Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finally, a coffee shop for Transformers AND humans!

Aside from tasting good, people love coffee for one reason: caffeine

Providing chemicals for the brain to work faster and increase alertness, coffee has become the everyday wonder cure for those that feel sleep-deprived, sluggish, or just in need of a quick energy boost. 

In this regard, coffee shops are almost like gas stations for the brain; it is the best place to go in order to choose the perfect fuel for your body.  
(Picture at left from Twitterer/patron @graisinbrand.)

In addition to powering up your person, Saxbys Coffee at Rittenhouse offers a little something extra too-- while giving the human brain a caffeinated charge, you are also welcome to "power up" any electrical device you might have with you. 

Attached to the underside of most tables in the shop is a discreet power-strip. This provides the electric juice needed for the table-side iPad, but also provides the perfect place for you to quickly charge your phone, laptop, camera, or any other device that needs more power.

So-- in answer to the obvious unspoken question here: YES! Saxbys Coffee at Rittenhouse is totally the coffee shop where both humans and Transformers could come hang-out, and both enjoy a nice daily powering-up.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Too many coffee options to choose from?

Menus that are chock-full of delicious-sounding items are a great thing, and yet... a good menu can sometimes make life more complicated sheerly because too many possibly satisfying options can make it difficult to settle on just one.

When it's time to order: it's one thing when you're seated at a restaurant, and have the option of telling the server that you need a few more minutes-- and quite an entirely different situation when you're standing in-line, with people waiting behind you, and the person behind the register is looking expectantly at you for an immediate order. (I.e. At Saxbys.)

With over 30 Saxbys specialty drinks to choose from-- amongst them; Almond Joy, Banana Split, Milky Way, Chocolate Monkey, Snickerdoodle, and Kookie Monster, just to name a few, and each sounding delicious-- game-time coffee orders can be tough. 

In order to give you a little advantage, our full menu is now online so that you can peruse beforehand and have an idea of what you might like without feeling the full-blown performance anxiety of having to choose asap off a huge menu. (This goes for our coffee drinks as well as our sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and FroYo options.) 

If you check out the menu and still find yourself in an ordering quandary, feel free to ask anyone on staff for their recommendation/opinion; if there's one thing all Saxbys employees love-- its talking about Saxbys coffee and food. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A "to-go" mug fit for a Saxbys Princess

Just like a magpie, upon entering the Saxbys Coffee at Rittenhouse over the weekend, my eyes instantly honed in on something shiny sitting atop the coffee fixins' bar... Amidst the sugar packets, napkins, and mixers, a rhinestone encrusted Saxbys Coffee mug sat gleaming, with the light bouncing enticingly off each of the faceted stones. 

In actuality-- there are many logical reasons that facilitate buying a "to-go" coffee mug, but if I'm being honest-- my choice was ultimately made so that I could have something pretty to hold (and drink from). 

For $14.99, the "Tiffany Tumbler" offers an insulated, bejeweled way to safely carry your hot (or cold) drink anywhere you go. This purchase is as aesthetically pleasing as it is "green;" not only do you cut down on waste (nothing to throw-out when you're done) but you also save money-- every refill of Hot or Iced drip coffee is only 50-cents! 

(And don't worry-- there are plainer "to-go" options for those less rhinestone-enthused than myself, and any Saxbys Coffee "to-go" mug can take advantage of the 50-cent refill special.)  

With the Philadelphia heat threatening to unleash itself on us any day now, I am happy for the cute accessory that can currently* double as an Iced coffee canteen.

*Come Autumn, Iced coffee will be swapped back out for Hot drinks.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Even more reasons why coffee is awesome: now found to prevent prostate cancer

Right on the heels of the news that coffee might help prevent the risk of breast cancer, there is now positive cancer information (if there is such a thing?) regarding coffee, for men too!

This ground-breaking news was recently published in the Harvard Gazette:
Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. The lower risk was evident among men who drank regular or decaffeinated coffee. The study was published May 17 in an online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“Few studies have specifically studied the association of coffee intake and the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most critical to prevent. Our study is the largest to date to examine whether coffee could lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer,” said senior author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH.

Lethal prostate cancer is cancer that causes death or spreads to the bones. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, affecting one in six men during their lifetime. More than 2 million men in the United States and 16 million men worldwide are prostate cancer survivors.

“At present we lack an understanding of risk factors that can be changed or controlled to lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer. If our findings are validated, coffee could represent one modifiable factor that may lower the risk of developing the most harmful form of prostate cancer,” said lead author Kathryn Wilson, a research fellow in epidemiology at HSPH.

The researchers chose to study coffee because it contains many beneficial compounds that act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and regulate insulin, all of which may influence prostate cancer. Coffee has been associated in prior studies with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstone disease, and liver cancer.

