12.23.2014

Recall on Keurig Coffeemakers.....

Keurig Recalls Millions of Coffeemakers

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has initiated a recall of more than 7 million coffeemakers made by Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) between 2009 and 2014. The company’s MINI Plus single-cup brewing system was sold at the company’s online store and at retailers including Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) for about $100.
The company has sold about 6.6 million of the units in the United States and 564,000 in Canada. The coffeemakers that are included in the recall have an identification number beginning with “31” followed by a range of other numbers on a white sticker on the bottom of the brewer. The full list of number ranges is available at the CPSC website.

Keurig has received about 200 reports of hot liquid escaping from the device, of which about 90 report burn-related injuries. According to the CPSC, water can overheat during brewing and spray out of the machine and scald users.

Consumers are being instructed to contact Keurig for a free repair and for information about what to do to avoid getting scalded while waiting for a repair. The brewing machines are manufactured in China and Malaysia, according to the CPSC.

A similar recall was issued in 2012 for a single-cup coffeemaker made and sold by Mr. Coffee under license from Keurig.

Keurig Green Mountain’s stock closed up 1.9% on Monday, at $139.78 in a 52-week range of $73.29 to $158.87. Shares traded down about 1% early in Tuesday’s premarket at $138.42.

12.14.2014

I'm back in coffee....



Yesterday we had to take a trip to Sam's Club for dog food, seafood, Monster drinks, paper plates and prescription glasses (I just realized how 'American' that is to be able to get all our needs in one store like this....) and I decided to see if they had the 80 count box of their Daily Chef Colombian coffee.

They did not have it in the normal place with all the other coffee so I was going to give in and get the 54 count Starbucks... but while hesitating, I walked around the corner and saw tucked away on a busy end cap that was partially hidden behind some big cut out cardboard something-or-other, the coffee I was looking for.  Not one person was stopping to find it there - where it wasn't expected - but Sam's has been doing that lately.  Everything around the store has been changing places every time I go.

I thought it was just 'me' irritated by not being able to quickly find the eggs, the cheese, the bacon (two different spots for bacon - 2 aisles apart) and the eggs were moved next to the cream cheese and sour cream.  But I heard 3 different comments by other shoppers saying things like "They keep moving things around"  or "I don't know... they've moved it again!"  Just in case you might need to know; They also moved the butter next to the cream cheese instead of over by the dairy, cream and milk where it used to be (and where everyone looks for it).

But I digress...  they had the 80 count box of coffee back in stock.  So I bought it.

And I think it was 'out of stock' last week because I noticed they changed the design color of the k-cups again.  They are now bright red and white and quite shiny plastic verses the dark maroon burgundy labels they were 2 weeks ago.  So that may explain their brief disappearance?

And we are back in coffee.
So if your Sam's is like mine and likes to screw around with their customer's and make it as difficult and time-consuming as possible to find your 'regular' purchases, try looking in the most unlikely place in the store.  I bet you might find it.


12.13.2014

Winn Dixie's brand coffee; k-cup style (Surprisingly very good)

   This coffee is available at Winn-Dixie grocery stores.  This is a grocery chain in the Southern part of the USA so it's not a store that some readers will be familiar with.  We have this retailer near our home, but admittedly I don't regularly shop there.  I popped in about every 6 months so it's possible I never saw these brand k-cups before, but until last week I didn't know they carried them.

Recently our local retailer underwent a big remodel and I had a $5 off coupon for my total purchase.  It was time to try Winn-Dixie again.  I spied these k-cups in French Roast and Colombian.  My current favorite coffee (for in-the-home brewing) is Colombian and the price was great!  About $6 for a box of 18 count.

"There was no special 'one thing' that stood out about this coffee 
but that is in NO WAY a negative.  It's a positive.  
It means it's a good coffee to serve to almost anyone."

