Saturday, July 31, 2010


Unproductive week at the office, sadly. Shockingly it's hard to be productive doing work for a web company when your Internet is one hot mess of disconnectivity.

But! Witness the power of Twitter: @ComcastBonnie @replies me when I whine about broken Internet.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

the morning coffee tour

I moved to downtown Palo Alto at the beginning of July and discovered the beauty of a 7 minute walk to work that passes by not one, not two, but THREE coffeeshops. OPTION ONE: Lytton Roasting Company, although I must confess that I have not been adventurous enough to drop in yet. Soon, soon, that day will come. OPTION TWO: Starbucks, which necessarily commands a presence on every thoroughfare in our grand United States. Sugarfree {caramel, hazelnut, vanilla, cinnamon} soy latte, grande, please. In my travel mug, thanks. OPTION THREE: Coupa Cafe, the favorite of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and VCs and other startup groupies on their iPhones and iPads. Nowadays I go for the sugarfree orca spice chai teas at Coupa when my body needs a milder dose of caffeine. Or just when I want something sweet and dessert-like.

Oh, and should I fail to acquire my 16oz of coffee or tea during my tour of downtown Palo Alto, the Quora office has a Keurig coffee machine that is pure genius. Pick a pod of French Vanilla or Cappuccino or Donut Shop Coffee, plop it into the machine, press *brew* and out drips a splendid 6 or 8 or 10 oz cup of coffee in a matter of seconds. We have indeed come a long way since the days of kneeling on the ground in the cramped old office to brew coffee in the dinky little filter coffee machine.

flavia tasting

Some of us here may drink real coffee, but for the rest of us who are too lazy - or fancy ourselves too busy - to ride the 35 floors down the elevator to grab Starbucks, our daily sustenance is Flavia. Flavia, which every analyst quickly comes to know and hate. But it's always available and always free and what good is working hard for the big bucks if you're not willing to subject yourself to watery coffee-from-powder to save every dollar??

Unfortunately, since 2008 happened our office has only stocked four flavors of Flavia in the pantry. I switch off between French Roast 80% of the time (highest caffeine content available) and English Breakfast Decaf the other 20% (can't stand caffeine, can't stand coffee, just want something non-threatening).

I notice that the guys in our office all shy away from Flavia, as if it's not manly enough coffee for them. If I bump into any of them in the pantry, they'll inevitably go for water instead, and then walk up to their desk 15 minutes later with a 16oz coffee from across the street. Or maybe it's just that no one else is stupid enough to drink Flavia.


tracyandhelen Version 2, but no longer zai Beijing vanr! We are now hard at work coding and banking so we can afford the coffee habits which permit us to persist in our gainful occupations. Welcome to our new blog to document these joyful adventures in industry.