Thursday, March 7, 2013

Coffee and Dessert, Hold the Dessert

This is a shout out to all the Mom’s and Dad’s out there, who will peek into the pantry to have a treat, that you made sure it made it into the Sunday shopping card, now on a Wednesday night your feeling for a taste of that treat: if you live in my house you will find out it was quickly consumed earlier after LAX practice while the girls (only one of them actually belonged to you)  were waiting for PLL to come on.
Ok we were back at the pantry and you just discovered that little treat you set aside for yourself to enjoy was inhaled by a bunch of teenagers that couldn’t take the time to enjoy each sip and the flavor profiles.  This is usually the part of the evening I will swipe a bunch of cookies my daughter “had to have”, not sure it’s “swiping” when I actually did the paying for said product.
So with this review comes this advice, hide these, put them behind the green tea bags that have been in your pantry for a year.  These are yours, they are your little reward for putting up with ever flowing inboxes, emails that act like a pack of rabbits, the driveway that probably needs to be shoveled..  I will review each one of these separately, as I think each blend has its own place in your coffee repitroe.
This is one where you may be standing in the grocery aisle and you’re looking at pack of K-cup and then a familiar cardboard box of cocoa and wondering why spend the extra money.  I’ll answer that for you with a few points.  1.  The generous serving of the cocoa in the kcup gives this a varied cocoa experience depending on your water choice.  For the record I brew for myself all of these on 6 oz.  I like to have my sweetened cocoa almost like an espresso shot.  You don’t have to be a Doctorate in Food Sciences to figure out the more water you add the flavor and intensity of the cocoa will be impacted..  When I have mine the froth that comes at the last 10 seconds of the brew is like a gift.  I tend to drink all my coffee strong so that holds true with the sweetened cocoa drinks.  Now my daughter (when allowed to touch my stash) brews at an 8oz.  Also when you have the kcups you tend to be much more selective about how often you brew and do you have the time to really enjoy that cup, vs. the cardboard box filled with packets that are made mindlessly. 
The flavor itself of the Milk Chocolate is a hearty milk chocolate feel.  The experience starts just as it hits your lips you feel like you’re a little kid again safe and warm at home.  This is just a great cup of cocoa.  Rating: Family Freindly
Now this was an absolute pleasure for me to drink.  Again I brewed on a 6 oz.  I didn’t bother sharing with my teenager, as I didn’t think she would apprieate the almost smoky flavor of the dark chocolate.  I think she would enjoy the milkier flavor more.  This was like have a molten lava cake in a cup, I think it would be worthy of a dollop of fresh whipped cream.  This is truly a grown up hot cocoa, where you can taste the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate and how it blends with the milk so nicely.  Again I love the last few seconds of the brew cycle when the frothy good stuff comes out.  Rating- Adults only, or very experienced pallet of younger.
Café Vanilla
Again brewed at a 6 oz.  This is a nice sweet treat; I used it as a substitute for dessert last night after dinner.  It was sweet, aromatic, sensory speaking it was a total pleasure.  Note- drink this hot to warm, as it cool tastes turns a bit flavored milk.   I enjoyed this and would buy it if it were part of a pack of kcups that were flavored, I don’t know if I would buy a whole box of this.. ***With one exception:  My daughter is now in High School and your allowed to bring in your coffee and drink it in class, well the  local coffee bar charges so much that a week’s worth of her coffee drinks rival a week’s worth of my gas in the car.  But I got the to go thermal cups with the raised coffee shop quality lids and she brought in an 8 oz and loved it.  It was a win win, I looked like good mom, she was happy, and my wallet was as well, plus we didn’t have to get up and fight with the entire freshman to senior class.  Rating: Family Friendly.

Chai Latte
Making a decent Chai has been an ongoing battle for me for years.  Many of my friends would bring in samples of the latest and greatest Chai, and I just can’t seem to do anything with it.  I’m always convinced that I make it too light, so next times I over compensate and it over chai’d.  So I brewed it at my usual 6 oz., and it came out lovely.  I see the attraction to having this as an alternative in your coffee, tea reptiore, I wouldn’t replace my coffee with it, but certainly would enjoy this.  Now I let my daughter try it and she really enjoyed it.  So maybe it is like a gateway drink to stronger coffee.  Rating: Very Family Friendly, (must like cinnamon)

Café Caramel
This is definitely another drink I would offer up as a lighter alternative to dessert.  It is delicious, the experience starts before the cup hits your lips you can smell the caramel, and then while you drink it it just is so yummy.  This is another one that you will want to drink on the warmer side; I find the taste is a bit boring when it is not warm enough.  I think the tempeture being at that just the right high brings out the taste of the caramel, but also the Café, (coffee).  It is easy to forget you are drinking a coffee product, but that is what we are doing, and I am assuming because we enjoy our coffee.  I brewed this at no surprise 6 oz.  I made some for my daughter at 8 oz. and it was another hit to bring to school.  I don’t know if I would hit this with whipped cream, maybe some biscotti instead.  Rating: Family Friendly.

Café Mocha:
Now this is my tied for second favorite, because it is where this idea of mixing coffee and chocolate began, Mocha.  This was always my favorite flavor in ice cream; early on I knew I would have two vices and friends Coffee and Chocolate.  I would like to tell you how my daughter liked it, but I didn’t share.   This one was all mine.  It was/is delicious, its old school and it would be worthy to finish off any meal on any day of the week, or to start off any cold morning.  Sometimes in the morning I don’t quite feel like making something, but I have to drive my daughter to school so I want something with some type of flavor and this is great.  Rating (Mommy’s and Daddy’s only, just kidding, Family Friendly, but you better have made that bed and fed that fish).

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Ok so for the record my official rating of the flavors

1.       Dark Chocolate Flavored Hot Cocoa
2.       Milk Chocolate Flavored Hot cocoa tied with Café Mocha
3.       Café Caramel
4.       Café Vanilla
5.       Chai Latte

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