The study examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer, particularly the risk for aggressive prostate cancer, among 47,911 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who reported their coffee consumption every four years from 1986 to 2008. During the study period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal or metastatic cases.

Among the findings:
  • Men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily) had nearly a 20 percent lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer.
  • The inverse association with coffee was even stronger for aggressive prostate cancer. Men who drank the most coffee had a 60 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.
  • The reduction in risk was seen whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, and does not appear to be due to caffeine.
  • Drinking one to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of lethal prostate cancer.
Coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise, behaviors that may increase advanced prostate cancer risk. These and other lifestyle factors were controlled for in the study.

The results need to be validated in additional populations that have a range of coffee exposure and a large number of lethal prostate cancer cases. If confirmed, the data would add to the list of other potential health benefits of coffee. The authors are planning additional studies to understand specific mechanisms by which coffee may lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer.

Other HSPH researchers who participated in the study: Edward Giovannucci and Meir Stampfer, professors of nutrition and epidemiology; Julie L. Kasperzyk, postdoctoral research fellow; Stacey Kenfield, research associate; Jennifer Stark, research fellow; and Rob van Dam, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition.

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kit Kat's [coffee] break...

Kit Kat's famous "give me a break" slogan can now apply to more than just the candy-bar...


By combining Vanilla, Chocolate, and a little bit of Cinnamon coffee flavors together, a delicious drink is formed that tastes as if you were drinking a caffeinated version of the classic candy. (And really, what could be better-- trade the afternoon-slump that accompanies the digestion of sugary products for the coffee version of your favorite treat that allows you stay awake and alert!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Can coffee prevent breast cancer?

New research shows that women who drink coffee could be protecting themselves against an especially aggressive form of breast cancer.
Oestrogen-receptor negative is a tricky type of breast cancer where tumors do not react to the most commonly used drugs, leaving chemotherapy as the only treatment option.

A study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden has recently discovered that women who regularly drink coffee have a lower occurrence rate of this type of breast cancer, than those women who do not drink coffee.

 In the study, 6,000 menopausal women were analyzed. The women who drank five or more cups a day had a 57% reduced risk of breast cancer compared with those who drank less than one cup a day.
The scientists concluded in the journal of Breast Cancer Research that "A high daily intake of coffee was found to be associated with a statistically significant decrease in oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer among post-menopausal women."

When pressed for information, the Karolinska Institute experts said they suspected coffee contained compounds that affected different types of breast cancer in different ways. It is possible that the drink fuels oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancers but reduces the risk of oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer, they said.

Although findings are not completely understood as of yet, this does match other findings where coffee has shown to reduce the risk of other types of cancer too, such as prostate and liver cancers.

Rittenhouse's new coffee + communication hub

For some reason, coffee shops have always been hubs of communication. I suppose just like peanut butter and jelly, caffeine and news are an exceptionally complementary pair that withstand the test of time...
Whereas in the past it was standard for the local coffee house to offer local gossip and illicit materials hot off the press, as the years passed and technology changed, public telephones and newspapers became the de rigueur cafe communication fare. 

These days, "Internet Cafes" are raising the communication bar even further by offering free Internet and computer use alongside coffee selections, so that the entire world is now accessible from within the confines of the closest coffee shop. 

These "cybercafes" are currently very popular in Europe, and can be found in any mid to large sized European city. The recent opening of Saxbys Coffee at Rittenhouse has allowed a little of that European coffee house flair to enter our own center city community. 

Located right on the corner of 20th & Walnut, there are a slew of easy ways to stay tastefully connected. The iPads attached to each table offer immediate and easy access to the internet, and the docking stations underneath the tables allow for a quick recharge of whatever electronic device you're carrying. The computer nook offers iMacs and PCs for free usage, and the coffee shop's free WiFi allows for work to be done even at the outdoor tables. 

With the caffeine and the communication possibilities available here, this is truly the place for Rittenhouse to start it's day with a jolt.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Showcasing Philly talent: ChrissyK Photography

Saxbys Coffee Rittenhouse is proud to support local Philadelphia artistic talent, and this black-and-white photo of the Philadelphia Art Museum (by Philly freelance photographer ChrissyK) that hangs immediately in the entrance is a great example... 

Sadly though, this snapshot of a snapshot was ruined by two things. 

One-- the glare from the windows facing opposite, and two-- the ineptitude of the photographer (me-- not her!) when it came to selecting the proper camera settings... 

However, despite the hour of day and a tricky camera, photographer ChrissyK happily had the foresight to post a perfectly crisp and clear representation of the shot on her website:

A high-school guidance counselor by day, with a burning passion for photography in her free time, ChrissyK believes that every picture tells a story... and she loves to bring life to as many "stories" as possible. 

To contact ChrissyK, you can reach her at 267.702.3010, or

To contact Saxbys Coffee Rittenhouse about showcasing art (there are still some empty walls!), please contact us at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Welcome Gift: $20 to Saxbys Rittenhouse, for FREE!

