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Coffee de Mayo

{Disclaimer: Must be 21 years or older to fully enjoy this post ūüėČ )
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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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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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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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)!}

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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 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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Coffee Rocket’s Back To School Giveaway

Microsoft Surface PromoNothing starts my day off on the right track better than my favorite cup of coffee, catching up on current events and a little peace and quiet before everyone in the house begins to stir.  Over the years catching up on the news has evolved from having the paper actually delivered to my home, to delivering it online on my computer, to more recently reading it on my mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc). Times have changed and technology definitely plays a huge role in many of our daily lives and is constantly evolving at a lightening fast pace!

Even the traditional back-to-school lists, especially for higher education, are evolving and many include some type of computer or mobile device as part of the requirements.  So in recognition of back-to-school being right around the corner we have the perfect giveaway in mind!  From August 6th to the 21st, you can enter to win a Microsoft Surface tablet for FREE!

But what exactly is a Microsoft Surface tablet and what can it do for you? Is it a tablet or a laptop? Well, it is actually both. This tab/top comes loaded with Windows 8 and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 with enhanced features so that it is touch compatible too. This is just fancy talk for, take it to class and take notes on it! Imagine how easy it will be to carry your coffee and your backpack to class.

Looking for a case? I bought the case that doubles as a keyboard. It’s even spill proof so that when I read the online Sunday paper and bump my coffee over, I can just wipe it off with no worries. Just last week I used my Microsoft Surface to Skype family across the country as they opened their new k-cups from Coffee Rocket. :-)

Fun fact: The Microsoft Surface tablet is made with gorilla glass for high durability so you could even skateboard on it.

microsoft surface skateboard

So hurry and enter to win before its too late! Follow the simple instructions here: http://goo.gl/5vKneP and get yours. #backtoschool #saveoncoffee #CoffeeandSurface

What would you do with yours?

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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?