Single-Cup Coffee Brewers

For some people, they’d like to experience the freshest cup of coffee in the least amount of time. The drip coffee makers of yesterday are good at brewing more than one cup of Joe, but are less useful for single-cup drinkers. Today, the market is filled with plenty of options for coffee makers that make just one cup. While some are fancier than others, below are a few selections that satisfy a range of budgets.

The Keurig Brewing System

Accommodating varying coffee cup sizes (including travel mugs), a popular brand in single cup brewing is Keurig. One cup of coffee is made by inserted a pre-filled cup called a K-Cup, which provides coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Over the years, K-Cups have expanded to include more than 200 varieties, including chai, lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and iced tea. Prices range from the Keurig® Mini Plus Brewing System ($99.99) to the Keurig® OfficePRO® Premier Brewing System ($249.99). While you may feel limited in purchasing the flavors offered in K-Cup form, some use a specialized filter that allows them to brew their choice of ground coffee.

Tassimo Brewer

Tassimo brewers use T-Discs to deliver you a single cup of coffee of coffee, tea, cappuccino, mocha, latte, crema, espresso and hot chocolate. You can choose from two different brewers (the Braun Tassimo and the Bosch Tassimo), which range in prices from $99 to $260. An accessory to consider for the Tassimo brewer is a color kit, which adds a touch of blue, green, red or brown to the brewer.

Nespresso Espresso Machine

For that special jolt of caffeine in the morning, espresso machines provide a single cup of strongly brewed coffee. Nestle makes a visually attractive line of single cup brewers with their Nespresso Espresso machine, which uses a capsule system. Prices for the Nespresso machines are from $129 (Essenza) to $699 (Gran Maestria). For $229, choose the Pixie to enjoy one of the fastest single cup heating times at 25 seconds. Choose the Citiz with Milk ($299), which not only makes tasty espressos, but also has the capacity to produce creamy lattes. You can also go for the gusto and spring for a Nescafe Aeroccino milk frother, which costs $99.

Coffee Pod Brewers

There are an array of manufacturers that make brewers to work with coffee pods that you purchase separately for your unit. The Hamilton Beach Personal One Cup Brewer ($19.99) is a small yet effective machine that makes a quick cup of coffee. For around $129.99, the BUNN MC MyCafe Single Serve Pod Brewer uses a jet action sprayhead to achieve optimal flavor, and is compatible with hundreds of compostable coffee and tea pods. Senseo also makes attractive single-cup coffee pod brewers.

Krispy Kreme Signature Coffees

When most people hear the brand, Krispy Kreme®, they tend to envision soft melt-in-your-mouth glazed doughnuts. Now, the company would like you to get acquainted with their specially blended coffees. In September, Krispy Kreme® recently launched three crafted Signature Coffee Blends in some of their locations in the United States and Canada.

All made from 100% Arabica beans, you can choose between the following options:

  • Krispy Kreme Signature House Blend – With a smooth, medium-bodied taste, this Latin American blend will probably speak best to the coffee drinker that has more than their fair share of cups every day.
  • Krispy Kreme Signature Dark Roast – Blending the flavors of African, Indonesian, and Central American coffees, the Dark Roast offers a full-bodied flavor that is bolder and richer. The full flavor would certainly accompany your favorite dessert with style.
  • Krispy Kreme Signature House Decaf – If you’re worried about falling for the jittery feeling of drinking too much coffee, this decaffeinated blend of Colombian and Sumatran coffee will most likely be right up your alley.

Whether you need a quick caffeine fix or want to keep board members awake for an important meeting, Krispy Kreme® coffees can accommodate. The coffees are served in a variety of cup sizes – 12, 16, and 20 ounces. You may also purchase a 96-ounce Brew Box. For home brewing, there are 12-ounce bags of freshly ground Krispy Kreme® coffee for sale.

About Krispy Kreme®

As an international retailer of premium-quality splurges, Krispy Kreme® is mostly known for its signature Original Glazed® doughnut. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company has been a fixture in the doughnut community since 1937. There are more than 650 locations throughout the world. As the company sees a shift in the coffee-drinking habits of their customers, they believe the introduction of the Krispy Kreme® line of coffees will solidify the company’s future.

Homemade Gluten Free Coffee Cake

When you hear coffee cake, the first image that probably enters your mind is Drakes coffee cakes. Well, there are a variety of ways to make this cake and this is not the typical one though. You will use actual coffee or Endangered Species Coffee Candy in this recipe. To make it gluten free white or brown rice flour is usually the best bet for baking.

