By

Espresso On The Go

minipresso pour

We’ve been talking for a while now how gadgets can enhance the way we brew and how fast we can brew coffee {See Pocket-Sized Coffee, Why Didn’t We Think of That?! and Alarm Clock with a Perk to name a few } What do you call a espresso machine that is portable, handheld, and requires no electricity? The MINIPRESSO! This little pill-like capsule holds the grounds, water, and the lid doubles as a cup for your espresso shot. It is powered through a small pump action piston the you squeeze with your hand. This forces the water through the coffee grounds at the same psi standard for all espresso beverages (116 psi).

minipresso open

The convenience of this little capsule is truly well thought out. It can be filled with your own coffee grounds or with their own mini cups called Caffitaly capsules. The water capsule piece on it can also be upgraded to a larger one if you are interested in going beyond just a shot of espresso. The Minipresso is such a sleek design that makes it easy to take wherever you want and enjoy your espresso in the wildest of places, where you could have never thought possible.

minipresso pump

Before you do a Google search you should know it is not shipping yet as they are finishing up their testing and finalizing warranty guidelines. But, you can pre-order it now and receive the Minipresso early in 2015 when they release the final product and ship it.  BONUS: If you pre-order your Minipresso now, you can get it at a ten dollar discount from its already low price of $49!

What do you think about this portable espresso maker?

By

An Alarming Re-Branding

nescafe alarm top

While we’re on the subject of innovative alarm clocks {see our recent perk post} we came across this cute gem. Nescafe has created their own type of alarm clock that is simple yet has a clever twist to it {pun intended!}. This alarm clock is actually the lid to your coffee grounds. In an effort to re-brand themselves, Nescafe has created a limited supply of their special alarm clocks in a gift box.

nescafe alarm box

Simply, these stylish lids have an alarm that is underneath the lid. You put the lid on the Nescafe coffee and set the alarm for the desired wake-up time. Once it goes off, the only way to turn it off is to take the lid off. Not sure that one could be any closer to making their coffee than having to open up your grounds to turn your alarm clock off! These boxes include coffee, the special alarm clock lid, a mug, and a booklet to describe Nescafe history and the items included.

nescafe alarm three

Such a simple idea yet very effective and I love anything that gives me an excuse to play with my coffee. Hhmmm…I wonder which alarm tone I would choose?

What are some innovative ways you’ve used to help you get to your coffee quicker?

By

Alarm Clock With A Perk

I don’t know about you, but the most difficult thing to do during the week is to get up in the morning. More specifically, I struggle the most between getting out of bed and having my cup of coffee. Single serve brewers, like the Keurig and Flavia brewers, have drastically shortened the time it takes to deliver my favorite cup o’joe.  Some advanced brewers have timers so you can set it the night before to automatically brew your cup at a certain time the next morning.  Aahhh….got to love modern technology!

Of course everything can be taken to the extreme, so what’s more efficient (or even lazier) than programming your coffee to be ready and waiting for you when you wake up? The only thing I can see improving this process is taking out the walk from my bed to the kitchen, but that seems a bit too good to be true…or is it?

coffee alarm clock

How about a coffee brewing alarm clock? It is called the Barisieur and is currently being created by the U.K. industrial designer Joshua Renouf. This clock brews a cup of coffee for you the moment your alarm goes off. Now I can simply roll over while still in bed and enjoy my coffee, extending the time I get to stay in the warmth of my blankets. This is the equivalent of having a butler come in with your coffee and newspaper as they welcome you to another day and draw you a warm bath.  :)

coffee-alarm-clock-3

 

This sophisticated looking machine will eliminate the harsh sound of the morning alarm and replace it with the sound of the stainless steel ball bearings that are also used to boil the water. The Barisieur has its own compartments to store your ground coffee, sugar, and milk. However the coffee does need to be added the night before so it will actually be brewed.

coffee-alarm-clock-5

There are only two drawbacks that I can think of when it comes to the Barisieur. The first is just being clumsy or still half asleep in the morning and knocking it all over the place or worse, onto yourself.   The second drawback is the anticipated price. It says that the Barisieur is expected to be in the range of 150-250 pounds (not the weight). That is the equivalent to about $252-420 US dollars. That is a large range and a hefty price to pay for an alarm clock.

coffee-alarm-clock-4

 

What routine do you have in the morning that reduces the time it takes to wake up and enjoy your first cup of coffee?

