May 19, 2014

McDonalds Horchata Frappe, reviewed

McCafe Horchata Frappe

Horchata is a very popular and refreshing Mexican drink typically made with rice, water and milk (or rice milk), then sweetened with sugar and flavored with cinnamon. There is a bit of variation from recipe to recipe – some include almonds, vanilla or even sweetened condensed milk – but the idea behind the drinks is always the same. It’s something that you’ll find served at just about every Mexican restaurant and taco stand in LA – and now, some SoCal residents can also find it at McDonald’s. McDonald’s recently announced that they would be launching a new Horchata Frappe  for the summer.

As a fan of regular horchata, I felt the need to run out and pick one up to give it a taste test.

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May 14, 2014

Coffee Cup Lids Get Redesign with Viora

Viora Lid

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.

May 12, 2014

Teatube Test Tube Tea Infuser

TeaTube

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.

May 9, 2014

Study Shows Coffee May Improve Your Eyesight

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.

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