Starbucks has their Gingerbread Latte version in their Discoveries ready to drink line out of the holidays. We thought we’d grab it and take it for a spin as we decorated the house this weekend.
I happen to love gingerbread, gingerbread cookies, and gingerbread flavored baked goods in just about any form or fashion. When I saw this Starbucks Discoveries Gingerbread Latte in the refrigerated section of th local store, I thought it would make a great coffee-flavored indulgence.
The Discoveries line of ready to drink coffee drinks has been out for a while, and can be found in the refrigerated section in pourable cartons. The 1.5 liter carton is easy to pack, and easy to handle, but is fairly tall so some people may need to lay it down in the refrigerator.
The Moka Pot has been used for decades to create a richer, pressure brewed coffee. Steam pressure from boiling water in the bottom, pushes up through the coffee puck on the way to the top chamber, it extracts more solids and flavor from just a bit of water.
Blue Bottle Coffee has teamed up with designer Joey Roth (Not his first trip to the Moka Pot design table) to create this new spin on the classic, with striking lines and some evolved functionality. The steel bottom and water chamber have been optimized relative to the coffee holder to create a rich brew and more volume. The top, being ceramic, is designed to hold the heat better than metal. The long handle is more like an ibrik, turkish-style. pot keeping your hand cool via a cork guard.
Illy has released their Issimo ready to drink coffee beverages in larger, multi-serve, 1-quart sizes. That's four servings of the Caffe Macchiato, Cappuccino, and Latte Macchiato drinks. They are 100% Arabica coffee based, and at least the Cappuccino comes in at around 100 calories, so it's pretty lightly sweetened.
The Issimo line has been around for a while, and in several packaging iterations too. We reviewed the main Illy Issimo line a few years back, then took a look at the Issimo Mocha earlier this year. Overall, not bad for a shelf stable coffee drink, but won't blow your mind if you make your own iced americanos. It's lightly sweetened, with a himt of cocoa in the finish. Great over ice, and fairly smooth. Not totally clean or overwhelmingly coffee in the flavor profile, but a fairly refreshing coffee drink.
The 1-quart Issimos that I see in the grocery are in the refrigerated section and cost $3 - $4 each. They come in a shrink wrapped PET bottle, and needs to be refrigerated (not shelf stable and no preservatives). Once opened, they say that it must be consumed in seven days.
Regular flour is just ground up wheat, so why can't we grind up coffee beans and make Coffee Flour; well someone did. A start-up in Vancouver, CF Holdings, has started to make Coffee Flour, a high fiber, high iron, gluten free flour that can be used to partially replace other flours in baked goods. Coffee flour does pack some caffeine, and will slowly release into the system; but don't expect a huge jolt. It would take over half a loaf of bread made with 20% coffee flour to get the same caffeine dose as a cup of coffee.
Check out their site; they have a few recipes that you can ponder; the brown pasta recipe is maybe my favorite. Maybe that would go well with a frothed cream sauce?
No, this isn't an espresso machine but after my last post for a $10,000 espresso machine, I couldn't pass up posting this about the $40,000 Bkon Tea brewer. It brews in just 60-90 seconds, and does it by pulling a vacuum on the cylinder inserting the tea, RO water, minerals, and letting it steep. The partial vacuum helps to pull air out of the leaves, while saturating it with water. The brewing conditions can be set through a touchpad.
It should have happened sooner; we have coffee stout, why not coffee poured out of a tap that is fed by the same gas that the best Stouts use, nitrogen?
Cuvee coffee has done it, and they call it Black and Blue, a cold coffee brew that is legged, and served out of a beer tap. Slightly carbonated, using nitrogen as the gas, allows Cuvee to give you the rich experience of a falling crema that so many stout beer drinkers fall in love with.
No doubt, readers here at SingleserveEspresso know I love coffee, but they may not know I love beer too. (I know, probably not a big surprise either.)
