A great Christmas Gift Idea: A Kuerig Coffee Brewer - OR a nice selection of k-cups!



Ever have something so obvious and right in front of your face that you miss it?  I believe it's 'can't see the forest for the tree's'?   I just did that with this blog post.


It never occurred to me to post about COFFEE AS CHRISTMAS GIFTS even though, guess what we are giving my father-in-law this year?  Hellloooo? 

Last year we bought my father-in-law a Keurig Home-Brewing System.  My FIL was 85 years old, liked just one or two cups a coffee a day but wouldn't make it as he didn't want to 'make a whole pot' and waste it.  Yes, he could have made a half pot of 4 cups, but we won't go there.  Suffice to say we decided to purchase a single cup brewing system for him as he had used it numerous times at our home over the past 7 years and was familiar with them.  I also bought him (at the time) boxes of k-cups in a variety of options;  coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and even apple cider. 


Because you can purchase k-cups almost anywhere;  from department stores, to grocery stores, discount stores, membership stores to electronics stores like Best Buy... even online;  it's not hard to find them.   Yet apparently, my FIL must not purchase them.  This year when I asked him for a few idea's for Christmas gifts he would like to receive, one of his first responses to me was "a box of those k-cups for my coffee maker". 

My FIL likes a mild, light coffee so I'm thinking of something like Green Mountain Coffee, Breakfast Blend.  I'm also considering a 'fun' assortment package like this;



This year my siblings and I went together to get a Keurig brewer for our parents, along with the reuseable cup for regular ground coffee and 2 large 80 count boxes of coffee.  A good set up that they will be thrilled with and will keep them in coffee for a couple months before they have to purchase.

There are coffee companies you set up automatic delivery through as well.  I used to have automatic delivery every 6 weeks but stopped as it was just as easy for me to buy my coffee as I am at various stores selling it at least once a week.  For people like my FIL however or someone on your list that is elderly, confined to home or just enjoys a gift of coffee, this is a great idea. 







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Heads up shoppers: Daily Chef Coffee at Sam's may be a different variety......

UPDATED on 10/16: Daily Chef tried to correct me on Twitter that it was the exact same roast, they just updated the picture on the box and put more k-cups in it. So I'm updating the post with another (better quality)  photo to show it is indeed a different roast; it went from 'dark' roasted to a 'medium' roast.


54 count box used a dark roast. The 80 count box is a medium roast.



Love the look of the 'old' box much, much better than the 1970's feel of the new (bottom) packaging


This weekend I stopped at Sam's Club to pick up our favorite stand-by coffee; the Daily Chef brand Colombian blend k-cups. 

The first thing I noticed was the package was different.  Cheaper and cheeseier looking than normal.  That caught my attention.  Was it the right one?    I looked again.  Colombian blend....  but 80 count.  Same size box but realizing it was an 80 count, I looked for the regular 54 count box.

Nope.  None to be found.

I then stopped to really look at the packaging. They stopped making the 54 count and decided to offer 80 count. 

I checked the price.  $33 for 80 was still on target with their previous per-cup-price.


Yes, it still was the Colombian blend.

But... it said "medium roast" ... I racked my brain;  surely I remember it always being a "dark" roast.  I glanced at the shelves again to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Nope, this was the only red box, Daily Chef, Colombian Roast in the store.

So I bought it.

Getting home, I saw the box is indeed different, and yes... the roasts are different.  Our regular 54 count box is labeled dark roast while the newer in-stock coffee was medium roast.

JUST A HEADS UP.





"People that love sports can't understand the concept of someone who honestly, truly, doesn't like, care about, nor understand sports."


This morning I was outside, high up on a wobbly ladder I had no business being on, armed with paper towels and Windex.  While cleaning windows I found myself repeating the Karate Kid mantra; wax on, wax off, over and over.  And over and over.  When I realized I was doing this, it was time to think of something else... and fast.

The way my brain works I made the .007 second switch to Karate-sports-soccer-kids playing soccer-parent coached soccer- going to the meeting for one of my kids soccer teams where they were asking for parent coaches- and finally, when the 30-something athletic, jock in school and went to college on a sports scholarship Dad started to belittle the parents and get more than a little snarky because none of the Moms (and a couple Dads) who were sitting in the shelter house at the park, trying to balance babies on our hips with a toddler running around our feet eating rocks... would raise their hands and commit to coach.

All that in .007 seconds.  I kid you not.  Ok.  So that is what I decided to ramble on a little bit over morning coffee about.