It has officially been one full week since our VIP Grand Opening, and a stop to the shop today showed tables full of patrons sipping coffee, talking, and typing away furiously. (On this rainy day, when outdoor seating wasn't an option-- there was barely even room for us to sit down!) 

This frenzy of Saxbys Coffee Rittenhouse activity has made us giddy with excitement, and to show our appreciation-- and entice you to come check out the place immediately-- we are offering a deal you just cannot resist. 

Through this upcoming weekend*, buy a 10$ Saxbys Go Card (our version of a gift card) and get a 10$ Saxbys Coupon. Yes... when you do the math, it's a little crazy (we're talking 20$ worth of coffee--or froyo, salads, sandwiches, etc., for FREE), but we love our new digs, and we want you to come check us out, and love us too. 

Stop by-- we're right on the corner of Walnut & 20th, and we can't wait to see you. (Hopefully, once armed with the 20$ seeing you will be a repeated thing.)

*Offer good until 5/9/11

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Preparing for the Rittenhouse Grand Opening!

After the months and months and months of planning, organizing, and doing, the OFFICIAL grand opening of Saxbys Coffee Rittenhouse is finally here! 

The Grand Opening that everyone is invited to, will take place all day tomorrow (Thursday, April 28th starting at 6am) and a sneak peek for VIP friends and family is occurring tonight (Wednesday, April 27th). 

A quick visit to the shop yesterday-- the day before the VIP festivities-- showed that as expected, a whole latte of changes had taken place in only one week's time...

 Lo and behold... tiled floors complete with inlaid hard-wood, a completed coffee bar, and tables and chairs? 

I think we've got ourselves a coffee shop! 

With a computer nook...
 Flat screen TVs have been mounted onto the walls, the laptops and printers are set-up... now the place is just in need of the final 
technological finishing touches (such as the table-mounted iPads).

 The 2011 business version of French windows have all been installed, 
easily opening up to let in all the beautiful 
Rittenhouse outdoor air, sun, and sights. 
Although everything on the inside has been falling into place, complications have kept the new Saxbys signage from being installed. 

Will the glorious new Saxbys Coffee signs be in place for the opening...? 
Only one way to find out. :) 

FYI: Some fun facts about our Grand Opening
  • 5% of all proceeds on the opening week will go to benefit our local chapter of Big Brother Big Sister.
  • We are currently looking for local artists to display their art (photography, pictures, etc.) 
  • There are still some barista positions available :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We've come a long way, baby

An exotic grocer previously stood on the corner of Walnut and 20th, and upon my first visit to the future Rittenhouse Saxbys Coffee, this is what I saw....

The store-front of Saxbys Coffee Rittenhouse (to begin with).
 The soon-to-be main sitting area. 
(Note the unfinished everything; floor, walls, ceiling..!)
 An old pink bathroom stood square in the middle of the future coffee bar. 
(This is the far back of the main dining area.)
This hall-way (under construction) that will lead to the new rest-rooms.

The exposed beams, blue-prints and hard-hat wearing construction crew made it clear that a "latte" of work was going to be taking place before the Saxbys Coffee Rittenhouse that I'd heard the owners talk so excitedly about --resplendent with iPads, computer stations, shiny hard-wood floors and big french doors that opened onto the outdoors-- was going to be a reality.

Every week after that first visit, I dutifully stopped by to photograph the progress, and at the time-- it was sometimes hard to appreciate the changes that were taking place. (After a weeks time, it's easy to forget that the white walls in front of you were previously metal bars, and that the back door that looks like it's always been there... wasn't.)

Due to a soft-spot for home make-over shows, I was expecting massive changes to take place immediately. 
Instead, there was this:

 A vestibule being built around the front-entrance...
And the beginnings of the main coffee bar against the far end of the main sitting area. (At the time of this picture taking, it didn't even register that the previous bathroom was gone.)

The following week, there was this:

 There was a flurry of people and activity during this visit, but to my eye-- the biggest change seemed to the newly laid flag-stone flooring laid in the front vestibule...
And most exciting to me-- a "Now hiring" sign hung in the window. 

If it was time to start looking for employees, surely the end had to be in near sight. 

 The appearance of the main sitting area, 
as viewed from inside the front vestibule.
 Main sitting area...
 Directly in front of the future coffee-bar.
 The future behind-the-scenes, kitchen area.
 A glimpse of the coffee bar, from inside the kitchen area.
 Newly constructed doorways, one to the kitchen area, and one to a new restroom.
The front part of the main sitting room, that faces the 
corner of Walnut and 20th.

