddaughter, Nattie, calls it the "library". She loves to go pick out new books and let Meemaw (yours truly) buy them for her. It works better this way since we are in the process of teaching the girls to handle books with love and not crinkle or tear the pages and they still have lapses in handling technique. But they love being read to at bedtime every night and love having their own books.
BTW, Cleo, my daughter and I agree that one of the smells that makes us the absolute happiest is the smell of large amounts of books together, whether it's a real library or a bookstore, the smell makes us want to curl up with a book, cup of coffee, and just purr our way through a new adventure.
Cleo's reply: What a wonderful post! Thank you, "Meemaw"! You made my day!
Java joy to you, your daughter, and your adorable granddaughters! Thanks for posting. I hope you'll come back again to my "virtual" Village Blend...
Here is a "virtual" plate of delicious cannoli for you to share with your family, in thanks for dropping by.
Different Brews, Different Tastes
Being the ADHD person I have already admitted to being, it probably is no surprise that I go through coffee carafes like they were ->supposed<- to be disposable. Last week, yet again, I went searching for a replacement pot for my fave coffee brewer, my Melitta Mill and Brew. Only available on the web, I couldn't live that long without my "aroma-alarm-clock" and bought a Cuisinart Grind and Brew locally instead of a replacement carafe for which I would have to wait. The difference in my morning wake-up-cup was alarming. Same beans, same twice-filtered water, not the same taste. Gone was the 'edge,' or 'tang.' Maybe the difference is in the paper cone filter rather than the permanent filter? Maybe it is the fact that Cuisinart sends only a portion of the water into the grounds while sending the majority of the heated water in to the pot. . .Either way, next month I am sending twenty bucks over the 'Net to replace my carafe. Maybe I should buy two. The Mill and Brew were as close to my French Press (which I also broke)as I have ever come. Really, I don't always whine.
e-PS Caffeine is like ritalin, a stimulant, which is why it works to focus an ADHD, or ADD brain. (Thanks for Nessie in my cup o'joe. Oh, look a monkey! snicker. snicker. I had a dog named "Chessie." You do get the idea. It's like having a brain that constantly free-associates. We can be creative. Ask anyone who has ever seen me write code. No spaghetti.)
Ha! (Could write more, but really why? - Ha! says it all!)
No kidding - coffee is SERIOUS stuff. When you're used to a routine of brewing - and it gets mucked up - than it's an ISSUE! For sure, I feel your pain.
So what code do you write? Computer, right? You're not working for the CIA, are you? (That's the central intelligent agency - not the culinary institute of america - people often make that mistake. They call for a pastry chef and get an undercover operative.)
Drinking Coffee Now
I am 52 yrs. old and ever since I started to read the coffee house mysteries out of a need to know, I drank a cup of cappuccino, from Folgers true enough and I now drink a couple of cups a day. We do not have a proper coffee house in Arcadia, but boy does it sound like a place to read your books and try some other types of coffee.
Hi, Sandra! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your post, and I do hope you see my reply!
THANK YOU for letting me know that you are not only enjoying the Coffeehouse Mystery tales but that you are feeling right at home in Clare's fictional Village Blend. Are you in Arcadia, Nebraska? Or Arcadia, California? (Are there more than 2 Arcadias?)
Per your Folgers - considering you don't have a proper coffee house in your area, I'd say you're doing just fine! To each his own - or as "geekette" put it - "Different Brews, Different Tastes" - and that's what makes our world interesting, don't you think?!
Warmest wishes to you, Sandra. Come on back to my "virtual" Village Blend and post anytime. Here's a special slice of New York cheesecake just for you.
Passing the time with Coffee and Chocolates mmm literature is yum!
Sent you an email with a cute coffee comic I found earlier today, but thought I'd send a proper note. I've been away from school 4 straight days now :-( because I got Bronchitis. It's so bad that when I open my mouth to speak now only a small squeak or fog horn sound comes out lol. What a tragedy that is as I'm an avid talker arrrgh. To bad there isn't a coffee cure for that.
Since I'm stuck at home I've been re reading your books and Joanna Carl's as well. Nothing like mixing Coffee and Chocolate right? lol, I take the books to school too and read them during my break time and on the bus there and back. Well gotta be going to bed I have to go to school for a few minutes tomorrow so I can get the work I missed to catch up on at home. Oh ya and I couldn't take the 5 am wake up calls so switched my schedule so class starts at 1 in the afternoon for me lol.
