Browsing articles from "December, 2008"
Dec 31, 2008

What is a tea latte?

Tea LatteTea with milk in it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Many tea drinkers feel that milk gives the tea a watery flavor, while others find that it is a creamier, richer drink. The best of all worlds comes in a tea latte.

A tea latte is not just tea with milk in it.  It’s extra strong tea with hot steamed milk added to it. Most I’ve had use a bit more tea than milk, although half and half provides a pretty good ratio, similar to  cafe au lait. Tea lattes made by using roughly twice as much tea as you would normally use for any particular size cup, so the tea has a strong – but not bitter – flavor that can stand up to the addition of all that milk.

Any kind of tea can be used to a tea latte – black teas, herbal teas, green teas – and so can any type of milk. Most coffee shops that offer these drinks serve them lightly sweetened. Vanilla complements a lot of teas, but just as you can use any type of tea, you can also use any flavor sweetener that will suit your tea.

Dec 29, 2008

Coffee for One French Press

Coffee for One

The one drawback to french press coffee is that you really need to drink the whole pot in a short time frame. Since the grounds are pressed to the bottom of the pot and kept there, any liquid remaining will continue to brew and will, most likely, become unpleasantly bitter. This isn’t usually a problem if you have two or more people to share the pot, but it definitely is an issue if you’re drinking alone. This Coffee for One French Press is a cute solution. It’s a single-serving french press that stacks on top of a mug for serving. It brews a 14-ounce cup – which is usually plenty for one sitting – and is microwave safe (except for the plunger) so you can heat up water in the cup and minimize the amount of work/number of dishes you need when using the press.

Dec 26, 2008

Trader Joe’s Low Acid French Roast, reviewed

You can’t beat a dark roasted coffee for having a full bodied flavor, but an underlying bitterness and noticeable acidity often turn coffee drinkers towards lighter roasts after they’re left with a bad taste in their mouths. Enter “low acid coffee.” It is known for being less bitter than many regular coffees and easier on the stomachs of those who are sensitive to the acidity of coffee.

Trader Joe’s recently introduced a Low Acid French Roast, a variation on their regular french roast. The coffee is full bodied and very smooth and fruity for such a dark roast. The deep caramel/burnt notes that are sometimes obvious in dark roasts are subtle, and leave plenty of room for the natural sweetness of this coffee to come to the forefront. Unless you’re looking for a sharp finish, this is a great, highly drinkable option with a lot of flavor that should be popular with fans of regular dark roasts and those who might normally opt for something milder.

Dec 24, 2008

Christmas Morning Coffee

Spices can really do a lot for a cup of coffee on a cold morning – and I’m not talking about adding a flavored syrup to your morning brew. When real spices are added to the beans before you brew the coffee, they really become a part of the drink and give it a lot of depth, rather than just adding some sweetness. Trader Joe’s has Gingerbread and Wintry Blend coffees that include whole spices with their beans, and in both cases the blends work well. It’s just as easy to add the spices at home to whatever coffee you have on hand.

This coffee is a spin on those two Trader Joe’s coffees and is perfect – rich and spicy – for Christmas morning. Use a dark or medium roast so the coffee isn’t overshadowed by the flavor of the spices. If you use whole bean coffee and grind it yourself, you can start with whole spices or pieces of them, like chunks of cinnamon sticks. If you use ground coffee, add a few dashes of preground spices to your grounds before turning on your coffeemaker.
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