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Earth Day Sustainability

Coffee filter earth

As we draw closer and closer to Earth Day (April 22), we look to our Earth that has given us so much. Not only is it the only planet in our solar system that is capable of human life, but it also grows all the coffee that we drink! I don’t know about you, but that is a pretty huge deal for me. I don’t know where I would be without my little pick me up coffee each morning, so lets give back to our Earth and reduce our personal footprint left on it.

Recycle Your Coffee Grounds –  Did you know that coffee grounds can be used for more than just making coffee?  Check out our previous post Don’t Just Throw Away Those Coffee Grounds that covers some alternative uses for your grounds once you are done brewing. Go ahead and try some of these out for yourself…it just may change your daily routine.

Coffee waste

Convenience Doesn’t Have to Mean Increased Waste – The convenient k-cups forever changed how coffee was consumed and sales continue to grow…but they also are piling up in landfills due to the plastic they are made from not being recyclable. Each pound of coffee equals about 50 k-cups, which then end up in landfills. This is a startling number when you think of the millions of k-cups that are purchased each year.

So what’s being done?  The leader in k-cup production, Green Mountain, has promised to create 100% recyclable k-cups by 2020 to combat this growing environmental issue. There are also some programs that collect used k-cups to recycle the grounds into the environment and incinerate the remainder. Granted, this still creates waste, but the process is continually being worked on to improve the current situation. YouTube videos have also been created to instruct and promote how to reuse and repackage the disposable k-cups.
Reusable k-cup

Reduce Your Own Footprint –  First, each person matters. Don’t be discouraged because your not solving the world’s issues right away but you are a true asset towards the solution. While it may not be as convenient, you can use a reusable k-cup (seen above). This handy little cup fits nicely in your machine and you can pack it with whatever ground coffee you so desire. If you are a frequent to coffee shops, you can use a reusable cup instead of their paper ones. This saves the use of a coffee cup and the sleeve to go around it. Most coffee shops offer their own brand of cup anyway and this almost always means a little discount for your beverage too!

Choose to purchase from companies that have the same sustainability goals as you want to achieve.  CoffeeRocket.com is proud to be under the umbrella of Compass Group USA, the leader in food service and industry with groundbreaking sustainability policies.  Check out their blog post on composting coffee grounds!

Go ahead and spread the news on how each and every one of us can make a difference. Every small effort matters, especially when many work together. Who knows, maybe you have the next best idea since sliced bread :) ! Happy Earth Day everyone!

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The Evolution of The Coffee-To-Go Lid

coffee cup to go

Ever noticed how many little pieces make a quality coffee-to-go cup? I was holding a coffee the other day and realized that it must have taken some quality time and many tries to make it just right. My cup was a firm paper cup that was not soggy at all. On top of that was a cuff that would prevent my hand from getting burned. Next the lid was securely snapped on with a little stick that doubles to cover the drinking hole to keep your drink hot as well as works as a stirrer.

Of course that got me thinking about the evolution of the hot coffee cup and with all my free time {ha!} my laptop came out and the research began.  Some of the early lids were the tear back plastic tabs that were not securely fastened and had the reputation of causing people to spill it on themselves. Some were an epic fail, including a large lawsuit with McDonald’s and an woman who burned herself, which soon sparked other inventors to create a better lid. Many ideas emerged from the tear back to punch top holes and small openings for the consumption of the hot coffee.

All of these designs are still around and used in many different places. For the biggest chain restaurant establishments you typically see the SOLO cup brand that fits snugly on the cup with the small opening, but I frequently see the tear away lids in places like the break room because they are less expensive and familiar to many. Such a simple idea that has turned some inventive few into very wealthy retirees. It is such a simple idea that I wish I thought of first! Below are some of the many designs that have evolved over time.

coffee lids

What have you come across that seemed like such a simple idea you wish you had thought of it first?

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Can You Really Tell Who Someone is Just by Their Coffee?

Coffee Personality

Theses days there seems to be a study conducted on just about any topic.  Lucky for me I found a study about my favorite topic…COFFEE!  :)  This study was conducted by two body language specialists, Judi James and James Moore, who give reason to believe that there is in fact a direct link to personality type and coffee drinking habits. Before you continue reading, think about the coffee you typically drink and what you think it says about you. There are eight “drinkers”, each with different characteristics that define them. Read the eight choices before you read their personality definitions to see how accurate their study was.

  • Espresso Drinker
  • Black Coffee Drinker
  • Latte Drinker
  • Cappuccino Drinker
  • Instant Coffee Drinker
  • Decaf Soy Milk Drinker
  • Frappuccino Drinker
  • Non-Coffee Drinker.

Narrowed yourself down into one category?  Let’s see how accurate this study was!…

 

 

 

 

Espresso Drinker: Hard working, into leadership and fast goals, experienced, prone to “night time shenanigans”, and moody.