By

Keep Your Coffee Safe

We brought our favorite coffee up to the lake last week on vacation and it seemed like everyone in my family brewed my coffee instead of theirs {I know, I definitely have way better taste in most things, including coffee, than my brothers :) }  Now, I love my family and am happy to share just about anything, don’t get me wrong…but when I wake up in the morning, wisps of my dreams still floating through my head as I move slowly to the kitchen thinking about taking that first sip of my favorite brew and it’s all gone?  Grrrrr!  You can imagine exactly what I was thinking about bringing on my next family vacation to protect my coffee…

Safe

All kidding aside, did you know that you really should be protecting your coffee to ensure the best possible freshness, flavor and quality when you’re ready to brew it?  After coffee beans have been roasted {try roasting your own!}, they are actually quite delicate and sensitive to things like light and oxygen. Many of us go to great lengths to preserve the freshness we desire. Recently I stumbled upon a product, appropriately name BeanSafe, that has solved this issue.

beansafe

This storage container seals in and protects your coffee beans from heat, light, moisture, and oxygen. What I didn’t know is that even CO2 that emits from the beans can damage them as well. BeanSafe has also addressed this issue with a valve on the top of it that allows the unwanted CO2 to escape, without compromising the beans to moisture or oxygen.

coffee bag

Tips to Store Your Coffee At Home

  • Store your daily coffee in an air-tight glass or ceramic container in a dark, cool place (NOT the refrigerator or freezer as contact with moisture will cause the bean to deteriorate).
  • Don’t buy in large quantities unless you use large quantities!  Coffee is like the value of a car, it begins depreciating the minute it’s made.  The quicker you use your coffee the better it will taste.
  • If you do need to store larger quantities, store the excess in smaller portion air tight bags in the freezer for up to 1 month.  Once you open the air tight bag move them immediately into an air-tight container.

How do you store your coffee beans and grounds at home?

By

A Proper Way to Brew Iced Coffee

It is summer and that means HOT. I’m not talking just mid day hot, I’m talking about wake up and the mercury in the thermometer is already skyrocketing hot. When it is this kind of hot, just thinking about a hot coffee in the morning makes me sweat before I’ve gotten out of bed. Brewing my own single-serve iced coffee has become such a refreshing morning treat and since I have embraced drinking it more and more, I had to look into how to properly brew it on my own.

iced coffee

If time is of the essence, then a quick, single-serve brew from my k-cup or Flavia machine does the trick.  Use a tumbler (instead of glass) and fill it with ice and brew the hot coffee right into the tumbler.  To avoid the watered-down taste I’d plan ahead the night before an brew a quick cup of whatever flavor I was going to drink in the morning, freeze it into ice cubes and use the coffee ice cubes in the morning.  It was when I noticed that even my quick iced coffee often had a kind of acidic taste to it that the computer came out and the research began. I learned that true iced coffee is a slightly different brewing process and although a bit more lengthy in time does not lack taste in any sense.

To brew your own iced coffee at home you’ll need:

  • Light or Medium roasted coffee beans, ground coarsely (Dark roast are more acidic)
  • Desired container (Something large enough because it takes a day to sit and brew)
  • A Cheese Cloth or Filter
  • Room temperature water

Since the process takes a day to sit and steep like tea, I decided to reuse my gallon orange juice jug. The first step is to add your grounds to a third of your water and stir it in so you have a thick mixture. Then you mix in the rest of your water and let sit for 24 hours. Lastly just give it a stir a couple times over the sitting time. When you are ready to serve, pour your coffee through your cheese cloth or filter to catch the grounds.

iced coffee 2

The water to grounds ratio is totally up to you, depending on how strong you want your coffee. For mine, I put in about 20 tablespoons of my coffee grounds to my gallon jug. And since I used a gallon jug with a narrow top, I couldn’t stir it with a spoon so I just capped the top and gently shook it. I would recommend using something similar to a gallon jug or a pitcher because this allowed for easy serve and storage in the refrigerator.