For a basic, easy to drink, average 100% Arabica bean coffee, it's good!  There is no certain flavor or hint of special spice or overtone that stands out.  It's just a good, sturdy, home brewed cup of coffee.  Not bitter (yeah!) and not burnt tasting, but also not light or floral or woodsy or - best of all - no 'cigarette ash' flavor that many affordable blends have. 

There was no special 'one thing' that stood out about this coffee but that is in NO WAY a negative.  It's a positive.  It means it's a good coffee to serve to almost anyone.  And when it's a k-cup, it can be brewed in different sizes, so a 6 oz., 8 oz. or 10 oz. size is going to please those who like it more bold, or more 'light' brewed.

It's not going to be my first choice to keep on hand, but for a quick 'coffee run' to pick up coffee inbetween regular purchases or if I'm near a Winn-Dixie and I need to pick up coffee, this is one I would purchase without hesitation due to the affordability factor.   Price for the taste is good and beats out the other 'store brands' such was Walmart (not a great contender in my book).

If you aren't in the deep Southern states, and you want to try the coffee you can order it on Amazon (18 count French Roast Winn & Lovett Single Serve for Keurig).


12.04.2014

Postum is back - the healthy coffee alternative - Plus a 'homemade postum' recipe

Some mornings I have no intention of posting an entry into CoffeeTalking.com but... one just happens!  This post on a new-to-me product is one of those.

This morning I was enjoying flipping through a Christmas catalog that was mailed to my house.  As I sipped my coffee and flipped through the pages of 'old fashioned' products this company carries, they had a tiny little cup of coffee with a blurb that said;  "Postum, the healthful coffee alternative is back" and a price of $16.95 for an 8 oz. jar.  But... NO other description or information.

I was intrigued (and a bit frustrated) they included no information as to what this healthful coffee alternative was.  So, I had to go on a search.  And this is what I found!



Postum Instant Hot Beverage, Original, 8 Ounces

Product Description

Postum is the perfect family alternative to coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Its rich, savory roasted flavor is similar to coffee, but with none of the caffeine, acidity or bitterness. We use a healthful blend ingredients to create a wonderful drink that the whole family can enjoy - anytime!
  • Instant Hot Beverage
  • Naturally Caffeine Free
  • Made from Wheat Bran and Molasses
  • Finally Back after not being made for two years!
  • Made from Roasted Grains. Great coffee alternative
Ingredients
Roasted wheat bran, wheat, molasses, maltodextrin from corn.

Directions
Use 1 tsp. Postum, add boiling water, stir. Add milk and sweeten to taste if desired.

About Postum - from their website: postum.com

In 2007, when POSTUM® was discontinued by a large food company, there began a groundswell of support from loyal POSTUM® drinkers “Bring Back Our POSTUM®!”

We at Eliza’s Quest Foods felt the same way.  Like many other loyalists, we tried the available coffee substitutes.   After many well-meant attempts, we arrived at the conclusion that the POSTUM® recipe with wheat was far better and something had to be done.

Starting like C.W. Post so long ago, we worked in our kitchen to recreate that POSTUM® flavor from wheat and molasses.  In 2008, POSTUM® was once again created in a small kitchen with the same ingredients used since the 19th century.

Still the fans continued clamoring for POSTUM®’s return.  Blogs, petitions and articles said the same thing, “Bring Back Our POSTUM®.” Eliza’s Quest went to work to make that happen and today we’re proud to offer POSTUM®, the world’s best coffee substitute that is completely caffeine free so you and your family can once again enjoy the delicious taste you love from the brand you trust.

Eliza’s Quest Foods, LLC acquired the rights to POSTUM® and for the past three years have been working to bring it back to market for all the loyal supporters who love Postum as a coffee alternative that is caffeine free.  Co-owners and lifelong POSTUM® drinkers Dayle and June Rust spearheaded the drive initially.

Bringing the product to market has not been without its challenges.  It has been time-consuming and we thank all of you for your patience.  We know you understand that POSTUM®’s unique flavor doesn’t come from a cookie cutter recipe and that we want to offer you the best coffee replacement possible.  While we were working on the process, we were also able to secure the POSTUM® trademark.  This was something of an unexpected miracle, and gave us additional impetus in our journey to market.

