Jul 6, 2014

Hourglass Sugar Dispenser

Hourglass Sugar Dispenser

There was a time when I had a single sugar bowl as part of my coffee service, but so many people take various artificial sweeteners in their coffee and tea these days that my sugar alternative bowl is bigger than my sugar bowl! I still stick with regular sugar when I want to sweeten up my drinks and I suspect that having an unusual sugar service just might convince friends who are used to those pink, yellow and blue packets to switch back to sugar. This Hourglass Sugar Dispenser just might be the thing I need to convince them. The plastic dispenser is 8 inches tall and it looks just like those old timers you used to use for your board games as a kid – only it is filled with sugar instead of with sand. The openings on each side allow you to pour sugar easily into your drink no matter which way the “sands” are spinning, and it’s fun to play with (because we all know that it is fun to play with your food at any age!) while you’re enjoying your drinks.

Jul 2, 2014

Coffee Wine for Coffee and Wine Lovers

Coffee Wine for Coffee and Wine Lovers

Coffee and wine are two of the world’s most popular drinks, but they’re not often drunk together. Soon, however, the two drinks will meet in a new product from Friends Fun Wine, the Florida company known for their easy to drink canned wines: Coffee Wine. The canned drink comes in two flavors – Cabernet Coffee Espresso and Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino – and their are two servings per can, which means that there is plenty to share with a friend if you decide to take a chance and give the drink a try with someone as daring as you are.

The press release states “The Cabernet Coffee Espresso features a rich flavor of cabernet grapes, espresso coffee and a hint of chocolate, while Chardonnay Coffee Cappuccino features sweet, refreshing Chardonnay grapes with vanilla cappuccino coffee and smooth hints of chocolate.”

To be honest, my initial thought is that this is a terrible idea. I don’t think that there is a big call for a product like this one from consumers looking to combine wine and coffee in the first place. But I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a try if/when I see it in stores to see if it exceeds my expectations.

Jun 25, 2014

Starbucks Fizzio Ginger Ale, reviewed

Starbucks Fizzio Ginger Ale, reviewed

Fizzio is the name for the new line of all natural sodas that Starbucks has begun rolling out to some of their stores this week. There are quite a few Starbucks customers who are looking for non-coffee and tea drinks to go with their afternoon snacks, and sodas are just another alternative to smoothies and the creme-based Frappuccinos – not to mention that they’re an alternative to regular Refreshers and tea lemonades for customers who just like a little carbonation! The sodas are made one at a time in a machine that is similar to a SodaStream, with specialty syrups and are available in three flavors: Spiced Root Beer, Golden Ginger Ale, and Lemon Ale.

I’m a big fan of ginger beer and ginger ale in general because they are generally very refreshing, so that was the first soda I decided to try. It was delicious, with a strong ginger spice and a nice sweetness. I felt that it seemed a bit less sweet than many regular ginger ales, which pushes it go the ginger beer side of the spectrum for me – and that is a good thing. I’ll definitely be putting on my “to-order” list any time I’m looking for a refreshing, fizzy drink to go with a salty snack, even though I know that I’ll still be sticking to coffee most of the time.

Jun 20, 2014

Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade, reviewed

Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade, reviewed

Starbucks is rolling out their summer menu this week, and two delicious shaken ice tea lemonades are on the menu: Peach Green Tea Lemonade and Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade. The Peach Tea Lemonade debuted last summer, while the blackberry is new for this year. Thanks to a promo for registered Starbucks card holders, I was able to get my hands on both tea lemonades before they hit the main menu. The Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade is made with a blackberry syrup, which turns the drink an intense berry color. Unlike the Berry Hibiscus Refresher, which also uses blackberries, there are no chunks of berry floating around in this drink to plug up your straw as you sip.

The blackberry tea lemonade has a green tea base, which is a good way to showcase the berry flavors without overpowering them with a black tea base. It is not too sweet – in fact, I would say it is slightly less sweet than the peach tea lemonade – but has the distinct flavor of juicy berries to it, which makes it satisfying and refreshing. One thing that the drink does not have, however, is any hint of mint. I expected to be able to taste a bit of mint in a drink with “mojito” in the name, but berries definitely dominated. I’m not positive (yet), but this drink is made with Teavana tea and Tevana makes a Blackberry Mojito Tea that could very well serve as the base for this drink. Despite the fact that there really is no mint flavor, the drink is a great alternative to some of the other iced tea lemonades and is a fantastic drink for a summer afternoon.

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