What’s more fitting on a Monday than a look at ALL of the iced coffee and cold brew I’ve been guzzling these past few months? Let me set the record straight though, before I get any further: I drink hot, black coffee every morning. Around three mugs of the stuff.
And I’m not looking to give it up any time soon. But, I started looking into cold coffee drinks (particularly ones that are low-calorie) to give me a boost in the afternoons – but only on days when I’m taking dance in the evenings. I already have enough trouble sleeping.
So, thus began my hunt for the perfect afternoon coffee cocktail, and might I add, I live in a pretty perfect place for this experiment? Besides Seattle, ok. So, here goes (in no particular order):
Starbucks Doubleshot Light Espresso Drink – Years ago, I started a personal boycott of Starbucks because they support Monsanto financially. At the time, I had books, mugs, a GOLD Starbucks card, and I tossed all of it. Since then, I think I’ve had two Starbucks drinks and then I bought a pack of these Light Doubleshots. Unfortunately for me, they are low-calorie (70 cals for 1 can, which is half the usual stuff) and they only have 5 grams of sugar. Plus… they’re delicious! Damn you Starbucks for your well-priced caffeine (it’s about $5 for a 4-pack), and shame on me for being non-stop basic.
Starbucks Doubleshot Protein Coffee – Please see above comments regarding Starbucks. I saw a commercial for the Protein Coffee and couldn’t wait to try it – I mean, how perfect! One can of this has 20 grams of protein, but it IS a bigger can (which means more sugar). I’ve tried the vanilla and the caramel flavors, and like the vanilla better, but it is definitely sweet.
Picnik Butter Coffee (Cappucino) – Picnik is a paleo restaurant in Austin, particularly known for their butter coffee. Butter coffee is made with grass-fed butter and MCT oil, which works to help the body burn fat, and release caffeine sloooowly for a longer buzz. Yes! While I could technically get butter coffee anytime, Picnik bottled the stuff and you can buy it locally or online. The cappucino flavor was probably one of my favorites out of this ENTIRE list.
Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee – Despite NOT having a location in NOLA, Blue Bottle makes chicory style iced coffee, and serves it up in tiny little milk cartons you can buy at Whole Foods. And I kind of freaked out when I saw it. So I got some, and it was quite delish.
Chameleon Cold Brew Organic Vanilla Coffee – This stuff is $3 for a single-serve bottle, buuut I’m going to say it’s worth it, especially if you really love good coffee. It’s quality stuff and there’s no added sugar, but it’s packed with flavor. If you’re not aware, cold brew is actually brewed with warm water instead of hot, which results in a beverage that’s actually higher in caffeine and has less acidity. That’s why everyone loves it so much!
High Brew (various flavors) – This is ready to drink cold brew right in a can, and aide from the Starbucks’ Doubleshots, this is the next-best affordable coffee at the grocery. Because of this, I’ve tried pretty much every flavor on the shelf: Creamy cappucino + protein (this is my favorite), Mexican vanilla, salted caramel, and black + bold (only 20 calories). All of these are fantastic!
Hey Day Vanilla Cold Brew Coffee – Another cold brew coffee, which is a little more expensive, but also comes in a bigger can. I’ve only tried the vanilla, but it was very yummy!
…What coffees are you guys drinking this summer? Although I’ve clearly picked a few favorites, I’m not afraid to venture out and keep this taste-test going! Cheers to your afternoon, office-appropriate buzz!
Summer is right around the corner, and although it’s about to get nice and hot here in Baton Rouge, there’s a few things I’m appreciating lately — the little things that make me smile each day. So, here’s my list of current obsessions:
Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion by Liz Earle — I got a sample of this in my Birchbox (another thing I’m loving) last month. When I saw it, I wasn’t that excited… until I tried it. According to the bottle, “Naturally active ingredients include eyebright, witch hazel, aloe vera and cornflower to help tone, cool and refresh tired, puffy eyes.” This stuff wakes up my eyes like nothing I’ve ever tried! I even use it when my contacts are in and have never had any issues. Although the sample bottle is pretty big (you only need a few drops each day), I will probably have to purchase this when I run out.
Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask by Formula 10.0.6 — I bought a sample pack of all sorts of different products by Formula 10.0.6 from Ulta and I’m impressed. Their products are affordable (no more expensive than other drugstore brands), and they always seem to work great. My sample pack had a bottle of the Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask with strawberry and yarrow, and it leaves my skin feeling nice and smooth. Win!
Lemon water — Since it’s getting hotter out, I’ve been trying to make an effort to drink more water; like, a lot of water. I bought myself a new water container that I take everywhere (I even tuck it into bed with me). But the truth is, I’ve never really liked drinking water, so I need ways to spice it up. And lately, just adding a squeeze of lemon has helped me down a few containers each day.
