Getting Frosty Cold With Coffee

I know its not a shock, but I love me some coffee!!! I usually like hot coffee in the cold months and cold coffee in the hot months. That’s still true, but lately I’ve been replacing my cold coffee  with another yummy frostier version!! OMG, its soooooo good!

Here is my secret to a delicious coffee treat.  You’ll need 1.5 cups of chilled coffee, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 small bananas, 6 ounces of vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup of half and half and 1 cup of ice cubes.  Blend all of that up and you have a tasty treat for two.  Of course you might not want to share, you might want all two servings to yourself.  I’m not judging!

So what are your favorite summer coffee recipes??? I’d love to try them!

Spice Up Your Holidays With Coffee

So much cooking and baking goes on around the holidays. I just love this time of the year. While I’m feeling all festive, I also like to fill my coffee mug with some holiday cheer. Here is my favorite recipe.

You will need 1/3 cup ground coffee, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 cup of orange marmalade and, of course, cold water to put into your coffee maker (I generally make 3 cups).

Mix your ground coffee, cloves and cinnamon together and place them in a coffee filter. Put your orange marmalade straight into the coffee pot. It will melt when the hot brew comes through and will fill your coffee with orange delight-fulness:) Just to make sure your marmalade is blended properly stir your brewed pot before enjoying.

So what are your holiday coffee drink specials? I’d love to know!!

Food Network Says to Turn Coffee Grounds Into Coffee Granitas

You read the title right. Food Network has decided to teach us how to turn coffee grounds into coffee granitas. I’m interested!

What is a coffee granita you ask? Its a frozen drink made from used coffee grounds. Jonathan Kallini, pastry chef at Atlanta’s Floataway Cafe, appeared on Food Network and gave the secret to making this drink. In order to make this concoction Kallini says to steep the coffee grounds again adding sugar and salt then freeze them.

Well, this is certainly a creative way to get more out of your beans!

Study Finds Coffee May Cause Happiness

Lars Kuchinke, a German researcher at Ruhr University, and his team have discovered that coffee is a likely source of happiness. They really didn’t have to spend the money on this research project, I could have told them for free that coffee makes people happy.

The researchers asked 66 people, half of which were given 200 mg of caffeine 30 minutes prior, to quickly look at a computer and determine whether or not they saw any words in the string of letters presented on the screen. The half that were given caffeine, as opposed to those that received a placebo, were 7% more accurate in picking out positive words.

Lars Kuchinke believes that this is because caffeine stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for positive thoughts. “Although caffeine improves some mental functions, our study shows this may be specific for certain types of stimuli, like only positive words,’ he said.

Caffeine consumption leads to more accuracy and faster response times in simple tasks. It is believed that caffeine increases a brain chemical known as dopamine, which is linked with rewards, creativity, impulsive and addiction.

National Coffee Day Deals!

Its almost here, National Coffee Day 2012!! National Coffee Day will be on Saturday, September 29. Many companies are offering deals and freebies on that day, some are even honoring National Coffee Day a little earlier!! Yea!!!

Caribou Coffee is debuting Amy’s Blend coffee in their stores nation wide on National Coffee Day by offering a free small cup of Amy’s Blend to customers. They will be selling larger sizes at a discounted price if a small doesn’t tickle your fancy. You will pay .50 cents for a medium and $1 for a large cup. They will be officially releasing Amy’s Blend sometime in October.

McDonalds and Einstein Bros. Bagels are is not satisfied with giving coffee just one day so they are having a National Coffee Week!

At McDonalds you can get a free small coffee everyday starting on September 23rd on the East Coast. If you don’t live on the east coast, you should still check your local McDonanlds because word has it that some franchise owners who are not on the east coast are opting in on the celebration and offering freebies too, some throughout the week and some just on National Coffee Day.

Einstein Bros. Bagels are celebrating coffee all week long with discounted coffee drinks. They are offering 50% off specialty coffee drinks of the day throughout the week. Each day brings a new discounted drink. Hold on, they are not done! On National Coffee Day, pumpkin-flavored lattes will be the drink and its buy one get on free! There are 2 things I love in life, a true BOGO (buy one get one free) sale and anything pumpkin in the fall. I’m a happy camper!

Tim Hortons has a BOGO coffee deal too. “Like” Tim Hortons on Facebook and you’ll be able to print out a coupon to get a free cup of coffee when you buy a cup on National Coffee Day.

7-Eleven is creating their own brand of fun by designating the day before National Coffee Day, Friday, September 28th, as CofFREE Day. On CofFree day participating stores will give you a free large cup of hot coffee, tea, latte or cappuccino between 6am and 10am while supplies last!

Krispy Kreme is giving away free 12 oz cups of coffee on National Coffee Day and you will also get a chance to enter to win a free coffee for a year!

Kangaroo Express, a convenience store chain located in 13 Southern states, will be selling its Bean Street brand of coffee for a penny on National Coffee Day.

If I find more deals I’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you know of one I haven’t mentioned, please let me know in the comments!

Are Energy Drinks Just Sweetened Coffee?

