Coffee Options for Busy People: Our 3 Favorites

Caffeine is, to put it lightly, an essential part of our lives at Broomfield and Kingswood. It keeps us awake, helps us focus, and gives us the energy we need to put out detailed product reviews for you — our readers.

While we like to drink in cafes whenever possible, sometimes it’s easier (not to mention much cheaper) to prepare a cup of coffee at home. The only problem is that most coffee brewing methods that up a lot of time, both for brewing and cleanup — time that many people just don’t have.

Enter quick, simple coffee options. No, we aren’t talking about instant coffee. Instead, we’re talking about quick and simple coffee making systems that prepare a cup of coffee in a few seconds, all without the usual cleanup.

These coffee makers have their downsides. Most use capsules, meaning they aren’t great for the environment. They’re also expensive, with the average cost per serving at about 50 cents, much higher than the cost of making coffee from fresh beans.

Still, for most of us, the downsides are worth it for a fresh cup of coffee and plenty of caffeine in a fraction of the time that’s usually required to prepare a cup of coffee from scratch. We’ve listed our three favorite machines below, as well as some recommendations for the best coffee to buy along with yours:

The Nespresso Inissia

The Nespresso Inissia is a small espresso maker that uses the Nespresso capsule system. (Ed note: If you’re unfamiliar with Nespresso, you can view a guide to the best Nespresso capsules here.)

Priced at just $100, this is one of the most affordable espresso machines on the market. We’ve heard that the reason it’s so cheap is because Nestle makes most of its money on the capsules, which cost around 50 to 80 cents per serving from websites like Amazon.

The Inissia has a 19 bar high pressure pump. For the non-technical coffee enthusiasts reading this, that means it’s powerful enough to make a very rich, tasty cup of espresso. Since there’s no milk frother, you’ll need to use a French press or buy a separate milk frother if you want to make lattes or cappuccinos.

For us raw espresso enthusiasts, it’s not a problem. At $100, this is a great espresso machine that makes good coffee at a reasonable cost in very little time.

Keurig K55

Another single serving coffee brewer, the Keurig K55 uses the K-Cup system to brew coffee. This machine costs about the same amount as the Inissia but is designed to brew coffee in a different size. Instead of the 40mL espresso the Inissia makes, this machine brews Americano-style coffee in a six, eight or 10 ounce cup.

If you prefer a long coffee to a short espresso, you’ll like the K55. For our taste, the Inissia is just a better option overall. However, this is a good quality machine that’s perfect if you like to prepare a long Americano before you head off for work in the morning.

DeLonghi Genio

At $130, the DeLonghi Genio is priced similarly to the Keurig K55 and Nespresso Inissia. This machine uses the Nescafe Dolce Gusto system, which is similar to Nespresso but aimed more at casual coffee drinkers than enthusiasts.

Instead of the 20+ variations of espresso that you get with Nespresso, the Dolce Gusto system gives you a variety of different coffee options, from Americano-style lungo to short espresso and ristretto shots. It’s also capable of brewing milk-based coffee like lattes and cappuccinos.

While the quality isn’t quite as high as what you’d get from a Nespresso machine, the Genio (and the Dolce Gusto system as a whole) makes up for it by being slightly cheaper. Expect to pay about 50 cents per capsule for this machine, making it arguably the cheapest option on a caffeine per cents basis on our list.


Four hotels and style, a full guide for men

There’s nothing more fun than packing your bags for long holiday. One of my favorite parts of packing is choosing the right outfits to match my destination, its aesthetic, and the weather. Below, we have put together a list of four of our favorite hotels and recommended simple but stylish outfit to pack for your trip so that you blend in perfectly, all while standing out just the right amount.

Rome: Hotel Manfredi Suite

Recommendations: lightweight cotton, linen, loafers.

This hotel is a historic boutique hotel located inside a beautiful heritage building in Rome. With its bold colors and beautiful decorating, there’s not a better match for this hotel then a classic pair of Italian loafers and a leather weekender bag.

Our recommendation is to keep your colors nice and simple. Stick with a light blue or white cotton spirt for spring or autumn, or a linen shirt during summer to avoid the sticky, humid temperature. In winter, add a classic Burberry coat, as Rome can get surprisingly cool from December until February.

Pattaya: Hilton Hotel

Recommendations: White cotton T-shirt, shorts, sport shoes.

