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We’re still in the early stages of going back out into the world. There’s no certainty when this will all be over and we are being propelled to the new normal. Some are already back at it while some are still being very vigilant and would prefer working from home.

Well, if they have the means and luxury to make a living in the comforts of their home, why not? In this era of Zoom birthday celebrations, we’ve become more creative in gift-giving. And these ones are perfect for your friends you haven’t seen in a while and are grinding in their home offices during this time.

1. Starbucks Gift Basket

Caffeine is a staple in the office and Starbucks is, well it doesn’t need an introduction. This gift basket holds all the Starbucks essentials like chocolate truffles, cookies, shortbread, and a signature tumbler.

It’s a practical gift that can fuel them for work, gaming, or if they just want to kick back and recharge.

 2. Smart Neck and Shoulder Massager

This is a gift anyone needing some pain relief will love and not just people who work from home. The neck and shoulders are usually the most strained during long hours in front of the screen, so a little massager that they can wear and use during breaks will be a lifesaver.

3. Sok-It Coffee Sleeves

This is for all of the coffee-lovers on your list. Gift them a stylish and functional Sok-It that keeps their iced coffee cold and their hands protected from extreme heat on the go. For cold beverages, JavaSok prevents puddles so you can avoid a mess on your desk. And for hot drinks, HotSok is insulated to prevent you from burning your hands and stays put unlike wasteful cardboard wraps that tend to fall down on the job. Sok-It is reusable coffee sleeves are easily packable, and come in a variety of different colors and patterns. All designed to give you or someone you care about, a better to-go experience. Drinking coffee never looked so good!

4. Exercise Mat

The rise of Youtube at-home workouts urged a lot of people to finally get on the fitness bandwagon. Although it’s seen as a fad, any fad that’s eventually good for you, is always a good thing.

Whether your friend is just starting out or you want them to start out so you can have a workout buddy, this is a nice gift that they can use not only for exercise but also for yoga and stretching as well.

5. Headspace Subscription

Allow their minds to breathe in this guided meditation app. We know how sometimes it can be confusing for the mind to set a boundary between the office and home.

And even if we’ve created a separate workspace, an office inside the house can be an overwhelming change for someone used to going out for work.

So, even if they can’t physically go out. Their minds can momentarily leave the thousand thoughts inside the head and relax.

6. Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard

Some work from a laptop, others in PC, some in a huge desktop, while others mix and match according to their mood. If your recipient is like the latter, they will appreciate a Bluetooth keyboard they can carry around the house and connect with any of their devices.

7. Scented Candle

Help them feel more relaxed after a day’s work with scented candles that can transport the mind to whatever scent it’s infused with; the woods, the mountains, or the beach.

It can also be an instant booster or a manifestation tool much like when you make a wish and blow out a candle on your birthday.

8. Sleep Mask

This isn’t a typical sleep mask. It has a memory foam that totally blocks out ambient light. You know what this means? Your giftee can take power naps during the day and have a full night’s rest.

There’s both beauty and challenge in working from home. What you can do to show your care aside from checking up on them is to treat them with these gifts that will keep them balanced and on top of their game.


Serbia’s presidential jet went into a sudden plunge on a flight to Rome last week when the co-pilot tried to mop up a coffee spill, an inquiry found.

President Tomislav Nikolic and other passengers were reportedly thrown around the 34-year-old Falcon 50’s cabin before the captain managed to regain control.

Coffee was spilt on the control panel and the co-pilot mistakenly disengaged the autopilot when trying to mop it up.Serbian presidential jet coffee spill

Tomislav Nikolic had been heading to Rome on April 17 for a meeting with Pope Francis.

The jet later turned back to Belgrade. The plane landed safely back in the Serbian capital, but the president was forced to cancel his official visit to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican, and his advisers put the incident down to yet another malfunction on the ageing, incident-prone aircraft.

Co-pilot Bojan Zoric has been suspended after the inquiry found he had “accidentally activated the emergency switch”. That caused the plane to plunge from a height of 34,000 feet.

One of the Falcon’s three engines shut down because of the sudden drop in altitude, but it was quickly restarted.


According to South Korean researchers, drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries – a known risk factor for heart disease.

They studied more than 25,000 male and female employees who underwent routine health checks at their workplace.

Employees who drank a moderate amount of coffee – three to five cups a day – were less likely to have early signs of heart disease on their medical scans.

The findings reopen the debate about whether coffee is good for the heart.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the effect of coffee on heart health.

Some studies have linked consumption to heart risk factors, such as raised cholesterol or blood pressure, while others suggest the beverage may offer some heart protection.

There is no conclusive evidence either way, and the latest research from South Korea, which is published in the journal Heart, only adds to the discussion.Coffee and clogged arteries risk

In the study, the researchers used medical scans to assess heart health.

Specifically, they were looking for any disease of the arteries supplying the heart – the coronary arteries.

In coronary heart disease, the coronary arteries become clogged by the gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls.

The scan the researchers used looks for tiny deposits of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries to provide an early clue that this disease process may be occurring.

None of the employees included in the Korean study had outward signs of heart disease, but more than one in 10 of them were found to have visible calcium deposits on their scans.

The researchers then compared the scan results with the employees’ self-reported daily coffee consumption, while taking into account other potential heart risk factors such as smoking, exercise and family history of heart problems.