The thought that ran through my head was;  "People that love sports can't understand the concept of someone who honestly, truly, doesn't like, care about, nor understand sports."

To my credit, I did excel in a sport once.  In elementary school from 1st grade through 6th grade, I was one of the fastest kids in my class;  boys or girls.  By 7th grade I was the 2nd fastest girl in the class, and 4th fastest overall.  But that's it.  That's the end of my athletic ability.  I hated running.  I think I was fast because I wanted to hurry and get it over with so I could sit down on the sidelines with a book.  As much as I hated (despised, loathed) physical education class and recess, I loved reading.

"I hated running.  I think I was fast because 
I wanted to hurry and get it over with so I could 
sit down on the sidelines with a book."


I hated school for one reason and one reason only;  Physical Education.  It was the bane of my high school years.  I was great at 'forgetting' my PE clothes and coming up with every excuse possible to miss.  I would attend only enough to keep from flunking Phys Ed.  I did this by participating in the weeks we did something more in my comfort zone;  Archery, Range Shooting (yes, with guns - the Army would come that week and set up a shooting range), bowling, swimming and weight lifting.   I was excellent at all of those actually, and would get A+ in those classes so my average grade would then keep me from flunking PE each quarter. I usually ended up with a C.


Fast forward about 17 years to the aforementioned 'meeting' held in a shelter house at the park after our kid's 6th grade soccer practice.  Where Mr. Athletic was calling on parents to be the coach of the team.  I offered help in ways I did have talent;  scheduling, administration, forms, a website for the team and parents, calling parents, after practice snacks...   and he insisted I should coach the team.

I don't know the first thing about soccer.  Yes I've watched my kids play.  I know the ultimate goal is to get the little ball in net at the end of the field.  That's it.  That's the extent of my knowledge, even with 3 kids playing.  I love watching my kids play.  Love seeing them participate and learn new skills and love the game.  I see the coaches telling them when they have to stand outside line to throw a ball in.  Sometimes they had to kick it in.  Sometimes they would meet in the center of the field and kick it.  Coaches would blow whistles when they saw someone breaking a rule.  I had no idea what that rule might be... and I didn't care.

I did not care.
If you try to explain the rules of soccer (or basketball or hockey or even NFL football, much to my husbands dismay) my eyes will start to glaze over.  I'll nod and I'll try to follow you... I really will.  But because I don't even care about the game or sports in general even one little iota, I simply cannot focus my brain on learning it.

Mr. Athletic Dad was not happy.  But to his credit...he couldn't understand.  He did finally get 2 parents to coach (a woman offered up her husband to be the coach and after, another woman offered to co-coach as she had played a little soccer years ago.)

What that Dad couldn't comprehend was I can't coach a team of kids when I have no clue as to how the game is actually played and have no interest in it in the slightest.

Now, if he had asked for someone to teach the kids Medieval English Literature? I'm your girl!  History?  Sign me up!  Need someone to 'coach' them in cooking, baking or sewing?  Alright!  Now let's talk!

But what if I had turned the table on Mr. Athletic Dad?  What if it were me standing up there asking him to teach our 6th grade kids Medieval English Romance?

He would shake his head, chuckle and say "No... "  with a laugh.  "You don't want me teaching that.  I don't know ANYTHING about English literature!  Much less Mid... uh, whatever you said.  Medieval.  Yeah.  I don't know anything about Medieval English Romance!"

"Come on!  It's EASY.  It was the most important form of secular English literature in the Middle Ages!  How can you not know that!?  From 1225 through 1500 it was their own 'contemporary' modern fiction.  Come on.   I will give you a sheet of paper with some of the basic information and a list of authors to cover.   I'm sure the other people teaching and coaching the other teams of kids won't mind if you get a few facts wrong.  You'll learn!"

I find learning and reading to be interesting, exciting, fascinating!  He finds the same with sports.

While he may not have any interest in English Literature or History... I had no interest in sports.  That zero interest makes it very, very difficult for me to learn the rules of a game because again... I. Do. Not. Care.

In the end, I didn't have to coach, obviously.  And my husband (even working around 60 hour work weeks) found time to team-coach our son's football team for 2 years and soccer for 1 year.  But me?

If you need administrative help, sign me up.  
Forms, websites, snacks and first aid? I'm your girl. 
Posters?  Artistic talent? Marketing?  Yes!  I'll do it all!

But handing me a whistle and putting me in the center of a field of kids where the average athletic 4 year old has more working knowledge of the game than I do?  You don't want to do that. 











