Herbal Coffee – My New Love – Especially When I Have a Cold

Recently, while fighting a cold, I accidentally discovered a whole new way to enjoy coffee – Herbal Coffee!

NOTE: Coffee substitute made from chicory root and other herbs is also sometimes called herbal coffee. What I’m referring to here is coffee with herbal infusions added – like a herbal tea-coffee combination, which I recently discovered by accident, when I had a head cold.

What is Herbal Coffee?

For thousands of years we’ve made healthful and tasty infusions of herbs with boiling water and tea leaves. Generally, I turn to drinking tea full-time whenever I have a cold – not only to cut back on the acidity of coffee, which weakens the immune system, but to take in medicinal herbs specifically to help with my ailments. My favorites are from Celestial Seasonings and both the Sinus Soother and the Throat Tamer really make a difference with those symptoms. In fact, they are so popular they sometimes sell out at the store, so stock up. My other perennial favorite is Honey Vanilla Chamomile – this makes a nice sweet treat in the evenings with a touch of honey and cream or milk.

Once in a while, I venture into new and interesting flavors, like Cinnamon Apple Spice and Peppermint. My husband surprised me with a brand-new one the other day: Lemon Lavender Lane. It’s now become a favorite, which I’ll have year-round.

So what is Herbal Coffee? I accidentally made it up when I had my cold. I wanted a coffee very badly, despite my sinuses, so I allowed myself one cup of coffee, with the Sinus Soother tea bag in it. I placed the tea bag in my mug, used my Mr. Coffee Cafe Espresso Maker to pull two shots of espresso directly into the mug, so the herbs could begin infusing right away. Then I manually added the frothy cashew-milk foam on top.

Boy, was I surprised at how delicious it was! Sinus Soother is an effective combination of spearmint, licorice, peppermint, tulsi, stinging nettle and fennel. It also has some chamomile, lemongrass, menthol and tilia flowers. Many of these medicinal herbs are known for aiding against sickness, and it really works on cutting down overactive sinus activity.

I didn’t realize the spearmint, peppermint and licorice would make my coffee taste so good. It’s not overpowering, just a delicious, subtle hint of mint and licorice.

Sometimes I make a Cafe American and pull my espresso shot with the tea bag, then add boiling water – similar to tea. It’s delicious and uses no cream. I always add a little honey in my coffee as sweetener when I’m fighting a sore throat or cold.

You can also use a French Press. In this case I placed the tea bag with the grounds, then removed the tea bag to put into my mug before pressing the filter down.

The Combinations are Endless

This opened a whole, new coffee-tasting adventure for me. I’ve only just begun, but it’s my new favorite way to make coffee – with a flavored, herbal tea-bag in it. These are the flavors I’ve tried so far that work amazingly well with coffee:

  • Cinnamon Apple Spice. Try it with caramel or cinnamon stevia!
  • Lemon Lavender Lane: I’ve always loved Lavender Coffee, which until now, you could only get by adding lavender coffee syrup – lots of sugar. Now I make Lavender Coffee with my tea bag instead: sugar-free. I sweeten it with a touch of honey or plain stevia.
  • Blueberry Green Tea. I’ve always loved blueberry coffee, but it’s an elusive flavor, hard to come by. No longer!
  • Honey Vanilla Chamomile. Need I say more? Sweeten with honey.
  • Sinus Soother. Spearmint, Peppermint, Licorice – yum. Sweeten with honey if you’re fighting a cold.
  • Throat Tamer. Chamomile, Licorice, Ginger, Tilia Flower, Slippery Elm. Again, sweeten with honey if you have a sore throat.

Flavors that did NOT work at all:

  • Peppermint. Surprisingly, this one did not work with coffee and I had to throw it out. I think it’s because it’s the actual peppermint herb. Peppermint flavoring or syrup always tastes good in coffee.
  • Lemon. I tried a Persian Dried Lemon, good for tea infusions to help with colds – straight with my coffee. It did not work by itself either. A little lemon or lemongrass in the other herbal teas work fine, but not straight lemon.

Flavors I’d like to try:

  • Country Peach Passion
  • Vanilla
  • Black Cherry Berry or Black Cherry
  • Chai tea bag
  • Tangerine Orange
  • Bengal Spice
  • Mandarin Orange Spice

Health Benefits

Of course, for us herbalists, we can always experiment with our own herbal combinations, like cinnamon, licorice, ginger, dried orange peel, etc.

Making and drinking herbal coffee increases the health benefits of coffee, especially if you’re fighting a cold. It’s still much healthier and less acidic (more alkaline) to primarily drink tea or herbal infusions when you’re sick. But I allowed myself one cup of herbal coffee a day, because I just wanted my coffee!

But instead of just an acidic, caffeinated drink, you’re now also getting the medicinal benefits of the herbs. Cinnamon and other sweet spices especially helps against colds. So does Stinging Nettle, but that one doesn’t taste good by itself – it tastes kind of like grass – and I wouldn’t put that one alone into coffee.

Just as I do with a tea bag, keeping it in my cup and refilling with boiling water, I placed the tea bag into my coffee mug and top off my coffee with another espresso shot, or boiling water to make a Cafe American. This way you get at least two cups for every tea bag. (I actually just keep my tea bag in my cup all day with each refill, the flavor gets lighter and lighter.)

Starbucks now offers a Juniper Sage Latte, the featured drink for Christmas Season of 2018. I tried it and the flavors are a little too subtle for me, but I did enjoy it and will get it again.

Herbal Coffee for when You Have a Cold

So if you’re fighting a cold, keep drinking tea and herbal infusions, for the most part. But if you really want a coffee, make a healing herbal coffee for yourself.

What are Your Favorite Combinations?

When you’re not sick, the combinations are endless. Give it a try and find out which ones you like best. Please comment below on herbal coffees you have tried and which you like and do not like. I will do the same as I experiment.

Celestial Seasonings and many other teas are found at your local grocery store, as well as Amazon.com.

 

 

 

Stainless Steel Moka Pot – Get Yours While You Still Can

stainless steel moka potThe Bialetti Classic Stainless Steel Moka Pot coffee maker – this iconic espresso maker is known to be in every house in Italy. But the news is out now that the Italian company, Bialetti, is facing possible bankruptcy. Our days to get an original Italian Bialetti moka espresso pot may be numbered.

Moka Espresso Pot

I originally bought one of these little beauties to take with me camping. You use it right on the stove or campfire, it’s small and sturdy, and makes a delicious espresso coffee.

Bialetti started making these in 1933, when the economy was struggling and people couldn’t afford to drink their espressos out as often. This easy little espresso maker is affordable and makes a delicious espresso right at home. It has become the mainstay of Italian homes – it is claimed that every home in Italy has one of these. When I heard that, I bought mine and have loved and used it ever since.

Now, with Starbucks and coffee shops opening in Italy, with automatic one-cup coffee and home espresso makers, like Nespresso and Keurig, Bialetti is losing sales and struggling. Let’s hope and pray they do not go bankrupt! Here is the news story where you can find more information.

Moka Pot vs French Press

I use both my Bialetti moka pot as well as my French Press, and my Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino Maker. When I compare the moka pot vs French Press, overall the strength and taste of the coffee is similar. With the moka pot, you get a generally higher and stronger, more espresso coffee. French Press makes a delicious regular coffee. But with each of them, how strong the coffee is depends on how many tablespoons of grinds you put in, how strong is the coffee bean you’re using, which type of bean (espresso roast or regular roast), etc. The moka pot obviously works better for camping than the French Press, since it is a stainless steel moka pot instead of a glass container.

I like that with the moka pot it brews and then you immediately pour and drink, nice and hot. With the French Press, the coffee sits in the grind for at least three minutes, sometimes up to five depending on your preference, so you have to find a way to keep it hot. I usually pour my French Press coffee into a pre-warmed coffee thermos – I can then pour and drink at my leisure, and it remains pretty hot, but not as steaming as pouring it directly the brew from the moka pot.

The other main difference is that the moka pot only makes a small amount of espresso, depending on which moka pot size you have, whereas the French Press makes several American mugs of coffee each time. French Presses also come in several sizes, but most people use the standard size.

There is also the difference in how the coffee is made. The moka pot percolates your coffee, infusing the grind with moving, boiling water – which I think makes a more delicious and smooth cup of coffee. The French Press has the boiling water poured over where it then sits with the grinds in a more static infusion.

As far as timing for your coffee, the moka pot is slightly quicker. My moka pot takes about three-five minutes, depending on how hot the heat source is, before the water percolates up into the upper chamber. The French Press takes a while for you to get water boiling, depending on how hot your heat source is, then it sits for 3-5 minutes, so it takes a little longer.

The Moka Pot is easier to clean, too. None of it goes in the dishwasher. The three components come apart easily and you simply rinse under hot water – it is a stainless steel moka pot, so very simple. With the French Press, I usually rinse it out, too, but the glass doesn’t clean as easily as stainless steel. Occasionally I remove the glass part and run that and the filter lid through the dishwasher.

Moka Pot Sizes

Like most Europeans, the Italians drink tiny cups of strong espresso. So you’ll find the 1-cup Moka espresso pot, making 2 oz of espresso to fit a tiny espresso cup. Then there’s the 3-cup size stainless steel moka pot, which makes 4.4 oz of espresso – enough for 2 espresso cups, or one small American cup of coffee.

For myself, I chose the 6-cup moka pot, as it makes about two cups of American-size coffee, just enough for me, and is a comfortable size to take camping at 4″x4″x 9″ tall. It produces 9.2 oz of coffee. Keep in mind, when I say it makes me two cups of American size, I tend to drink from a slightly smaller coffee cup than most Americans. If you’re using the large coffee mug popular in the US, this 6-cup moka pot will probably fill one of those with a little left over to top it off.

From there you can choose the 14.2 oz moka pot for espresso, it fills two large American coffee mugs. Lastly Bialetti offers the 12-cup moka pot, making 22.7 oz of espresso – just under three full American mugs. This one is for gatherings and is 11″ tall.

Moka Pot Instructions

Using the moka pot for espresso is very easy. First you unscrew the top chamber from the bottom chamber. Remove the filter piece. Pour water into the bottom chamber up to the fill line. Nestle the filter piece in, and put as many tablespoons of coffee grinds as you like – I usually use 1 Tablespoon per cup of coffee – so about 2 Tablespoons in my 6-cup Bialetti Moka Espresso Pot. I recommend a medium grind, same as for the French Press.

If you like to add a sprinkling of cinnamon or other spice, as I often do, put it on your grinds. Next just screw on the upper chamber.

Place the moka pot on your stove or campfire, whatever you’re using for your heat source. I put my stove at about the 6:00 position – medium heat. Then you wait. After about five minutes or so, you’ll hear it percolating into the upper chamber. I lift the lid to check when the upper chamber is full, then I know it’s done. Remove it from heat, pour and enjoy.

Grind Coffee Moka Pot

Various coffee makers work best at different grinds of coffee. For the moka pot I recommend a medium grind of coffee beans, like you would use in any espresso maker.

Do you use a Bialetti or other moka pot coffee maker? Please comment below how you like it, how you think it compares to French Press coffee, and any other thoughts below.

Where to Buy a Moka Pot Coffee Maker

I bought my stainless steel moka pot coffee maker at Amazon.com

You can also get it directly from the manufacturer at www.Bialetti.com

 

 

Kona Purple Mountain Coffee

I ran into someone who said the best tasting coffee they’ve ever had is Kona Purple Mountain Coffee. I was excited to try it, so I ordered it off of Amazon. It took over a week to get to me from Hawaii. Kona Purple Mountain Coffee is organic and naturally made and roasted on the mountains of Hawaii, so already I was impressed.

Note, there is a separate company called Kona Mountain Coffee with shops in Hawaii, but I’m reviewing here Kona Purple Mountain Coffee, a brand of coffee bean made in Hawaii.

Kona Purple Mountain Coffee

Upon opening the bag I delighted in the lovely fresh coffee aroma coming from the beans. I ground some and made coffee, trying it in my Bialetti Moka Pot as well as a French Press, and later I used it in my Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino Maker.

This company, Kona Purple Mountain, started in 1976 and is a family-owned coffee estate. They grow 100% pure organic beans in the high altitude of Honaunau Mountain at 2,000 feet. The farm is located on the western slope of Mauna Loa, on the kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii. They have an optimal prime location for growing excellent beans. They do all the processing themselves using traditional methods, from harvesting to shipping. The beans are sun-dried on “hoshidana,” a wooden platform deck with an obviously Japanese name. The hoshidana is covered with a thick plastic greenhouse tarp to protect the beans from the afternoon rains. They add no chemicals or pesticides of any kind. The coffee is roasted fresh right at their farm.

On their website you will find lots of photos of the steps they do to make this delicious coffee.

They are certified organic, which means no blends, flavors, pods or decaf. The beans are 100% sun dried and hand-picked and they offer green or roasted coffee beans.

Their motto is “With passion and respect for the aina (land), we practice sustainable organic farming and are “Certified Organic.” Their philosophy alone is worth giving this company our coffee-loving support.

What is Kona Coffee, exactly?

Kona coffee refers to coffee specifically cultivated on the mountain slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. These are found in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island. Kona Coffee is one of the most expensive coffees to buy in the world today. Only coffee grown in the kona districts are allowed to use the prestigious name. The ideal conditions for growing coffee stem from the sunny mornings, the rainy afternoons, mild wind and nights, and the volcanic soil rich in minerals. There is nowhere else just like this for growing the unique coffee.

Because of the price of pure kona coffee, some merchants sell “kona-blends.” Be aware that these are kona coffee blended with less expensive coffee, like Colombian, Brazilian or other coffees from around the world.

The word kona is the name of a southwesterly winter wind in Hawaii. This kona wind is usually strong and it brings rain.

Another company, voted by Forbes as having the best kona coffee in the world, is Koa Coffee – be sure to check them out. I’ve read that each kona farm produces their own distinct arabica coffee bean, the micro climate of each farm plays a part. So trying out the various kona coffee company’s beans would be a fun and interesting challenge.

Save on Kona Coffee when you buy a Triple-pack!

Unusual Taste

Before this I’d been drinking dark Turkish coffee and some Lavazza, my favorite. I also enjoy Bustelo Cuban Coffee and Starbucks, all of which sport a smoky coffee flavor. Starbucks’ coffee beans have a dark, slightly burnt taste.

With Kona Purple Mountain Coffee (I got medium roast), I noticed right away it has a completely different flavor profile. At first I didn’t like it at all, but I’m getting used to it and starting to enjoy it now. It has a kind of brassy, coppery tone to it, almost like caramel. At first it reminded me of cheap coffee I’ve had at places like Village Inn, or like Maxwell House. But this coffee is expensive to buy. I wonder if this flavor profile comes from it drying in the Hawaiian sun, and from the volcanic soil? Or maybe because this is a medium roast?

It is still a strong coffee, like the others I’m used to. Now that I’m adjusting to the different taste, I’m starting to quite enjoy it. It is kind of caramelly, a flavor I often prefer in my coffees.

I’ve read warnings that many companies will try to trick you by using the word “kona.” Be sure to double-check if the beans you are ordering are actually grown in the kona districts of Hawaii.

Have You Tried It?

Let me know, in the comments below, if you have tried Kona Purple Mountain Coffee (or any kona coffee brand) and if you understand what I mean by the different taste profile.

It took me a few cups to come around, but I am starting to enjoy this unusual taste. I like to add some kind of creamer, either coconut creamer from the store, or my homemade cashew milk creamer, along with some caramel-flavored liquid stevia. The caramel stevia enhances the slightly caramel taste of the coffee and they go very well together.

If you have tried other kona coffee brands, please leave your impressions in the comments below. Do they all have the same, basic taste profile? It would be fun to compare.

Monthly Coffee Club

This family-owned business offers a monthly Coffee Club. It’s a standing monthly order that gets charged to your card and shipped out the 1st of every month. Your regular order is sent out, but you can contact them anytime to add to or change your order, if you wish. With this club you will get a discounted price on the coffee.

Where to Buy Kona Purple Mountain Coffee.

Other Trustworthy Kona Coffee Brands Recommended to Try.

  • Koa Coffee
  • The Hawaiian Coffee by Keala
  • Volcanica Coffee
  • The Hawaii Coffee Company
  • The Koa Coffee (Peaberry Kona)

 

 

 

 

Compostable Keurig pods – Yummy Southern Pecan

  At last! Coffee makers are coming out with compostable Keurig pods / K cups. Waste was one of my biggest factors against owning a Keurig. But I love using one, they are so convenient and awesome.

I recently got to try Cameron’s Southern Toasted Pecan, in compostable K cups coffee pods. (Yes, it’s technically a pod, but people are used to calling all things Keurig as “K cups.”) I found mine in Safeway, but Amazon.com carries it, too.

Toasted Southern Pecansouthern-toasted-pecans

I love flavored coffee. I don’t buy my dad’s maxim that “People who want flavors in their coffee, don’t like coffee.” Truth is, I love coffee, just the regular flavor of delicious coffee. But I’m also a culinary adventurer, and I love nothing more than to try new flavors in all of my foods and drinks, especially coffee (well, duh, hence this site).

Keurig Compostable Cups for Coffee

We now have more and more choices for compostable Keurig pods and compostable K cups for our Keurig coffee. I discovered Cameron’s Southern Toasted Pecan, it was on sale, so I decided to give it a try. (I was staying at my friend’s house and enjoying her Keurig.)

No After-taste

One of the problems I have with the various Starbucks K Cups flavors, is that many of them have a nasty after-taste. It’s similar to the after-taste you get when you add too much Stevia. This is found only in some of their flavors. Others of their flavors taste better without any cream or milk, by the way. You will have to experiment to see which you like best.

Cameron’s Toasted Southern Pecan has no after-taste. It is pure deliciousness with the nutty sweet flavor of pecans, like what you get in homemade Pecan Pie (one of my favorites). The aroma alone will delight your senses as it is brewing into your cup.

Compostable Keurig Pods

This is the best part – the coffee pod is compostable. Note the fine print, however, to double-check with your own composting rules in your community, some places are equipped and some may not be, just yet. Also, it is not suitable for backyard home composting. But in the town where I was staying, they compost everything, even meat and bones, so I knew they could handle a compostable coffee K cup.

More to Come in Compostable Coffee K Cups

With more companies offering compostable K cups for coffee, our caffeine habits are getting greener every day. This is great news.

Have you tried some Keurig compostable cups or pods? Tell us in the Comments what you think and which are your favorite.

 

 

 

Honey Coffee Healthy Benefits – Delicious Together

Honey in coffee? Do they even go together?

Yes they do, and for a while Starbucks even offered a Caramelized Honey Latte – this one sold out in my area at all Starbucks. I’m still waiting for them to bring it back…

Honey in Coffee

Surprisingly, sweetening hot coffee with honey works deliciously together. Honey is very sweet, so don’t use too much. This sweetener is natural, especially if you get raw, local honey, and is even allowed on some diets like Paleo (small amounts, not too often).

Health Benefits of Honey

Honey is an all-natural sweetener with a low glycemic index. If you buy local, raw honey, it will help you to resist pollen allergies to your local flora. Honey also gives long, sustained energy. It is so sweet you only need a tiny bit. It is already used often in teas to help with sore throat. A long-time home remedy for sore throat is to take a spoonful of warm honey with lemon juice and swallow. Honey coats the throat, easing the soreness. The lemon juice helps to kill germs and to detox.

Honey Coffee

We know coffee also has health benefits, and I like my coffee every morning. But when I’m struggling with sore throat or a cold coming on, I always use honey in my coffee (and also drink lots of tea). They taste amazingly great together. I use honey in my coffee at other times, too, like when I need the extra, sustained energy boost.

Give it a Try

Try it and see for yourself. Here’s a thought, what about playing around with flavored honeys? Like Cinnamon Honey, Berry Honey, Clover Honey? Let me know how you like it and which ones you’ve tried, below.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review – Espresso, Cappuccino & Latte Maker

After my Delonghi Cappuccino Maker bit the dust (I consistently tamped too hard, which ended up breaking the machine over 2-3 years), I researched a new replacement cappuccino maker. After looking over many options, including some pod machines, I settled on Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte Maker – it makes espressos, cappuccinos and lattes!

My Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Review

I’ve been using Mr. Coffee Cafe now for eight months – I got it at Christmas 2017. I was a little concerned about getting it at first, because one reviewer on Amazon said that it suddenly started curdling their milk, making a huge mess. Then I remembered that the only thing which curdles milk is heat and vinegar – I concluded that the user must have run vinegar through their machine to clean it, and some residual vinegar must be remaining in the machine. No other reviewer has had that problem.

Noisy Cappuccino Makers

My Delonghi Cappuccino Maker was great, but it was very loud, and sometimes we have guests trying to sleep near our kitchen, so noise is a concern. The main reason I did not get the newest Delonghi was because several reviewers mentioned that it vibrated so powerfully it moved the whole machine along the counter, causing the coffee cup to fall of it, etc. So I knew I did not want that.

I asked in the questions about Mr. Coffee Cafe, and was told it was not loud.

They were wrong. I love my Mr. Coffee Cafe, but it is very loud. Not only is it loud when you pull your espresso shots, but if you make a cappuccino or a latte then you have to run it a second time for it to self-clean steam through the nozzle. That part is just as loud, too. I concluded, having tried several cappuccino makers, that generally they are all loud.

Let me know in the comments below if you find one that is quiet like a cat’s purr.

Mr. Coffee Cafe

My favorite part of this machine is, of course, that it automatically steams and froths your milk directly into your mug – no more having to do that extra step with the extra cleaning involved. It’s really fun to watch the milk froth and pour into your mug before your espresso shots pull in – even if you don’t have a clear, glass coffee mug as shown in the product video.

cappuccino bird
Can you see the bird?

Every morning I have either a cappuccino or a latte, then when I stir, the foam forms a picture. I enjoy seeing which picture I can make out every morning – like cloud watching.

I enjoy an occasional espresso late in the afternoon.

Be aware that the lights will blink while the unit is heating up. It only takes a minute or less, but you have to wait for the lights to be solid and not blinking before it is ready to use.

I love that you can choose to push a simple button for espresso, cappuccino or latte and let the machine do the work. Or you can manually pull your espressos, manually add extra froth, as much or as little as you want, if you choose to hand-craft your coffee.

Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte!

None of my previous cappuccino machines made latte, too. I love making lattes, they are so delicious. Keep in mind, though, that lattes use a LOT of milk, so you’ll run through your milk very fast.

This machine works equally well with cow’s milk as well as nut milk and creamers. When I make my own homemade cashew milk creamer, I just have to make sure it’s liquidy enough and not too thick, which will clog and strain the machine. You will learn over time which milks make the best froth. Cow’s milk wins every time, but coconut creamer does a great job as does my cashew creamer. Almond milk and creamer makes almost no froth and doesn’t taste good in coffee.

I’ve made 1-4 coffees a day since last Christmas, and my machine is working perfectly. Cleaning is easy. After I use up all my milk in the milk container, I rinse out the top mechanical part well and run the bottom, clear container through my dishwasher (or hand-wash it).

On a daily basis, when you are done making your coffee, you pull out the milk container and store it in the fridge – remember to do that every time!

Also, one user suggested buying a replacement little rubber tube piece (part of the top milk container) in case you lose or break it, so that you can keep making coffee. That clear rubber tube pops off for easy cleaning. I haven’t followed this tip because I have four other ways to make my morning coffee, so I’ll buy a replacement if and when I need one.

Also, make sure to keep an eye on the water tank in the back of the machine – don’t let it ever get below an inch. I accidentally tried to pull a coffee when my water tank was almost completely empty – I panicked and filled it while the machine was running, and I haven’t yet seen any adverse effects. But generally you never want this to happen!

Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte Maker

Mr. Coffee Cafe Cappuccino and Latte Maker comes with a cute little recipe booklet with all sorts of fun recipes for espressos, cappuccinos and lattes, including alcoholic drinks. I’ve tried a few and they are a lot of fun. Be sure to experiment with your favorites roasts, grinds and brands of coffee, and share any recipes you’ve come up with below.

You can buy the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker on Amazon.com. Be sure to watch it – sometimes the price goes down to a great sale. But even at its full price this machine is worth it.

 

 

 

Where to Buy Lavazza Coffee – Best No Sugar Coffee

I was speaking with my accountant. She was drinking an espresso, black.where to buy lavazza coffee

“I can’t do that,” I said. “Black coffee is too bitter for me, I need sugar at least.”

“This is Lavazza,” she answered. She explained that Italian-made Lavazza coffee is so smooth you can drink it without any sugar and it’s not bitter.

I tried it and it’s now one of my absolute favorite coffees of all time – one of the best coffees in the world, I would say. You CAN actually drink Lavazza black without any sugar added. (It’s also good with sugar and cream.)

Here’s where to buy Lavazza coffee.

1st in Coffee

The awesome coffee website 1stincoffee offers many choices for Lavazza coffee. As always I recommend buying whole beans and grinding them yourself for the best coffee experience. But you can purchase Lavazza ground as well as whole bean.

I like the Super Crema, but you’ll want to try all the Lavazza choices, both espresso and regular roasted beans. There’s a smooth, berry-like flavor in Lavazza which is immensely satisfying. I’m currently enjoyed Perfetto Espresso Roast.

1stincoffee has a best-seller three package sampler, a great way to try out Lavazza coffee.

Make sure to check out the wide variety of gourmet coffee 1st in Coffee offers. You will find everything a coffee-lover drools over here, from beans to coffee makers to needed tools, like coffee bean grinders.

Amazon

Of course Amazon.com carries Lavazza, too. They also have a wide selection and competitive prices. They have a four-pack for you to try out several flavors of Lavazza coffee.

Amazon even offers Lavazza K-cups for the Keurig.

Walmart

Walmart.com also carries Lavazza coffee with prices comparable to Amazon.com.

Local Grocers

Lately I’ve been getting my Lavazza from our local grocer, King Sooper’s. Be sure to check the coffee isle to see if you can get it with your normal grocery shopping.

Your Life Will Never be the Same

Now you know where to buy Lavazza coffee – give it a try and comment below your thoughts and which Lavazza roasts and flavors you like best.

cappuccino

 

 

 

 

Cold Brew vs Hot Brew Coffee – Which is Better?

Cold Brew coffee has been getting a lot of hype lately. We know it is less acidic, cold brew vs hot brew coffeebut does it have the health benefits of hot brewed coffee? Here we’ll examine cold brew coffee vs hot brew coffee – which is better?

Health Benefits of Coffee

Yes, coffee does have health benefits! That’s great news. Most of the studies done on the health benefits of coffee, however, were done just on hot brewed coffee. There haven’t been as many studies yet performed on cold brewed coffee, or on cold brew vs hot brew.

Benefits of Hot Brew Coffee

hot coffeeRegularly-brewed or hot brew coffee has large amounts of antioxidants and healthy, natural oils. We all know it’s a stimulant, gives energy and boosts focus. Coffee improves several areas of brain function, increasing happy mood as well as energy, memory and general cognitive function. Read the science behind it here.

Coffee improves our performance in workouts and helps burn fat. It also contains several vitamins and minerals, small amounts of Vitamins B2, B5, Manganese and Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin (Vitamin B3). The percentages are small, but many of us drink more than one cup a day.

Coffee is considered one of the healthiest parts of the Western diet. Besides the large amount of antioxidants (more than in many fruits and veggies combined), studies show that it helps protect against stroke, it may lower the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Type II Diabetes. It elevates mood and helps against depression.

Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee

People love cold brew coffee because it reduces the acidity of coffee, creating an amazingly smooth taste. The lower acidity aids in digestion and is better for your teeth. It’s easy to make – can be made with a jar – and keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Cold brew makes a coffee concentrate that you can drink straight, like espresso, or you can water it down to your taste and preference with cream, milk or water. It can be drunk hot or cold. It is absolutely delicious.

One of my favorites is the Nitro Cold Brew you can get at Starbucks and craft coffee houses. Like beer, the coffee is charged with nitrogen, creating a rich, nitro cold brew coffeecreamy head at the top of the cup. It adds a hint of natural sweetness to the already-smooth cold brew and is silky in the mouth – yummm.

Cold Brew Coffee vs Hot Brew Coffee

Because cold brew coffee is brewed at cold or room temperature, not as many of the antioxidants will be removed from the coffee into the water. The delicious, aromatic oils and acids from coffee molecules extract best at temperatures ranging from 195-205 degrees – hot brewed, in other words.

Again, not much scientific research has yet been done on comparing these two methods of coffee brewing. Overall, there doesn’t seem to be much difference as to caffeine levels, and other differences are likely minimal.

Which do you need the most?

It comes down to personal preference. Do you desire the lower acidity and smoother taste? Or do you prefer drinking the maximum amount of healthy antioxidants and oils? Alternate cold brew vs hot brew in the cups you drink, and you’ll get the most benefits from both.

 

 

 

 

Best Sugar Free Starbucks drinks – yes, Starbucks and diet too!

StarbucksMany of us have learned the amazing benefits of going off sugar and are following various eating and diet plans which reduce or eliminate sugar. I have done the Belly Fat Cure, the Keto diet and am now following the Paleo eating plan. Yet I love my Starbucks! Here are the best sugar free Starbucks drinks – yes we can diet and enjoy our Starbucks, too.

Truly Sugar Free Starbucks Coffee

Sometimes I’m more strict than others. If you need absolutely no or the lowest amount of sugar, try these. I say lowest, because Starbucks’ nut milks (and regular cow’s milk) have some sugar in them, some up to 9 grams per serving.

For a Starbucks coffee with no/low sugar, ask for the Ristretto Latte. You can get the ristretto in other forms, too, like espresso. I prefer the latte.

Ristretto is Italian for “restricted.” The barista pulls the shot for a smaller amount than a full espresso. It’s a short, or restricted, shot of espresso using less water. So you get a smaller, more concentrated flavor that is sweeter and richer (as in, not bitter).

Ristretto drinks are light enough that you do not need any sugar to sweeten them. I have a sweet tooth, so I get mine as a latte with half almond milk and half soy milk – these provide enough sweetness.

Another new option they have is the Blond Cappuccino. It also is smooth enough you can enjoy it without any syrups or sweeteners added. You can get the Blond espresso shot in any drink to make it lighter and more naturally sweet.

Sugar Free Starbucks Syrupscoffee syrups

It is unfortunate, but in my city Starbucks no longer carries most of their sugar-free syrups. They have maybe one or two. Usually Vanilla Sugar Free Coffee Syrup and Caramel. Sometimes they’ll have Cinnamon Dolce instead of Caramel. You will have to ask at your local Starbucks which sugar free syrups they carry.

Note that Dutch Bros has sugar free options for all of their coffees.

Using sugar free coffee syrups is considered a cheat on the paleo diet, so consider if this is allowed on your eating plan or not. I allow myself this cheat once in a while because I love my Starbucks (and Dutch Bros).

This summer the Cascara Cold Foam Brew was the featured flavor. I looked it up on my Starbucks app and saw that they use vanilla syrup in making this (and it doesn’t taste very sweet, so maybe they don’t use a lot). So when I order it now, I ask them to use the Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup instead.

Today I got the Salted Sweet Cream Cold Foam Brew. I asked for sugar free or low sugar options, and the barista made up some sugar free foam just for me. I usually don’t mind a tiny sprinkling of cascara sugar or salted caramel on top.

The lesson is – always ask. The baristas at Starbucks are great at helping you reduce sugar in any of their drinks where’s it’s possible.

Low Sugar Starbucks Drinks

Starbucks sugar free

This summer my friend and I stopped at a Starbucks in Boulder. We wanted the Green Tea Frappuccino, and asked them how to lighten the sugar. The barista told us that the frappuccino base itself has sugar in it, so she suggested that we just hold off on any added syrups. We did that and it was plentifully sweet and delicious. A few weeks later we went in again and discovered that Starbucks have now stopped serving syrups in the Green Tea Frappuccinos. It doesn’t need it! But double check when ordering – not all Starbucks are the same.

Try these for something special. I’ve never found a sugar free Toffee Nut at a Starbucks, so I do the other syrups sugar free and allow that one flavor be full sugar:

Butterbeer Latte: ask for a latte (however you like it with whichever milks). Ask for 1-3 pumps of Toffee Nut and 1-3 pumps of sugar free caramel (take it with as few pumps as you can but still enjoy the drink).

Butterbeer Frappuccino: ask for a frappuccino (however you like it with your milks) with 1-3 pumps Toffee Nut syrup, 1-3 pumps sugar free caramel and 1-3 pumps sugar free Cinnamon Dolce. I always allow the whipped cream and salted caramel syrup on top.

Stevia Option

The simplest option for a truly sugar free Starbucks drink is to get any of their drinks you like with no syrups at all, then go inside, get one of their free Stevia packets, and stir it in (or take it home and stir in your own stevia).

Sugar Free and Starbucks too

It’s not hard to continue your no to low sugar eating plan and enjoy a Starbucks once in a while. Just decide how much sugar or cheating you’ll allow yourself, and try out these various options. Comment below if you have one you love the best.

 

 

 

 

Turkish Coffee Beans – actually from Turkey

So you’ve discovered the sublime flavor of Turkish coffee cooked in an ibrik with a hint of cardamom. But where to get actual Turkish coffee beans from Turkey?

Arab MarketTurkish coffee beans ground

Look what I found in a local Arab market? My husband and I noticed a little Arab food market and decided to check it out. I got a can of real Turkish Coffee made in Istanbul – these Turkish coffee beans come finely ground. At the market they also had broken pieces of sugar – both white and yellow saffron sugar. They were like irregularly-shaped sugar cubes. The grocer said in some Arabian countries people like to place one of these on their tongue and keep it there while they sip their unsweetened black coffee or tea. Others put a cube directly into their coffee or tea cup, like the English do.

I came home and immediately made Turkish coffee with my ground beans from Istanbul in my ibrik. It was very good, but very strong – almost too strong for me, and I’m used to strong. Also, the flavor wasn’t as smooth as I prefer. It is super-fine ground with a strong, dark, smokey flavor, similar to the slightly burnt-coffee taste you find in Starbucks shots. Because it is so strong I prefer this one with a little cream.

Amazon and Online Markets

If you want to try this or other Turkish coffee, ground or whole, and don’t have a local Arab market, you can order several kinds right from Amazon or other online shops. Amazon carries this brand I tried, Kurikahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee. They also offer several other brands, some with the ground cardamom already in the grounds.

Arabica Coffee Beans

When it comes down to it, any beans grown in Arabic regions would be perfectly authentic for Turkish coffee. I contend, having made many cups from all regions and brands of coffee, that Turkish coffee is delicious made with any coffee beans. Everyone has their own preference and taste, so I encourage experimentation – which are your favorite coffee beans in making Turkish coffee?

Also, grinding coffee beans fresh right before brewing is always best. But you can use pre-ground or grind enough for a week at a time and store in a jar in a cool, dark cupboard.

Making Turkish Coffee

I believe the magic is in the method of preparing Turkish Coffee. Using an ibrik is fun and inexpensive, but if you don’t have one you can follow my instructions in this post: How to Make Turkish Coffee without an Ibrik

Turkish coffee is traditionally made in a shallow pot filled with sand. But we can use the ibrik right on our stove top:

  1. Measure 1 spoonful/coffee scoop of ground coffee per cup of water. Fill your ibrik only to 3/4 full or less, so it has room to froth up.
  2. Add some sugar if you like, I recommend one teaspoon. Add a sprinkle or up to 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, for traditional Turkish Coffee, or any ground spice you prefer (I love cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg). Use only one spice at a time.
  3. Let this boil on your smallest burner on the stove top. It may take 5 minutes or so to come to a boil, depending on the amount you’re making. Watch it carefully and either lift or move your ibrik over as it froths up and just before it spills over.
  4. As it dies down a little, move it back onto the heat and bring it to a boil a second time. Let it boil for several seconds for the sugar to melt and dissolve into the coffee.
  5. Pour into your mug, grounds and all. Let it sit 30-60 seconds to cool and for the grounds to settle. You may pour it through a fine-mesh strainer if you want almost no grounds in your mug. If you want cream, add it right after pouring, but traditionally this coffee is drunk black with a little sugar.
  6. Enjoy your Turkish Coffee, and do not sip all the way to the bottom if the grounds are there!

Which is your favorite?

Did you use Turkish coffee beans or other beans? Freshly ground or pre-ground? Which spices? Leave your comments and pictures below!