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Need An Extra Boost?

Americano

I ran into some of my nieces and nephews over the weekend and was quickly brought back to my college days as they all talked about exam cram time they are going through right now. It consists of late nights and early mornings for that last minute studying in hopes to maximize your grade potential. Many students turn to their favorite cup o’joe to help boost their energy, stay up longer and hopefully increase focus through exam week.

Luckily there’s no more cram time in my future but I do find for many in the workforce, it’s common in the afternoon to “hit a wall” (around 2:30 p.m.) where focus is tough and you’re struggling to keep your eyes open. Some may resort to energy drinks but those are not always very healthy for our bodies.

espresso

Coffee Shop Boost: An easy little caffeine boost that you can do at any coffee shop, is to add an espresso shot to your drink. Espresso is made through a small amount of hot water being forced into finely ground coffee and creating a greater concentration of flavors. Another option is to get a beverage called the Cafe Americano. This can be a single or double shot of espresso that has a greater water ratio. Or if you’re passing through a Dunkin Donuts you can try their Turbo Coffee or Turbo Shot. These are some simple alterations to your everyday routine that can give you that extra boost you are looking for.

Death Wish Coffee

How about a cup of WORLD’S STRONGEST COFFEE? Appropriately named Death Wish Coffee, this company has worked tirelessly to create their perfected product through their roasting techniques and more importantly, through their small batches. How does this coffee stack up to it’s more well-known counterparts?

Coffee Comparison Death

 

Of course we’d be we’d be remiss not to mention that exercising regularly and healthy eating are great, natural ways to energize your body. :)  What do you do to help increase your energy and focus when you start to slow down but still need to be focused and effective?

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Coffee de Mayo

{Disclaimer: Must be 21 years or older to fully enjoy this post 😉 )
Who doesn’t need a good reason to celebrate?  April showers (and cold, windy cloudy weather) make us yearn for the sunshine, warmer temperatures and busting out the grill kind of weather.  Cinco de Mayo is a fun time that can be shared among all, including your Keurig machine! Evening cocktails or drinks can be easily made with a k-cup of your choice and creative additions to enjoy the celebration.

Cinco de Mayo Coffee

First, in spirit of Cinco de Mayo, let us start what has been coined as “Mexican Coffee”. This drink was originally served in Los Cabos, Mexico and it combines coffee, Kahlua, a scoop of melted ice cream, and your choice of Tequila. It is a simple combination that changes up this traditional beverage.

Mexican Coffee

Don’t feel limited by just coffee type beverages though. Try a hot chocolate k-cup with your choice of liquor to match. I recommend a little hint of a cinnamon flavored liquor such as Goldschlager or Fireball but anything mint always goes well with chocolate, too! The ideas are truly endless based our your own imagination. Apple cider k-cup? Add some brandy. Want to make a hot buttered rum drink? Simply pop in a butter toffee k-cup and add your rum and then garnish with a stick of cinnamon.

Explore the possibilities as you drink your morning coffee, Mexican coffee, or even your Irish coffee (coffee, whiskey, and whipped cream).

Irish Coffee

No matter how you choose to enjoy your beverages, remember to drink responsibly. Share your favorite k-cup cocktails with us and see how yours stack up. Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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Not Just For Coffee Anymore

With one innovative idea, Green Mountain changed the way people think about and brew coffee and tea with K-Cup single serve packs.  The convenience and speed of their Keurig single serve k-cup delivery system has become part of the daily routines of millions. Green Mountain quickly expanded the versatility of their Keurig to brew more than just coffee.  Tea, iced coffee, hot chocolate, cider and more recently VitaBurst and iced tea are enjoyed throughout the year.

I LOVE when someone has the creativity to think outside the box (or brewer in this instance) and come up with a totally different way to use an item.  It seems as though the Keurig brewing system is not just for coffee and tea any more…

Keurig noodles

We all remember those days in college where we resorted to a cheap package of ramen or cup of noodles to get us by. Instead of boiling or microwaving the water, now you can simply place them right under the Keurig! The same can apply for other foods that need to absorb boiling water, such as oatmeal. I even know some people who prefer to infuse their tea with whole leaves and fruit that place their cup under the empty Keurig and get the boiling water needed to steep their tea bags.

