Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe-Low Fat

If you’re looking for an amazing Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe but are trying to stay on track with your diet, this recipe is a great one. I grew up eating coffee cake at my grandmothers house. Now you’re probably thinking I would go to my grandmothers house and we’d bake together while listening to old classics and her telling me stories about my Dad when he was little. Nope, that’s not exactly how it went down. First of all, it was always store bought cinnamon sour cream coffee cake and she would be sitting in her lazy boy recliner watching fox news drinking martini’s and mainly just talking to my dad not about how mischievous he was as a boy which he most certainly was. My Grandmother had this cupboard in her living room that had 5-6 battery operated toys in it that my sister and I would always be-line for. There was a wizard ball that would predict your future when you waved your hand above it and a penguin stair climber toy that was always my favorite. My sister and I would nibble at our cinnamon sour cream coffee cake and play with those toys until my dad was done with his second beer and it was time to go home for dinner. Every childhood is different and although my Grandmother wasn’t the picture perfect babysitting baking type, I will always think of her and remember with love.

What You’ll Need

CINNAMON FILLING

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

CAKE

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces of apple sauce
  • 1 cup non-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1⁄2 cup egg substitute

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Cinnamon Filling:

  • Combine sugars, cinnamon, and raisins in a bowl and blend together with hands or spoon
  • Set Cinnamon filling to the side

Cake:

  • Combine apple sauce, sour cream, vanilla and egg substitute in a bowl and mix
  • Combine Dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Spray bunt pan with non-stick spray such as pam
  • Combine wet ingredients with dry
  • Spread thin layer of batter in bunt pan
  • Sprinkle Raisin mixture
  • Spread another thin layer of batter and repeat with raisin mixture
  • Continue with layers- end with batter layer

Bake for 45-50 minutes

Cover Cake with wax paper and cool on cooling rack for 30 min

Remove Cake from bunt pan and cover with wax paper until completely cool

Dust with Powdered Sugar

Your delicious, moist cinnamon sour cream coffee cake is now ready and will yield up to 20 servings depending on slice sizes.

Tasty

I’d love to hear how you enjoyed this cake if you decide to make it. I am not the best at baking but find this cake to be pretty easy to make and I am able to consistently make it good every time. My next attempt is going to be crumb cake which is my absolute favorite cake to eat while drinking coffee. If you have an amazing crumb cake recipe, I’d love to see it!

Best Instant Coffee Packets- 5 Best Brands

While its always preferred let your coffee maker do its magic, sometimes it’s just plain necessary to bust out the instant coffee packet and get going a little faster. Instant coffee packets are also great for traveling, camping, or when you know you’re going to that one relatives house that never has coffee on hand. I’ve been known to keep an instant coffee packet or two in my purse along with the essential sugar and powdered cream. I’ve now tried quite a few instant coffee packets and definitely have my favorite. In this post I’ll write about the 10 best instant coffee packets and what makes them special.

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee

Mount Hagen Orgranic Freeze Dried Instant coffee is one of the best instant coffee’s. It’s organically grown and made from 100% Arabica beans sourced from the highlands of Germany. It is the first certified organic freeze-dried coffee in the world and is certified EcoCert in accordance with the organic standards of U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mount Hagen’s high quality comes from carefully selected and separately harvested beans. You’ll love it’s rich and flavorful taste. They are able to achieve the freeze-dried process without any preservatives or additives. The highlands where the coffee is grown are quarantined to be organically grown without any use of artificial chemicals including herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, or pesticides.

The Mount Hagen instant coffee was processed using the freeze-and-dry method. This ensures no preservatives and additives interfere with maintaining its organic flavor.

Although this brand is weaker and less-flavorful than other instant coffees, it could last between six to twelve months in the jar without absorbing moisture and getting spoiled. It also makes good cold beverage.


Nescafe Tasters Choice Hazelnut Instant Coffee

This popular brand of coffee is my favorite. I’m not quite sure how they do it but there have been several times I’ve forgotten that I was drinking single serve instant coffee and not a cup of freshly perked Joe. It has a full-bodied taste and the hazelnut flavor is just enough and doesn’t overcome the essential taste and texture of the smooth roasted coffee.

A box of the hazelnut coffee includes eight packs with twenty sticks each, which could last at least six months. Although you are recommended to use six ounces of water which each stick, most people who drink this brand advise to use less water to retain its nutty and roasty aroma and taste. When stored in room temperature, the instant coffee can have a maximum shelf life of one year.


Douwe Egberts Pure Gold Instant Coffee Sticks

Pure Gold is a fragrant, full body and spicy coffee. It is a composition of powerful robust and aromatic Arabica coffee beans roasted to perfection by the Douwe Egberts process. The package contains 200 individually wrapped sticks. The box can be used as a dispenser. Perfect for hotels, businesses, restaurants, travel and home use.

