Just as there are a variety of coffee mugs with french presses built into them, there are also many mugs that allow you to brew your favorite loose-leaf tea while on the to. The Tea to Go Travel Cup is just one of the many options out there. The travel mug is made of thick glass and has an unusual two-sided design that is intended to give tea-lovers a better drinking experience. You use the mug by filling the end compartment with the loose-leaf or bagged tea of your choice, then simply pour in hot water and shake the cup a bit to ensure that all your tea is moistened and starting to brew. The two ends of the cup are separated by a strainer that keeps loose leaves away from the drinking end, though water/tea can flow freely so every sip you take is well-infused but also completely free of tea leaves, spices or any other ingredients from your drink. In addition to tea, you can use this mug for a variety of infusions – cucumber and citrus for refreshing water, berries for a sweeter drink – in addition to hot tea. Since it is made of glass, you’ll never have any off flavors in your drink, either.
This week, a man ordered a custom drink from Starbucks that rang in at $54 dollars an an effort to break the record for the most expensive drink ever ordered at Starbucks. The drink was built in a custom cup with all kinds of extra shots and syrups and may or may not have been delicious, since most stories focused on the price of the drink and not the flavor. It was an expensive drink to ring up – but the customer didn’t actually pay for it, since he used his “buy-12-get-one-fee” Starbucks Gold Card perk to buy it.
When you’re not trying to break a record, there are some “normal” drinks that can really break the bank at coffee shops – including, but not limited to, Starbucks – because they include more than a few extras. A large ice blended coffee drink with soy milk, an extra shot and extra chocolate/caramel syrup can easily be over $6. There are local shops in LA where you would pay over $8 for a well-dressed large iced coffee drink. And if you simply order premium brewed coffee – pour-over Kona or Aged Sumatra, for instance – you can potentially see these numbers without any add-ins at all. I’ll admit that I’ll pay over $5 a cup for quality Clover-brewed (or pour-over/siphon) coffee on a pretty regular basis, even though I know those cups can really add up.
How much have you paid for a delicious, customer coffee drink?
You can easily carry your coffee cup in your hand when you’re walking down the street and cars have cupholders to hold your cups when you drive. Bicycles, however, are not ideal for holding coffee cups for you. If they are equipped with beverage holders of some kind, they’re usually designed for closed water bottles and mounted at an angle that is going to pour more of your coffee on the ground than it keeps in the cup. Fortunately, bicycle commuters can simply mount a shiny new Bicycle Coffee Cup Holder onto their handlebars and carry their coffee in style without spilling it all over the place. The holder is made of stainless steel and rubber hand has a tight clamp that keeps it in place while you ride. It’s ideal for paper cups and for paper cup-shaped ceramic/plastic cups, but it can fit tapered travel cup designs quite easily, as well. You will have to look out for bumps, at least until we start to see those new coffee lids designed to minimize splashing, but a few drops of coffee is a small price to pay compared to trying to bike on a busy street while carrying a cup in your hand.
Many people think of tea lattes as hot drinks that should be enjoyed in cold weather or on cool mornings. Just as many coffee drinks are good over ice, so are tea lattes and they’re a great alternative to a regular pitcher of iced tea when you want a drink to cool down with on a summer afternoon. This Iced Lemon Tea Latte is one of my current favorites and was inspired by another summer classic: lemonade.
The lemon tea latte starts with a lemon-flavored tea. I used Cuppa Cakes Lemon Chiffon, which has a very clear lemon flavor in a mild herbal green tea base. I brew tea at double or triple strength for iced tea lattes, since you’re going to be diluting the tea quite a bit with both ice and milk. I brew the tea hot, add sugar and a touch of vanilla extract (a few drops of lemon extract can be added to boost the lemon flavor on a tea where it is not present or not prounounced), then pour it over ice and finish it with cold milk. It’s creamy, lemony and it has just the right amount of sweetness. I like to think of it as somewhere between lemonade and a milkshake – and for a lemon lover, it will be a instant hit.
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