Aug 28, 2014

Is a Pumpkin Spice Latte Dangerous?

A List of Un-Truths about the Pumpkin Spice Latte

An image has been circulating around social media, blogs and even some more traditional news outlets that presents a very alarmist picture of Starbucks’ popular fall drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. While most people are going to read through the captions on the image and realize that these claims don’t seem quite right, that didn’t stop thousands from simply sharing it and perpetuating the alarm. I can’t tell you how many times it popped up in my social media news feeds with comments like “Something to look out for!” and “Watch out!” The image comes from a woman who runs a blog called Food Babe, which is well know for fictionalizing claims and counting on the chemical illiteracy of her audience – not to mention the fact that many readers won’t get past the click-bait headline, let alone try to understand, the claims she is making – to build traffic and alarm over things that should not be that alarming.

The short answer is no, the pumpkin spice latte is not dangerous. It’s a sweet treat that isn’t going to kill you from a “toxic” dose of sugar or an FDA-approved food coloring. Snopes has a detailed breakdown of the bullet points in the graph that should quash any doubts that the PSL is anything but a seasonal treat that you don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying when it is in stores.

Aug 22, 2014

McDonalds to Sell Packaged Coffee at Grocery Stores

McDonalds to Sell Packaged Coffee at Grocery Stores

McDonalds is a popular morning spot for grabbing a quick cup of coffee when you’re on the go. Ever since they upgraded their coffee options a few years ago, the fast food chain has developed a loyal fan base for its java. It’s easy to hit the drive through on your way to work, but it isn’t as convenient on your days off. Fortunately for McCafe fans, Mcdonalds will roll out packaged coffee to grocery stores nationwide sometime next year. The offerings will include Premium Roast – their “house” blend – along with Premium Roast Decaf and a whole host of other flavors that aren’t offered at actual McCafe locations, such as Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Colombian, French Vanilla and Hazelnut. They will also be brewing up single-serving pods for Keurig brewers in their most popular flavors.

McCafe coffee has been sold in Canada since late 2012 and test US stores since the beginning of this year, so fans should keep an eye out for these in their local retailers over the next few months.

Aug 18, 2014

Mason Jar Coffee Mug

Mason Jar Coffee Mug

Mason jars have been growing in popularity over the past few years to the point where there are almost ubiquitous. I’ve had everything from cake to cocktails in mason jars, but I have never had coffee in a mason jar before. Mason jars are great for containing many things, but their metal lids and lack of a handle that will put your hand at a safe distance from a hot liquid make them less-than-ideal for carrying hot coffee. That said, times – and mugs – are changing and now we can all enjoy our coffee and other hot beverages in a Mason Jar Coffee Mug! The glass mug has a handle that makes it safe to use, no matter how extra-hot your like your lattes, and easy to carry around. It holds 14-ounces of liquid. It has a two-part glass and plastic lid that can be screwed on to the top for easy sipping, and the entire thing is dishwasher safe. You can, of course, use this mug for cold beverages, as well as hot drinks, but you probably already have a few regular mason jars laying around and might want to reserve this one for just the hot ones.

Aug 15, 2014

Chick-fil-a Upgrades Coffee, partners with Thrive

New Chick-fil-a Coffee

Chick-fil-a has become the latest fast food chain to upgrade their coffee offerings. The fast food chain has popular breakfast sandwiches, but was behind larger chains like McDonalds when it came to coffee options, and in an effort to boost their breakfast sales, they decided to partner with Thrive Farmers Coffee. Thrive is an Atlanta-based startup whose goal is not only to offer retailers better quality coffee, but to offer more revenue to the farmers who grow the beans. Instead of paying the farmers based on the wholesale price of the unprocessed beans, Thrive roasts the beans and sells them, then splits that higher profit with farmers. The payout model offers farmers 50% of the sales price for roasted beans and 75% for green beans that are sold to other coffee roasters.

The Chick-fil-A program has been in development in test stores for over a year, and the chain says that the new brew has boosted coffee sales by 35 percent. The announcement of a national roll-out is huge for Thrive, too. Up until now, the company’s largest account has been a regional Whole Foods-style store, and moving into 1,825 Chick-fil-a stores around the country means that up to 2 million people a day will see the Thrive’s logo.

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