It is a well documented fact that I am a sucker when it comes to chocolate chip cookies of all shapes and sizes, so it should be no surprise that I was interested in trying Coffee-Mate’s new Chocolate Chip Cookie Creamer as soon as I first saw it in stores. I loved the idea of this creamer, since cookies and coffee are a delicious combination that is just as good as cookies and milk are. When I eat a chocolate chip cookie with a cup of coffee, I expect to taste melting chocolate, along with notes of brown sugar and toasted butter – and coffee, of course – so my hopes were quite high as I poured this into a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
On its own, the creamer tastes a lot more like melted chocolate ice cream than a liquid cookie, but it mellowed out once it was combined with coffee and produced a drink that was primarily chocolate-flavored, with a toasted brown sugar note that I could easily attribute to a cookie. It doesn’t taste exactly like a chocolate chip cookie, however it is still quite tasty because it delivered a chocolate drink that was not overly sweet and had no strange artificial chocolate notes to it (which is a common problem for chocolate creamers). The creamer worked well both hot and over ice. If you want to get really crazy with it and go for a drink with a lot of cookie flavor, combine this with coffee, ice, and a real chocolate chip cookie or two, then throw everything into the blender and mix it up until you have a chocolate chip cookie flavored ice blended drink!
There is a lot of variety when it comes to k-cups. In the past, you were choosing between just a handful of different coffee brands. These days, there are whole aisles in the grocery store dedicated to k-cup coffee options, as well as tea and a handful of other drinks, like hot chocolate and cider. Flavored coffee drinks is the only category where there aren’t all that many options yet – even though it seems like it should be easy for manufacturers to combine the hot chocolate and the coffee into one single mocha-flavored pod! Fortunately, there are a few options that will appeal to coffee-lovers seeking a sweet drink and the Dulce de Leche Latte K Cups from Archer Farms (a Target brand) are one of them. They specifically caught my eye because I like dulce de leche so much. I originally assumed that these would be flavored coffee, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were single-pod lattes!
The k cup is filled with coffee, dried milk powder and flavoring, so you get everything you need for your latte with the touch of a single button. The drink is sweet and creamy, with distinct flavors of vanilla and caramel, with a hint of that dairy flavor that makes dulce de leche so unique. It’s not a strong dulce de leche flavor, but it is a pleasant caramel flavor overall. While the latte is sweet, you can still taste the coffee in the finish, which helps to keep it balanced. Just to be clear, this isn’t a replacement for a much more expensive latte that you could find in a coffee shop. It is, however, a very easy alternative to adding regular milk and sugar or cream to your coffee when you want something sweeter than a regular k cup!
The only real caveat with these is that they need to be made on my Keurig’s smallest setting – 8-oz – to ensure that you get the best results. I found that brewing the latte on larger settings made it too watery. This means that they’re not a great choice for iced coffee, as the extra water from melting ice will water the drink down faster than it should. These definitely aren’t a bad option when you like sweet coffee drinks, but they would be a little more versatile if you could brew them at different sizes.
As more people do their shopping online, brick and mortar retailers often feel the pinch. We usually picture clothing stores and toy stores, but this kind of shift in shopping behavior also affects other types of stores, including the food and drink vendors in malls and shopping centers. Starbucks is just one example of a store that has seen a dip in some in-store sales over past holiday seasons – after all, commuters may not be stopping in for their morning coffee drink, either! – but this year, they are introducing a promotion that just might turn that trend around. Starbucks will be giving away free drinks for life to 10 lucky customers who use their registered Starbucks card between December 2nd and Christmas. Winning the promotion would entitle you to a free drink of your choice (I assume that you could select a different one every day) every day for the next 30 years. They’ll also be giving away other prizes for participating consumers.
The odds may be slim, but that is a pretty tempting prize for a coffee (or tea, especially since they’re incorporating more Tevana products) lover this holiday season. I’ll most likely be stopping by anyway, but it is a good excuse to get out of the house for a bit after doing the rest of your holiday shopping online.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, things that are creepy and crawly catch my eye a little more frequently than they do the rest of the year. Fred’s Tea Bones tea infuser isn’t an item that needs to be relegated to your box of Halloween decorations 11 months out of the year, but it certainly is perfect for adding some frightening flair to your favorite tea this time of year. The infuser is made of molded food-safe silicone and has two main parts, a skull and crossbones. The crossbones act as an anchor for the skull, which pops open to give you a perfect cavity to stash your tea, and the two parts are connected by a thin chain. It’s a great looking infuser that is ideal for use with spicy seasonal teas – especially if you have clear glasses in which to steep your tea so you can enjoy the spooky effect.