Perk Up Your Trek Mix is a new blend of trail mix from Trader Joe’s that caught my eye because of the big coffee cup on the front of the package. It’s not exactly coffee flavored, but it does have chocolate covered espresso beans mixed in with roasted and salted almonds and pecans, dried cranberries and dried golden raisins.
The chocolate espresso beans are actually second only to almonds in this mix, so you get a surprisingly good dose of chocolate and caffeine along with your nuts. There is probably more chocolate than espresso, however, as the chocolate covered coffee beans are huge, with a very thick coating of the slightly bitter, but pleasantly fruity and smooth, dark chocolate. The crunch of the espresso beans adds a nice texture to the whole mix, and everything goes together nicely if you mix them all together and much by the handful. Of course, you could pick out the chocolate covered beans and save them for a time when you need a caffeine boost, then eat the nuts and fruit by themselves, too.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever tasted a coffee from Yemen before tasting Paradise Roasters’ Yemen Ameera. It’s a light roast coffee, and the roaster describes it has having floral fruity notes. For me, this coffee has fruity notes in the same way that dark chocolate does because it smelled and tasted a lot like very dark chocolate. It had deep cocoa notes – and bitterness to match them – a hint of fruitiness, and a very bright acidity. Surprisingly, it had a pretty clean finish and most of the flavors faded away smoothly, so you’re not going to be left with an overly acidic taste in your mouth.
Also like dark chocolate, I suspect that this coffee is not for everyone. If you prefer mellower, smoother milk chocolate for its rich sweetness, than the relatively intense dark chocolate-ness of this coffee probably isn’t going to be right for you.
Today is Shrove Tuesday – a.k.a. Pancake Day in much of the world. Shrove Tuesday is another name for Fat Tuesday, or the start of Mardi Gras. The pancakes enter into the equation because in England (which is where the name Shrove Tuesday comes from), things like butter, milk and eggs were not to be consumed during Lent. Making big batches of pancakes was a great way to use up these ingredients and enjoy some indulgence before the 40-day Lent period.
Whether you’re religious or not (with respect to Lent, in this instance), just about everyone can ge behind the idea of a day to celebrate pancakes. IHOP is even giving out a free short stack of pancakes to all customers between 7am and 10am!
There is a way to get some pancakes infused into your day even if you’re not much of a cook. You can create a pancake latte at Starbucks. It’s not on the menu and it looks very strange, but tastes pretty much exactly like pancakes. The drink in question? A green tea latte – no water – with toffee nut syrup. Get any kind of milk you like in the drink, although soy is a pretty good choice for the extra bit of vanilla flavor.
It may not look like pancakes, but it does taste like them. And if you’re not cooking or going for the real thing, it’s definitely not a bad substitute.
I’ve seen function and stylish tea infusers, but this is one that is both – and clever, t boot! The Sharky Tea Infuser is a creation of Argentinian designer Pablo Matteoda. The lightweight infuser has an air pocket in the top of the fin to keep it upright and afloat in your tea, while the perforated base (removable, for easy filling) lets your tea infuse into your cup. Rooibos – or another herbal red tea – is a good choice for this infuser simply because it fits the look well.
Unfortunately, this lovely piece of design is still just a concept for now. It will be great for Jaws fans when it is released, though!