 


Morning Bliss... Naturally! My review of Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss - and 2 bonus cold drink ideas!

This post is for the new Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream, which I was given to review.  All opinions are my own.  



_____________________________________________

October is here!  Leaves are starting to turn shades of gold, red and orange, the mornings are chilly and the scent of bonfires fill the evening air.  A cup of hot coffee in the morning or evening while out on the deck just feels 'right' and the spicy flavors of vanilla and cinnamon fit the season.

This week I've been enjoying the new Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream.  Introduced this month in time for the holidays, it's a blend of milk, cream, sugar and natural flavors.  Note I didn't type out any long chemical name that no one can pronounce.  Milk. Cream. Sugar.  Natural ingredients.

First though, I need to give kudo's to whomever designed their packaging.  I love the look of the Natural Bliss bottles.  I'm pretty critical of the packaging and labels on food products and I've been underwhelmed at the 'new' labels many of my favorite foods are coming out with. The white, clean, soft label on the bottle and the image of the milk, sugar and cinnamon is a winner.

Pouring the creamer into your coffee you will note a mixture of cinnamon and vanilla.  Take a deep breath.  It is like breathing in homemade, natural vanilla ice cream with a hint of cinnamon!  Add as much or little to your coffee as you prefer.  The flavor is... real.  No chemical taste because there are no chemicals there!

"The NATURAL BLISS line is made with 100% all-natural ingredients without any artificial preservatives.  Each bottle  contains sixteen fluid ounces of authentic ingredients, 
inside a white bottle with soft images of each of the natural flavors.  
Kosher and gluten-free, this luscious dairy creamer has a  pure taste 
with a touch of natural sweetness, silky texture and delicious aroma – 
all in one convenient bottle.   The perfectly balanced combination 
enhances the flavor of coffee, to make the most of your coffee moment."




The Bliss line includes not only the Cinnamon Cream, but Sweet Cream, Vanilla and Low-Fat Vanilla.  You'll count just 35 calories and 1.5g of fat per serving and the average price is only $2.69 for a 16 oz. bottle.  It's available starting this month, nation-wide at most local grocers.  I know a lot of people like to check out their favorite products on Facebook - and you can do that at www.facebook.com/coffeematenaturalbliss. For even more information you can visit http://naturalbliss.coffee-mate.com


Here is a little bonus!

Coffee-Mate creamers make wonderful COLD drinks too!  I used my frappe maker to make a Natural Bliss Iced Coffee. 

I used about 1/3 cup creamer, ice and coffee, brewed in my Mr. Coffee frappe maker.  Excellent! 


The next day I decided a natural vanilla 'frosty' was in order - sans the coffee.  I used 1/2 cup Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss, 1 t vanilla extract and ice, blended smooth.  The result was a slushy vanilla frosty that was simply perfection!  So much so, I'm planning on using the last of my Natural Bliss Cinnamon Cream this afternoon for an afternoon treat.

I give this Coffee-mate product not just a thumbs 'up' but two thumbs up.  Thanks Coffee-Mate!






Another "Paying it Forward in Coffee" Story


A few days ago I posted about something gaining speed in the "do good today" coffee world;  suspended coffee.  Where you buy yours, and one or two more a hundred extra and ask the coffee shop to give it to whomever might need it - mainly those 'down and out' (see my previous post).

This afternoon I'm enjoying an iced coffee, reading the news and come across another feel-good story regarding free coffe - this time from Ellen's Good News on Yahoo  (Source).

Alyssa Josephine O'Neill was a normal, outgoing teenager, a cheerleader at her Erie, Pennsylvania high school, and was preparing for her freshman year at The Behrend College. She had been diagnosed with epilepsy in January 2012, but didn't let that stop her from enjoying her life.

On September 3, Alyssa texted her mom asking if they could go to Starbucks so she could try a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the very first time, but they never got the chance. The next day, the 18-year-old passed away from an epileptic seizure.

"We tried to think of something that we could do that would be a little bit positive," her father Jason O'Neill told us in a Skype chat. He and his wife, Alyssa's mother Sarah, went to their local Starbucks and bought Pumpkin Spice Latte for themselves, as well as the next 40 customers. All they asked of the baristas was that they write #AJO on the cups, and explain to the customers why their drink was free.

What they weren't expecting was that customers who received their drinks would respond the exact same way, by paying it forward. Soon enough, the O'Neill's #AJO campaign spread throughout their community, the country, and the world.

"Next thing you know, we hear about someone 
donating $600 at a different location," 
says Sarah. "It just spread like wildfire."

 The acts of kindness in Alyssa's memory aren't limited to the seasonal beverage. The O'Neills hope that people will be inspired by this movement to do other good deeds to improve the lives of others.

"Just take the five minutes out of your day to do something nice," says Sarah. "It doesn't have to cost you a dime."

Says her father, "We'd like to pay it forward and try to make everybody a little bit of a better person, because that's what Alyssa did."

What is up with the popularity of horse head masks? Or Unicorns, pig masks or squirrel masks for that matter!

Tonight's post isn't about 'coffee' but it's after 8:pm, I'm hanging out until it's time to take my dogs 'out' at 9:pm and yes... I've just finished 2 cups of coffee.  So, there is a coffee-tie-in.  Kind of.  Sort of.

Let's talk Halloween masks.  And uh... horse head masks?  (And unicorn masks, pig masks, squirrel masks and more).  Apparently there is something going on with horse head masks and everyone wants one.  Why?  I have no idea.  

In my little circle of friends, none of us have one, none of us want one.  But apparently it's cool to have one, wear one in the craziest of places (go into the gas station and buy a Slurpee wearing your horse head mask?  Ok... I guess.)  Although I may think it's bizarre it's a fad... and it's popular.   When I looked them up on Amazon I was a little freaked out by it.  I'm not sure why.  But I was.





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New to Me - A 'Camping Coffee' that comes with it's own brew bag! Nature's Coffee Kettle




Yesterday while running errands, I stopped in the local sporting good store to 'window shop'. One of my favorite areas to browse is the camping supplies aisles. As I wandered through, I noticed something 'new' in the camp-friendly food display. Coffee. Not instant coffee, but real, honest to goodness coffee that you brew in a lightweight pouch. I hate instant coffee. To me it tastes a little bit like burnt beef bouillon. I gladly give up space and weight to bring my aluminum camp coffee pot and ground coffee with after having had to endure a camping trip with instant and later, a second camping trip where I literally left the camp in the early morning, drove to the nearest gas station, bought a large, hot, fresh brewed cuppa and returned back to camp to join the rest of the crew for breakfast. That is how much I hate instant... but love my morning coffee.

Always dubious of new things hitting the market, I picked it up and inspected it for myself and read the instructions. It's a heavy duty but thin and very light weight mylar style pouch, like you find Mountain House and other packaged freeze dried foods in, but comes with a capped pouring spout and an opening in the top in which to put your hot water, which flows over the coffee grounds and brews hot coffee. That was a really long sentence. Sorry.

It's called "Nature's Coffee Kettle" and comes with 1 ground coffee packet included.
  • Real Coffee for the Real Outdoors. Not instant coffee, brews real coffee in a bag. Simply: POUR, WAIT, and ENJOY.
  • Lightweight: No need for French press or other bulky gear. Weighs just 1.2 ounces.
  • Compact: Everything you need to make four or more cups of real coffee in an ultra-thin pouch.
  • Bold Taste: Made with 100% Arabica coffee beans, the taste will absolutely surprise you. Note: The slower the pour, the stronger the brew. Tip: seal zipper and tilt bag to refilter.
  • Reusable:The sturdy bag is reusable and has many purposes. Use our refill packs to save money and waste.

It honestly was very, very light. 1.2 ounces. It brews 4 cups of coffee, and by following directions and pouring the first cup very slowly, I can get a nice, strong brew. Also, while you could reuse the bag for other things or toss it after use, the thing I liked about it was they also sell refill packs. When the coffee is gone, it's back to being a lightweight mylar pouch again (think Capri Sun style) so it can be repacked, taking up little space and the next morning used again with a simple refill pack that is similar to the little packs you see in hotel rooms.

Looking up the product on Amazon this morning I see they also off the Nature's Hot Chocolate Kettle version. I'm not a fan of hot chocolate myself, but I know every camping trip with extended family results in a lot of happy faces when the hot chocolate packets are brought out. Also, the refill packets are my favorite brew; Columbian! (COLOMBIAN COFFEE REFILL PACK )








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Tenacious Little Tree



Regular readers know we have two dogs we rescued as new puppies last Spring.  I go 'out' with them every morning and typically try to take a nice, hot cup of coffee out with me to enjoy.  Last week I was walking around our back 'yard' which is not really a yard at all as we live on the side of basically, a small mountain and is almost pure rock leading to the woods behind the house.

As I stood there watching the dogs I looked down and saw this little tree growing from a small crack in the middle of the rock.  I chuckled to myself and thought;  "Wow, that is one tenacious little tree" and snapped a picture on my phone.