COFFEE

The first step of course, is to brew the coffee. It can be any flavor that you desire: from vanilla, mocha, french vanilla, espresso, to anything else. If you rather just use the candy all you have to do is melt it down in the microwave or in a glass bowl (within a large pot of course) over the stove top. When, one or the other is done it can be added into your flour mix.

FLOURS

As it was stated early, brown or white rice flour would be the preferable choice to use besides wheat flour because it is naturally sticky and will hold together better much better than any other gluten free flour. If you’d rather use wheat, of course, you are welcome, too. The gluten will keep the cake together.

FIRST BITE

When, you take your first bite into this delectable, sweet treat you will be glad you tried this version. Since you already have your coffee, grad a tall glass of milk, chocolate milk, or even a cup of tea and dig right on in.

Starbucks

When a customer receives a drink from Starbucks it is your number one pit stop for coffees, teas, and desserts. It’s a triple combo all in one!  From their commitment to serving the highest quality coffee in the world, you are truly going to enjoy everything from that coffee bean smell to that first sip.

DESSERTS

Starbucks does have a gluten free dessert option. It’s called Valencia orange cake. This delicious gluten free cake has a moist, delicate, tender texture. It is a refreshingly light cake with blends of almonds and premium Valencia oranges. All of its ingredients include whole eggs, almond, sugar, Valencia orange pulp, orange oil, and baking powder.

COFFEE

The caffe latte is the original coffeehouse classic. Part of its appeal is the simplicity. A caffè latte is made up of one or two shots of bold, tasty espresso with fresh, sweet steamed milk over it. Some even like to add syrup or extra espresso to the recipe.

Frappaccino is coffee with a flavors powder, blended with milk and ice. Then it is topped with sweetened whipped cream. Very refreshing amd cooling during a hot summer time evening.

TEA

Tazo teas are available brewed or iced. One sip and you’ll find it to be extremely flavorful. Their premium black tea gets a snappy little splash of citrus and is shaken, not stirred, with ice.

NEIGHBORHOOD

So don’t forget to stop into on of your communities local Starbucks coffee house. It even has wi-fi service, so sit down, sip your beverage, and bite into a slice of cake.

Frappe This!

Barristas are setting up their blenders and drink machines in preparation for the summer frozen coffee season. But for a bit of coffee, milk and ice, we are paying what it costs for a pound of coffee at the grocery store. Why buy, when you can make them at home?

This is a good way to control not only your costs, but your calories. Where a cup of coffee shop frappe can up upwards of 700 calories for an extra large, by using artificial sweetener, the only calories here are in the milk.

You’ll need to make a pot of strong coffee. Not espresso, but add an extra scoop or two of coffee to the pot.

Once it is brewed, sweeten the coffee to taste, then let it cool completely.

Pour out about 8 ounces of coffee into a container from which you can pour easily. Add an equal amount of milk of choice: whole, skim, soy. Pour this mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. When they are frozen (at least 48 hours to make sure they are frozen hard) put into a sealed bag or container. It prevents them from being dissipated by the fan in a frost free refrigerator freezer. Store the rest of the coffee in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make your frappe. Or heat it back up and have a cup.

To make a Coffee Frappé, you will need:

  1. 4 to 8 coffee and milk cubes
  2. ½ cup to one cup cold coffee
  3. a blender (an immersion or “stick” blender works well)

Place about 1/3 of a cup of coffee and coffee cubes in the blender. Pulse it several times. Add more coffee gradually until is a nice, slushy consistency.

If you like flavored coffees, you can add flavoring syrup to the blender. If you are really feeling adventurous, you can add a little taste of something alcoholic. How cool would that be, to have frozen Irish Coffee for St. Patrick’s Day?

Holiday Coffee Creamers of 2010

You know it’s the holidays when limited edition products hit the shelves. In case you haven’t noticed, the coffee creamer selection at your local grocery store has also followed suit. This year, treat yourself to a few favorites, as well as a couple new flavors for 2010.

The holiday creamer flavors from Coffeemate have been available since November and will continue to be sold until January. This year, we see a few latte selections being offered, as well as a couple of never-seen-before flavors. International Delight offers fall/winter limited edition creamers that generally focus on tasty reminders of seasonal sweet treats.

Why don’t you capture the essence of the holidays in your coffee with the following holiday creamers:

International Delight Holiday Creamers

  • Chocolate Mint Truffle – The combination of milk chocolate with a hint of mint tastes like a cup of melted chocolates. Available Fall/Winter 2010.
  • Spiced Rum Vanilla – With an intoxicating scent, the blend of vanilla and cinnamon spiced rum smells just as good as it tastes. Available Fall/Winter 2010.
  • White Chocolate Raspberry – It’s almost like drinking a cup of melted white chocolate and red raspberry cheesecake. Available Fall/Winter 2010.

