I was making strawberry syrup for a dessert when I was inspired to try to combine strawberries and coffee. Generally speaking, coffee and strawberries don’t mix much. Even at coffee shops, strawberry drinks are usually coffee-free. That being said, raspberries, oranges and other fruits/fruit syrups are frequently combined with coffee with great results. Encouraged by this line of thinking, I did a little bit of experimenting and realized that strawberries and coffee do go quite well together!
I made my own strawberry syrup for this drink by combining strawberry puree and sugar. I mixed the sweetened syrup with some espresso, topped it with steamed milk and had a very grown-up version of strawberry milk to enjoy! Since I was making a big batch of this for a dessert sauce, I strained mine, but the strawberry seeds are so tiny that they won’t impact the drink if you want to skip that step. I like this drink hot, but if you add an extra tablespoon or two of syrup to your drink, it should make an nice iced version, as well.
I usually prefer coffee that is prepared fresh than a drink that comes out of a can, but with that said, I will also admit that I have had some pretty delicious prepared coffee drinks (mostly in other countries) and so I am always happy to try a new drink if I spot one in the grocery store. I like Seattle’s Best cold-brewed iced coffee in their stores, so I didn’t have to think twice before picking up a can of Seattle’s Best Coffee Iced Vanilla Latte.
This coffee drink is basically made with just coffee, milk, sugar and vanilla flavorings – no thickeners or anything to try and give it an unusually “creamy” consistency. In short, there is nothing weird in the can to screw up the drink and the result is a fresh-tasting, perfectly sweetened coffee drink with a good vanilla flavor and a great milk-to-coffee ratio. I didn’t honestly expect to like it as much as I did when I opened the can, but once I had finished, I definitely put it on my shopping list for the future. I still have my vanilla syrup in the fridge when I want to make my own, but as a quick and refreshing coffee drink (that is cheaper than a coffee shop), I’ll take one of these any time.
I should note that Seattle’s Best also makes a mocha version of this drink, as well as a plain version that is sweetened, but not flavored. I preferred the vanilla to the mocha, although the mocha was also quite good, and I’m still keeping an eye out for the Iced Latte flavor to give that one a try.
Drinking large amounts of coffee might reduce your risk of prostate cancer, but it also might make you start hearing things. A research study conducted at La Trobe University in Melbourne found that volunteers who consumed very “high levels” of caffeine (say, more than five cups of coffee) were quite likely to imagine that they heard a song being played while they were listening to nothing but white noise. This would likely prove equally try if extended to other caffeinated beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks.
The study isn’t enough to say unequivocally that drinking coffee can make you hear voices where there aren’t any. There are also studies that suggest that coffee/caffeine consumption “improves alertness and concentration while delaying mental fatigue,” which makes it sound like you’re more likely to pay attention and realize that there is not, in fact, a song being played to you. But going overboard on caffeine can make you jittery and actually make it more difficult to concentrate after a while, and this seems to be where the study is heading with the conclusions.
I’m guessing that if you simply pace yourself when you’re sipping that cup o’ joe, you won’t have many problems with imagined songs.
I opened up my Uncommon Goods catalog a few days ago to find myself staring right at the Face Mug. It’s a neat mug that has a compartment at the bottom to hold cookies or other things that you might like to much with your coffee, much like the Dunk Mug that I’ve seen before. The difference is that the Face Mug has a much more interesting, if slightly creepy, look about it. The gaping mouth of the mug seems to ask you to “FEED ME!” with cookies and other goodies. Fortunately, you don’t have to stare into the “face” of the mug while you’re drinking your coffee and can simply enjoy the convenience of having a handy cookie holder. Also, if you take one to work, you can be pretty sure that it won’t disappear from the break room because it is so distinctive!