Sunday, March 29, 2015

Starbucks 2015 Tribute Blend - New Look - Same Great Coffee


To be honest, I almost blew off the Starbucks Tribute Blend this year.  I couldn't remember whether or not I liked it.

However, after enjoying it for the last week at the Starbucks in the bottom of my building (it was their bold offering), my fond memories returned and I realized I'd have to be crazy to pass up this dark beauty.

Starbucks created "Tribute Blend" for its 40th Anniversary in 2011.  Features four times the greatness with a blend from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea and Colombia Narino.

So fresh and so good.  Its cherry notes make me want to pair it with biscotti.  But I don't have any.  Somebody might have to do a little baking today.

Also available in Verismo pods and K-cups.

14.95 for a one pound bag of beans

Limited offering

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Tea Kettles Just Whistled A Little Softer - Steven Smith, Tea Master Has Died

Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Talbot (C)



Steven Smith,co-founder of the Tazo (now owned by Starbucks) and Stash tea brands has died from cancer. He was 65.

I had a chance to have an "e-conversation" with him in 2010 when I reached out inquiring about reviewing Smith Teas.  I fully expected a response from someone in PR.  Instead, I got a reply from the Master TeaSmith himself saying he would be happy to send me some samples.

When the box arrived, he included a handwritten note.  I think that speaks volumes about him, as a person, as a man, as a humanitarian that he would take time to respond to me and my lil 'ole blog.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Smith and "thank you" for your wonderful contributions to the industry and mankind.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Drink Up! 7Rewards from 7-Eleven! (And, there's an app for that)



Cups up!  

With the 7Rewards program, customers can earn rewards with every cup purchased made in the store.

"Buy 6 get 7" makes your 7th cup free.  And you can "mix and match" any COFFEE, Big Gulp, Slurpee and Chillers purchase to add up to SIX and get your SEVENTH cup free.

Here's how:

Text REWARDS to 711711 to download the 7-Eleven App (or download from the App Store and Google Play)

Make sure the salesclerk scans your person bar code in the app every time you purchase  your drink

After 6 - you're drinking the 7th on 7-Eleven!

I think you know what I'm drinking.  But I must admit, I do enjoy a good Slurpee on a Spring day!

Reward yourself!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Capresso CoffeeTEAM Pro Thermal Coffee Maker/Conical Burr Grinder - Treat Her Like A Lady



This conical burr grinder and thermal coffee maker all-in-one Capresso CoffeeTEAM Pro Thermal Coffee Maker and Conical Burr Grinder deserves respect.  And a lot of TLC.  

I've spent the last few weeks, brewing and reviewing so that I could give an honest opinion.

The first thing you notice is the beautiful design.  It's without question the fancy coffee maker I've ever used.  Definitely worthy of counter space in the newest and fanciest of kitchens.  However, I'm grateful that the nice folks at Capresso felt me worthy to let it occupy space in my humble abode.

The first three brews were amazing.  Then I couldn't get the grinder to grind.  That's because my beans were very oily and they caused the grinder to "clog."  Not to panic.  You can take the grinder apart and clean it and it works like a charm.

The key to this machine is to 1) Read and follow the directions included and 2) Treat it like you would any other piece of fine machinery.

If you prefer to buy and use ground coffee, no worries there's an "app" for that too.

Bottom line:  Lovely to look at and brews wonderful java.

Capresso's products are backed by a warranty and superior customer service.  



*JuraCapresso provided me with a free brewer for the purposes of preparing this review which in no way has influenced this product review.  Opinions expressed are solely mine.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Never Say Never - Coffee-mate (R) Chocolate Chip Creamer



I was reminded this past weekend is to "never say never."

While enjoying a lazy Sunday morning with my daughter, I was prodded, encouraged and pestered to "just give the Coffee-mate (R) Chocolate Chip Cookie Creamer" a try.

"No, absolutely not," I protested.  I never use flavored creamer in my coffee.  I mean, of course, I will drink flavored coffee from time to time, but never, never flavored creamer.  

I guess it must have been that one hour less of sleep which broke me down and I poured just a teaspoon in my coffee.

Surprise!  It was just what I needed to get out of my drab mood.  The flavor was so "pure," if that makes sense for an artificially flavored product.  This stuff isn't actually pretty good.  I won't be using it on the regular, but I will admit, variety is the spice of life and there's no reason to balk at a little "guilty pleasure."


Friday, February 27, 2015

Viennese Blend from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf



If you're one of those people who thought that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is only good for "iced drinks," think again.  They also roast really good beans.

This week, I've really been digging the "Viennese Blend."  This dark roast coffee is evenly roasted, with a medium body and my favorite chocolate undertones.  

Always handcrafted coffees.  And while you won't find one on every corner, CBTL is certainly worth seeking out.

Viennese Blend is $14.95 for a one pound bag of beans.

Delicious.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Coffee Crisp Wafer Bar - A Great "Pick-me-up"




Believe it or not, I'm not a huge fan of coffee flavored candies.  

Some of them are just too coffee-tasting. I prefer to drink my coffee and not eat it, but once in a  while, you run across something like this  NestlĂ© Coffee Crisp bar that totally hits it out of the park.

If you didn't know, I have an insatiable sweet tooth.  Which rivals only my love for coffee.  

I ran across this in World Market (they're imported from NestlĂ© Canada) and thought, "maybe I'll give it a shot."  (get it, shot of coffee?)

Any-hew, it's light and crispy and flaky and the chocolate is superb and the coffee flavor is oh so subtle like a mocha in a bar.

The perfect Oscar night snack.