Upon viewing the seeming chaotic state pictured above, it seemed that construction was one of those processes where things had to get worse before they could get better...
Then, I stopped by last week, and
Finally, I could see all the pieces coming together!
The view to the right, while standing in the front vestibule. 
This is to be the site of the future computer lab area.
 At last! The coffee bar can clearly be seen! The hard-wood floors, although saw-dust covered, look glorious! The walls are painted, and the ceiling is covered! I know you can't see the ceiling clearly in this picture, so you're just going to have to take my word for it. :)
Ta-da! A back-door in a place where no door was before...
The kitchen is beginning to look like a kitchen...
Granite slabs that will soon be counter-tops... 
 ...and the sweetest thing of all? The FroYo machine is here!

It has truly been a long time coming, and with the Grand Opening right around the corner (set in stone: 6am on April 28th, 2011!) I cannot wait to see what the place is going to look like during this week's visit. 

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Want to be smarter in 15 minutes?

Bradley Cooper's latest movie "Limitless" is a fictional story about a pill that improves brain functionality... with mortal consequences. 
Fortunately, a chemical that boosts brain power does exist, with a significantly less cataclysmic after-affect. 
To increase the effectiveness of your brain functionality, all you have to do is drink some caffeine! 
A cup of coffee or tea is all it takes-- studies show that caffeine increases production of the hormone norepinephrine, which acts like adrenaline for your brain. By revving up your central nervous system, the consumption of caffeine improves your attention span and problem solving abilities.
The only peril to avoid with coffee? Make sure to cap yourself at about 2 cups... caffeine induced jitters can ruin that newly achieved focus!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cranking out the beans, and the smells, on-site in Conshohocken

One of the super cool things about Saxbys Coffee (obviously this post is completely unbiased) is that they have their own roasting facility located right in Conshohocken, PA. This is key for the Rittenhouse location, as the beans are roasted per order-- which means unbelievably fresh beans are constantly being transported to our Rittenhouse shop.

Located within the depths of Saxbys Coffee's roasting facilities are huge monstrosities of machines. Humongous and noisy, these things crank out as much aroma as freshly roasted beans. The entire Saxbys premises sits inside an almost palpable cloud of coffee fumes, and barely any signage is needed as a person's nose could deliver them right to the location... and yes, it is heavenly.)

Once the roasting process has been completed within the machine, the beans are poured out into a metal kiddie-pool sized container. Mechanized arms sweep through the beans, while cool air blows in from underneath in order to stop the beans from roasting anymore. The video below shows approximately 5 million pounds of coffee beans during the cooling process. (Ok, so maybe not quite 5 million, but it's definitely a lot of beans!)
Keep your eyes peeled for the quick shot of the coffee beans that are going to be roasted next-- they're literally green! 

If only all machines created delicious smelling emissions...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do you think you know how to make Iced Coffee?

Finally! After a long, lingering winter, at last it is 80 degrees and sunny in our wonderful city of Brotherly Love. 
With the impending warmer weather comes some coffee concern; such as-- it's just not nearly as lovely to imbibe a hot cup of coffee when it's hot outside. 

Ingesting burning hot liquid, although delicious and energizing, only serves to raise your core-temperature... which is pretty much the opposite of what you want to do when it is hot outside.

The most elegant solution? Cold coffee. 
Now, creating tasty, cold coffee is is not quite as easy it seems. In order to give you the best working knowledge on the topic, here is a quick crash course on the science behind creating a delectable Iced Coffee, at home:

How to NOT make Iced Coffee

Some common mistakes:
Pouring hot coffee over ice: This just yields weak, watered-down coffee that isn't very cold.
    Adding sugar after it's cold: Sugar won't dissolve in cold water, so you get occasional sips full of crunchy sugar granules and otherwise unsweetened coffee.

    Adding flavor syrups without adequately mixing:
    By just dumping in some flavored syrup, your first sip will be sickeningly sweet because it's all syrup, then all subsequent sips are bland.  

    How TO make Iced Coffee

    Begin with strong coffee:
    The addition of ice will significantly dilute your final product, so you need to begin with strong coffee to get a good flavor. 

    Add sweetener: While the freshly made coffee is still hot, stir in your preferred amount of sweetener. (Sweeten slightly more than usual, per dilution factor described above.)

    Chill overnight: Do not add ice, just put the entire batch in the fridge to uniformly cool.

    When ready to drink, pour over ice: Serve over a lot of ice, and if you like, you can add some cream. Mix very well.

    Wait... then enjoy: Let the coffee and ice [and cream] sit for a minute to allow the ice to chill the coffee further and melt slightly. Then give it a final stir, and enjoy!

    So you want MORE flavor?
      Unlike sugar, flavored syrups mix just as well in cold liquids as they do in warm liquids. Feel free to experiment with flavored syrups, and add to the above recipe at the same time ice enters the mix. (Flavored syrups can be found in most grocery stores.) 

      Please feel free to let us know how your versions turn out, or share any Iced Coffee tips with us!