Saturday, December 21, 2013

Starbucks Frappuccino

Starbucks Frappuccino (Mocha)

Let me start by committing heresy to some people:
       I am by no means a fan of Starbucks coffee.

That being said, let me clarify. I really dislike the Starbucks cafe coffees. This bottled variety found in many groceries and convenience store/gas stations isn't too bad. It's not high on my list of preferred cold coffee, but it's not as low as some things I have had in the past, either.

The flavor is actually pretty good. It really tastes as advertised on the label. You buy Mocha, you taste Mocha. Buy Caramel, you get *gasps* Caramel. One of my favorite upsides to this bottled coffee over the "fresh" variety available at the coffeehouse? This stuff doesn't taste burnt. This frappuccino actually tastes pretty sweet. Just the way I like it. It is also nice and light, so it goes great on a hot day as a sipper drink.

My only real complaint with this is the price. Nearly $3 for a drink that maybe lasts me about 5-10 minutes is a little much for a daily drinker, but if you have the money this is a fairly solid choice.

The Final Sip:

            -Weekend Worshipper

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Death Coffee

Also known as Sainsbury's Basics Fairtrade Ground Coffee.

Coffee creamer
Fourth cup of Coffee of the day without washing the mug in between

The first time I made this Coffee, I got sick. I won't bore you with the details, but I didn't feel right for a day. I may have made it too strong, though, so I'm trying again. One must review these things properly, of course.

The packaging is the standard Basics one, with the (rather long) tagline "Robusta beans, dark roasted for an intense flavour". And it holds true. It's made from 100% Robusta beans, and it is indeed quite dark. I'm not personally a fan of very dark Coffee, but I don't really mind it either. However I loaded up with Coffee creamer just in case.

The first sip isn't too bad. It's not great by any stretch, but it's about what you expect from the cheapest Coffee on the shelf. The smell leaves a lot to be desired though, and as you drink on you realise why it's the cheapest Coffee on the shelf.

I think I'd have to be rather desperate for caffeine before this became a voluntary choice again. But the pack has been bought so down it must go.





"Improved recipe" says the little green circle on the front of the packaging. I have to wonder what it was like before. About the only good thing with this Coffee is that it's Fair Trade. I like Fair Trade. It makes me feel good in that lazy way that only slacktivism can.

I made about two cups' worth of Coffee in the machine and all I can think now, most of the way through the first, is "oh [deity of choice], I have to finish another one as well!" Why do I do this to myself? Because it's Coffee! You don't waste Coffee. No matter how bad it is. Almost.

Ten minutes later, my stomach is definitely not happy. And this is without drinking that second cup. I'll just hope it doesn't live up to the nickname I've given it...

Note: While looking for a picture of this, I realised it's not on the Sainsbury's website. Perhaps they've stopped selling it? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Chianti Room at Pizzalley's--Espresso

If you ever happen to find yourself wandering around in the oldest city in America, right down the tourist hotspot of Saint George Street and decide you need a pick me up of pure divinity, this is the place to go.

A few weeks ago that's where I found myself, having brought the Weekend Worshiper into town to watch the Dr Who 50th and take a tour of one of my favorite historical spots.  We go there late and it was a cold day, plus we were edging on hunger.  Now, Pizzalley's has some of the best pizza you'll ever eat too, made in an old brick oven, it's absolutely fantastic.  It did take me a couple of tries to find the right place, but it was comfortable and out of the cold.

Though I'd already had some coffee that day, obviously there is no such thing as too much--after much debate about my budget, I decided to hell with it and ordered myself an espresso.

It came out in a perfect tiny cup, with a perfect tiny spoon, on a perfect tiny saucer.  Along with a stick of rock candy to sweeten it with.  I did, in fact, us the rock candy to sweeten it a bit before handing over the cane of espresso coated sugar to my toddler (what? Coffee love runs in the family!).  Slightly sweetened, this is absolutely lovely, some of the smoothest espresso I've ever tasted.  The nutty flavor really shines through.  My Coffee Snob tendencies were instantly pleased, and I'm certain you'd feel the same should you ever end up in the area.

Bottom Line:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nescafé Mocha

Yes, this is instant again. Yes, the Snob has made her feelings on instant quite clear. But this particular instant is so NICE.

This Coffee is pure heaven from the first sip until the last. Now and then, when I haven't been to a real Coffee shop in a while, it seems to taste exactly like real mocha. I know that's not true, but it's close enough that it tides me over at a fraction of the price.

The powder is a funny blend of white and brown tiny granules. Then the hot water goes in, I stir it, and chocolate Coffee amazingness is created. A little bit of foam, not as much as on real mocha but enough to show you that yes, this is Fancy Coffee. All that's missing is one of those chocolate powder thingies that make shapes. I like the shapes...

And then you drink it. And it's so chocolate-y. It's like someone took a milk chocolate bar and melted it and mixed it with water. And put a little bit of Coffee in it. And ...stirred it.

I think that last paragraph got away from me.

This Coffee is so smooth that it doesn't taste much like Coffee at all. You can sense a hint of it, but this is not, I repeat not, something you drink for the caffeine kick. This is pure pleasure. This is for rainy winter evenings (if you can drink Coffee that late), or for those mornings when you just can't be bothered and need a real pick-me-up. I mean... it's chocolate. Who can argue with that?

