The lids that top disposable coffee cups are very familiar to all of us. The design that Starbucks uses, or something very similar, is the most common design out there. It works fairly well, but if you have ever carried your coffee over some distance while walking, you know that it is easy for coffee top slosh out of the top of drinking hole in the lid. This was generally accepted as one of the hazards of drinking coffee on the go. But it is a hazard that could be avoided by using a better lid. A Seattle-based company called Vaporpath redesigned the disposable plastic lid with the intent to address the shortcomings of the current lid. The replacement is called the Viora, and it has a large indentation on top where the current lid rises up. The drinking opening is located within the indentation, which should not only minimize the amount of coffee that could accidentally splash out of the cup, but provide a means to catch it (besides your shirt or pants) as well.
The Viora lid is also completely recyclable and odorless, which makes it better for the environment and better for serious coffee drinkers everywhere. Hopefully we’ll start to see some lids with this design rolling out to coffee shops in the near future.
Unleash your inner scientist (or outer scientist, if you happen to be working in a lab) with this Teatube Test Tube Tea Infuser. The infuser looks very similar to a “real” test tube, but the glass has several vents cut into it that will allow hot water to flow into the tube and tea-infused water to flow out. The shape makes it perfect for stirring, so you can get a nice water flow going as you brew. It has a lovely wooden plug/handle – not quite like what you would find on a “real” test tube – that makes it easy to handle and stays cool even when the infuser is in hot water. The plug pops out to allow you to easily refill the infuser with tea and clean it out after use.
Coffee is full of antioxidants. Like other foods full of antioxidants, it sometimes takes scientists a while to determine what, exactly, the benefits of those antioxidants are. A recent study about coffee revealed that some of the antioxidants in coffee may be very good for your eyesight. The study, published recently in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and conducted by researchers at Cornell University, showed that chlorogenic acid, a strong antioxidant in coffee, prevented retinal deterioration in mice. Retinal deterioration is something that can be caused by glaucoma, diabetes and just by aging and is something that affects many people as they go through life, leading to partial or complete blindness. This study is great news for coffee lovers, as they are most likely helping to protect their eyesight by enjoying that daily cup of coffee every morning.
The antioxidant has also been linked to other health benefits, such as weight loss and reduction of blood pressure, so there are a few other potential health benefits in addition to helping to improve and protect your eyesight.
A mug of coffee or tea is often the perfect thing to pair with a slice of cake, whether you baked your own or picked up your favorite flavor at your local bakery. I tend to think that you can’t go wrong with black tea or black coffee, but you can really get a better pairing by looking around at all the options out there. A good example are the Cuppa Cakes Teas, which are a relatively new collection from Republic of Tea. These teas are inspired by the flavors of baked goods and pair fantastically with them – though they’re good enough to be satisfying on their own, as well.
I bake a lot with lemon in the winter and spring, so the first tea that I reached for from this collection was Cuppa Cakes Teas Lemon Chiffon. It’s an herbal green rooibos tea inspired by “chiffon cake speckled with sweet coconut and topped with a creamy lemon icing” that is made with a blend of apple, lemongrass, lemon, vanilla and coconut flavors, as well as green rooibus tea. I initially thought that the tea might taste mostly of lemon, but it really does capture some of the flavor and smell of a light, lemon cake in a way that is very surprising! You can easily pick out the lemon, vanilla and coconut notes, even if you’re not an experienced tea-taster (though it helps to be a lover of lemon, vanilla and coconut baked goods), which means that this tea is one that should have wide appeal to anyone who likes these flavors. I really enjoyed it, both hot and as a very refreshing iced tea, and it was especially good when paired with lemon or vanilla baked goods. I highly recommend trying a slice of lemon pound cake with it.
If you are going to drink it on its own (perhaps in place of a slice of cake), I recommend brewing the tea a little bit stronger than recommended on the packaging and adding a little bit of sugar or honey to intensify its cake-like notes.