To all the POSTUM® fans who believed, we are excited and proud to bring you the one and only roasted wheat, bran and molasses beverage with over one hundred years of satisfied drinkers: POSTUM®!



But... how does it taste?

Because I've never had this product, I spent the next few minutes reading through about 150 different reviews and comments from all over the net; Amazon, message boards, forums, product review sites... and the reviews were interesting.

The majority of people exclaimed this was spot on.  Exactly as they remembered.
The other group (smaller) declared it close... but not 'it'.

The negatives were the same, repeated over and over.  This particular review off Amazon stated what all the other not-completely-positive reviews said;

"It didn't have any smell when I opened it. 
The color was a lot darker. I actually have about 
a teaspoon left in an old jar to compare it with. 
When I prepared it the color was not quite the same 
but I don't care about the color. 
 I tasted it and did not find the old familiar flavor. 
It was close."


In researching Postum I did find this simple 'recipe' online - repeated many places as it's so quick and easy and only has 3 ingredients. 

HOMEMADE "POSTUM"

1 qt. fine ground wheat
1 pt. coarse ground corn meal
1/2 c molasses or dark syrup

Mix the wheat, corn-meal, and syrup. Rub them in the palms of the hand until it is well mixed. Put it into shallow baking pans and brown in a slow oven until it is a rich dark brown. It must be stirred often for even browning. Don't try to hurry the process or it will burn. When it is done, cool and store in a sealed jar or canister. Use like any cereal coffee. I use 2 tablespoons coffee for each cup and a half of water. It may be boiled or it can be made in an electric coffee-maker.


If you can't buy ground wheat, you can sort whole grains of wheat and grind them in your blender. However, take them out before it grinds them into a flour.

If you aren't up to ordering it online (Postum, Original, 8 oz.)  You can see if there is a store near you that carries it.  There are over 300 stores in the USA that have brought it back!  store locator

12.01.2014

Review of Great Value Walmart Donut Shop K-cup Coffee



I'm not a fan of 'donut shop' style coffee's of any brand, so perhaps my outlook on this one is a little skewed, but I'm going to give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Walmart was my store of choice this weekend for a couple grocery items as I was going there for wrapping paper, boxes and tape.  Sam's Club is across the street and I planned on stopping in to get coffee and kitty litter, but I really, really didn't want to.  Not only do I usually find other things I 'need' at Sam's or Costco and over spend my budget, but it being a huge holiday shopping weekend, I didn't want to deal with traffic, parking and crowds - nor the long lines inside just to buy coffee and kitty litter!  So I decided to get all my items at Walmart.

My regular Walmart location has never carried large boxes of k-cups but this particular Walmart I was at did!  I saw a 48 count box of Donut Shop style, 100% arabica coffee for just $15.98.  I don't usually purchase the Donut Shop style as it's too light and sour for my tastes, but it was 'new' to me and affordable so I wanted to give it a try!  I would have bought a different blend - but the space next to it was sold out - so Donut Style it was.

From their product description;

Great Value Donut Shop Blend 100% Arabica Coffee Single-Serving Cups is for use in Keurig coffee makers. It is a medium roast, not too dark or too light, with just the right taste. Each single-serving cup of Great Value Coffee, 0.37 oz, provides one hot cup of coffee to help you take on the day. Put the cup in the Keurig, and you're able to have a quick, donut store-quality cup right at home.

Great Value Donut Shop Blend 100% Arabica Coffee Single-Serving Cups:
  • 100% Arabica coffee
  • Medium coffee
  • For use in Keurig coffee makers (except Vue coffee makers)
  • 0.37-oz single-serving cup


Overall, I'd say for a medium roast, donut style blend - you will like this one.

It has that strange taste to it that jumps out at me as a strong, woodsy, musky 'sour' taste but from discussions with other people, it seems my taste buds pick up on this while many people's do not. It's just a personal quirk of mine. 