So after all that lyrical waxing and general waffle, why only four cups? Because it's still instant. It's not quite to the point of real mocha made with non-powdered ingredients. But if Coffee shops aren't your thing, this is actually a really decent alternative.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dilettante--Espresso Beans in Premium Chocolate

The Snob loves her coffee, she loves it so much, in fact, that she even likes to EAT it.  The hard part is peeling off those pesky chocolate shells, so she just grins and bears it and eats those along with the lovely espresso beans.

In all seriousness, sometimes a girl craves chocolate, and chocolate coated espresso beans are my go to chocolate (unless there are chocolate turtles available, then all best are off).  Usually I prefer to go straight for the dark chocolate coated ones that I'd get in the bulk bins at a gourmet grocer (yes, I mean the all organic and oh so fantastic ones).

Sometimes though, you want something cheap, tasty, and still good.  That's where these are fantastic.  You can get them at Wal-Mart (and if you're states side, you know what this place is) and they're only a few bucks for a bag--look in your candy aisle on the top shelf, that's where they are in every single Wal-Mart I've ever been too.

Every bag has a combination of dark chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate coated beans.  The chocolate coating is much more generous than most varieties of espresso beans too--a LOT of chocolate around every single bean.  The chocolate isn't what I'd call premium, but it's a huge step above the candy bars you buy in the check out line.  The beans inside are tasty, and while it's very much sweeter than what I usually go for, it really hits the spot and cures my chocolate craving--along with giving me a lovely caffeine spike!

Bottom Line:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Java Monster "Mean Bean"

So, for my first review, I am doing the Java Monster of the Mean Bean variety. Now, the Snob may argue that this isn't coffee, but it is. It also has more caffeine than normal coffee, so I really don't see where she has room to complain. For people who like the caffeine kick of the Monster brand energy drinks, this is just as good. For people who like the taste of coffee, this is good. For people who love coffee and Monster energy drinks, this is pure Brilliance in a can.

The taste is fairly smooth. Not bitter at all like Black coffee, but not too sweet like most canned energy drinks that come out. Obviously, it's best drunk whilst cold or at the very least, chilled. It probably wouldn't taste too bad at room temperature, but I surely wouldn't recommend it. Especially during the warmer months. Well, if you live somewhere that HAS warmer months. Florida seems to be nothing but warmer months, so this drink definitely has to be cold for me to consume.

The kick is exactly what you would expect from crossing coffee with an energy drink. I consider myself to have a fairly high tolerance for caffeine, but if I drink this too fast, or on an empty stomach, I get jittery and shaky. If I have eaten, or take my time in drinking, this is the perfect little pick-up for long boring shifts at work. And trust me, on night shift in a nursing home, there are plenty of those.

Overall, I consider this to be one of my Go-To drinks when I need a little boost, and I feel like having some good tasting coffee during the warmer months.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our new Co-Admin and Reviewer, The Weekend Worshipper! *insert fanfare here*

Greetings, Ladies and Gentlemen! I am the new member of this little operation. Unlike the Philistine, I drink ACTUAL coffee (ish) instead of that instant swill. :P And unlike the Snob, I will drink the canned and bottled stuff that may or may not be coffee. With our powers combined, we are the Tweaking Triplets! ^_^

My relationship started when I was a kid and my dad would ask me to make his coffee, and I would sneak a sip here and there. The warmth and sweetness of the drink was amazing to me. Not to mention the quick buzz. Then in the military, coffee kept me going over the overnight shifts and the really boring shifts. Now that I work in Nursing, it helps me stay awake on the overnight shifts.

I earned the name Weekend Worshipper because I can't drink hot coffee during the summer months, and only sometimes during the Spring and Fall. Unless it's one of the cold drinks from the Gas station or Wal-Mart. I wanted to be called the Part-Timer, but I was outvoted. Apparently, it didn't sound good enough for the Snob and Philistine. So, here I am.

Looking forward to keeping you guys (and gals) educated! ^_^

Monday, December 2, 2013

Coco Cafe--Cafe Latte

I was really excited to try this, I imagined that, upon taking my first sip, the clouds would part, a beam of light would shoot down from the heavens to shine on me and me alone, and I would hear the sweet song of angels singing praise to the almighty coffee.

What actually happened was less thrilling.  I opened up the container, I took a sip.  I closed it and shook it up again, why was there a chalky texture?  It was slightly better upon second sip.  It tasted good, but nothing more than mediocre.  I was hoping for hints of coconut since it was mixed with coconut water, but really only tasted it when I strained too.  I'm sure most people would probably prefer it that way, coconut water is an acquired taste.

Other than the mildly offputting texture if it's not shaken up VERY well, it's rather good, definitely something I'd buy again.  The price though, it's what catches me.  While I can get a HUGE cup of black coffee for $1.69, this weighs in at almost $4 for a container half the size.  It's got the gourmet price sans the gourmet flavor.  Despite containing a shot of espresso, it also doesn't have the same pick me up as my usual coffee.

I guess overall, the most I can say about this is that it was also mediocre, not at all the divine experience I was looking for, but passable and a lot more portable than my usual coffee.  Also, it's served chilled, so it's much nicer on a hot day--of which we have plenty in Florida.

Bottom Line: