Starbucks offers this weekend only....

I've been so busy with the relocation, moving, and all the problems that have plagued us since arriving that I've not had the time to post some of the Christmas holiday COFFEE offers that are surrounding us!  This morning I'm on the tail end of some great Starbucks offers and wanted to pass them along.

To get the special offers you text MERRY to 697289 to have offers sent to your phone. (Message and data rates may apply)

December 10:
Tazo® Tea Sampler or Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew Gift Pack Sampler $12.95 (regular price $16.95-19.95) 12/10/2011 only. Quantities limited.
December 11:
Holiday Boxed Mugs $6.95 (regular price $9.95) 12/11/2011 only. Quantities limited.
December 12:
Free brewed coffee during the month of January 2012 When you purchase and use this 16 oz tumbler. $19.95 (over $70 value) 12/12/2011. Quantities limited. Restrictions apply. See tumbler hangtag/insert for details.
Text MERRY to 697289 to have offers sent to your phone.


Mmmm Starbucks Sumantra Blend for Keurig this morning.....

A few weeks ago I saw they were coming out with K-cups for the Keurig by Starbucks.  Although I'm not a fan of Starbucks coffee in their coffeeshop (they always, always taste burnt to me, no matter the blend I order), I do like their coffee that I grind at home. 

When it finally hit the stores it was about 2 dollars higher than all the other coffee brands and choices, and it comes with fewer k-cups in the package so I avoided it.  This weekend I stumbled upon a $1.50 coupon off so I purchased it to try it.  And?  And it's pretty darn good.  Thumbs up.  Don't plan on buying it regularly until they come down off their high horse and lower the price to be comparable to everyone elses, or at least put just as many k-cups  in the package... but when they do, it's a product I would buy.

I have to bring my daughter to school right now so I'll be back in about an hour for 'coffee talk'!


Free Torani Flavored Syrups to.....

Judy AND nimrodiel!

On this particular blog I have enough coupons for free Torani Syrup to send you BOTH a freebie! A full sized bottle of whichever flavor you choose at your local merchant. (If you lived close to me I'd hand deliver a bottle of Peppermint Syrup as I already owned one full bottle I bought and they sent me another!). Oh well, mint everything in December, from homemade mint ice cream to mint hot cocoa! LOL.

I need a mailing address to send the coupons to. Please email me.


Would you like a splash of flavored syrup with your coffee? Enter to win!

Contest Closed!

The number one flavored syrup in America is Torani and they have over 100 flavors to entice you with!  (They offer sugar free versions too!)

This week I enjoyed a free bottle of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup compliments of SheSpeaks.com and Torani Flavored Syrups.  While great in coffee, I personally love it even better in cooking.  From desserts to fruits, flavored soda's to oatmeal.  Have fun finding new ways to use it.   You can order from the vast choices online at Torani.com with a special code to save 10% (use offer code "shespeaks") but I've also got a bottle (free coupon) to give out to one lucky Coffee Talking reader for free!

A splash of syrup and a dash of milk for an amazing coffeehouse style drink or perhaps an Italian Soda?  The choice is yours.  Comment below with your favorite flavor (make sure your email is linked to your user name or you leave it for me, or else I won't be able to get a hold of you!).  I will draw one random winning email/name next Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:noon.  If you prefer to email me your comment and name (and not post it on the website) you can do that too.  All entries will be created equal. 

Regular Flavors Available from their website:
  • Vanilla
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • French Vanilla
  • Irish Cream
  • Syrup Dispensing Pump
  • Almond Roca®
  • Amaretto
  • Apple
  • Bacon
  • Black Currant
  • Blackberry
  • Blood Orange
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Blueberry
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon
  • Butter Pecan
  • Butter Rum
  • Butterscotch
  • Cane Sweetener
  • Caramel
  • Chai Tea Spice
  • Cheesecake
  • Cherry Lime
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate Bianco
  • Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Mac Nut
  • Chocolate Milano
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Cinnamon
  • Classic Caramel
  • Classic Hazelnut
  • Classic Root Beer
  • Coconut
  • Coffee
  • Crème Caramel
  • Crème de Banana
  • Crème de Cacao
  • Crème de Menthe
  • Cupcake
  • English Toffee
  • French Vanilla
  • Gingerbread
  • Grape
  • Green Apple
  • Guava
  • Hazelnut
  • Honey Vanilla
  • Huckleberry
  • Irish Cream
  • Italian Eggnog
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Mango
  • Maple
  • Orange
  • Orgeat (Almond)
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peach
  • Peanut Butter
  • Peppermint
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Raspberry
  • Red Raspberry
  • Ruby Red Grapefruit
  • Salted Caramel
  • Shortbread
  • Strawberry
  • Tangerine
  • Tiramisu
  • Toasted Marshmallow
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Vanilla
  • Watermelon


Fly Away: A great film that made me think

Beautiful morning!  Fall is right around the corner.  I can feel it.  I can smell it.

