Apr 1, 2013

Peet’s Anniversary Blend 2013, reviewed

Peet's Anniversary Blend 2013, reviewed

Peet’s is celebrating their 47th anniversary this year and, although they have been offering anniversary blends for many years now, it seems that they are getting more dramatic as the coffee house closes in on their 50th anniversary. The 2013 Anniversary Blend combines Ethiopian Yirgacheffe with beans from Colombia and Java.  Fans of floral and slightly citrusy Yirgacheffe wont’ be disappointed with this coffee, since that provides the base for this blend. It has a lot more body and fruitiness to it than Yirgacheffe alone (and, full disclosure, I tend not to be a big fan of Yirgacheffe), thanks to the two beans blended with it, and so the final blend has a rich, smooth and flavorful profile that  appealed to me much more than I anticipated.

This is definitely a bold coffee and works just as well when put through an espresso machine as it does in a french press. You could opt for a regular drip coffee maker, if that’s your preference but you’ll get a little extra body and mouthfeel from this blend if you opt to press it instead.

Mar 26, 2013

Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg Mocha

Chocolate Cadbury Creme Egg Mocha

A few years ago, I made my first Cadbury Creme Egg Coffee by dissolving a whole Cadbury Creme Egg into a mug of hot coffee to both create a sweet, mocha-like drink and make good use of leftover Easter candy. The drink has become an Easter tradition for me. This year I decided to mix things up with Chocolate Cadbury Creme Eggs, which I hadn’t had before. These eggs are filled with a rich chocolate mousse-like filling that is sweet, but also has a strong chocolate flavor.

When I dropped the egg into my coffee, it melted smoothly and turned out an even more delicious drink than the classic Creme Egg does. It is rich, creamy and has a great mocha flavor – even though I didn’t add any milk. I will be stocking up on Chocolate Creme Eggs just to keep them on hand to make these after Easter – but you might want to pick some up for an Easter brunch or party because these eggs make serving coffee quite a bit more fun (and, of course, tasty).

Chocolate Cadbury Creme Egg

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Mar 22, 2013

Minibru Coffee Mug, reviewed

Minibru Coffee Mug

A french press is one of my favorite tools to make a great cup of coffee. You can brew any type of bean or roast in there and get good results, and they’re easy to use. The only problem with a french press is that they’re typically designed to brew a whole pot. Now some are smaller than others, but if you only want one cup of coffee you might find yourself looking for an alternative. The Minibru Coffee Mug is one possible solution: a single-serving french press inside of a mug that promises to let you brew a great cup of coffee and drink it, too.

I recently got a Minibru and couldn’t wait to try it out. The instructions are simple: add coarsely ground coffee to the coffee line, add water to the water line, brew for 3 minutes, press and drink. I tried it exactly as written and my first few cups were terrible and incredibly weak. I watched a video on how to use the Minibru and noticed that they were using a lot more coffee than I was, so I decided to deviate from the directions and see if I could encourage a better performance out of the mug.

Minibru Coffee Mug

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Mar 19, 2013

Homemade Cool Lime Refresher

Homemade Cool Lime Refresher

Starbucks launched their Refreshers drinks two summers ago. Laced with green coffee extract, the drinks are supposed to give you a mild energy boost as well as provide a cool, lightly sweetened drink – which makes them refreshing in two ways. I have been a big fan of them since they first came out because I definitely find them to be refreshing on a hot day because they aren’t too sweet but have a nice flavor.

This Homemade Cool Lime Refresher is an easy to make version of Starbucks’ Cool Lime Refresher that you can easily make at home. It is a lot like limemade, but with a lot less lime juice and sugar so it has a milder (and, yes, more refreshing) flavor. You need to use fresh lime juice to get the best results, but one lime will allow you to make one or two large drinks, so a little goes a long way in this recipe. It can also be doubled or tripled if you want to serve a crowd.

My homemade drink doesn’t contain any green coffee bean extract, but if you want to add some to yours, you can track it down at many health food stores in the nutritional supplement aisle. Personally, I just have a little regular coffee to pick me up and then the refresher to cool me down.
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