Your Canadian Girlfriend stuck mute and mochaless (is that even a word?) lol...
Cleo's reply: Coffee and Chocolate absolutely go together! Could not agree more!
Is the decaf coffee plant purely fiction in Decaffeinated Corpse?
Cleo's reply: Hi, Jenna. Thanks for stopping by. Great question.
The idea of a coffee tree that can grow decaffeinated beans was science fiction when I began writing Decaffeinated Corpse. I knew there were people out there trying to achieve this, but it hadn't yet happened. Then, shortly after Decaffeinated Corpse was published, it did happen!
Click here to read the article from Reuters African Desk - in Aug. 2007 a naturally low-caffeine plant was announced to the public. Now it's no longer science ficiton. It's botanical fact!
So how long will it be until we can drink this naturally low caffeine coffee? It will likely be years, but there's no doubt about it - it's coming. With demand for decaf coffee dramatically up over the last few decades, growers, exporters, and retailers know it's going to be profitable to find a better quality decaf product. And that's why the future looks bright for decaf drinkers!
Decaf java joy to you, Jenna!
Thanks again for stopping by. Come on back anytime to my "virtual" coffeehouse...
And the verdict is....
Okay, I tried the Purple Princess coffee from Honduras. I was anticipating a very fragrant coffee (REAL lavender is my favorite scent in the whole wide world) and was slightly disappointed to smell just coffee. Really nice coffee, but just coffee. Then, as I was moving the bag away from my nose, I caught a fleeting light sweet floral scent. It didn't last long enough for me to identify it as lavendar but it was definitely floral. So, being the generous person that I am (why is my husband laughing??, I took the ENTIRE bag to work and donated it to our special coffee stash (we have a percolator that we pull out just for a select few of us). I told them that it was from Honduras and to let me know what they thought. The concensus was it was good coffee but no floral overtones, undertones, or anytones noted. I think I'll stick to the IRW, which I am NOT sharing with work. I can't wait for Espresso Shot (I need to hide it from my daughter or she'll "borrow" it before I get to read it) so in the meantime I guess I'll read "Ethical Dilemmas and Nursing Practice". It's a real page turner...sigh.
Cleo's reply: As Tucker might put it: "People, people, people! If you are spending money on premo beans, you should probably not be percolating them!" Okay, I have to agree. An office percolator is probably not the best way to bring out and judge the subtle flavor notes of a unique bean. (In fact - I could almost see Chef Gordon Ramsey throwing knives about now.)
But, listen, before you accuse me of being a total coffee snob, remember: "To each his own" is a phrase made for cuisine. Of course, everyone has different preferences, palates, and tastes - some coffee drinkers love light roasts. Others love dark. Some say paying $13 bucks instead of $6 for a pound of premium coffee is a waste of good money. (Just think of all the lottery tickets, cigarettes, junk food and beer you can purchase with that extra 6 bucks!) Some complain espresso is European mud. Others can't get through a day without a double shot.
As for my lovely Purple Princess (my April '08 Coffee Pick) - I love it! Last winter and spring, when I was test sampling Purple Princess and writing about it, I defintely dectected the "purple" notes that led Counter Culture director of coffee Peter Giuliano to nickname the bean. (Earlier this year, Peter was named 2nd VP of the SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Check him out hugging a coffee tree!)
Funny how the palate works. My husband actually has a better palate than I, and he's often detecting things I can barely taste. Or it could simply be that this year's Purple Princess crop is not as heavy with the lavender, grape, plum notes and floral is the note that remains (still remarkable in a coffee that's not grown in Africa). On the other hand, some palates are more sensitive than others (just ask Chef Ramsey!) and flavor notes in coffee can be stronger or weaker depending on the crop. (But, no kidding, method can really effect flavor notes in coffee...not to mention an office maker that is not kept in top order.)
It's certainly a wide, wide world of java. And there's lots to like, dislike, and explore. www.CoffeeGeek.com is just one place you can find myriad opinions on all things coffee. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts, Judy. I'm sorry you were disappointed in the PP. But I'm very glad you liked the "IRW" - (Idido Royal Washed) from the region of Yirgacheffe, Ethiopian (My January '08 Coffee Pick) from Counter Culture! All was not lost! And thanks sincerely for ordering Espresso Shot! I know how much IRW ("Yirg") you could have bought for the price of my book, and I appreciate it. Now, of course, I'm going to sweat whether the saga of Matt's wedding gives you as much pleasure!
