The iCoffee Single Server Brewer... Next on my 'Wish List'

Note an update:  I did actually buy an ICoffee - the affordable Davinci model.  It's worked out wonderfully for us and we've had much better 'long term' luck with it than the Keurigs!

Although I have a list of reasons I have been living in a cave for the last 6 months, I'm still not sure it's a good enough excuse as to why I had never heard of the new iCoffee single serve brewer. Giving Keurig a run for their money, I found out about them after I saw an ad on my Bed, Bath & Beyond flyer.

Since I lack the female gene for shopping, shoes or purses, I don't peruse stores for the fun of it and thus; another reason this was 'new to me'.  But now my eyes are opened, my interest is piqued and after debating the pros and cons, I really think this is next on my 'coffee maker' wish list.  (I know, I know... like a really need another coffee brewer!?  Who are you, my husband?  Yes.  Yes I do.)

ICoffee ® Opus Single Serve Brewer 2.0

First stop?  The Remington iCoffee site themselves;  let's hear what they have to say about their coffee brewer.

"iCoffee® K-Cup compatible single serve brewers feature patent pending SpinBrew™ Technology, which delivers Impossibly Smooth™ coffee taste. SpinBrew™ jets spin, steam and stir right inside the K-Cup, creating a mini French press-like effect that produces a noticeably smoother tasting coffee with a more pleasant aftertaste and aroma."

I only thought they offered the Opus, however, while on their site, I found more options!  The Express, Picasso, DaVinci and Mozart.

Next stop?  Let's check out some reviews on Amazon.  The ICoffee ® Opus Single Serve Brewer 2.0 had one entry as of today's posting.  Here is the product description from the site;

Product Description

"iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer provides an exquisite cup of smooth tasting coffee every time Adjustable brew strength Includes bonus iCup reusable cup for brewing your own coffee SpinbrewTM technology steams, spins and stirs inside the K-style cup to virtually eliminate acidic and bitter aftertaste Works with all single-serve style cups including K-Cup®, OneCupTM, and RealCupTM capsules, plus every other private label brand Not compatible with K-Carafe® packs Removable drip tray allows for travel mug Brews up to a 12 oz. size mug of coffee 75 oz. removable water reservoir Dial-a-BrewTM feature lets you select a size from 4 to 12 oz. in 1/2 oz. increments Auto shut-off control and energy saver mode Plastic exterior Wipe clean exterior Measures 13'' L x 10'' W x 13'' H UL listed 1-year manufacturer's warranty."

Next, I popped over to Cnet and although they weren't too crazy about it (3 stars) they didn't have very good reasons for the rating.  Their reasoning mostly came down it to how it looks (I'm not sure how old the person writing the article is, but they mentioned how it would look in a college dorm room) and the fact they didn't taste anything 'special' about the brew compared to a few other similar brewers.

They did however have a really good comparison chart.

iCoffee Opus Keurig K500 Cuisinart SS-700 Bunn My Café MCU
Brew time (8 oz. cup) 53 seconds 49 seconds 46 seconds 42 seconds
Drink size range 4 - 12 oz. 4 - 10 oz. 4 - 12 oz. 6 - 14 oz.
Brew temperature range (F) N/A N/A 187 - 192 N/A
Brews K-Cups Yes Yes Yes Yes
Brews off-brand cups Yes No Yes Yes
Brews Vue Packs No Yes No No
Brews fresh grounds Yes (reusable cup sold separately) No Yes (reusable cup included) Yes (brew head included)
Reservoir size 75 oz. 80 oz. 80 oz. N/A
Suggested retail price $140 $190 $200 $170

From my research I like that I can use any brand k-cup or my own coffee.
I like the spinbrew technology - it doesn't just shoot water straight down the k-cup, making a tunnel by the end of the brew cycle, but you get 'more from your beans' this way.
I like that I can choose the size from 4-12 ounces

The only 2 things that are a 'con' to me is the inability to choose the temperature of my cup.  I like my coffee hot. Very hot.  As in at least 192 degrees hot.  And the fact that in order to use your own grounds, apparently you have to use their reusable cup - the eco-cups and other reusable cups I already own for my Keurig won't work.

For me this isn't  a  deal breaker.

Tonight when my husband gets home from work I'm going to tell him I think I've found the next coffee brewer I want to try....  

Do you own one?
What do you think?
Pros?  Cons?  Do you hate it?  Love it? 

Mmmmm Milkshake

G&B Coffee Shake credit: Dylan and Jeni
So, almost everyone I know has basically made this on their own before and hardly requires a 'recipe' but I saw this photo on another page when I was looking up cake recipes and doesn't it just look so yummy?

You just take some ice cream, add some espresso and blend it.  Hardly 'recipe' worthy but maybe you just needed a little reminder about how awesome coffee and heavy cream are together in frozen form.  I use vanilla ice cream and because I like the flavor, I always add a touch more of either vanilla extract or a shot of sugar free vanilla syrup.  You could also drizzle with chocolate syrup, add whipped cream, caramel with a sprinkle of salt, a little mint... the varieties are probably endless.

1 1/4 c ice cream
4 shots espresso
1 t ground espresso

Combine all ingredients, blend until the majority of the ice cream is incorporated and pour into a glass.

G&B Coffee, Los Angeles

Seattle's Best Coffee - Born in Seattle

This may be a weird way to give a thumbs up to a certain coffee brand and variety... but it's the truth, so here goes.

I was thinking "I need to review a coffee for Coffee Talking but which kind should I... hey, wait.  I've been drinking Seattle's Best Coffee for like, almost 2 weeks now and haven't reviewed it!"  

And the reason is that it is so incredibly smooth and easy to drink that it just didn't stand out in my mind.  And yes that IS a positive! 

Seattle's Best "Born in Seattle" was such a smooth, good, easy and enjoyable coffee to drink that it snuck into my life and I started to buy not only packaged version, but the k-cups as well.  That sneaky little coffee has taken over my life this week and I didn't even realize it!  Ha.

"That sneaky little coffee has taken over my life this week 
and I didn't even realize it!"

I like to have all coffee options on hand in our Coffee Haus; whole bean, ground, k-cups, black, blonde, flavored, espresso...  I bought Seattle's Best in a package about two weeks ago.  I used it in my French Press on a couple mornings and then used it in my Mr. Coffee Frappe' (Iced Coffee) maker.   When I bought groceries on Monday I mindlessly went straight for the Born in Seattle k-cups because I knew I had been drinking it and liked it...  but it was almost a subconscious purchase.

That, my friends, tells you how good it is.

It's smooth.  It's easy to drink.  It's just... GOOD.

It's not bitter, sour, overly earthy or has any hint of cigarette ashes, burnt beans or anything negative at all. 

Although I like to buy Columbian coffee in bulk as my 'go to'  -  Seattle's Best replaced it this weekend and I didn't even notice.  That's how smooth and good it is.

"Born in Seattle" is their HOUSE BLEND and according to their website, is also available as coffee of choice in hot and cold versions at Burger King as well as Chevron stations. 

You might also be interested in these products available from Amazon;
Mr. Coffee  20-Ounce Frappe Maker
Torani Sampler Pack, 3 Count
Seattle's Best Coffee® Born in Seattle Ground 12 Oz. [Pack of 2]

It's just the Suja Essentials Talking

While it's normally the 'coffee' talking, this time it's the Suja Essentials smoothie drink talking.

What's a... 'Suja'?

Suja Essentials is a crazy-fresh tasting smoothie style drink - but also USDA certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, kosher certified, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free.

Suja Juice comes in a variety of flavors but the two I tried were Berry Goodness and Uber Greens.

Both have an unexpected burst of flavor thanks in part (I believe) to their cold-pressed processing.  There is no high heat to destroy flavor and nutrients.  The taste of the Berry Goodness was by far a favorite in our household; apple, banana, blueberry, strawberry, orange, blackberry, lemon and chia seed was a flavor everyone loved.

The Uber Greens was chosen because it had the lowest sugar content at just 6 grams, however, the flavor burst is pure 'green' so you have to prepare yourself!  Cucumber, celery, grapefruit, green chard, green leaf lettuce, lemon, kale, spinach, parsley and mint tea are blended in a fresh and refreshing drink; but it's extremely strong in the cucumber and dark leafy greens, with nary a hint of the grapefruit, lemon or mint to offset it.   Although our whole family enjoyed tasting the different flavors, only my husband was brave enough to finish the Uber Greens - and only because he knew how healthy it was.

"USDA certified organic, Non-GMO Project verified, 
kosher certified, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free"

With so many fresh flavors to choose from, I plan on trying a couple more flavors that feature the 'greens' but have alternative ingredients to off-set the heavy kale/lettuce cucumber flavor that dominates the Uber Greens.  From their product description, here are some of the flavors offered;

Sweet Beets™
A substantial juice blend kicked up with turmeric. This flavor contains apple, carrot, orange, beet, banana, pineapple and turmeric.

Berry Nana™
A satisfying strawberry smoothie with the creaminess of tropical bananas. It includes the usual suspects like apple, orange, strawberry, banana and (surprise!) camu camu.

Green Delight™
A sweet smoothie bursting with hearty greens and juicy apples that’s amped up with spirulina and chlorella. Other ingredients include banana, mango, spinach, lemon, kale, barley and alfalfa.

Mango Magic™
A luscious and creamy mango smoothie with a winning mix of apple, mango, orange, pineapple, banana and ginger.

Berry Goodness™
A robust smoothie that bursts with juicy berry flavors and satisfies with the all-mighty chia seed. This flavor contains apple, banana, blueberry, strawberry, orange, blackberry, lemon and chia.

Mighty Greens™
A vibrant and nutrient-dense smoothie, it’s similar to Green Delight but with celery, cucumber, collard greens, peppermint tea, spearmint tea and ginger, too!

Uber Greens™
A delicious combination of nutrient dense leafy greens, tangy citrus and revitalizing mint tea. Ingredients include cucumber, celery, grapefruit, green chard, green leaf lettuce, lemon, kale, spinach, parsley, peppermint tea and spearmint tea.

Things I love about this product include the lightweight, easy to grab-and-go plastic bottle with a resealable cap.  Also, they use High Pressure Processing, or HPP in bottling. This method of pasteurization is  FDA approved and maintains essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes that can be lessened or destroyed with high heat. All the Suja Juice bottles are 100% BPA free and yes, are OU certified Kosher if that is important to your family.

You can find out more about Suja Essentials on their FAQ page - including where to find it in your neighborhood.

I was given the chance to try this product for free thanks to my status as a BzzAgent and to provide my opinion on the product. I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on these topics or products.

It's Up, It's Down - Coffee is Good for You, Coffee is Bad for You

This week it's good for you again!  Ah, you just never know from one week to the next.
I came across this story in LiveScience and once again, coffee is good. 

The effects of coffee consumption on cardiovascular health have led to much debate

Good news for people who drink coffee every day: Consuming a moderate amount of coffee could lower the risk of clogged arteries that can lead to a heart attack, a new study finds.

The study of healthy young adults in Korea found that, compared with people who didn't drink coffee, those who drank three to five cups of java per day had a lower risk of having calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, which is an indicator of heart disease. (The coronary arteries are the vessels that bring oxygenated blood to the heart muscle itself.)
 "The study participants who drank three to four cups 
had the lowest risk of developing clogged arteries 
seen in the study"

The study participants who drank three to four cups had the lowest risk of developing clogged arteries seen in the study, said Dr. Eliseo Guallar, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and co-author of the study published today (March 2) in the journal Heart.

"But the risk went down with just one cup per day," compared with the risk of people who drank no coffee, Guallar added.

Still, the researchers stopped short of recommending that people drink coffee to prevent heart disease.

It was once thought that drinking coffee could make you more prone to heart attacks, but a growing body of evidence suggests the habit has a neutral or beneficial effect on cardiovascular health.

A previous analysis of 36 studies found that moderate coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and other studies have found a link between drinking coffee and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the caffeinated beverage has also been linked to increased LDL cholesterol (the so-called "bad" cholesterol) and increased blood pressure (but this effect diminishes as people build up a tolerance).

In the new research, Guallar and colleagues at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, studied more than 25,000 men and women who underwent routine examinations. The participants had no signs of heart disease, and their average age was 41 at the study's start.

The participants completed questionnaires about their eating and drinking habits (including coffee consumption), and underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to determine their levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC).

CAC is a sign of coronary artery disease, or atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially heart attacks, Guallar said. "You can have the disease for many years without symptoms," he told Live Science, adding, "Now with this technique, we can know if people have the disease way before they have symptoms."

The researchers compared people's CAC levels with their amount of coffee consumption, classified as one cup a day, one to three cups a day, three to five cups a day and at least five cups a day. They also took into account factors such as physical activity, smoking, BMI and how much fruit, vegetables and red meat people ate.

The average coffee consumption of those in the study was 1.8 cups per day, and 13.4 percent of all the participants had detectable levels of CAC.

The people who drank three to five cups of coffee daily had about 40 percent less calcium in their arteries than those who drank no coffee, according to the study. Those who drank one to three cups daily had 35 percent less calcium than those who didn't drink coffee, and those who drank one cup a day had 23 percent less calcium.

The people in the study who drank five or more cups a day had 19 percent less calcium, compared with those who drank no coffee.

Guallar stressed that the findings show a correlation between coffee consumption and heart disease risk, but do not prove that a cause-and-effect relationship exists between drinking coffee and having less calcium in the arteries.

While scientists don't have a clear idea how coffee may lower the risk of arterial disease, it may be due to the beverage's many antioxidants, the researchers said.

"This is probably the largest study to date looking at the association of coffee consumption with a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis," said Jared Reis, an epidemiologist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved in the study.

The findings are consistent with those of other recent studies, Reis told Live Science. And although the study involved only Korean participants, he said he didn't "see any reason why the results wouldn’t be generalizable to other populations."

The study didn't distinguish between drinking caffeinated or decaf coffee. But decaf isn't very popular yet in Korea, Guallar said. In any event, caffeine is just one of many substances in coffee, and probably isn't the one that causes the heart disease benefits, he said.