Fly AwayLast night before bed I scoured the internet for something to watch.  I stumbled upon a link to watch a movie I had never heard of, never knew existed, but loved so much as it made me think and gave me a glimpse into the lives of two of my friends.  Although neither of these friends have children with this form of autism, their special needs kids are still quite similar to the teenage character in this film; Fly Away and although I know what their lives are like on the surface, and had shared 'bits and pieces' with me, I got a more in depth look at the decisions they faced as their daughter's grew to be teens.   There were a couple parts of the movie I felt were a little idealized or not true to what the teen daughter's character would have been capable of doing (like the part when she asked about getting older and getting married) but then again, it's a film and I know the point they were making.  The moment when the parent and/or disabled teen realizes that their future doesn't hold the same hopes and dreams as someone without the disability.  And the end?  Yes, a little too 'sweet' and 'perfect' but then again they had to wrap up the movie some how right? 

It gave me much to think about and I find myself thinking about it even more this morning.

I like films that do that.


Peter Hedges Kick

Dan in Real LifeI'm grabbing my current read (An Ocean in Iowa - I'm currently on a huge Peter Hedges kick ever since seeing Dan In Real Life - which I LOVED!!!) and I hope to fall asleep within about 1 1/2 hours.


My Island Coconut Coffee Update

Remember my post last weekend when I ordered 7 boxes of coffee?  They were delivered yesterday!  Yeah!  I was so excited to try them, so the first one I brewed last night was the one I had been thinking about since I placed the order;  Island Coconut.   I first tested the aroma.  I put it in the Keurig and punctured the top, opened the brewer lid and inhaled.

Eh.  Not much to write home about.  I guess based on the reviews I was expecting a nice, deep, rich aroma.  Not so much.

I brewed and and inhaled.  Still not impressed.  Oh, I could smell a hint of coconut in there, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

I tasted.  It was a very typical flavored coffee.  The hint of coconut was there, hidden beneath a little bit of bitterness.  Many times you have to add a bit of sweetness to bring out the flavor in coffees so I added a bit of sugar free almond syrup.  Sipped.  Nothing.  Added 1/2 packet of Splenda.  It brought out the flavor a little more but I realized the coffee reviews are only as good as the reviewers.  Many had exclaimed about the rich flavor of coconut coming through and others said it was dull.  I guess each to their own!

I thought it was "fine" but not outstanding.

Later that evening I brewed it over ice.  Using a cup full of ice and the 6 oz. setting I brewed it over ice and added splenda and vanilla.  I think it was better this way than hot brewed, but only just.

In the end I think the Island Coconut is fine and 'good' but don't expect the flavor to be a burst of island goodness.  Instead, think;  typical flavored coffee.  Ok but not anything unexpectedly good.


Movie and a Cup of Coffee?

This morning coffee started out with Dark Magic k-cups, but because they are expensive, I only allow myself 2 (sometimes 3... LOL) before I switch to the My k-cup and fill it with my own ground coffee.  So now I'm sipping Italian Roast Starbucks.  Pretty tasty.

You'll note a guest post or two on my blog.  I'm offered to post these with the understanding that I don't write them or edit them, I just post for other companies and/or people and I earn a few bucks for it.  I'm all for a couple extra bucks in my pocket so I do my best to look over the offers and see if there are any that match the topic of my websites.  I couldn't find any about coffee but figured as long as the topics and posts wouldn't be detrimental to my site at all, I'd post them.  I'll always let you know in the first line that it's a guest (paid) post though so you know I'm making a couple bucks by placing it there even though it's not my writing (which is pretty obvious if you actually read them). 

Dan in Real LifeAlthough I don't watch television and I can't sit long enough in front of one to watch a movie, I do enjoy watching movies on my laptop.  It allows me to easily multi-task.  I usually have 2 windows open;  one for the movie and one for reading the news or doing something else at the same time.   I typically go for horror and Sci-fi but last night I went for a drama/comedy instead.   "Dan in Real Life" was surprisingly good for being a movie I had never heard of before even though I think it came out in 2007? 

