Apr 20, 2012

World’s Largest Coffee Cup

World's Largest Coffee Cup

I may drink a lot of coffee, and but I’m not sure that even I drink enough to need the World’s Largest Coffee Cup. This crazy cup can hold up to 160 ounces of coffee – or the equivalent of 20 regular cups! Since the cup doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation, you will need to be a serious coffee drinker in need of a serious caffeine fix to get through all that coffee while it’s still nice and warm. The mug – which would require me to brew more than a full put of coffee in my drip brewer – probably won’t be easy to reheat if that coffee gets cold.

Of course, this mug is really a gift item and it is an impressive one for a coffee lover. I would skip the coffee and fill it up with chocolate covered espresso beans to get the impressive effect of the mug and still be able to get a little caffeine out of it (without going overboard!).

Mar 30, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino

Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino

The term “Mexican chocolate” can refer to many different types of chocolate they all have one thing in common: they’re spicy. Mexican chocolate, in just about every form, is flavored with a variety of spices, and you’ll find flavors that include cinnamon and a variety of ground, dried chilies to add some heat to the mix. I’ve had it in brownies and desserts, but Mexican chocolate makes a fabulous hot chocolate and you can find it on the menus at many higher end coffee shops. It’s also easy to use Mexican chocolate to spice up your drinks at home. You can buy bars of the chocolate at many regular grocery stores these days and grind them up to stir into hot chocolate. I like to make my own mix and use it for drinks like this sweet-spicy Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino.

The mix I make includes cocoa powder, shaved dark chocolate (for extra richness), sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a generous pinch of ground chipotle or pasila chilies. Cayenne pepper can work well, too, but should be used more sparingly as it doesn’t seem to blend quite as well with the chocolate. I’ll make a big batch and keep it in a ziploc bag for when I’m in the mood for some kicked up hot chocolate, but you can mix it up a drink at a time.

For the cappuccino, I combine the mexican chocolate mix with coffee and whisk it very well, then top it with steamed milk. Sprinkle some on top for garnish at your own risk, as those chilies can offer some real heat when they touch the tip of your tongue!
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Mar 20, 2012

Starbucks Reserve 100% Kona Coffee, reviewed

Starbucks Reserve 100% Kona Coffee, reviewed

Kona coffee, from the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, is one of the most prized coffees in the world and demans a high price tag. The region’s rich, volcanic soil, shaded hillsides and lovely weather produce consistently excellent coffee with a distinctly smooth flavor profile. Unless you’re in Hawaii, it’s not common to see Kona on coffee shop menu boards and it was definitely exciting to see 100% Kona Coffee enter the Starbucks Reserve lineup this month. I jumped at the chance to have a cup from the Clover machine at my local store when they started stocking it.

The coffee is dark and very smooth, with an almost velvety finish. It is fruity and sweet, with a floral hibiscus note to it and a smooth, citrusy aroma. It’s billed as a medium bodied coffee but seems darker, although it doesn’t quite have the earthiness of some dark roast coffees. It’s smooth enjoy that just about anyone would enjoy drinking it.

I’ve seen this sold at several other Starbucks in my area, even those that don’t have Clover machines (unlike some of the other reserve coffees), so it is one that you might want to keep an eye out for and bring home to brew. It goes without saying that it’s well worth indulging in a cup if you’re at a store with a Clover, too.

Feb 28, 2012

Tribute Blend Returns March 6!

Tribute Blend Sign

Fans of the Starbucks Tribute Blend – like myself – you’ll be happy to know that Tribute blend is coming back to Starbucks stores on March 6th. The coffee was originally released in honor of the chains’ 40th anniversary and was made up of a blend of coffees from all of their coffee-growing regions. It was a huge hit – especially with fans of darker roast coffees, who loved the character of this blend.

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