 

Campbells KeurigGreen Mountain recently announced their partnership with Campbell’s Soup Co. to provide an authorized K-Cup that freshly brews soup right from your brewer!  Not surprisingly, Chicken Broth & Noodles will be in the line-up among the varieties to be launched.

 

Life today seems to be more and more about how to squeeze just one more thing into an already packed schedule.  Instead, we challenge you to sit back, relax, brew your favorite cup and just enjoy your moment.  Who knows…maybe in your moment you’ll be the one coming up with the “next big thing” that makes everyone else say, “Duh…why didn’t I think of that?!” :-)

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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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Are you ready for the holidays?

The holiday season is here and you still don’t know what to get your friends, family, or significant other? Here are some simple {coffee related of course :) } ideas to get you started:

bean mugA cool coffee mug…help your coffee lover enjoy their cup o’ joe in a unique way. Who wouldn’t want to get up in the morning if their coffee is in a wicked cool mug?!

 

Reusable coffee filterReusable filter….go green! A reusable filter is not only great to save them money, but is also very environmentally friendly.  Reusable cones (seen left) or k-cups are available.

 

 

coffee printerCoffee machine…single-serve brewers are definitely in this year!  Some coffee machines even brew your coffee and then “print” a picture on the top!


k-cupsA gift certificate is always a winner.  It’s a great way to let them expand their taste buds and try new coffees without having to worry about cost.

 

Whatever you decide to gift this holiday season, remember to find your moments to relax somewhere in the midst of the holiday season and enjoy every minute of it!

 

 

 

 

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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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Changing Seasons Brings Changing Flavors

Halloween CoffeeI don’t know about you but the time has come to move from my summer iced coffee for a warmer, seasonal cup o’ Joe as fall begins to cool things down. As the mornings grow progressively cooler, I feel the need to have a nice warm cup of coffee to not only give me my daily caffeine, but also to warm and wake me up. Then it occurred to me that as the cooler weather rolls in so do the seasonal flavors like pumpkin, hazelnut, caramel, butter toffee, and apple cider. These flavors are a great way to enhance your fall experience. Call me crazy, but they just TASTE better when I drink pumpkin and apple cider in the fall. :-)

While it is fun to try the seasonal flavors as they roll out, I absolutely love the pumpkin flavors associated with fall…pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin bread, and even pumpkin seeds. But fear not, if you are not as big of a pumpkin fanatic as I am, there are still plenty of fantastic flavors to try. The hazelnut coffee is a great one to have in the morning with breakfast. I find that other flavors like caramel, pumpkin spice, and butter toffee are all great mid day beverages for a snack or pick me up. Come evening time…now that’s the perfect time to indulge in some hot apple cider to get that chill out of your bones and unwind without the caffeine.

My advice is to just let loose, experiment and try as many as you can! They are only good for a limited time so enjoy them while they are in season. While I have shared my favorites, I am always open for some other ideas. Here is to enjoying fall with some seasonal beverages, pumpkin carving, corn mazes, and Halloween!

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Smartphones and Coffee (Don’t Spill!)

Coffee and SmartphoneAs I sit down in the morning for some breakfast and coffee, I often pull out my smartphone and browse its endless capabilities. Who hasn’t gotten sucked into an app and totally lost track of time? {Umm…Facebook or Twitter…need I say more?} I began thinking what things my phone could do with coffee. Obviously I don’t mean stir my coffee with it, but instead what kind of apps are available to accompany my coffee experience.

Newspapers have become less and less common among people now that online versions have become available. CNN, NBC, FOX, New York Times, and even NPR are some of the many news sources available for free download on your phone. I enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal as I have a subscription for it, but now that I learned there was an app I am hooked! It is so easy to read and keep constantly up to date. Some networks like FOX and CNN have also paired with local TV providers so your can link your accounts and watch news videos all from your device.