Having brewed a few dozen batches of beer on my own, I appreciate a whole range of beers from summer swillers to coffee stouts.
I also like to read Medium, a pretty heady 'zine that has contributors sending in all kids of great articles. I stumbled onto this one that walks trough you choice between these two beverages and their roll in brain chemistry….. and its role in making you more creative or productive.
It's good to get to the bottom line and as Medium tells it, it's only an 8 minute read.
Famed coffee name Illy has tied the knot with Samsung to create a symbiotic relationship that is sure to be watched for a while. The relationship is not about the machine; it's about a better or best in class retail experience. Illy is looking at an upscale retail experience, driven by a strong visual component. Samsung will help there.
Samsung on the other hand claims to want some reason to pause in their showrooms, and maybe a cup of Illy coffee can do that for them.
According to the press release, "The agreement is designed to pool the resources of both companies in order to leverage each other’s strengths and brand equities by utilizing Samsung’s legacy in technology innovation, electronic devices and multimedia content and illycaffè’s expertise in premium coffee, food and beverage retail marketing and their connections with a diverse set of artistic projects. The attention that both companies bring toward human creativity, specifically with regards to art and design, provide a common ground for the two brands."
Illy Issimo Mochaccino is a ready to drink coffee treat that you can grab and go at a lot of convenience stores and sometimes can be found in the regular grocery store. I didn't grab a Mochaccino when I reviewed the rest of the line a few years ago. Since then, Illy has added the drinks in this bottle package shown above.
So, hey, with a quick chill, and a need for a little treat, I grabbed one of these the other day and enjoyed.
Give it a good shake, as you'll need to get the cocoa off the bottom. I had it straight, and not over ice, which I would recommend, because the flavors are already a little on the light side.
It's got a good Mocha flavor, but is not overwhelming, nor is it biting with bitter cocoa. The packing process sands off a lot of the top notes and finer flavors for most coffee drinks, so don't expect to look for the fine flavors you might fine in single origin coffees.
Overall, I give it two thumbs up if you like coffee, and like a little sweetness.
Nespresso and Illy announced that they are working with retailers to recycle your spent espresso capsules; bring spent expresso capsules into stores from the Nespresso machine or the lilt iperEspresso machines, and recycle them with TerraCycle. Currently Sur La Table stores nationwide offer the service.
The capsules will be sent to TerraCycle, where the coffee will be composted, and the packaging will be recycled into other items.
In addition to the retail recycling option, Nespresso consumers can send their used capsules directly to TerraCycle by joining the Nespresso Brigade on www.terracycle.com.
Illy consumers can recycle directly through illy by using the pre-paid return shipping label provided to them when their capsule orders are shipped out.
So, if you're a total green, you probably won't have one of these machines, it you are sorta green, this might help.
In the "Sorta Green" camp, I use the Outpresso to compost my spend Nespresso coffee, and then recycle the capsules in the municipal stream.
We drink a lot of coffee, and if you're at a blog on espresso, you probably do to. Not everyone drinks hot coffee all summer long, and with the first heat wave of the season coming this week, we thought we'd offer a few tips on getting a cool treat in a coffee kind of way.
Skip the ready to drink variety from the store - they generally taste the same, and are not as fresh as your own, generally cost more and it wasn't heat processed like a moon rock.
Choose an all Arabica blend - the "traditional" blends of espresso include Robusta coffee, which while I love that full bodied dark flavor in hot espresso, it comes across as a bit of rank pungency in an iced coffee.
Get a pair of these glasses - they are different, and can handle hot and cold drinks. I brew right into them and ice. The special glasses make the occasion.
Keep a little cream in the fridge as a treat for "chill" weekends - espresso over the rocks with a splash of cream is an excellent indulgence.
Try something new - drinking iced coffee is different and you might like a different blend hot than cold. Variety is the spice of life.
Cheers; see you on the balcony/patio/deck or in the park.