Black Coffee Drinker: Minimalism, direct approach to life, quiet, moody, and difficult yet a potentially rewarding friend or colleague.

Latte Drinker: Like to please others, want to be liked, have an immature side, and want to be a hot shot contender.

Cappuccino Drinker: Extrovert, optimistic, imaginative, gets along well with other creative minds, and motivated.

Instant Coffee Drinker: Cheerful, straightforward, hidden personality, puts things off, no nonsense, and unadventurous.

Decaf Soy Milk Drinker: Eco worried, seeks attention, picky, and high maintenance.

Frappuccino Drinker: Willing to try things, follower, stylish, and not set on choices.

Non-Coffee Drinker: Frightened of life, afraid of change, and coffee taste puts you off.

I had a good chuckle as I found some attributes fitting but as an instant coffee drinker, I feel I am very adventurous and don’t keep my personality hidden. With the K-Cups you could even combine some of these attributes, for example you could be an instant black coffee drinker. Just some fun information to share with friends but don’t let it stop you from doing what you do! This is just one study but keeping looking for others like the one below too.

Coffee says

How did these two studies do? Did either of these studies accurately describe you?  :)

 

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Team Ground or Team Bean?

Coffee beans closeupMore than half of all people in the United States drink coffee and on average they drink one to two cups a day. Modern technology has drastically enhanced the way a cup of coffee can be prepared and brewed.  But one thing that remains constant is the age-old debate surrounding what makes the best cup of coffee: ground vs. whole bean. Many swear they can taste the difference and they may actually be right.  Let’s take a look at why you might be able to tell the difference.

Ground coffee is the most widely used form of coffee as it is fast, convenient, and evenly ground. You often see coffee grounds in brick-like vacuum sealed bags and also more recently in the growing popularity of K-Cups , Fresh Packs and Pods. But why are coffee grounds always in vacuum sealed or air tight packages (also known as bricks)? This is to prevent the scientific process of oxidation. The same process that causes iron to rust also causes ground coffee to quickly turn stale. Next time you open up your ground coffee make sure to seal it as best you can or if you are using K-Cups, you don’t need to worry as each cup is individually sealed for freshness.

Coffee Beans hands down are the freshest way to prepare your coffee. While it may take more time, it is well worth it if ground and brewed correctly. Some coffee shops offer the freshest coffee by grinding it just before brewing in order to eliminate any oxidation of the coffee. In many grocery stores you’ll find a grinder right in the coffee isle so you can purchase freshly ground coffee.

If you are going to try to grind your own coffee beans there are a few things to keep in mind to get the best flavor out of your beans. Evenly ground coffee beans are extremely important to extract the flavor. If the grounds are uneven, the smaller grounds could be too small to contribute any flavor while the large ones might not release the flavors. Secondly you need to take into consideration is what you are using to grind the coffee. If you have a blade grinder, be careful that all the grounds may not be even and the blade could creates some heat or friction that starts breaking down the coffee and releasing the flavors before the coffee has even been brewed.

I myself, stock both in my home and which one I use depends on the situation.  When I am short on time I whip up one of my favorite ground coffee flavors like hazelnut {YUM!}.  When I have more time on my hands to properly prepare a whole bean coffee, I am never disappointed by it. Do you think that you could tell the difference between a cup o’joe that was made from pre-packaged coffee grounds or from freshly ground beans? Are you #TeamGround or #TeamBean? :-)

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Coffee Does What?!

Coffee!

{SETTING THE SCENE:} Gone are the days where we have a set work schedule from 9-5pm where we leave work at work. Stage left enters {ADULT} where not a day goes by that isn’t packed from morning to bed time. {COFFEE ENTERS THE PICTURE} These magical beans help to get us up in the morning, sustain a strong work ethic throughout the day and give us that last boost of energy we need to finish the day.  But did you know…{Suspense-themed music playing in the background}…that coffee may have many positive health benefits? I was very surprised to learn that coffee might actually reduce the risk of certain cancers, diseases, and help make one smarter!

Besides the obvious boost of energy we associate with coffee, ever notice how productive you can be after your cup o’ joe? Studies show caffeine increases short term memory by helping you to absorb more information. {Maybe there was some rhyme and reason to my all-night cramming sessions in college!} I even found studies that showed how coffee can reduce the risk or help reduce the symptoms of certain diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson.

While a cure for cancer has yet to be discovered, some studies have found certain qualities in certain food or drink that might reduce the risk.  And wouldn’t you know it coffee made the list…woot!  Some studies claim when you drink coffee everyday, you have a reduced risk for oral, prostate, and skin cancer…and you didn’t have to do anything out of your daily routine. 😉

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t state the obvious:  I in no way claim to be a medical expert or suggest that you change your daily routine without consulting your doctor. Enjoy some {light} reading while you’re savoring your favorite cup of coffee by clicking on the links throughout this post to the various sources I gathered this information from.  Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide for yourself…for me, it brought a smile to my face to know that maybe, just maybe, one of my favorite indulgences might actually be good for me. :)

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Coffee 101 – Food and Coffee Complements

Coffee & Food PairingsIt’s more popular to have a discussion on food and wine pairings, but not so common to think of food and coffee parings! I’m not merely saying what foods coffee tastes good with, I’m talking about getting into the nitty-gritty of what specific coffee is good with what specific foods.  In the end, everyone has their own favorite coffee & food combos but here is a basic guide of coffee to food pairings based on the way they complement one another.

Let’s start with one of my favorite meals of the day – breakfast.  Depending on how much time I have in the morning often guides what I am going to have for breakfast. Luckily I can save loads of time when it comes to my coffee decision thanks to the ease and speed of k-cups, pods and freshpacks. I just need to decide what I am going to eat so I can pop the right pairing in my single-serve brewer. For example, simple breakfasts like toast or cereal are a good pair with a light or medium roast Colombian coffee because of their grains. Pancakes and syrup pair up nice with a Kona coffee to help supplement the sweet flavors. Eggs and bacon go nicely with a medium roast but if you got creative and made an omelet, then you may have to think twice. Omelets typically need a coffee that can handle all of the full flavors like a Sumatra coffee can. Or, you can just skip the food entirely and enjoy a nice breakfast blend or even coffees that have a glazed donut or cinnamon roll flavor.

A good pairing of food and coffee doesn’t have to stop at breakfast. There are plenty of other pairings throughout the day. A Kenyan coffee is a good pair for things that are fruity, such as most berries, fruity scones, or banana bread. There is one fruit in particular that really brings out a great pair with Jamaican coffee…blueberries! Just like at breakfast time, a Kona coffee with a maple or raisin scone or oatmeal raisin cookies pairs nicely.  You can begin to see a theme between flavors and coffees no matter what time of day.

Now to the most important food – chocolate!  :-)  Everything goes great with chocolate, including coffee. If we’re talking about dessert after dinner, just be careful with that late night caffeine. Brownies, chocolate cake, chocolate dipped fruit, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate all have a great coffee pair for your after meal sweet tooth. Much of the chocolate scale is covered by a nice dark roast Guatemalan coffee, this includes brownies, chocolate cake, and dark chocolate. These usually have a very chocolatey flavor and go well with a coffee that can back that up. White chocolate, on the other hand, is a lighter on the chocolate flavor so a Colombian coffee is a good match. For the fruity flavors of chocolate covered strawberries, similar rules apply as regular fruit. The Kenyan and African coffees are a great compliment to this dish because of their winey (find this term in the next Coffee 101 Series) and fruit like flavors. And then comes my simple favorite, milk chocolate. The easiest of all to pair a coffee to as nearly any coffee will do.

This basic guide is a great start but there is so much room to be creative!  Have a pair that I didn’t mention? I am always looking to try more, so please share! I look forward to hearing what you have in mind.

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Hot or Iced…How do you like your coffee?

We are now in the midst of summer and the days are beginning to get hot. Getting tired of a hot beverage on a summer day? It just might be time, if you haven’t already, to give iced coffee a shot. With your single serve machine (like a k-cup or pod machine), it is as easy as filling your cup with ice before brewing and you have a cool treat. Just make sure you use a tumbler instead of a glass cup, so that the change in temperature doesn’t break the cup! That morning cup of coffee will always be hot for me as that has always been my routine, but on a hot afternoon a nice cup of iced coffee could not be more refreshing.

There are so many flavors to offer from the k-cups, such as french vanilla, hazelnut, and vanilla cream if you are interested in stepping outside of the box. Worried about ice cubes watering down the drink? Not a problem!  Ahead of time, make ice cubes with coffee and use those instead! Even a little half and half can make a huge difference. You’ll find that brewing your own iced coffee at home will save you a ton of $$ vs. going through the expensive drive-through at your local coffee shop.  We all know about hot coffee and the amenities it has to offer but are we really exploring the ice coffee alternative?

I know that is just one opinion of many. What do you think? Do you prefer your coffee hot or iced brewed?

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Did you really mean Pods or K-Cups?

Save time and return shipping fees knowing the difference!

Pods vs. K-Cups

Pods vs. K-Cups

I grew up in a different state than I live in now, so I find it amusing that my daughter and I have different names for different things sometimes.  She calls it a “bubbler” and I call it a water fountain. I have an idea, but she has an “i-d-er” (yes, Boston) and lastly, I ask for sprinkles on my ice cream and she asks for “jimmies”.

We’re reaching more people around the country and this has caused and increase in support tickets lately from customers telling us they bought the wrong product ordering pods but really meant to order k-cups.  No matter what region you live in and what you’ve been accustomed to calling your favorite coffee product, save yourself the hassle of returns and take care you order the right product!