Pattaya is the classic tropical holiday destination in Thailand, and there’s no better place to stay then the Hilton Hotel. Overlooking the bay, the Hilton has a beautiful view of the city and a variety of nice suites and rooms. Voted one of Thailand’s Top Hotels in 2011, the Hilton is priced fairly high but has great facilities and dining, making it worth the extra cost.

Our recommendation for clothing is to keep it nice and simple. The weather here is famously humid all year, so pack some lightweight summer clothing. A simple T-shirt is perfect for wearing during the day, and a comfortable pair of running shoes will be perfect for the bumpy roads in Thailand. Make sure to pack a comfortable swimsuit for the beach. This is the easiest destination from a style and clothing perspective, because there’s little in the way of competition.

Singapore: Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Recommendation: cotton button-down shirt, slacks, Oxford.

One of Singapore is nicest hotels and casinos, Marina Bay Sands is located close to the Pacific ocean and offer some of the best gaming and luxury hotel living in Asia. The dress code here isn’t all that strict, older you get the best treatment by dressing up and standing out in a good way.

Dress in Singapore is overall quite conservative and business oriented, so a casual look can help you stand out from the crowd. Our recommendation is a comfortable white or blue button-down shirt with slacks and a pair of oxfords. You will be dressed better than most of the guests without drawing too much attention to yourself.

Tokyo, Japan: New Otani Hotel

Recommendation: blue or gray suit, brown or black shoes, tie.

One of the most popular five star hotels in Tokyo, the New Otani is famous for its beautiful garden and location close to the center of the city. Like most luxury hotels in Tokyo, prices here on the high side and rooms are quite small but the hotel’ great facilities make up for it.

The best feature here is the beautiful traditional Japanese garden in the courtyard of the hotel. Pack a suit for here as the local Japanese dress sense is very conservative. Anyway, you will need it to dine in the revolving restaurant on the top floor.

Belts 101: Color, Size and Style Rules

There’s a saying in the men’s style world, that “accessories can make or break any outfit.”

You can have the perfect dress shirt and the perfectly tailored pair of trousers, but if your belt isn’t totally on point, it can ruin the whole thing. Likewise, an ill-fitting pair of shoes can ruin even the sleekest tailored suit or casual outfit.

Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most important accessories in any male outfit: your belt.

Belts come in a variety of shapes, materials and sizes, and learning which belt goes with which type of clothing will help you create casual and formal outfits that flow nicely and look great in any setting.

Let’s start with the size of your belt, and how this influences which type of outfit it will look good with:

Belt size and clothing

Belts come in a variety of different sizes, determined by the length and width of the belt. The length is a fit-related measurement — for a belt to fit well, it needs to fit comfortably around your waist. As a general rule, it’s best to choose a belt that’s about two inches larger than your waist size for a comfortable fit. Since no one can see the length of your belt, this measurement isn’t style-related and doesn’t have any influence on the type of outfit the belt can be worn with.

The width measurement, on the other hand, plays an important role in determining when you should and shouldn’t wear the belt.

As a general rule, thinner belts are more formal and wider belts are more casual:

  • A dress belt, which you should wear with business casual or formal clothes, will measure between one and one-and-a-half inches in width.
  • A casual belt, or jeans belt, will measure one-and-a-half inches or more. In millimeters, this equals a measurement of 38 or wider.

If you mostly dress in casual clothing, and particularly jeans, you’ll get the most versatility from a wider belt. If you need a belt for wearing at the office or to formal events, choose a thinner and more formal looking belt.

Belt color and clothing

Choosing the right color for your belt is simple: match it with your shoes. Your belt color should always be the same as your shoes. If you wear black leather shoes, choose a black leather belt; if you wear brown leather shoes, choose a brown leather belt.

This rule also applies to belt and shoes materials. If you wear brown suede shoes, pair them with a brown suede belt; if you wear tan suede shoes, pair them with a tan suede belt. Always try to pair suede with suede and leather with leather, especially if your belt is visible because your shirt is tucked in. People will notice the consistency.

Belt buckle sizes

Belt buckles come in a variety of sizes. Like the width of your belt, the smaller your buckle is, the more formal the belt is. For the most part, you won’t need to think about this much, since dress belts almost always have a smaller, thinner buckle than jeans belts. Just be aware that formal outfits call for a smaller buckle than jeans and a t-shirt.