Your books go great with a double espresso!
I love reading your books with my double espresso every day, homemade from an ancient Italian stovetop maker. I also want to share about a great small roaster in Newport Beach, CA. I discovered Alta Roasting Co. just before discovering your Coffeehouse Mysteries. Now the two together makes me enjoy my evenings after a long day at school with my students.
Thank you, Cleo!!!
Cleo's reply: Awesome to hear from a teacher - let alone a coffee-drinking teacher who digs my little books. You made my night! Thank you so much for posting and also for telling me about Alta.
( If anyone would like to learn more about Alta Roasting Co. in Newport Beach, CA, click here! )
And for anyone who is wondering what a "stovetop" espresso maker is: Here's a picture. These come in various sizes. It's a handy little poor-man's espresso maker. The old-school Italians used them when I was growing up - and, like Clare (and you!), I have one, too. CLICK HERE to learn more about stovetop espressos (aka Moka pots).
Java joy to you, "Teach," and thank you so much for posting!
I was at home that morning and my husband called me from work and told me to turn on the news. All I could think was "how many people were there?". I had to work that night and several of the nurses said they had volunteered to go to NYC and help with the victims but had been told to wait. I was listening to the news off and on as I went in and out of patient rooms and heard the statement that NYC was looking for sources of body bags.
That news told me that there were few if any survivors from the Towers. When I heard that the call for body bags had been stepped way down, I realized that few if any of the bodies were intact and my heart broke for the grief I knew the families of those victims were experiencing.
To lose someone you love is heartbreaking enough, but to know that you can't bury that person leaves that loss an open wound. Cleo, my deepest sympathies to you and your fellow New Yorkers and the families and friends of all those priceless people that died in the Towers.
Cleo's reply: Thank you, Judy, for your heartfelt post. The details of that day will (I have no doubt) remain with us all for the rest of our lives.
Geekette loves reading Cleo's books with a cup o' joe...
I love reading your books with a cup o'joe, but I keep falling asleep. (I have ADHD and a cup o'joe is better than prescription drugs for me.) This does, however, make the books last longer and the wait for the next book isn't so awful. Write faster, please. --grin-- Oh, OK, well-written books are better than faster books, but I wanna have more books! --whine--whine--whine! BTW, are you sure Joy isn't mildly ADHD? She sure sounds like me when I was her age. I have a pre-teen granddaughter that I think of as a younger "Joy" so I am looking forward to her avatar.
Cleo's reply: First of all, I love your geekette signature. (Geeks of the world unite! Thank you.)
I'm pretty sure my husband is also ADHD. He went through the public school system before that sort of diagnosis was made, but I'm often having a "normal" conversation with him (say, about the Loch Ness Monster) and then his brain rockets off in five different directions, and I say, "HEY! We were talking about Nessie!" (Look at the monkey! Look at the monkey!)
So anyway it could be ADHD, or...(umm) you don't suppose it's the excessive amount of caffeine we consume, do ya?...
ANYWAY! I'm glad you're looking forward to seeing the Joy avatar (for newbies my Village Blend Staff Page has avatars of the Coffeehouse Mystery characters and Joy is one). I hope to get Joy added soon (maybe even next month if all goes well with the outline I'm now writing for the 8th Coffeehouse Mystery - more on that in the coming months, too!)
(a geek-girl 2)
Manatee Coffee Company & Medaglia D'oro brownie
Manatee Coffee was doing a sampling at Costco recently. Fairly good. http://www.manateecoffee.com/ "A coffee with a cause." Available at Costco throughout Florida and on the web. Not as good as my fave, Medaglia D' Oro, a twice-roasted Italian-style espresso that has been around longer than I have. Medaglia D'Oro is roasted at Rowland Coffee Roasters' Miami facility. They have recipes on their website. http://www.medagliadoro.com/ The espresso brownies are truly yummy! That's the coffee / chocolate combo I curl up with when I read Coffee House and Haunted Bookshop novels.
Cleo's reply: Cheers for the Coffee Talk! Your links are activated for anyone who would like to check out Manattee Coffee and Medaglia D'oro.
Here's a virtual espresso brownie for your virtual enjoyment. (You're right, the espresso brownie recipe looks delish.)
CLICK HERE for the espresso brownie recipe from Medaglia D'Oro's site. (The yummy picture is their recipe! Click on pic to check it out! ⇒)
Chocolate-coffee joy to you!