This coffee is very similar in flavor to the Green Mountain Three Continent Blend (Green Mountain Coffee Three Continent Blend, 24 Count) and Gevalia coffee.  It also reminds me strongly of the coffee I get when I order at a small 'mom and pop' style coffee shop or a cafe' in a small town.  Especially if I drink it out of a sturdy, thick edged mug.  (Because coffee does taste different in different shaped and style mugs!)

It's not one I'm going to purchase again, as I prefer a darker, stronger and more robust blend without that sour taste I tend to pick up on.  But for 48 k-cups in a box at just under $16 it is an incredible buy!  (Interestingly enough - when I checked the Walmart website the box features just 44 count and is $18 and SOLD OUT.  So you might want to check your local Walmart to see if they have started to carry the larger sized boxes with 48 count.)




You might be interested in these related products;

Keurig, The Original Donut Shop, Medium Roast, K-Cup Counts, 50 Count
Keurig K-Cup Coffee People Donut Shop Coffee, Decaf, 18-Pack
Brew and Save Refillable Single-cup (coffee or tea or cider) for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, 2 Count




                  

11.25.2014

Funny Coffee Mugs - Perfect for gifts (or for yourself!) That's All.

I posted about these awesome mugs in October but I really, really love them so I'm featuring them again.

My new favorite ceramic mugs: That's All mugs - funny sayings on a coffee mug that also benefit ovarian cancer research!


"You are the luckiest guy in the world.  I would love to be married to me."


I took a picture of it on my phone and sent it to the luckiest guy in the world;  the one that is married to me.  He loved it.  Said I should buy it for him.  I didn't.  But I'm tempted.  Oh, so tempted.

But wait, it got better than just being a funny mug.

I noticed the blue ribbon on the label;  a portion of the proceeds of sales of these mugs are donated to the fight against ovarian cancer. 

The mug I liked the best was the one I snapped a photo of;  (That's All Mug - Luckiest Guy) but they had a bunch to choose from.
  • That's All Ceramic mug - 16 oz.
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe 
  • Approx 4.5" tall
THERE ARE MANY TO CHOOSE FROM and you can find different styles in different stores - Below is a list of the various sayings you can find on the mugs I saw during a quick search this morning on Amazon.  I added images from an assortment of 4 mugs to show you how some of them look.  Click on each saying to go to it's detail page for a photo of that particular phrase.


 
Curing Ovarian Cancer While Laughing-Out-Loud.  "That's All" donates 2.5% of its gross proceeds to The Debbie Kogan Lyda Ovarian Cancer "Road to Recovery" Research Fund benefiting the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
The mugs at my local Hallmark were $12.99 each.  I've seen them online from $12.99 - $19.99 depending on the source and whether or not they include shipping in that price.

11.11.2014

Increasing the number of cups of caffeinated coffee you drink could lower your risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma




Increasing the number of cups of caffeinated coffee you drink could lower your risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Of the 112,897 participants included in the analyses, 22,786 developed basal cell carcinoma during the more than 20 years of follow-up in the two studies. An inverse association was observed between all coffee consumption and risk of basal cell carcinoma. Similarly, an inverse association was seen between intake of caffeine from all dietary sources (coffee, tea, cola and chocolate) and risk of basal cell carcinoma. However, consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not associated with a decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma.

"These results really suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption," said Han. "This would be consistent with published mouse data, which indicate caffeine can block skin tumor formation. However, more studies in different population cohorts and additional mechanistic studies will be needed before we can say this definitively."

In contrast to the findings for basal cell carcinoma, neither coffee consumption nor caffeine intake were inversely associated with the two other forms of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, the most deadly form of the disease.

Only 1,953 cases of squamous cell carcinoma and 741 cases of melanoma were recorded among the 112,897 participants included in Han's analyses.



Source:  Science Daily who used a study from this site as their article source.