Ready to choose?

It’s good to have at least two or three belts — one for every possible combination of clothing and shoes. Since belts are fairly inexpensive, building a large collection isn’t a very expensive process, meaning almost anyone can put together a good collection of belt and shoes combinations over time.

How to Wear a Dress Shirt Properly: 7 Tips

A great dress shirt is arguably the most versatile piece of clothing any man can own. It can be worn under a suit jacket or sports coat, on its own as a business casual summer shirt, or with the sleeves rolled up as casual wear.

Below, we’ve listed seven tips to help you get the most from your dress shirt, from preparation tips to the best fabrics and wear ideas:

  1. Iron your dress shirt properly. Dress shirts look best when they’re properly ironed, with creases in the right places as opposed to the wrong ones. Ironing your dress shirt will help emphasize your physique and let you avoid looking poorly groomed. This video covers how to iron a dress shirt to avoid unwanted wrinkles and maintain a great silhouette.
  2. Pick a fabric that suits your climate. Not all dress shirt fabrics feel the same. Linen dress shirts breathe well and suit warm, humid climates, while cotton dress shirts work the best for all-purpose temperate areas with distinct seasons.
  3. Make sure your collar fits. You should be able to fit two fingers into your dress shirt’s collar when it’s fully buttoned up. Any tighter and it will pull on your neck when you turn your head; any looser and it will hang off your neck and shoulders. The Art of Manliness has a good guide to choosing a dress shirt that fits.
  4. Get your shirt’s sleeves tailored. Your shirt’s sleeves should hang just below your wrist with your arms by your sides. If they extend onto your hand, they’re too long. If they pull too far up your forearm when you hold your arms out horizontally, they’re too short.
  5. If you don’t like to iron, choose a mixed man-made/cotton fabric. While men’s fashion gurus might not like synthetic fibers, they do make it far easier to maintain your dress shirt. If you don’t like to iron your shirts thoroughly every time you wear them, choose a mixed cotton and man-made fiber fabric.
  6. Get white first, then blue, then other colors. Stick with a white dress shirt for your first, then go for light blue. These two colors are the most versatile and work well in any situation. Other colors might look great, but they just aren’t versatile with as many outfits. Stripes and other patterns should come after you have the first two solid color shirts.
  7. Wear undershirts sparingly. If your dress shirt is made of a very thin cotton or linen, there’s a chance that your nipples could show through it in certain lighting. This is more common with white and light blue dress shirts than with other colors. There are two ways to fix this. The first is to wear a very light, fitted tank top. The second is (seriously) to use nipple concealers like these. Both will prevent anything unwanted from showing through your shirt.


Brand Showcase: Allen Edmonds

Is any American shoemaker as iconic as Allen Edmonds? Famous for their stylish dress shoes, Allen Edmonds is an American institution. They’ve been worn by movie stars, presidents and tycoons of all background — and today, they remain one of the most popular high-end shoe brands in the United States.

Based in Port Washington, Wisconsin, Allen Edmonds started out producing shoes for the US Navy and Army during World War II. The soldiers who worn Allen Edmonds shoes and boots during the war became loyal to the brand and ordered Allen Edmonds gear once they returned home, often for the rest of their lives.

Today, almost all shoes are produced outside the USA. Allen Edmonds bucks this trend by producing the vast majority of its shoes in the United States. Its role as an employer in what has historically been viewed as a dying industry has made the brand a favorite of presidents and other politicians.

Allen Edmonds is best known for their dress shoes, such as the Strand and Fifth Avenue. Massively popular with white collar workers, Allen Edmonds shoes are easy to spot in the halls and offices of banks, Fortune 500 companies and businesses around not just the United States, but the entire world.

As well as their dress shoes, Allen Edmonds also produces a range of loafers and several stylish men’s boots. The Dalton dress boot is a favorite today, with a popular following due to its classic styling and quality workmanship.

It’s this workmanship that has set Allen Edmonds apart for so many years. Unlike many other shoe manufacturers, who use glue to hold the insole and outsoles of their shoes together, Allen Edmonds sticks with the same Goodyear welting that made the brand famous so many years ago.

Mid-priced and exceptionally well made, Allen Edmonds shoes are ideal for people that value quality and style equally. With classic designs and a manufacturing process that makes them easy to repair and resole, a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes can last you for several decades if well cared for.