People who drank a few cups of coffee a day were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than people who drank more than this or no coffee at all.

The study authors say more research is needed to confirm and explain the link.

Coffee contains the stimulant caffeine, as well as numerous other compounds, but it’s not clear if these might cause good or harm to the body.

How much coffee to drink?

  • In the US, experts say up to 400mg a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults
  • If you’re pregnant, you should limit the amount of caffeine you have to 200mg a day – equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee
  • one mug of instant coffee: 100mg
  • one mug of filter coffee: 140mg
  • one mug of tea: 75mg
  • one can of cola: 40mg


The price list at Le Petite Syrah cafe in Nice, France, suggests that being polite could cut the price for a cup of coffee.

Ordering simply “a coffee” at the Le Petite Syrah cafe will cost you 7 euros ($9.5) according to the prices on the chalkboard menu.

However, if you add “please”, the price drops to 4.25 euros ($6).

Going for the full, “Good morning, a coffee, please,” the politeness discount gets even steeper, 1.4 euros ($2).

Price list at Le Petite Syrah cafe in Nice

Price list at Le Petite Syrah cafe in Nice

Le Petite Syrah cafe owner Fabrice Pepino said: “We’re just a tiny restaurant with my wife and I’m also the wine waiter in the wine shop.”

“We started to notice at lunchtime people are a bit more rude and stressed and were sometimes rude to us when they ordered a coffee.”

The sign, inspired by those he saw in Italy and France, started as a joke – Fabrice Pepino never charged more than 1.4 euros for a coffee.

“I don’t even think it’s legal,” he said. But it has made his customers act differently.

“They started at the beginning to say, <<Hello, your highness, will you serve me one of your beautiful coffees>>, exaggerating it even more polite than the sign to try and get free coffee.”

Mostly though, it has amused customers and helped them relax.

“The sign reminds us that we are still human beings. It doesn’t matter if the guest is the president,” Fabrice Pepino said.

Fabrice Pepino was bemused that the photo of the sign, which he put up in the summer, went viral after a French journalist passing through tweeted a photo of it. French TV stations started calling him up right away wanting to descend on his shop.


Starbucks has to pay $2.76 billion in damages and other costs to Kraft Foods in a dispute over packaged coffee, an independent US arbitrator has ruled.

Kraft began selling bags of Starbucks branded coffee in 1998 under a deal that was due to run until March 2014.

But Starbucks ended the contract in 2010, accusing Kraft of breaking the terms of their deal.

Kraft challenged that move by starting arbitration proceedings saying it had built a business worth $500 million a year.

Starbucks has to pay $2.76 billion in damages and other costs to Kraft Foods in a dispute over packaged coffee

Starbucks has to pay $2.76 billion in damages and other costs to Kraft Foods in a dispute over packaged coffee

On Tuesday the arbitrator ruled that Starbucks must pay $2.23 billion in damages plus $527 million in interest and legal costs.

Kraft Foods was spun off by Mondelez International last year and under an agreement between those two firms the payments from the case will go to Mondelez.

“We’re pleased that the arbitrator validated our position that Starbucks breached our successful and long-standing contractual relationship without proper compensation,” said Mondelez.

In a statement Starbucks said it “strongly disagreed” with the conclusions of the arbitrator.

“We believe Kraft did not deliver on its responsibilities to our brand under the agreement, the performance of the business suffered as a result, and that we had a right to terminate the agreement without payment to Kraft,” it said.


McDonald’s has announced it will test selling a variety of packaged ground and whole-bean coffee at supermarkets and other retail outlets starting next year.

The test will also include single-cup servings.

McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, did not disclose any other details. But the company already started selling McCafe packaged coffee in Canada late last year. Those bags weighed about 12 ounces and cost about $7.

McDonald’s will test selling a variety of packaged ground and whole-bean coffee at supermarkets and other retail outlets starting next year

McDonald’s will test selling a variety of packaged ground and whole-bean coffee at supermarkets and other retail outlets starting next year

The company is teaming up with Kraft Foods Group Inc. to distribute the coffee.

McDonald’s did not say how widespread the test would be.

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Starbucks has come under fire in China for reportedly charging locals higher prices than in other major markets.

The official China Central Television (CCTV) claimed Starbucks earns higher margins in China due to its pricing.

Starbucks is the latest foreign company to come under scrutiny from Chinese media over its pricing practices.

Earlier this year, Apple and Nestle were also put under pressure to review their prices or customer service.

Starbucks has come under fire in China for reportedly charging locals higher prices than in other major markets

Starbucks has come under fire in China for reportedly charging locals higher prices than in other major markets

Starbucks is rapidly expanding in China, which is set to overtake Canada as its second-biggest market next year.

In the CCTV report that aired on Sunday, it said a medium-size latte in Beijing costs 27 yuan ($4.43), or about one-third more than at a Starbucks in Chicago.

“Starbucks has been able to enjoy high prices in China, mainly because of the blind faith of local consumers in Starbucks and other Western brands,” Wang Zhendong, director of the Coffee Association of Shanghai, told CCTV.

Starbucks said its prices reflect higher food and logistical costs in China.

The issue became one of the most popular talking points on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, where many users seemed to rally to Starbucks’ side.

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