It wasn't a typical guy-comedy with over the top crude humor but it wasn't a chick-flick either.  Dan in Real Life is about a single father who meets a woman in a bookstore and instantly they hit it off.  After sharing coffee, a muffin and conversation, she gets a phone call that reminds her that she has to leave as she was on her way to visit her new boyfriend and his family.  She hurries off and Dan hurries back to the family home as well, only to find that the girl he has fallen in love with is his brothers new girlfriend.  This is where the comedy comes in as they struggle to pretend they don't already know each other and spend the weekend with the large, extended family.

For this zombie-loving girl, what a surprise to like a drama/comedy so much!

Anyway... I'm off to throw in a load of laundry, get dressed for the day, change the sheets and do other mundane tasks that are vying for my attention.  Have a great day all!


Update to my "STUPID ADS" post below....

I'm not sure I even need to offer any sort of explanation as to why these are two of the stupidest ads ever.....


One Odd Trick to Stay Asleep All Night???

If you've read any major news source in the past month you may have noticed the ads on the side of the pages and one in particular that I notice and started to make fun of is always titled;  One Odd Trick to Stay Asleep All Night.

What caught my eye was the stupid photos they put with it.  Photo's that have NOTHING to do with what the ad is for.  They always put big chested females trying to look sexy on the ads.


What do big chested females trying to look sexy have to do with trying to stay asleep all night?

Look at my big chest!
I got it from getting a good nights sleep!?

Let's fix each others hair while sitting half
dressed in a field!  This will show people how
to get a good nights sleep!

Those are just three that I print screen saved but others are similar... including one of two females sitting on a bed, barely clothed.

OMG.  Do they have 17 year old males writing these ads???  Because I'm NOT looking at those pictures and thinking to myself;  "Wow, they look like they got a good sleep last night!"

And for the record, I've never once clicked on their stupid ads either!  Ha.

Update:  Don't forget to check out how posing sexy with a bunny rabbit can help you sleep all night.


Hamilton Beach BrewStation Coffee Maker: once I fixed the leak I loved it again

Prior to our Keurig Coffee Maker(s) we owned a Hamilton Beach BrewStation. We loved the style, the convenience, the fact that there was no carafe, no 'burnt' taste after it sat for 30 minutes and it stayed hot. However, if some of you remember, I was frustrated that it leaked! When we bought our Keurig we did not throw out the Hamilton Beach brewer, but instead, kept it in storage to bring out when making coffee cup by cup was not feasible.

One day (about a year ago) I took the Hamilton Beach out to try to fix the leaking problem. After studying the various places it *could* leak I realized it wasn't in a seal or a part at all. It was the sealant they used on the seams! The canister itself was leaking. Having caulk on hand already for our kitchen, I simply sealed the outside of the machine's water reservoir with clear caulk. This gave a second barrier to their seal and after a few trial runs, realized it was back to new.

I still love the Hamilton Beach Brewstation. We like them so much it's what we bought our daughter for college and what my parents and brother/SIL now own.

Hamilton Beach BrewStation Coffee Maker

* Enclosed brewing system and no need for a carafe
* 1-handed dispensing; brew-pause function; thermal-lined insulation
* Programmable for "wake-up" coffee; simple push-button controls
* 2-hour auto shut-off; digital clock/timer; removable water tank; drip tray
* Measures 6 by 8 by 17 inches; 1-year warranty


I tried a new (to me) tea; chocolate hazelnut by Stash

Stash Premium Decaf Chocolate Hazelnut Tea, Tea Bags, 18-Count Boxes (Pack of 6)  Although I started my day with 2 cups of Neumann's Coffee, I ended up tasting something brand new today and surprisingly (for me) chocolate flavored.  It was Chocolate Hazelnut Tea from Stash.  I was shopping yesterday and picking up more Chai Spice Tea when I spied this next to it.  Although not a fan of dark chocolate, this was a light chocolaty flavor with vanilla and hazelnut.  It reminded me something from my childhood, but even after 2 hours now, I haven't been able to put my finger on just what it is.  I think it may be a similar flavor to a light chocolate frosting I had 'way back when' but in general I'd have to say this product is an interesting and intriguing thumbs up.


Via Instant Coffee by Starbucks; Ummm, Better Than Office Coffee (which is sad, really)

5:28 am - the day starts.

Starbucks VIA(TM) Ready Brew Colombia Coffee by Starbucks Coffee (12 pack) Bianca has Driver's Education Class before school so our days start at 5:30 am and unfortunately, today is also a 12 hour day at work as I have to cover a meeting tonight.  Good thing I bought Via by Starbucks at the grocery store this weekend.  Yeah, it does have an instant taste to it, but it's still better than 'office coffee'.  I keep an 8-count package in my purse for emergencies.  