Did you try this at home?  Let us know how it went for a chance to earn 500 reward points!

By

Coffee Is Making Me Hungry

coffee breakfast

Ok, I admit it…I am a closet Food Network junkie!  Getting sucked into this channel tends to end poorly for me because it makes me incredibly hungry for the delicious foods they are preparing and before I know it, hours have gone by. If the dish isn’t too difficult, I may even try to replicate it while it’s still fresh in my memory, but even then it doesn’t always come out like the finished meal on tv. One morning I stopped at the Food Network and was fascinated at how many different ways they incorporated coffee into the show.

Now, I’m not talking about the hosts drinking some coffee and then whizzing through a recipe. These hosts were actually using coffee as an INGREDIENT in their recipes! The coffee was used on pork chops, in muffins and on ribs and steak as a rub. These all sounded pretty good to me, but there was one that really stood out…coffee butter. The recipe was simply pancakes or waffles (although you can even make coffee pancakes) with coffee infused butter on top. Of course my sweet tooth made me think maple syrup would need to be poured on top, too. :)

Coffee and butter

You can use whatever coffee you like to make this recipe because all you’re doing is whisking the coffee and soft, unsalted butter together. The ratio is half cup of brewed coffee to 4 tablespoons of butter. Make sure that the coffee is cooled before mixing together as you don’t want it to just melt the butter into the coffee. After pondering this simple recipe, I began to think outside the box. I could keep this coffee butter in the fridge and then put it in any recipe in place of the butter required!  It may be crazy and I am not sure it will work in baking situations, but you know I’ll have to try that next :).

Coffee butter is quickly becoming a breakfast essential at my table, thanks to the Food Network.  I am curious, have you found a way to incorporate coffee into one of your recipes?  Let us know!

By

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!

By

Immaculate Coffee

Inmaculada

We are always keeping our ears perked {pun intended} for the latest buzz {yes, this one, too :) } on coffee.  Recently you may have heard about Intelligentsia’s rare blend called Café Inmaculada. Café Inmaculada, or translated literally as immaculate coffee, is a special opportunity to try something so pure and unique. Through their efforts, they have brought together a trio of magnificent coffee varieties. These three cultivars have their own story that could not be told any better than Intelligentsia themselves:

“Sudan Rume- A legendary coffee variety that originated on the Boma Plateau, located in southeastern Sudan near to the
Ethiopian border. This area belongs to a region considered to be the birthplace of the Arabica species. Sudan
Rume has long been used by plant breeders as a source of ‘quality’ genes, but is rarely planted because it doesn’t
produce large yields.”

“Laurina- Laurina, a.k.a. Bourbon Pointu, comes from Réunion Island just off the coast of Madagascar. It is the direct descendent of the trees responsible for seeding most of Latin America, and was all but forgotten for most of the 20th century. Laurina is thought to be an early mutation from the Typica variety and is now considered the ‘original’ Bourbon. It has the distinction of being extremely low in caffeine.”

“Maragesha- This is a spontaneous wild cross of Maragogype and Geisha that occurred in the Santuario farm outside of Popayán, where trees of the two varieties were growing next to one another. It does not exist anywhere else, and this lot is the first to have ever been harvested.

Inmaculada 2

It is amazing to read about the sheer effort that endured in order to make a creation like this happen. The more I learn about this immaculate coffee, the more I learn about the unique origins of these beans. For example, the Maragogype coffee beans are also know as “elephant  beans” for their sheer size in comparison to other beans. (It is the one on the left below.)

elephant coffee bean

Unfortunately this coffee has sold out but but I would love to hear from anyone who has had the chance to try it or even knows someone who has tried even one of these coffee blends. Have you ever gone outside your coffee comfort zone and tried something totally different?

By

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!

 

 

 

 

By

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? :-)