You’ve heard of Kona coffee. And you’ve probably heard of Kauai coffee. But you probably had never heard of Oahu Coffee before Starbucks launched its 100% Oahu Coffee as part of its Reserve line of specialty coffees. I know that I hadn’t heard of it. The thing that makes the Oahu coffee so special is that it is very rare. The first coffee beans planted in Hawaii were brought to Oahu around the beginning of the 19th century. Coffee grew well there, but the demand for other crops was higher and soon things like sugar cane replaced coffee. It grew so well that the Waialua Sugar Company on the Waialua Estate on the North Shore of Oahu eventually became one of the largest sugar cane plantations in the state. After decades of success, the sugar cane plantation eventually closed in 1996 and opened the door for other specialty crops to grow on that same land. Coffee and cocoa were planted, as well as tropical fruits. The Waialua Estate is the only coffee plantation on Oahu and that is exactly where this coffee comes from.
If you like Kona coffee, there is no question that you will fall for the Oahu coffee on your first sip. The coffee is velvety smooth, with a slight fruitiness and a marked taste of unsweetened chocolate. The cocoa notes really have a strong presence in the aroma of the coffee, as well. Much like Kona coffee, this dark roasted coffee has very low acididy, so it makes an exceptionally smooth cup of coffee that even those who don’t normally drink dark coffee like. I definitely like this coffee hot, but it is excellent over ice, where the chocolate flavors still come through and make for a surprisingly rich, yet refreshing, drink.
I heard rumors of a car with a built in espresso machine several years ago, but I figured that it was a coffee-lover’s urban legend, or perhaps the kind of custom-mod that an ultra-rich car collector might add to one of his or her pricey rides. Apparently, however, Fiat is making this dream a reality. Fiat will be including in-car espresso makers in its 500L model. The machines are made by Lavazza and are designed to flow well with the rest of the car’s interior styling. They come equipped with two matching travel mugs, one for the driver and one for the passenger (or two for the driver, if you’re like me).
This caffeinated car will be available in Europe starting this fall, but the car itself – a four door version of the stylish, but tiny, Fiat 500 – isn’t scheduled to be released in the US until 2013, so we still have to stick to the drive-thru or traditional coffee shops until then.
There was a time when dunking your donuts into a cup of coffee was the way that you were supposed to eat a donut. It was the way that people were shown eating donuts on TV and depicted in the Sunday comics, and if you went down to the neighborhood diner, you were sure to see people dunking donuts, too. Heck, a whole donut chain is named after the idea of dunking donuts into coffee! I almost never actually see people eating donuts this way these days, even though most coffee shops stock donuts. I don’t dunk, but I do like the idea of a dunked donut, and that is exactly why I like this Donut Mug. It’s shaped like a donut – Simpson’s style, with sprinkles – and you can pour your coffee right into the “bite” at the top. It is just about cute enough to get me to try dunking donuts into my coffee – although I think I might have to start with a matching donut when I get around to giving it a try.
Before coffee beans are roasted, they are known as “green beans.” The green beans are actually green, but there is some variation in color, so the name comes both from the color and from the fact that they need to be roasted before being brewed to bring out their coffee flavor. Green coffee beans contain caffeine and there has been a interest recently in harvesting that caffeine without the coffee flavor associated with it. Green coffee extract is the result of this process.
The extract is extracted from the coffee beans using a variety of (probably proprietary) methods and what you’re left with is a highly caffeinated substance with very little flavor. It is added to energy drinks and used as a nutritional supplement, and some even promote it as helpful supplement to take when trying to lose weight.