Yesterday I wrote an email to the company that produces the Grove Square 'fake' coffee they are trying to pass off as real.   They emailed back to say they would refund my money.  You know, I wouldn't have a problem with their fake coffee if they put anywhere on the box, the fact that it was instant coffee.  (Amazon does now list it in some of their title descriptions for the product) but they have designed their product to deliberately mislead the consumer by picturing the Keurig k-cup design, saying it's designed for Keurig brewers and describing their product as if it were a 'real' fresh, ground coffee.  Only in very, very fine print does it mention the words 'microroasted and soluble' but never, not once does it say instant.  Buyer beware you are paying k-cup prices for cheap, instant, horrible tasting coffee.


An alert NOT to purchase Grove Square brand Coffee for Keruig... it is terrible INSTANT coffee

Grove Square coffee for Keurig is NOT ACTUALLY REAL GROUND COFFEE!  Don't waste your money!!!

Yesterday I chose to visit Super Walmart so I could get household items and groceries in the same stop.  While shopping quickly to fill my cart I needed coffee for my Keurig and quickly scanned the choices that said "Dark Roast"  or "Bold Roast" on the box.  While I was happy to grab "Dark Magic" by Green Mountain, I spied a 'new to me' brand I hadn't noticed before;  Grove Square.

Cute box design with an old fashioned feel of nostalgia, it said on the box it was for Keurig brewers and was 'Deep Roast'.  I put it in the cart but noticed it felt lighter then the Dark Magic.  I compared the two, noted to my daughter that it felt funny, it rattled a little and was lighter.  She felt it as well.  I thought they packaged it wrong and perhaps only put 12 cups in instead of 18?  But checking three other boxes, they were all lighter.  Odd.  But glancing at the packaging it looked just like all the other K-cups we've bought and it was one of the few offered by our Super Walmart Coffee Aisle that said it was a DARK roast (verses the breakfast blends, medium roasts, decaf and light roasts).

In a hurry, I threw it in and went on.

Last night I was ready to relax with a cup of coffee and an old Doris Day movie for some 'me' time.  I brewed the Grove Square and smelled it.

It looked and smelled like...  INSTANT coffee.

Oh no.

That explains it.  The lightness of the box.  The rattling sound.

I got the box out to see if it said INSTANT on it.

It did not.

In VERY small print it said it was micro-roasted and it was soluble.

That was the ONLY clue that what I spend $$$ on and what I bought was a cheap imitation.

No one in their right mind would buy instant coffee for Keurig.  The fact that Keurig brews one cup at a time in a minute makes it almost like having 'instant' coffee only it's freshly brewed REAL coffee.

I checked out the maker of this product and it RIPS OFF 'REAL' foods for a living!  They have a 'quick' and cheap website thrown up just as fast as what they explain their business is...   http://sturmfoods.com/ will tell you on their homepage their business is;

"....  Sturm Foods is committed to innovate and rapidly introduce new products..."    Catch those tags?  Innovate and rapidly introduce new products.  In other words;  see what is hot in the market and then quickly make a FAKE product that LOOKS like the real thing in order to screw over as many people as we possibly can in as short amount of time as we can before someone sues us.  (Which I've read online this morning that Keurig is attempting to do!).

If you WANT instant coffee, purchase the little jar of Instant Folgers or even Via by Starbucks, but for heaven's sake, don't waste your money like I did!


Coffee Time: Peel and Stick Decals for Your Kitchen

Coffee Cup Vinyl Wall Decals Stickers Art GraphicsWhen I moved into our current home I decided I wanted the theme of my kitchen to be 'coffee'.  At the time no one I knew personally had this theme, nor the colors of the kitchen I planned.  I used a dark burnt red for the walls and I had to search for coffee themed prints that were artistic, in my color scheme and not hokey or goofy looking, nor cheap looking.

At the time most people were into decorating with a wine, apples, grapes or Italian kitchen theme so I loved that out of all our friends, family and neighbors, our kitchen was different.  Now, of course, almost 7 years later I have neighbors that painted the same colors, friends and at least 1 extended family member that used a similar theme and one of my kids friends loved our kitchen so much she convinced her Mom to redo their entire kitchen in the same theme and style.

And?  I don't mind at all.  It's a fun theme!  The only thing is, it's far easier for people to find coffee themed... well, everything these days.   I thought of this when I found these coffee decals this morning on Amazon.

