Mar 8, 2015

K-Cup Inventor Regrets Invention

K-Cups

Unless you are a die-hard traditionalist, you have used a Keurig coffee maker to brew a cup of coffee sometime in the past 10 years. The single-serving K-cup pods are found everyone from quick oil change places to office buildings to home kitchens because they are so convenient and easy to use. Not only is each K-cup portioned for a perfectly sized single serving, but you can brew a wide variety of different types of coffee one after another – something that is not so easy to do with more traditional brewing methods.

K-cups have a downside, however, and that is waste. The individual cups are not recyclable and we are producing a whole lot of them, as the coffee pods are more popular than ever before – and there is no sign of the trend slowing down any time soon. The inventor of the K-cup, John Sylvan, now says that the waste makes him regret ever inventing them.

As he explains the appeal now, “It’s like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance.” But he had no idea at the time how ubiquitous the product would become.

It isn’t the fact that he sold his company to Green Mountain for $50,000 in 1997 (perhaps he does, however there were many other unsuccessful pod designs on the market at that time) – it’s the fact that the pods were so extremely successful, that they generate more waste than he could initially have imagined. Sylvan also says that he designed a more eco-friendly option, but that Green Mountain didn’t want anything to do with it.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Green Mountain says (and hopefully it’s true) that they have a biodegradable and/or recyclable packaging option in the works, though it’s release is at least a few years away.

Mar 3, 2015

Grasshopper Latte

Grasshopper Latte for St Patrick's Day

A Grasshopper is a creamy classic cocktail that is made with two unique liqueurs: Creme de Cacao and Creme de Menthe. Creme de cacao has a cocoa flavor to it without being too chocolaty, while the Creme de Menthe has a fresh mint flavor and a vibrant green color. Despite their names, neither of these two liqueurs is creamy. The creaminess of the cocktail comes from milk, heavy cream or even ice cream that is added to the liqueurs to give the cocktail a rich, smooth body. Together, these ingredients make a cocktail that tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream and looks a bit like it, too.

I often make grasshoppers around St Patrick’s Day because the green drink seems like the perfect way to toast the holiday, but this year I decided to approach the drink a little differently and turn the cocktail into an after dinner coffee drink! The Grasshopper Latte starts out with espresso and blends it with creme de cacao and creme de menthe, then the mixture is topped with steamed milk. While the espresso will tone down the color of the green liqueur, there is enough milk in this latte to highlight the green and ensure it doesn’t get lost in the coffee. The drink is like a coffee-flavored after dinner mint and is surprisingly delicious for something so green!

The two liqueurs are slightly sweet, so I did not add any additional sugar to my drink, however you can absolutely sweeten-to-taste as you make your own version. Top these with whipped cream before serving them and, if you want to get a little more definition on the top of your drink (as I did in the photo above), you can dust the coffee with cocoa powder or shaved chocolate before dolloping on that whipped cream. Continue reading »

Feb 28, 2015

Coffee Staples: How to Stock Your Pantry with the Basics

Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community

When I buy coffee, I primarily buy it with myself in mind, as I am going to be the one drinking it. That said, I always have a few coffee options on hand for friends and family so that they aren’t limited to my coffee preferences. The versatility of the Keurig comes in handy when making different types of coffee for different people, as you don’t need to spend the time to get multiple french presses going or brew up a much bigger pot of one type of coffee than people want. The individual K-cups also have a somewhat longer shelf life than ground coffee does, so they are easy to simply have on hand when you need them. My staples include blonde, medium and dark roasts, though I always gravitate towards the darker end of the spectrum myself.

Blonde (Light Roasts) – Those who prefer stronger coffee will have to brew this on the smallest setting for a stronger flavor, so blondes are best for those who simply prefer their coffee with a lighter touch.

Medium (Medium Roasts) – These all purpose coffees that can appeal to just about anyone. A little milk and sugar can tone them down for those who like their coffee light, as can brewing them on a larger setting to slightly dilue their strength. Those who prefer a richer coffee flavor can hit the smallest brew button on their Keurig for a more intense flavor, too. Continue reading »

Feb 27, 2015

KFC & Seattle’s Best Introduce Edible Coffee Cups

KFC & Seattle's Best Introduce Edible Coffee Cups

I love pairing cookies with coffee. Usually, cookies are served on the side of a mug filled with your favorite cup of java, but in the UK, you may soon be able to get your coffee served inside of a cookie instead of next to it. KFC has introduced an edible coffee cup, marking the launch of Seattle’s Best Coffee at its UK stores. The cup is made from a cookie and is wrapped with edible sugar paper on the outside, so you can see the logo and eat it. The interior of the cup is lined with a generous layer of white chocolate, which melts as it sits on contact with the coffee, but prevents the coffee from soaking into the cookie. Once you finish your coffee, you simply eat the cup and there is no waste – except, perhaps, a napkin to wipe your fingers.

The cups were developed by a group of food scientists from The Robin Collective, who designed them to taste great and function well. They even infused the white chocolate with a variety of different flavors and scents that will make your coffee-drinking experience even more stimulating for the senses.

The cups are supposed to hit KCF stores this summer, so keep an eye out for their release if you live in the UK. IF not, we can only hope that these cool cups are popular enough that they make their way over to the US one of these days!

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