May 28, 2014

A Coffee Cup Holder for Your Bicycle

Bicycle Cup Holder

You can easily carry your coffee cup in your hand when you’re walking down the street and cars have cupholders to hold your cups when you drive. Bicycles, however, are not ideal for holding coffee cups for you. If they are equipped with beverage holders of some kind, they’re usually designed for closed water bottles and mounted at an angle that is going to pour more of your coffee on the ground than it keeps in the cup. Fortunately, bicycle commuters can simply mount a shiny new Bicycle Coffee Cup Holder onto their handlebars and carry their coffee in style without spilling it all over the place. The holder is made of stainless steel and rubber hand has a tight clamp that keeps it in place while you ride. It’s ideal for paper cups and for paper cup-shaped ceramic/plastic cups, but it can fit tapered travel cup designs quite easily, as well. You will have to look out for bumps, at least until we start to see those new coffee lids designed to minimize splashing, but a few drops of coffee is a small price to pay compared to trying to bike on a busy street while carrying a cup in your hand.

May 26, 2014

Iced Lemon Tea Latte

Iced Lemon Tea Latte

Many people think of tea lattes as hot drinks that should be enjoyed in cold weather or on cool mornings. Just as many coffee drinks are good over ice, so are tea lattes and they’re a great alternative to a regular pitcher of iced tea when you want a drink to cool down with on a summer afternoon. This Iced Lemon Tea Latte is one of my current favorites and was inspired by another summer classic: lemonade.

The lemon tea latte starts with a lemon-flavored tea. I used Cuppa Cakes Lemon Chiffon, which has a very clear lemon flavor in a mild herbal green tea base. I brew tea at double or triple strength for iced tea lattes, since you’re going to be diluting the tea quite a bit with both ice and milk. I brew the tea hot, add sugar and a touch of vanilla extract (a few drops of lemon extract can be added to boost the lemon flavor on a tea where it is not present or not prounounced), then pour it over ice and finish it with cold milk. It’s creamy, lemony and it has just the right amount of sweetness. I like to think of it as somewhere between lemonade and a milkshake – and for a lemon lover, it will be a instant hit.
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May 19, 2014

McDonalds Horchata Frappe, reviewed

McCafe Horchata Frappe

Horchata is a very popular and refreshing Mexican drink typically made with rice, water and milk (or rice milk), then sweetened with sugar and flavored with cinnamon. There is a bit of variation from recipe to recipe – some include almonds, vanilla or even sweetened condensed milk – but the idea behind the drinks is always the same. It’s something that you’ll find served at just about every Mexican restaurant and taco stand in LA – and now, some SoCal residents can also find it at McDonald’s. McDonald’s recently announced that they would be launching a new Horchata Frappe  for the summer.

As a fan of regular horchata, I felt the need to run out and pick one up to give it a taste test.

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May 14, 2014

Coffee Cup Lids Get Redesign with Viora

Viora Lid

The lids that top disposable coffee cups are very familiar to all of us. The design that Starbucks uses, or something very similar, is the most common design out there. It works fairly well, but if you have ever carried your coffee over some distance while walking, you know that it is easy for coffee top slosh out of the top of drinking hole in the lid. This was generally accepted as one of the hazards of drinking coffee on the go. But it is a hazard that could be avoided by using a better lid. A Seattle-based company called Vaporpath redesigned the disposable plastic lid with the intent to address the shortcomings of the current lid. The replacement is called the Viora, and it has a large indentation on top where the current lid rises up. The drinking opening is located within the indentation, which should not only minimize the amount of coffee that could accidentally splash out of the cup, but provide a means to catch it (besides your shirt or pants) as well.

The Viora lid is also completely recyclable and odorless, which makes it better for the environment and better for serious coffee drinkers everywhere.  Hopefully we’ll start to see some lids with this design rolling out to coffee shops in the near future.

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