It is a well documented fact that I am a sucker when it comes to chocolate chip cookies of all shapes and sizes, so it should be no surprise that I was interested in trying Coffee-Mate’s new Chocolate Chip Cookie Creamer as soon as I first saw it in stores. I loved the idea of this creamer, since cookies and coffee are a delicious combination that is just as good as cookies and milk are. When I eat a chocolate chip cookie with a cup of coffee, I expect to taste melting chocolate, along with notes of brown sugar and toasted butter – and coffee, of course – so my hopes were quite high as I poured this into a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
On its own, the creamer tastes a lot more like melted chocolate ice cream than a liquid cookie, but it mellowed out once it was combined with coffee and produced a drink that was primarily chocolate-flavored, with a toasted brown sugar note that I could easily attribute to a cookie. It doesn’t taste exactly like a chocolate chip cookie, however it is still quite tasty because it delivered a chocolate drink that was not overly sweet and had no strange artificial chocolate notes to it (which is a common problem for chocolate creamers). The creamer worked well both hot and over ice. If you want to get really crazy with it and go for a drink with a lot of cookie flavor, combine this with coffee, ice, and a real chocolate chip cookie or two, then throw everything into the blender and mix it up until you have a chocolate chip cookie flavored ice blended drink!
There is a lot of variety when it comes to k-cups. In the past, you were choosing between just a handful of different coffee brands. These days, there are whole aisles in the grocery store dedicated to k-cup coffee options, as well as tea and a handful of other drinks, like hot chocolate and cider. Flavored coffee drinks is the only category where there aren’t all that many options yet – even though it seems like it should be easy for manufacturers to combine the hot chocolate and the coffee into one single mocha-flavored pod! Fortunately, there are a few options that will appeal to coffee-lovers seeking a sweet drink and the Dulce de Leche Latte K Cups from Archer Farms (a Target brand) are one of them. They specifically caught my eye because I like dulce de leche so much. I originally assumed that these would be flavored coffee, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were single-pod lattes!
The k cup is filled with coffee, dried milk powder and flavoring, so you get everything you need for your latte with the touch of a single button. The drink is sweet and creamy, with distinct flavors of vanilla and caramel, with a hint of that dairy flavor that makes dulce de leche so unique. It’s not a strong dulce de leche flavor, but it is a pleasant caramel flavor overall. While the latte is sweet, you can still taste the coffee in the finish, which helps to keep it balanced. Just to be clear, this isn’t a replacement for a much more expensive latte that you could find in a coffee shop. It is, however, a very easy alternative to adding regular milk and sugar or cream to your coffee when you want something sweeter than a regular k cup!
The only real caveat with these is that they need to be made on my Keurig’s smallest setting – 8-oz – to ensure that you get the best results. I found that brewing the latte on larger settings made it too watery. This means that they’re not a great choice for iced coffee, as the extra water from melting ice will water the drink down faster than it should. These definitely aren’t a bad option when you like sweet coffee drinks, but they would be a little more versatile if you could brew them at different sizes.
When you work in an office, you probably have access to office coffee. Unless you happen to work at a place filled with coffee snobs or a place that actually produces/provides coffee (such as Starbucks, etc.), the office coffee is probably not all that good. Office coffee is rarely good, but we drink it when when have to in order to get through the day. I don’t always want to run across the street or down the block to get a fresh cup of coffee, so I’m always open to alternatives that could help out.
Nescafe with Coffee-Mate is a new line of products from Nescafe that blend their instant coffee with Coffee-Mate creamer flavors, delivering a two-in-one product for those who like their coffee on the sweeter side. Currently, they’re available in three different flavors: Original, French Vanilla and Hazelnut. The original is a classic sweetened cream flavor that is not overly sweet and allows you to taste the Nescafe coffee underneath. The vanilla has a strong, sweet vanilla flavor that is ideal for a vanilla lover or someone with a bit of a sweet tooth. Hazelnut is slightly milder than vanilla and blends in with the base coffee flavor, though it still comes through as being sweeter than the Original flavor. Of the three, Vanilla is my favorite simply because I am a vanilla-lover and enjoy the extra flavor boost, however a few friends who helped me do some taste testing thought that the Original was idea for delivering a nice balance of sweet, cream and coffee.
I loved the convenience of this product as something that was both ready to drink and very tasty right out of the package. The directions on the resealable containers are ok, though I found I preferred to use slightly more of the powder in my drinks for a stronger coffee flavor. They are on the sweet side, however, and you may find that they are sweeter than you prefer if you typically drink your coffee black. Fortunately, you can also use them as a substitute for regular coffee creamers (since they are creamers with coffee built in) to both sweeten up and strengthen a cup of the existing coffee that might be brewing at your office.
If I say that I need an energy drink, that usually means that I want a cup of coffee – not a strangely flavored, slightly carbonated canned beverage. That said, I have found many canned and bottled coffee drinks that I enjoy over the years, and am always interested in giving new ones a taste to see what might provide a good, quick fix when I’m on the go. So, I was a bit torn when I first saw the new Java Monster Kona Blend, which was both an energy drink and a canned coffee drink in one! The use of Kona coffee won me over and convinced me to give it a shot – and I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised!
Java Monster Kona Blend is made with real Kona coffee, blended with milk, sugar and Monster’s energy blend, which includes taurine, ginseng and guarana seed extract, as well as some additional caffeine. It’ll definitely wake you up if you’re sensitive to caffeine, though I didn’t feel too much more of a “rush” than I would with a regular cup of black coffee. The drink is smooth, with a great blend of rich coffee and creamy milk flavors, plus just the right hint of sweetness. I didn’t intend to like it when I picked up the can, since I always prefer to get my energy from coffee or tea over an engineered “energy drink,” but this wildly exceeded my expectations and was better than many other bottled (or canned) coffee drinks I’ve had. In short, it tasted very good. The drink is offered in other flavors, which I haven’t tried, but the vanilla, mocha, toffee and irish cream flavors definitely sound interesting!