RoomMates RMK1254SCS Coffee House Peel & Stick Wall Decals This particular pack was only $12.99 and comes with 31 decals that are easy to apply - you just peel and stick.  They stick on almost any smooth surface, whether it's a wall, tile, cupboards, glass... and are completely removable or repositionable without leaving a sticky residue like a sticker would.

Other decal packages include large coffee cups, and quotes like "life's too short to drink cheap coffee". 

Vinyl wall decals are so affordable and fun that you can change them out as often as you like and still stay in even a college student or newlywed's budget. 


What I'm currently reading...... The Rapture by Liz Jensen

The Rapture 

Started to read The Rapture by Liz Jensen on Monday night and I have to admit that I was interested when I read the book jacket but by the time I got to page 10 I was regretting my decision.  By page 20 I was thinking this particular writer sucked and around page 40 was thinking the story seemed pretty good but it was too bad this author was hacking it to death with a writing style that grated on my nerves. 

From Publishers Weekly:

Apocalyptic global climate change fuels Jensen's terrifying near-future tale about the human will to survive or, in the case of Bethany Krall, a psychic psychotic teen who stabbed her mother to death, the will to embrace death. Bethany, a patient at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital in Hadport, England, forms a strong bond with her wheelchair-bound psychologist, Gabrielle Fox. As Gabrielle treats her patient, the world outside the hospital suffers natural disasters foreseen by Bethany after ECT shock therapy. Meanwhile, Bethany has been traumatized by the Faith Wave views of her father, Rev. Leonard Krall, who believes the Rapture is approaching. Since Bethany is convinced she bears the mark of the beast, she fears she won't go to heaven. Gabrielle seeks help from Frazer Melville, a physicist who takes Bethany's catastrophe calendar seriously. In gorgeous prose, Jensen (Egg Dancing) paints a depressing but oddly hopeful portrait of a modern doomsday scenario. (Aug.)

Obviously others thought it better than I did (here are two reviews from the Amazon site);

"Combining the tensions of modern psychology with scientific speculation and social analysis in a speedy plot, Jensen put me rather in mind of Margaret Atwood …a cracking good read." --Sunday Telegraph

"Excellent...beautifully structured....an engaging thriller about a relevant contemporary issue while still respecting the reader’s brain cells… you’ll be gripped." -- Irvine Welsh, The Guardian

So I carried on.
Am now about 3/5 of the way through and I'm glad I stuck with it.  Perhaps I'm getting used to the way this particular author writes or perhaps I'm just sucked into the basic premise of the story but I certainly feel I have to keep reading to see how it ends. 

I'll let you know.


Tully's House Blend K-Cups for Keurig... Not for Me but I Bet the General Population Would Like Them (Chocolate Mentioned)

Tully's Coffee House Blend 4 Boxes of 24 K-Cups When you purchase a new Keurig coffee brewer, it often times (depending on the model) comes with a variety of coffee's to get you started.  Yesterday we had to get a new machine and it came with a handful of coffee's, one of which was Tully's House Blend .

Most house blends I've found to be similar to breakfast blends;  light and generally easy to sip to make the overall population happy.  This house blend however, surprised me.

At first I couldn't put my finger on the undertone flavor that made it unappealing to me.  I noticed the flavor was a bit different than my normal bold, dark roasts and there was something that gave my tongue and mouth a 'dry' feeling after swallowing.  I decided it was a coffee I thought my husband would like better than I.

It was only after coming to Coffee Talking to post about this flavor coffee that I looked up the link on Amazon and read the description.  The mystery of the undertone I was detecting was solved and also the reason my mouth was a bit dry and I didn't care for it as I do other coffees; 

This coffee boasts a distinct brightness in the forefront, yet it is well rounded throughout. The bitter chocolate flavor is calmed by sweet caramel undertones and finishes with a lingering astringency. This coffee is friendly enough to drink black but just as friendly with a touch of milk and sweetener.

Dark chocolate.  Bitter chocolate.

As soon as I read that in the description I knew they nailed it.  Although you can't taste the chocolate, it's there, lingering.  And as all my regular readers know, I do not like chocolate.  Especially dark chocolate.  Unlike many people (my own family included) I don't crave it, like it nor eat it and I don't care for dark chocolates in the least.

I was surprised a 'house' blend would use chocolate and caramel as even though it's light, it's still there, and those of us who like our coffee bold and black would not appreciate given flavored coffee.  But it's a lesson learned for me.  While I do think the general population might like this coffee as the chocolate and caramel undertones are slight and would appeal to most peoples tastes;  for those of us who spurn flavored coffee's in general and like a deep, rich, bold, black coffee, this is not one for us.