11.09.2014

Another easy recipe that uses instant coffee - Almond Caramel Cheesecake Triangles with a Cookie Crust


This has been sitting in my files forever and ever but never posted. I'm thinking it came from Folger's (?) but that is a guess on my part.  It uses a bunch of prepared items you can buy at the store (meaning; you don't have to make things like the cookie dough or caramel sauce from scratch) so it goes together quick and easy!  

Not only does it have a bit of 'coffee' in it, I think it would go perfectly WITH coffee.  Enjoy!


Almond Caramel Cheesecake Triangles

No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 (17.5 oz.) package Pillsbury sugar cookie mix
1/2 c cold butter
3/4 c sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1 c milk chocolate toffee baking bits
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 t Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals
2 T  flour
1 (12 oz.) jar Smucker's Caramel Flavored Topping
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into prepared pan to form a crust. Bake 10 minutes.

Combine reserved crumb mixture, almonds and toffee bits in small bowl; toss with fork. Beat cream cheese and coffee crystals in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add flour, 3/4 cup caramel topping, eggs, vanilla and salt. Spread cream cheese mixture over hot crust. Sprinkle with crumb mixture.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover and chill 2 hours. Cut into 3-inch squares. Cut diagonally into triangles. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping just before serving.


11.07.2014

Homemade Cafe au Lait Ice Cream


I know November is an odd time to post about ice cream... but I mean to post this last July.  I was on a big 'coffee ice cream' kick.  Life got in the way, this file got put into a draft folder and I never got back to it.  Ooops.  Life happens.

This homemade ice cream recipe doesn't require an ice cream maker... for those of you who don't own one.  You can freeze it in a pan and scoop from there.  I do have an ice cream maker, but this is a nice alternative.



Cafe au Lait Ice Cream

4 t instant coffee crystals
1/2 c hot water
2 c heavy cream
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 c toasted chopped pecans or almonds


Dissolve instant coffee in water in large bowl; cool. Add cream, sweetened condensed milk and almond extract.
Beat with mixer 7 minutes or until light and fluffy (mixture will mound but not hold peaks). Fold in nuts, if desired.    Spoon into 8-inch square baking pan or 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover; freeze 4 hours or until firm. To serve, scoop into dessert dishes.








11.04.2014

Coffee, caffeine and blood pressure: a critical review



Previously I posted a short study I found on a government website when I was wondering about official studies to show effects of caffeine on the body - mainly blood pressure.  On the same site (NCBI) I found many that found there effects on blood pressure.  I'm going to post a link to a second paper here - this one, using databases from 1966 through 1996 instead of real life test subjects like the previous.



Coffee, caffeine and blood pressure: a critical review.

Nurminen ML1, Niittynen L, Korpela R, Vapaatalo H.


OBJECTIVE:

We review the published data relating to intake of coffee and caffeine on blood pressure in man. We also refer to studies on the possible mechanisms of actions of these effects of caffeine.

DESIGN:

The MEDLINE and Current Contents databases were searched from 1966 to April 1999 using the text words 'coffee or caffeine' and 'blood pressure or hypertension'. Controlled clinical and epidemiologic studies on the blood pressure effects of coffee or caffeine are reviewed. We also refer to studies on the possible mechanisms of action of these effects of caffeine.

RESULTS:

Acute intake of coffee and caffeine increases blood pressure. Caffeine is probably the main active component in coffee. The pressor response is strongest in hypertensive subjects. Some studies with repeated administration of caffeine showed a persistent pressor effect, whereas in others chronic caffeine ingestion did not increase blood pressure. Epidemiologic studies have produced contradictory findings regarding the association between blood pressure and coffee consumption. During regular use tolerance to the cardiovascular responses develops in some people, and therefore no systematic elevation of blood pressure in long-term and in population studies can be shown.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that regular coffee may be harmful to some hypertension-prone subjects. The hemodynamic effects of chronic coffee and caffeine consumption have not been sufficiently studied. The possible mechanisms of the cardiovascular effects of caffeine include the blocking of adenosine receptors and the inhibition of phosphodiesterases.