Turns out, lemon water has some great benefits: aids in digestion, reduces cravings, helps to flush toxins from the body, is great for the skin, and boosts the immune system, among other things. Check out this water bottle that aids in adding ANY fruit or other foods to your water!
Studio Wrap Shoes by Nike — I’ve had these on my wish list for awhile now, and a few months ago I found a pair at TJ Maxx. They were my size, and a great bargain, and I’ve been wearing them for my workouts ever since. For the longest time, I completed my boxing/kickboxing workouts barefoot. Until my gym switched from a mat to a harder flooring. I needed more support on my feet, but my tennis shoes were getting in the way, and sliding on the floor (not good for plank position). The wrap shoes grip the floor while providing support for the balls of my feet. They are great for yoga, too!
Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray — I have been wanting beach hair for months and was delighted to discover that it’s possible for a small $8. This stuff gives my hair a nice texture, smells great, and isn’t too sticky like previous beach sprays I’ve tried. I spray it on when my hair is damp (after letting it air dry), give it a little scrunch, and I’m out the door. Want more beach hair tips? Check out my previous blog post on this tricky hair style.
Flavored coffee — I get up every morning (every single morning) at 6am. Coffee comes first. I set my coffee pot the night before so all I have to do is pour a cup when I shuffle the 20 steps from my bed to my kitchen. I’ve always enjoyed my coffee black. No sugar, no creams, no syrups. So, there’s not much room for variety unless you get a flavored coffee. Voila! Right now I’m drinking a red velvet coffee, and I recently bough a bag of coconut coffee that I’m excited to try. It just has a subtle flavor that makes me happy as I start my day.
So, what are your favorite things right now?
Every night, I set my coffee pot to start brewing early the next morning — 5:47 to be exact — it gives me enough time to hit the snooze button once (okay twice) and still have the coffee brewed and ready for me to drink.
When I finally get out of bed, I shuffle to the coffee pot, pour my cup, and then I can do other important things like pee, remove my mouthguard, and feed Blanche. Coffee comes first. Always.
But I got to thinking, that sure, I know a little about coffee — enough to buy a good bag and make a decent pot of it. I know what I like to order at Starbucks. I know what to drink when I really need to get my blood pumping. But certainly theres tons to know about the good stuff. And so, I present: my guide to coffee.
Light — According to Red Rooster Coffee, there’s been a rumor since the 70s that says there’s a caffeine difference when it comes to the roast. Not true! All roasts have the same amount of caffeine (thank God). The difference is lightly roasted beans are smaller, because the roasting process hasn’t expanded them as much. There’s also the taste. Light roasts are milder in taste than medium or dark roasts; think about light beer vs. dark beer.
Medium — The National Coffee Association (NCA) states that, “Medium brown in color with a stronger flavor, and a non-oily surface. This roast is often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States.”
Dark — The longer the coffee bean is roasted, the more flavor it develops. However, Zagat says, “When you approach the darker side of the roast, beans start to lose their origin distinction. A dark roast coffee will have flavor notes that rely more on the roasting itself than the unique character of the bean. It will also lose brightness, and gain bitterness, along with a fuller body.”
Breakfast Blend — This is usually a lighter mix of coffee. Here’s what Starbucks says about their Breakfast Blend, “A shade lighter than most of our offerings—more toasty than roasty—it was the result of playing with roast and taste profile together for a flavor that appealed to a wider range of palates. Perfect if you want to wake up to a less intense coffee but still want a lot of character, it’s lively with a citrusy tang that gives way to a clean finish.”
Espresso — This is the intense experience of coffee that most Europeans prefer and believe Americans are too scared to try. Proper Espresso is served in small demitasse-style cups and consumed promptly after extraction (GoCoffeeGo.com).
Macchiato — This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the nectar of the Gods. I order it so often, my Starbucks barista has educated me on it: Macchiato, pronounced “mah-key-ah-toh,” literally means “marked” or “stained” in Italian. Traditionally, a Caffé Macchiato or Espresso Macchiato is a shot or two of espresso, with just a small amount of steamed milk that “marks” the espresso, though in some regions, the steamed milk comes first and the espresso makes the mark.
Cafe Latte — A coffee-based drink made primarily from espresso and steamed milk. It consists of one-third espresso, two-thirds heated milk and about 1cm of foam.
Mocha Latte — Like a caffè latte, it is based on espresso and hot milk, but with added chocolate, typically in the form of sweet cocoa powder, although many varieties use chocolate syrup. Mochas can contain dark or milk chocolate.
How do I usually drink my coffee? Every night, I set my coffee pot to brew around 8 cups the next morning. Right now, I’m drinking a red velvet blend, so it’s got hints of chocolate in it. I usually go for medium roasts. I drink my coffee black, but if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll toss in a tablespoon of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (Trader Joes’ is the best). How do you take yours?