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Archive for the tag “Coffee”

Melitta Café Collection: Ready Set Joe!

Melitta‘s Café Collection is so beautiful, no?  Thanks to Jessica we’ve been able to try the Classique Supreme and Parisian Vanilla.  Both are very fine grinds with lots of flavor.  The vanilla scent wafted through our whole apartment!

Melitta also has this cute “Ready Set Joe” personal brewing apparatus.  We’ve switched to using this instead of our french press for days that we only want a small amount of coffee, or if we want to “brew” different kinds of coffee for different people.  So convenient- just pour in hot water from the tea kettle and it’s ready in a minute.

Peet’s Coffee East African Uzuri Blend

Peet’s Coffee has a delicious new blend of coffee called Uzuri from East Africa.

Already well known for its quality blends, Peet’s introduces Uzuri African Blend-a coffee bold beyond flavor. Uzuri, meaning “excellent and beautiful” in Swahili, was named by the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Rwandan farmers who grow the beans.

Peet’s collaborated with the nonprofit TechnoServe to bring the distinct flavors of East Africa, the birthplace of coffee, to American coffee enthusiasts while creating a sustainable business model for thousands of farmers and their communities. Through farmer training and improved processing, the farmers are now producing coffee that meets Peet’s strict quality standards, earning them an estimated 30 percent more for their crop.

My husband and I enjoyed this coffee (thanks to Drew for sending some samples).  It’s nice when a product *is* good and tastes good, too!

Now when is a Pete’s Coffee shop going to come to NYC?

Tomorrow is National Coffee Day

Apparently tomorrow is National Coffee Day!

As someone who enjoys coffee each day, I figured I’d share this press release from Melitta including some tips on coffee storage and preparation.

Melitta Celebrates National Coffee Day on September 29

Coffee powerhouse offers 10 tips for brewing the perfect cup of coffee

CLEARWATER, Fla. — One of America’s favorite beverages is finally getting its day! September 29, 2010 is National Coffee Day, and for a nation that consumes over one-fifth of the world’s total coffee production, this is a day worth celebrating! In observance of National Coffee Day, Melitta USA, Inc. – best known for its premium line of coffee, coffee makers and coffee filters – is honoring the woman who revolutionized coffee consumption and disclosing secrets to brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

For starters, we’ll be lifting our cup to Melitta Bentz, a German housewife who revolutionized coffee consumption by inventing the coffee filter and drip method of coffee brewing. With the singular goal of making coffee taste better, she devised a filter lined with blotting paper that would remove all the grounds from the brew and eliminate the bitterness caused by over-boiling. Now, 102 years later, her cone filtration system is still considered a superior method of brewing.

So, what’s the key to a really great cup of coffee? That age-old question never seems to go away. Melitta offers the following 10 tips for selecting, storing, brewing and serving the perfect cup of coffee.

  1. Buy coffee weekly or bimonthly as ground coffee begins to stale 24 hours after the package is opened.
  2. Buy an extra fine grind coffee to get the fullest flavor. Finer particles expose more surface area of the coffee to the water, intensifying flavor extraction. With an extra fine grind, less coffee is needed. Melitta recommends 2 level teaspoons per 6 ounces of water, but obviously one should experiment with the amount that best fits their taste.
  3. Think of coffee as fresh produce. Oxygen, light, heat and moisture all reduce the freshness and flavor of the grounds and beans.
  4. Do not store coffee in the freezer! Freezing will coagulate the natural oils found in coffee, and ice particles will adversely affect both flavor and aroma.
  5. Much like wine, the flavor of coffee is carried in part by the aroma, and cups or mugs that “deliver the aroma” to the nose will make your coffee taste better. Thick porcelain walls hold in warmth.
  6. Coffee is roughly 98% water, so water quality plays a critical role in the ultimate taste of your coffee. Start with cold water. Filtered water is best.
  7. Use paper filters. Paper filters effectively trap bitter sediments and produce no bitter aftertaste.
  8. Cone shaped filters are preferred over basket shaped filters, as the design ensures water saturates more grounds, improving flavor extraction.
  9. Adding natural ingredients (ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla bean, nutmeg, citrus peel, etc.) provide a uniquely flavorful coffee experience. Add to ground coffee just before brewing.
  10. Drink coffee as soon as possible after brewing. If left on a burner, the coffee will continue to cook and starts to degrade in as little as 20 minutes.

For more tips, coffee trivia, recipes and news about the latest coffee products and trends, please visit Melitta at www.melitta.com, http://www.facebook.com/MelittaUSA or http://twitter.com/MelittaUSA.

About Melitta

For over 100 years, Melitta has dedicated itself to providing the ultimate coffee experience with its premium line of coffee, coffee filters and high quality coffee makers, bringing European indulgence to life.  The company was founded in 1908 by Melitta Bentz, after receiving a patent for her two-part coffee filtering system consisting of a filter and filtration paper.  The filter system was the first to successfully remove coffee residue in the brewing process, revolutionizing the way coffee was brewed. Melitta USA, Inc., part of the privately held Melitta Group in Minden, Germany, is headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. Melitta USA produces coffee and filters in North America and markets the line in the U.S. For more information, visit www.melitta.com.

Living Harvest Hempmilk and Hemp Frozen Dessert

Ready to be Tempt-ed by some great, healthy products?  Tempt is a line of delicious non-dairy “milks” and “ice creams” made from hemp seeds.  Jennifer from Living Harvest Foods was kind enough to send me a couple of coupons.