There is an app for EVERYTHING, right, so why stop at just news? Coffee is such a staple that there must be coffee apps out there so I did a search on my smartphone…the amount of apps available were endless! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Instant Barista – It provides recipes for coffees, espressos, and even teas. It showed me different techniques and ingredients that I otherwise would have looked over. It kind of gives you the feeling of having all the secrets of a coffee shop. One of my favorite parts about the app is the latte art section. While mine don’t turn out so much like the picture, it is still fun to try.
  • Intelligentsia Coffee – This app was much more intense but promises to deliver the absolute best cup of coffee if you follow their EXACT directions. This app was no joke as it lays out everything you need and even gives you a timer to create the perfect brew. This is fun to read during the week but definitely needs some time to complete so it actually takes action over the weekend.
  • Coffee Guru – My friend in New York uses this quite often as it has led them to their favorite coffee shop. This app has a large listing of indie coffee shops that promote direct and fair trade for the farmers they get their beans from. It gives you a map of nearby shops, a place to save your favorites, and even provides a flavor wheel to help describe your coffee, but you don’t need that after our Coffee 101 lessons!

It is amazing how technology has opened a world of instant information and immediate gratification. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy checking Twitter or playing a little Candy Crush but there is so much more out there. :)

Did you try one of the apps I mentioned or have you used a different app?  Let me know, I am always game for trying something new!

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Don’t Just Throw Away Those Coffee Grounds!

Used Coffee GroundsMany of us, including myself, simply brew coffee in the morning and throw away the used grounds. Nowadays we are always looking for ways to recycle, reuse and reduce wastes to help the environment.  Why shouldn’t this apply to coffee grounds, too?  There are endless possibilities on how you can recycle/reuse your used coffee grounds including art, cleaning, and as an order remover.

Coffee as Art.  Coffee is a very artistic drink, both in and out of the cup. For the kids, you can used water soaked coffee grounds for dying Easter eggs or soaking paper to give it an old, pirate treasure map look. {NOTE: Depending on what grounds you use can change the final brown color.} Have some scratches in your furniture? Rubbing coffee grounds over them can cover it or perhaps you just want to stain the whole piece of furniture to give it a vintage look! {NOTE: Again, be mindful of the color of the coffee grounds you are using so it matches.}

Coffee in Cleaning and Removing Odors.  Put those coffee grounds to work on your dirty pots and pans…not only does it work as a great scrubbing tool, but it also cuts through tough grease.  {NOTE: Depending on what you are cleaning, using coffee grounds as a cleaning agent can sometimes stain.}  Use it as a hand scrub, tool cleaner or even as a facial scrub.  They also work extremely well if you are trying to remove a lingering odor. By placing a cup of dried, used grounds in the odor-troubled area you provide a tool that absorbs those nasty smells. Coffee grounds can even help you battle ants. If you sprinkle some along their path or where you want to keep them out of, it repels them and breaks their chain. {NOTE: Be aware that while it repels ants, it also attracts cockroaches…ugh!}

Other Coffee Ground Uses.  Oh no, we are not done yet. Do you use a fireplace and hate taking out the ashes because they fly through the air and make a complete mess of your living room? Coffee grounds help to dampen those ashes so they settle. Wait for the ashed to cool first, spread the coffee grounds and get cleaning with less mess.  While you’re heating up the inside of your home, try using coffee grounds outside, too, by using it as a de-icer.  During the warmer seasons mix your coffee grounds into the soil as it acts as a great fertilizer, can act as a repellant for pesty bugs and worms love it, too!  {NOTE: Due to high acidic content, make sure you fertilizer acid-loving plants such as tomatoes, carrots, roses, rhododendrons and azaleas.}

Don’t be discouraged if you use k-cups, just save them up so you have a bunch to use. Let us know what you reuse your coffee grounds for, we’d love to hear from you!  {BONUS: The first 5 CoffeeRocket.com customers who let us know how they reuse coffee grounds and have their comment approved will receive $5 in Rocket Reward Points (=500 points)!}