Read the full study here.





11.03.2014

One study shows a week of regular caffeine consumption by non-coffee drinkers had no effect on their blood pressure, heart rate, plasma renin activity, or urinary catecholamines




This afternoon I started to think about the effects of caffeine on blood pressure.  A quick search online brought up much information and many studies, but this one from The National Center for Biotechnology (a .gov link) found this small section test on 18 average persons between the ages of 21 and 52 had no effects on the above aforementioned health tests.
 

Tolerance to the humoral and hemodynamic effects of caffeine in man.

D Robertson, D Wade, R Workman, R L Woosley, and J A Oates

Acute caffeine in subjects who do not normally ingest methylxanthines leads to increases in blood pressure, heart rate, plasma epinephrine, plasma norepinephrine, plasma renin activity, and urinary catecholamines. Using a double-blind design, the effects of chronic caffeine administration on these same variables were assessed. Near complete tolerance, in terms of both humoral and hemodynamic variables, developed over the first 1-4 d of caffeine. No long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure, heart rate, plasma renin activity, plasma catecholamines, or urinary catecholamines could be demonstrated. Discontinuation of caffeine ingestion after 7 d of administration did not result in a detectable withdrawal phenomenon relating to any of the variables assessed.

You can read the full text here; Tolerance to the humoral and hemodynamic effects of caffeine in man.

10.29.2014

My new favorite ceramic mugs: That's All mugs - funny sayings on a coffee mug that also benefit ovarian cancer research!




Yesterday I shopped at two local Hallmark stores near me to (try) to buy two specialty shirts and socks they sell.  Unfortunately I was out of luck on the shirts but wandering around the store I spied these "That's All" mugs and loved this one so much I almost (ALMOST) bought it; 

"You are the luckiest guy in the world.  I would love to be married to me."

I took a picture of it on my phone and sent it to the luckiest guy in the world;  the one that is married to me.
He loved it.  Said I should buy it for him.
I didn't.  But I'm tempted.  Oh, so tempted.

But wait, it got better than just being a funny mug.

I noticed the blue ribbon on the label;  a portion of the proceeds of sales of these mugs are donated to the fight against ovarian cancer. 

The mug I liked the best was the one I snapped a photo of;  (That's All Mug - Luckiest Guy) but they had a bunch to choose from. 

  • That's All Ceramic mug - 16 oz.
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe 
  • Approx 4.5" tall
Curing Ovarian Cancer While Laughing-Out-Loud.  "That's All" donates 2.5% of its gross proceeds to The Debbie Kogan Lyda Ovarian Cancer "Road to Recovery" Research Fund benefiting the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
The mugs at my local Hallmark were $12.99 each.  I've seen them online from $12.99 - $19.99 depending on the source and whether or not they include shipping in that price.


THERE ARE MANY TO CHOOSE FROM and you can find different styles in different stores - Below is a list of the various sayings you can find on the mugs I saw during a quick search this morning on Amazon.  I added images from an assortment of 4 mugs to show you how some of them look.  Click on each saying to go to it's detail page for a photo of that particular phrase.


 





10.27.2014

Heat Changing Coffee Mugs - Mugs that change color when hot and cold liquids are added!

This is yet another accidental post!  I was actually updating a different website of mine and thought I'd find a coffee mug image to use with the post.  I saw a really cute 'face' mug that changed colors from sleepy to awake and happy when you added coffee and wanted to feature it here.

Unfortunately, the reviews for the mug weren't up to my standards here on Coffee Talking.  It had over 500 reviews but many said the image had faded after just 2 washings or the awake image was showing through the sleep image or vice-verse. 

I had the idea of 'color changing mugs' stuck in my head, so instead, I searched for mugs that were rated highly by the reviewers and this eclectic collection were all rated and reviewed well.  There is something for everyone on this list!   From bright smoke graphics, to camo, to dinosaurs (you gotta see that one!  From it's skeleton to a full color dinosaur) to Elvis... and more.  Some fun mugs!