Mexican chocolate drinks are always some of my favorites. Mexican chocolate is a coarsely ground, bittersweet chocolate that is flavored with cinnamon or other spices to give it a subtly spicy kick and temper the richness of the chocolate. It can be used in many forms, but because it has a strong chocolate taste, it blends exceptionally well with coffee and milk. I often use Mexican chocolates such as Ibarra and Nestle’s Abeulita to make Mexican chocolate coffee drinks, but you can make one much more easily with Coffee-Mate’s Abuelita Mexican Chocolate Creamer, which I picked up at my local grocery store this week. I’m not always a fan of artificially-flavored chocolate creamers and products, but I couldn’t resist the appeal of the Mexican chocolate.
The creamer really surprised me and exceeded my expectations because it tasted like Mexican hot chocolate – or, more accurately, like chocolate milk – straight out of the bottle. It tasted like cream, cinnamon and spice, and while there was a distinct cocoa note to it, it did not taste artificially chocolaty. A splash of it was enough to give my coffee a nice sweetness and a good Mexican chocolate flavor. It was even better when I added a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the drink. It wasn’t as rich as using real chocolate to make a mocha, of course, but this is a great choice for the chocolate-lover looking for a quick and easy way to spice up their morning or afternoon coffee.
Subway may specialize in sandwiches, but the popular chain also serves up a large breakfast menu and plenty of coffee each day. They’re not known for their coffee, however, especially after the breakfast hours when they make it available but don’t serve much of it to customers. Subway and Keurig have just reached an agreement to put Keurig single cup coffee makers into all of their US and Canada stores. More than half of Subway stores already use Keurig machines to make fresh coffee available at all times of the day. Individual k-cups may be more expensive than a cup of coffee brewed as part of a large batch, but since Subway shops are not typically where people go specifically to get coffee, it might be more cost effective for them because virtually no coffee will go to waste.
Washington recently became the latest state to legalize marijuana, and with that legalization, many new pot-centric businesses are springing up to take advantage of the new market. This includes dispensaries, edible pot products and even drinks, such as a new pot coffee drink From Mirth Provisions. The “Legal” drink is made with clod-brewed coffee that is infused with THC to give drinkers a combination of the effects of pot and caffeine at the same time.
The beverage is expected to hit the market in a few weeks, when retail sales of marijuana and pot products becomes legal, and since coffee is already a very popular state beverage, there is definitely a market out there for pot coffee. That said, the drink appears to be marketed as a morning beverage, promising that you will “take on the day with a smooth buzz”
similar to that of “a nice IPA or glass of wine.” Since (most) people don’t usually start their day with an IPA for breakfast, this coffee drink might try to have to find its footing as an afterwork beverage, or they might have to come out with a decaf version for Washington residents who want to take theirs as a nightcap.
Everyone knows that k-cups are one of the most convenient ways to enjoy a cup of coffee, but there are plenty of k-cups out there that allow you to brew tea easily, as well. It is a bit faster than waiting for tea to steep and they give you an alternative to coffee in places like hotels and offices where Keurig machines are staples. That said, I primarily brew loose leaf or bagged tea at home and don’t usually buy too many tea k-cups. A friend of mine recently gave me a box of Lipton’s Soothe Green Tea K-Cups to try, saying that they were a new favorite in his house.
From the name, you might think that this tea is nothing more than a straightforward green tea, but the tea is actually quite complex and surprisingly delicious. These k-cups contain a blend of green tea, chamomile, lemon verbena, spearmint, peppermint, rosehips, orange peel, hibiscus, lemon grass, orange and chicory. Chamomile is fairly strong and it really works well with the green tea to give you a very balanced base that is not too heavily weighted towards the green or the chamomile. The green tea helps to mute the usually strong flavor of the chamomile and soften it. You get notes of orange, lemon, mint and rose, for a tea that is extremely soothing and without any one flavor jumping out. It’s good on its own and it is delicious with a little bit of honey or sugar.
This tea is ideal for bedtime or those days when you might be feeling a little under the weather – and since those are two times when you probably don’t want to work too hard to make your tea, k-cups are a perfect solution.