To me, I see it and think;  Persistence.  Strength.  Tenacity. 

Motivation for the day.











What is 'Suspended' Coffee?


You may have seen it spread on Twitter or Facebook and wondered what it was and if it really existed;  "Suspended" Coffee.  I first saw it on Twitter and it goes something like this;


We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order.
While we're approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:
Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended.
They pay for their order, take the two and leave.
I ask my friend: What are those 'suspended' coffees?
Wait for it and you will see...

Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go.
The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers:
three for them and four 'suspended'.

While I still wonder what's the deal with those 'suspended' coffees,
I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards
the square in front of the cafe.
Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks
like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks:
Do you have a suspended coffee?

It's simple... people pay in advance for a coffee meant for
someone who cannot afford a warm beverage.
It is generally an anonymous act of charity.
Officially, that picture has nothing to do with suspended coffee, but it looked good so someone, somewhere used it with the story and well, it's starting to spread like wildfire.

But is it true?

Yes.  Kind of.  Sort of.  But not so much in the USA.
Yet.
But I bet it will.

From Wikipedia;
A caffè sospeso (Italian: suspended coffee) is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. A poor person enquiring later whether there was a sospeso available would then be served a coffee for free. Coffee shops in other countries have adopted the sospeso to increase sales.

Although it originated in Europe, a few news articles I researched this morning said that various reporters had visited various coffee houses to see if this was true and many said they hadn't had anyone purchase 'suspended' coffees in 15 years or so.

However, with the internet's help I can almost guarantee this is now going to be catching on (again) only possibly, in an even bigger way.
















Hot Ginger Ale. So... like Apple Cider with Fizz?





Who am I to judge what others want to drink, right?  But admittedly, when I saw an article announcing "Coca-Cola Japan introduces hot ginger ale"  -I had a gag reflex.

Japan likes to launch some uh, interesting items (Pepsi flavored Cheetos anyone?) but now, let's heat things up; Coca-Cola Japan will launch first-ever hot can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale in vending machines Oct. 21.

While my initial gag reflux was due in part because the only time I really drank Ginger Ale as a child was when I was sick and my parents would offer to it to help quell my upset stomach - after reading more of the details of this drink I'm thinking, "Well, on second thought, maybe it's not so bad."

Why the change of heart?


"The piping-hot product manages to maintain the carbonation
 during the heating process to produce a spicy 
cinnamon-and-apple-flavored beverage."


The cinnamon and apple flavors it reportedly use reminds me of nice hot apple cider.  But with fizz.  Yes, apparently they've been able to maintain the carbonation through the heating process - and that my friend, has my interest piqued.

Unfortunately, unless I want to travel to Japan in October or perhaps try to find some on ebay, I'm out of luck.  It's not going to be offered the USA.

Egg Coffee, Boiled Coffee - or: Why Would Grandma use Eggs to Make Coffee?



There are two kinds of 'egg' coffee.  One uses the whole egg, including shells, the other just uses an egg white.  Neither of which seem to be used much today and there is a lot of misinformation and confusion over how and why an egg would have anything to do with brewing coffee.  I've even heard of some mistaken souls break and beat a whole egg in their coffee cup and add brewed hot coffee to it...  and wonder why anyone would drink what basically is coffee egg drop soup. 

Well... no one would.  You're doing it wrong. 


My heritage is Swedish and German and although it's well known for being a Swedish or Norwegian coffee, the side of my family that used egg in their coffee was the German side.  Also, my father-in-law (who comes from a German background) made coffee this way.

The first reason for using egg shells and/or egg whites in coffee is to give the coffee clarity as well as improving the flavor.  The second reason is for a boiled coffee, the egg traps the grounds, which is again, for clarity but serves a purpose as well.  Until percolators and coffee brewers came into use, using an egg to make boiled coffee was a given.  After brewing styles improved, the need for the egg was lost. 

Today you might only need to utilize egg coffee if you are camping making "camp coffee" or "boiled coffee" in a pot or pan or if you want to give it a go in a pour over coffee for fun.  These are 2 versions to get you started and are out of a cookbook from the 30's.
   

Boiled Coffee with Egg White

Use 2 tablespoons coffee to each 3 cups of water.  
Use cold, clean water and grind the coffee beans just before using to a moderately fine grind.  

