A few years ago, banana drinks hit the menu boards in many coffee shops, including Coffee Bean and Starbucks. At the time, I thought that putting banana into a coffee drink was a strange concept. Starbucks primarily limited the fruit to blended, milkshake like drinks and the banana suited them. Coffee Bean, for instance, used a banana puree syrup to add to hot coffee drinks, along with caramel and chocolate. The combination may have seemed strange, but it tasted great. The banana flavor really suited the coffee in a way I didn’t expect it to, and the drinks were a hit with me.
I didn’t try to make this combination at home until recently. Banana puree, again, isn’t the first thing that you think about adding to your coffee! But when the banana was pureed to be very smooth (not just mashed lightly with a fork) it brought a lot of sweetness and a richer flavor to my mocha. It also reminded me of the chocolate banana milkshakes my dad used to make for me during the summertime – although this hot version has a nice caffeine kick and can be enjoyed even in cold weather. It’s kind of a fun drink and one that I’ll be making again. Be sure to get that banana pureed as smoothly as possible for the best consistency in the finished drink!
The Starbucks logo is so familiar to even the most casual coffee drinker that we could draw it in our sleep. It’s iconic. The chain’s logo has just undergone a redesign for the first time in nearly two decades and that icon is undergoing some changes, dropping the words “Starbucks Coffee” in favor of something a little more graphic. In fact, the whole frame of the Starbucks siren is gone, leaving only the green mermaid – sans text – behind. Reuters reports that this change is not going over well with consumers who are fans of the brand’s logo, and it isn’t well-received by the branding consultants that they contacted for opinions. Disassociating the name of Starbucks from the logo may give the company room to brand more non-coffee items, but coffee is where the heart of the company is and that might be a turnoff to many.
That said, it’s not changing the coffee or the Starbucks on the corner any time soon. But I might head out to pick up a new mug bearing the classic logo for old times sake because, although I wouldn’t say I had strong feelings on the matter, I have to say that I like the old logo a whole lot better than the new one.
Salted caramel is exactly what it sounds like: caramel that has had additional salt added to it. This is done to cut the sweetness of the caramel, which is primarily made of sugar, and to make it even more addictive by introducing a savory note that makes your mouth water with each bite. Salted caramel shows up in all kinds of places, but most recently has been appearing in coffee shops as an addition to drinks.
You can come by salted caramel sauce in two ways: make it or buy it. Store-bought salted caramel sauces, such as Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce are not that common, but they are becoming more widely available. Stir some into any cup of coffee for an instant salted caramel fix. The other option is to make your own caramel sauce (or buy plain) and add a big pinch of coarse salt to it. I recommend coarse salt, such as kosher salt or sea salt, because it stands out against the carame and doesn’t dissolve into the drink immediately, giving you salted caramel in coffee – not just salty coffee.
This Salted Caramel Mocha is a regular mocha – made with espresso, cocoa powder, sugar and milk – with some caramel swirled into it. I drizzled some more on top and that is where I put in my big pinch of coarse salt. Adjust the sweetness to taste when you try this at home.
There is nothing like waking up in the morning to the heady aroma of a fresh pot of coffee. Folgers even made it their slogan – and they’re not overstating the truth there. But that first cup of coffee comes at a price. You need to grind your beans and start your machine. If you brew a full pot, it is very likely that you might save some time by taking a shower and getting dressed while your java brews, then pour yourself a cup afterwards. If you happen to have some Coffee Bean Soap, however, you can wake up with a refreshing shower and the aroma of coffee at the same time. This soap is shaped like giant coffee beans (each about 2-inches long) and is also coffee scented. Like most soaps, the smell should wear off fairly quickly and won’t leave you heading to work smelling like you just stepped out of a coffee roaster (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it will perk you up a bit while you clean up.