I haven’t been getting Frappuccinos lately because the past few weeks have been so hot and so humid that I have stuck to more refreshing drinks, like Refreshers and iced teas at Starbucks. Frappuccinos are a little bit more like dessert, as far as I’m concerned, and I prefer to have them when I can enjoy them – not because I have to suck them down quickly to cool off! The other day, I glanced at the Frappuccino menu and noticed that there was a new option on the menu: a Caffe Espresso Frappuccino. As luck would have it, I was in the mood for a blended drink and I was armed with my camera, so I ordered on to give it a try.
The Caffe Espresso Frappuccino is essentially a coffee frappuccino that is topped with coffee/espresso flavored whipped cream and a drizzle of sweet espresso syrup. These may sound like small additions, but they turn a relatively plain drink into something delicious. The Caffe Espresso tastes a lot like tiramisu. I attributed this both to the caramel-like syrup and to the cloud of whipped cream, which really seemed to lighten up the texture of the drink in addition to boosting the coffee flavor. I wouldn’t mind topping off more frappuccinos with this combination and think it would be a great way to temper the sweetness of a caramel frappuccino or boost the coffee flavor of a mocha.
Coffee drinking is easy, while coffee tasting is not. This infographic, which is part of a series called The Truth About Coffee from The Bold Italic, sums up the process pretty well. Coffee tasting, like wine tasting, is a skill that you can develop by drinking lots and lots of high quality product. But the key is that you need high quality coffees where the flavors of citrus, caramel and earthiness – to name just a few – really stand out, so that you can easily identify them and learn to find them in other types of coffee.
Coffee-Mate’s Abuelita Coffee Creamer really exceeded my expectations the first time I tried it. I’m a big fan of the original Abuelita Mexican Chocolate products and the creamer actually mananged to deliver that spicy chocolate taste with any artificial chocolate flavor. I was so encouraged by its success that I decided to try the Coffee-Mate La Lechera Dulce de Leche when I spotted it in my local grocery store. This product is another spinoff from Nestle’s lineup of Mexican inspired products and it is flavored with dulce de leche, the addictive and rich milk caramel that is made from sweetened condensed milk.
Dulce de leche itself can be dissolved in coffee, but you really need to add milk or cream to your coffee to get its flavor to stand out. With the creamer, you are ready to sweeten your coffee without using multiple ingredients. The creamer really nailed the flavor of dulce de leche, with a nice balance of sweetness and caramel flavor. Adding just a bit of creamer was enough to give my coffee a mild sweetness, while a generous pour turned a glass of iced coffee into something that tasted like it was made at a coffee house. Like the Abuelita creamer, this one didn’t disappoint and it is definitely worth a try if you’re a lover of dulce de leche and are looking for an easy way to incorporate it into your daily routine.
Folgers commercials used to depict coffee-lovers being lured out of bed by the smell of freshly brewed coffee, no alarm clock needed. I don’t know about you, but that coffee would have to be very close to my bed for the smell alone to get me up in the morning. I have considered putting a coffee maker of some kind in my bedroom before, and the Barisieur might just be the solution to my problems. This nifty gadget, designed by British designer Josh Renouf, is an alarm clock that starts to brew you a perfect cup of coffee as soon as it goes off. It has a vintage look that conceals some very slick technology.
A beaker of water sits on top of an induction burner that turns on when the alarm goes off. The burner heats up stainless steel balls inside of the beaker, which will cause the water to boil and will also make a subtle noise that will rouse you from your sleep gently. The steam will travel up a tube and condense to pour out over fresh grounds, and you’ll have a perfect pour-over at just about the moment you are ready to get out of bed. I can’t wait to get one myself, but unfortunately they’re not on sale yet. The projected price is £150-£250, which is a bit steep but could very well be worth it for giving you the perfect way to wake up in the morning.