Coffeemate Holiday Creamers

  • Caramel Apple – Perfect for those longing for the seasonal sweetness of apple and caramel. Available in liquid.
  • Eggnog Latte – It’s like drinking a cup of creamy eggnog without all of the calories. Available in liquid.
  • Gingerbread – Enjoy a taste of gingerbread cookies in your next cup of coffee. Available in liquid.
  • Gingerbread Latte – A creamier and sweeter version of the Gingerbread creamer. Available in liquid.
  • Peppermint Mocha – The combination of mint and chocolate mocha is sure to send you off to a relaxing slumber. Available in liquid and powder.
  • Pumpkin Spice – No need to cut a slice of pumpkin pie when you have this holiday creamer on hand. Also available in liquid and powder.
  • Sugar & Spice – Sugar and spice and everything nice is in this creamer, which offers a cinnamon-y wake up call. Available in liquid.

From Light to Dark – Know Your Coffee

Not all coffee is created equal, as a range of roasts is produced– according to the length of time the beans are heated. An unroasted bean has its own protein, acids, and caffeine. However, it is lacking in taste. Add heat to the equation and chemical reactions take place that transform carbohydrates and fats into aromatic oils. Moisture is burned off and a breakdown of acids leads to the revealing the distinct flavors that coffee beans possess.

Do you know your roasts?

Light Roast

The surface of a light roast is dry. It takes about seven minutes for the coffee beans to “pop” and double in size, which signifies a light roasting. The coffee that is mass produced in America usually possesses a light roast. The taste you get is light-bodied with a slightly grassy or sour flavor. Sometimes, this type of coffee is called cinnamon roast, half city, and New England.

Medium Roast

After nine to eleven minutes have passes, a medium roast is achieved – a favorite amongst specialty sellers in the United States. The flavor of the coffee is somewhat sweeter than a light roast and offers a full body taste with a pleasant aroma. This type of roast is sometimes referred to as full city, American, regular, breakfast, or brown.

Dark Roast

The sound of hissing and popping of coffee beans is an indication that you have a dark roast on your hands. This process takes about 12 to 13 minutes to achieve, where oils start to rise to the surface. The flavor that is achieved is slightly spicy. A distinct aroma and rich chocolaty body are also characteristics of this roast. Sometimes, this kind of coffee is called high, Viennese, French, and continental.

The Darkest Roast

For the darkest roast, beans are heated for more than 14 minutes, where they quiet and start to smoke. Carmelization also takes place, which indicates the carbonizing of bean sugars. A smoky flavor is produced. Italian roasts and espresso are the darkest of roasts.

Bittersweet Café Introduces Its Own Micro-Batched Bittersweet Origins Coffee

Today, Bittersweet is announcing the launch of its own micro-batched, locally roasted coffees.  Just as the company has taken the hand-crafted approach to chocolate, it is now doing the same for a line of coffees.  This coffee is roasted in the Berkeley production facility by an expert coffee maker and the coffees will be sold in the three Bittersweet Cafes as well as online.

Bittersweet is creating espresso, drip (both blend and single bean) and decaf using beans from Kenya, Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Sumatra.

choc and coffee
photo courtesy of Bittersweetcafe.com

As Penny Finnie, co-owner of Bitttersweet puts it:  “Our coffees follow the same hands-on approach we use for our Bittersweet Origins chocolate bars, This is another amazing varietal product and we are taking the same interest in the farms and cooperatives where the coffee beans are grown as we do with our cacao sourcing.”

Thought you would be interested to learn of this new offering.  Bittersweet is one of very few companies offering micro-batched coffee.

About Bittersweet  Origins and Café
Bittersweet Origins is a manufacturing and retailing company which creates craft chocolate and coffee in handmade, micro-batches to engage the senses and the mind.  Bittersweet Café retail stores’ ambience and furnishings reflect the one-of-a-kind nature of its chocolate bars, chocolate drinks and coffees.  The warm and welcoming spaces furnished with unique tables, benches, carts and artwork from local craftspeople and artists create a gathering place for the community to savor locally made chocolate delicacies, coffee and tea.  The Bittersweet Cafes are located in San Francisco on Fillmore Street, College Avenue in Oakland and the Rose Garden Shopping Center in Danville.  For more information, visit www.bittersweetcafe.com or call 510-705-1860.