Eric T. Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, is investigating whether or not the energy drink industry is misleading consumers about the ingredients in their products along with the health values that they are alleged to contain.

PepsiCo and Monster Beverage Corp claim that their products will boost energy with ingredients like B vitamins, taurine and ginseng. Schneideran is concerned that the boost comes more from caffeine than the other ingredients. The problem is that the amounts of none of these ingredients are listed on the energy drink packaging.

The investigation that Schneideran is heading is looking at whether or not energy drink companies are deliberately trying to mislead their consumers about their ingredients and what is giving them the energy boost. Are you paying a premium for little more than a cup of coffee? I guess we will find out!

KIND Healthy Snacks Adds Two New Flavors

KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) introduces two new flavors at Starbucks, Apple Cinnamon Nut + Fiber and Blueberry Vanilla & Cashew.

KIND sent me a few of these to try, after reading the label and seeing how healthy they were, I was skeptical.  But after I had one, I was amazed at how good they were.

These healthy bars are all natural, low in sodium, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free and non GMO.  (almost too healthy)

KIND says be kind to your body, which is great, but the taste is good enough that I’d eat it if it wasn’t healthy.  When you open the package you can actually see what type of fruit and nuts you are about to eat.

These two new flavors are only available at Starbucks, but  you can check out some of their other offerings online @ http://www.kindsnacks.com

Tis’ the Season

Tis’ the season for flavored coffee!!!! This year, more regional and grocery store brands are participating with holiday blends of their own according to Bloomberg Business Week reports.

Starbucks has Peppermint Mocha Latte, Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte. They also carry a lower-calorie version of the Peppermint Mocha Latte in select markets.

Dunkin’ Donuts has added a low-cal version of its gingerbread-flavored drip coffee to its holiday lineup.

Caribou Coffee has Fa La Latte and Ho Ho Mint Mocha.

Maxwell House is offering a Peppermint Mocha Latte mix.

Get your holiday flavor on!

Caffeine Brownies

Pharmaceutical grade caffeine will soon be hitting the brownies in Ames, Iowa.  A Smack In The Face, the nations first caffiene  bakery, has been opened by Allison Nelson.  Into each brownie she pours love along with 200 milligrams of pharmaceutical grade caffeine.  Now how is that or a naughty start to your morning?

“It’s exactly what grandma used to bake – no high-fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated soybean oil,” Nelson told The Des Moines Register. “We’re not wrapping up caffeine in a health bar here. We’re wrapping it up in a home-baked treat. Isn’t it about time you have caffeine and it tastes good?”

The brownies will be sold to local convenience stores, with a hope of moving on to chain stores.

Starbucks Introduces TRINTA

Americans love their coffee.  It seems we can’t get enough of the stuff.  Well, Starbucks is going to try to fill our unfillable thirst and addiction to java.

Starbucks introduced us to the 24 ounce Venti, but apparently that was not enough.  They are now introducing us to the Trinta, which will bring us a full 31 ounces off caffeinated (or decaffeinated if you are so inclined) goodness fit to fill anyone’s habit, at least for the morning.The catch, your only going to be able to get the Trinta size in iced coffee drinks and teas.  Also, since it is still in the test market stage, you will only be able to get the new size in Tampa and Phoenix. 

Hopefully the Trinta will do well in the test markets and get adopted nationwide.  Apparently the folks in Phoenix like it because Starbucks reports it’s doing well in approximately 280 stores in the area.  Its great because you get 30% more caffeine without paying for extra shots, which I think should be mandatory in the morning and early afternoon, for me at least.

Time will tell how Starbucks will fair next to its biggest competitor as of late, McDonald’s, who sales a 32 ounce coffee for $1.  I do not know the price point on the Starbucks brew, but I highly doubt it is economically competitive with McDonald’s, but the quality of the Starbucks brand and its minion of loyal followers are likely to get over the price point in a hurry.  One things for sure, we at coffeesage.com intend to give it a try.  The more the better!  Bring it on Starbucks, and bring it nationwide!

Caramels with Coffee and Bay Leaf

Love caramel and coffee?  I know I do.  I found this fantastic recipe that will be perfect for your holiday gatherings.  Its Coffee and Bay Leaf Caramels. 

This recipe serves 6 people, if you choose to share it.  After your first bite you might decide that they family an make due with pie and cake and keep them all for yourself!  Here is how you make them.

Caramel:

100g caster sugar
1 tbsp whisky
fresh bay leaf

Custard:

300ml soy milk
150ml cream
¼ cup espresso coffee
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
55g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste

For the caramel, place sugar in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of water, heat to a light golden caramel. Stir in the whisky and bay leaf and heat to a deep golden colour, remove the bay leaf and pour the caramel into metal dariole moulds, tipping around to coat the sides. Boil your kettle.

For the custard, scald the soy milk and cream in a saucepan, add the coffee and remove from the heat. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together lightly, then whisk in the milk mixture and pour into the moulds.

Place into a deep tray and pour boiling water halfway up the sides of the moulds. Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 40 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with grilled peaches or pears and cream.

I know your friends and family will love them.  They are delicious!