Preparation:
Add half of the white of an egg to each 2 tablespoons coffee and put into a perfectly clean coffee pot.  
Add enough cold water to moisten the coffee. 
Pour the measured water over. 
Cover the pot closely and boil 10 minutes. 
Pour in half a cup of cold water, draw the pot to the side, off the heat and allow it to stand 5 minutes to settle the grounds.
Never let the coffee boil after the cold water has been added.
Pour carefully into cups to serve piping hot, keeping the grounds on the bottom, trapped in the egg.




Egg Coffee
 
Put 6 cups of water to boil in a kettle.  
Meanwhile, break an egg into a cup, crunching up the shell as well.  Add about 1/4 c water to the egg and beat with a fork.
Place 4 T fresh ground coffee into a coffee pot.  Pour about 1/4 of the egg mixture into the grounds.
Put the rest of the egg mixture into the refrigerator for later use.
When your water comes to a boil carefully pour it over the coffee in the pot.
Place the pot on very low heat and very, very slowly bring it to just the point of boiling. 
Remove from heat, pour in about 1/4 cup very cold water and let sit for 5 minutes to settle grounds.  
If you wish you can now pour the coffee through a fine sieve or simply pour slowly into serving cups to keep grounds trapped on the bottom. 

 
One of my grandmother's would save the egg shells from baking and cooking to crush and place over the grounds in her percolator.  As a child I remember watching her do this as she used a percolator well into the early 80's as she loved the flavor of the percolated coffee over the taste of the coffee made in the Mr. Coffee machine she was given by her kids.   In many churches where the 'church ladies' in charge of making the coffee in the urns for after service coffee and donuts, you will still find them breaking an egg and adding it to the grounds in the large urn. 

Whether or not the egg white and shells lower the acidity of the coffee, I don't know.  That would involve testing I don't have access to, nor do I really care enough to go down that road!  However, the older folk that I know in my own life that grew up making coffee this way will tell you it made the most delicious cup of coffee that was light, not too acidic and often times didn't even need the addition of sugar or cream it was so good on its own.

I have a camp coffee pot in our camping storage bin that I'm thinking I may need to pull out and give it a try.   Just for kicks.  I'll let you know..........











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Coffee... with your face on it? Get your latte with an image of... you!

Originally published in 2013 - the link I had was now dead, 7 years later.  

Never mind. Carry on.


edible ink, computer, smart phone and...  drink your own image in your latte


A café in Taiwan may have solved everyone’s least favorite part about getting coffee. Not the fact that people spill coffee everywhere at the cream station. No, it’s the part where the barista misspells your name on the side of your cup! To fix this dire issue, Let's Cafe kiosks in Taiwan now offer a cup of coffee with your picture on it.

That's right, actual pictures. Right now, these unusual coffees are just offered in Taipei, but maybe these latte portraits will be headed stateside soon enough. So...would you like to drink your face?









Camp Coffee Makers - What about a Collapsible Drip Coffee Maker? GSI Outdoors has one






GSI Outdoors 79480 Collapsible Java Drip Coffee Maker

My own personal 'camping' coffee maker is a traditional, light weight, cheap, aluminum pot.  It works fine but it does take up space and the bottom always has to be scrubbed to get the black soot off.  For backpacking or travel or hotel use, it's not an option.  Just for 'family' camping trips where we are bringing bins of 'things' to begin with. So... looking for other options this morning I found a collapsible coffee maker.  

Don't settle for instant, when you're on the trail or in camp.  The GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip lets you enjoy freshly brewed coffee, just as you would at home. Folds flat and weighs next to nothing, for easy packing.

Collapsible drip cone holds #2 or #4 paper filters to brew 1 to 12 cups of coffee.  The unique flanged design helps center the drip cone over mugs, cups and wide-mouth bottles for stable, spill-free brewing.  Lid doubles as a trivet after brewing.

  • #2 & #4 Filter capacity brews 1-12 cups of coffee
  • Collapsible silicone bellows design expands from 1-Inch high, 5.6-Inch diameter disc to a sturdy, full height drip cone
  • Unique, fit-ring design centers drip cone over mugs, cups and wide mouth water bottles for stable spill free brewing
  • Weight 4.8-Ounce
  • Includes collapsible 4 drip cone, snap-on cover

The only complaint I've found has nothing to do with the product usage, but that it has a silicone smell when you first take it out of its packaging.  But one wash with dishsoap and hot water and it's gone and you are good to go.

Here is a tip a reader on Amazon had shared, which I think is a good one:
Pour about a 1/3 of your water slowly over the coffee to let it bloom, wait a few seconds then the rest making sure you soak all the grounds. I get my water to a full boil to make sure its plenty hot.




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