Unsweetened Vanilla Tempt Hempmilk is a delicious low-calorie beverage (60 calories in 1 cup) while also being a convenient source of healthy fats (6 grams of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat in 1 cup) that come naturally from hemp seeds.

With my other coupon I purchased the Coffee Biscotti flavor from Tempt’s frozen dessert lineup (of which there are many tantalizing flavors).  I absolutely fell in love with this.  Not only do I love coffee ice cream (old school Coffee Toffee by Ben & Jerry’s, anyone?) but this has chocolatey cookie chunks a great mouth feel (thanks to those natural fats from hemp seeds).   Still, just 140 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

If you’ve ever tried a hempmilk-based product, I’d love to hear about it; comment below!

Starbucks Instant Coffee: VIA Ready Brew

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Instant Coffee is about to be released in the U.S. on Tuesday (March 3, 2009).

It seems a bit ironic that after leading the way of coffee elitism, Starbucks is scrambling amid slumping sales and will try anything, including what most of us would least expect.

I am reminded of being in South America, mere kilometers from some of of the world’s finest coffee plantations whose beans ultimately fetch some of the world’s highest prices, and being served generic instant Nescafe at the restaurants and cafes!

Still, I’m not above instant coffee myself and when I’m camping or traveling it can really hit the spot.  I’d enjoy trying VIA and to compare it to other instant coffees I’ve had.

But, $9.95 for 12 servings works out to be 83 cents per serving, which is still far more expensive than brewing coffee at home (even if they’re Starbucks or other fancy beans).

Let me know if you try it!

Latte at Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien serves coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos in bowls.  I like that.

Together with its communal tables and unlimited praline chocolate spread, it’s a warm, happy place.

Once when I was there a Russian lady with big, fiery eyes asked to sample my merengue and then practically sat on my lap to break off a piece, exclaiming endlessly how delicious it was while smacking her lips and urging her embarrassed husband to sample some, too.  He politely declined and escorted her back to her seat.

Some get overly excited about the coziness of the place, I guess.

Historic Voter Turnout, Thanks in Part to Bake Sale

Here is the line outside the elementary school where I vote. Wrapped around the block. At 6:30am.

The PTA was holding a bake sale inside the school. Young entrepreneurs determined that the best sales strategy was to carry trays of scones, cookies and brownies outside to the people in line.

“Get something to eat to help pass the time! Fifty cents each!” a redheaded 3rd grader hollered.

“Two for a dollar sound better,” her friend opined.

“Two for a dollar!” they both shouted as they continued down the sidewalk.

There were also small cups of coffee for $1 each. The girls yelled, “You know you didn’t have enough coffee before you left the house this morning!”

Smart kids, I thought, as I reached into my purse for a dollar bill.

Gadget: Custom Coffee Grinder

As I’ve stated previously, I’m not inclined to buy a lot of gadgets to clutter my kitchen, but here’s one that is worth its space: a custom coffee grinder.  I have the Hamilton Beach model pictured above.

If you’re a coffee drinker, it allows you to only grind a few days’ worth of beans at a time and thus enhancing freshness.  You can set the lever to various grind sizes within categories of “auto drip” or “espresso.”

But I also use it for other things: if I need to quickly grind up an herb or a spice, or when I want to make some raw/demera/turbinado sugar more suitable for recipes (or to better dissolve in coffee).

Save yourself a future heart attack, though, by carefully wiping down the blade if you use sugar or any other substance that could get sticky.  Not because a sticky blade will cause a heart attack, per se, but because a sticky blade may not turn and will thus make you think your coffee grinder just died, which may cause severe distress.  But it didn’t die, and you can calm down, it’s just sticky.

Starbucks Mugs: Current selection

There are two types of people: those who have bought merchandise at Starbucks, and those who haven’t… yet.

For anyone who frequents Starbucks, it’s bound to happen sometime. You’re in line, or waiting for the barista, and something surprisingly pretty and perhaps even mildly functional catches your eye. And before you know it, you’ve bought it.

I have in fact bought a lot of merchandise at Starbucks over the years, from travel coffee mugs and ceramic teacups to milk frothers and picture frames. (Really? Did I really buy a picture frame at Starbucks?) Given the fact there’s a website with online ordering, I must not be the only one.

These mugs are all part of the current offering. I saw them in person and they’re nice. I did not buy them, though. Yet.

Recipe: Chocolate Oat Balls

There are two types of people: those who prefer baking and those who prefer cooking.

Despite my sweet tooth I am very much in the cooking camp. I am not very precise with measurements and I am liberal with substitutions. Therefore when I make dessert I usually make pudding, macaroons, fruit tarts and other things that can handle my lack of attention to detail.

These chocolate oat balls fit the bill. They’re no-bake, easy, and pretty.

Chocolate Oat Balls

Adapted from Anne’s Food, a wonderful blog

250 ml rolled oats
50 ml sugar
50 ml cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot, strong coffee
50 g unsalted butter, very soft

Put all ingredients together. Roll into balls. Anne suggested rolling them in coconut or pearl sugar, but I tried coconut and couldn’t get it to stick. Perhaps because it was unsweetened and therefore not sticky?

Eat soon. Store in refrigerator, but, better yet, don’t store at all. The next day they will begin to dry out considerably.

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