I heard rumors of a car with a built in espresso machine several years ago, but I figured that it was a coffee-lover’s urban legend, or perhaps the kind of custom-mod that an ultra-rich car collector might add to one of his or her pricey rides. Apparently, however, Fiat is making this dream a reality. Fiat will be including in-car espresso makers in its 500L model. The machines are made by Lavazza and are designed to flow well with the rest of the car’s interior styling. They come equipped with two matching travel mugs, one for the driver and one for the passenger (or two for the driver, if you’re like me).
This caffeinated car will be available in Europe starting this fall, but the car itself – a four door version of the stylish, but tiny, Fiat 500 – isn’t scheduled to be released in the US until 2013, so we still have to stick to the drive-thru or traditional coffee shops until then.
There was a time when dunking your donuts into a cup of coffee was the way that you were supposed to eat a donut. It was the way that people were shown eating donuts on TV and depicted in the Sunday comics, and if you went down to the neighborhood diner, you were sure to see people dunking donuts, too. Heck, a whole donut chain is named after the idea of dunking donuts into coffee! I almost never actually see people eating donuts this way these days, even though most coffee shops stock donuts. I don’t dunk, but I do like the idea of a dunked donut, and that is exactly why I like this Donut Mug. It’s shaped like a donut – Simpson’s style, with sprinkles – and you can pour your coffee right into the “bite” at the top. It is just about cute enough to get me to try dunking donuts into my coffee – although I think I might have to start with a matching donut when I get around to giving it a try.
Before coffee beans are roasted, they are known as “green beans.” The green beans are actually green, but there is some variation in color, so the name comes both from the color and from the fact that they need to be roasted before being brewed to bring out their coffee flavor. Green coffee beans contain caffeine and there has been a interest recently in harvesting that caffeine without the coffee flavor associated with it. Green coffee extract is the result of this process.
The extract is extracted from the coffee beans using a variety of (probably proprietary) methods and what you’re left with is a highly caffeinated substance with very little flavor. It is added to energy drinks and used as a nutritional supplement, and some even promote it as helpful supplement to take when trying to lose weight.
There are many caffeine-free herbal teas out there, but just because they’re caffeine-free doesn’t mean that they make a relaxing cup of tea. Many are rich and fruity, better suited to a pick-me-up than something restful. Trader Joe’s Well Rested Tea is a herbal tea that promises to let you down after a busy day. The tea is definitely one of my favorites when I want something to unwind with. It is made with a blend of chamomile, lemongrass, spearmint and peppermint leaves, and it has a very smooth flavor. The mint helps you clear your mind (really!) without being too strong, and the lemongrass blends very well with it to give the tea a clean hint of citrus. Chamomile gave me a little hesitation because it isn’t one of my favorite flavors, but it makes a great base for the even stronger herbs that appear in this tea. It provides a mellow backdrop for the other, brighter flavors.
I like this tea both hot and iced, depending on the weather. In the winter, I’ll definitely stick with hot tea, but it makes a very refreshing iced tea (I prefer unsweetened) on a hot summer night.