Consumers find the aroma strong with hints of the fresh brew version of the Douwe Egberts coffee, although the taste itself is not as robust. This is probably caused by the partial-hydrogenation process that its manufacturer uses on its coffee beans.

Although the flavor is slightly-compromised when prepared black, adding a bit of sugar and cream will round out this instant cup of coffee and make for a nice flavor. Some have even mistaken this instant coffee for fresh-brew. The individual packaging also helps with a longer-lasting fresh flavor.


Starbucks VIA Ready Colombian Brew Coffee

It’s no secret that Starbucks has a magical way of blending bitterness and sweetness in many of its coffee blends which is obvious in this very popular Colombian Coffee. What I like about this coffee is its walnut flavor that is comfortably there but subtle. This coffee is carefully prepared and harvested and is a favorite by many. With its perfect combination of acidity and roasted flavor, you are sure to enjoy this instant coffee. If you don’t like your coffee super strong, you may want to consider diluting it with a little more water than recommended on packaging.

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Italian Roast Coffee

The Italian Ready brew Starbucks instant coffee is bad from 100% Arabica coffee beans. It has a darker, bolder and more robust taste due it’s very little use of oil and shorter time and lower tempature while roasting. Because of this process it only takes about 10 seconds for this coffee to dissolve into your hot cup of water and be ready for consumption. It is a lot like an Italian macchiato and has a strong yet charismatic flavor. To achieve the Italian macchiato replica, simply use less water and add steamed milk and caramel sauce. You will be surprised at how good it is.

  • VIA delivers a bold, full-bodied cup of instant coffee anywhere
  • 100% Colombian Arabica offers a bold and roast-sweet, Italian Roast flavor
  • Mix with hot water, let coffee brew for 10 seconds and stir
  • Ready to Brew – Just add Hot Water
  • 100% Arabica
  • Dark Roast – fuller body robust coffee with bold flavors

Rankings and Favorites

Like most people, I had my first experience with instant coffee in a hotel room. Unless you’re staying at a nice hotel, you often get the cheap flavorless instant coffee packets to welcome you in the morning. It was one of these awful instant coffee’s that made me aware of how awful but also how good instant coffee can be. I vowed to go out and buy a pack of good instant coffee that night since we’d be staying in that hotel a few more days so I could properly enjoy my morning ritual of coffee in bed with my kiddos eating box cereal and my husband still asleep next to me. That trip I ended up with the Starbucks Colombian instant coffee and have been a fan ever since. I really do love all of these instant coffee packets but I’ll say that Starbucks and the Nescafe Hazelnut are my two favorites. If you have a favorite or enjoy one that I’ve not listed, I’d love to hear about it.

Elevate Coffee Reviews


If you read my last post about Keto Coffee, you can see I’m obviously on a kick with getting healthier and changing some ways I drink my coffee to improve its health benefits. I’ve known for a while that adding sugar and a heavy processed sugar filled creamer is probably not a great way to start my day. While reading other Elevate Coffee Reviews and doing some reading on the Elevate Coffee website, I decided that Elevate Coffee was worth a shot In this post I’m going to talk about Elevate Coffee, a product I’ve been looking into and think could be a great supplement to aid in attaining better weight and getting the most out of my morning cup of coffee.


Why I Tried It

Like many others, weight loss and health are on my mind on a regular basis. With a busy schedule, three kids at home and a house full of snacks, its hard to stay on track. I’ve noticed in the last year or so, exercise is not enough and if I really want to maintain my weight or even lose any, my diet is really going to have to be more of a focus. Up until about a year ago, I was the type of person to wake up hungry.

Almost immediately after getting up in the morning I would make my coffee and breakfast and eat right away. I have noticed within the last year or so that I’m no longer hungry first thing in the morning. I’ve been forcing myself to try to eat something by at least 9:30 because I know my body needs the fuel to be productive. When I first read about Elevate Coffee, I thought why not. If I can give myself a nice boost in the morning and curb my appetite at the same time, why not try it. Now I do still think its important to eat a healthy breakfast but if this smart coffee can help me curb my appetite and maybe eat smaller portions, I figured why not give it a shot.


My Experience with Elevate Coffee

When my order arrived I was anxious to give it a shot but unfortunately my mail usually comes around 4 pm and after reading about this product, I was worried it might make me wired and unable to go to sleep later. So the next morning I woke up anxious to try my first cup of Elevate Coffee. First step is to heat up a mug of water. I just used the microwave but you can certainly boil the water in a tea kettle. You then take an individual serving and pour it in. Elevate Coffee comes in a bunch of different flavors but I ordered the Columbian roast which is rich, dark and yummy. It’s infused with high quality espresso beans that help you stay alert, energized and refreshed throughout the day. I immediately felt more energized and alert and my desire to eat was gone.


What is Elevate Coffee?

First off, anything called Elevate automatically makes me want to learn more. Who doesn’t want to go higher? Elevate Coffee is a weight loss supplement that that helps consumers attain better weight. It comes in single serving sticks that you just add to hot water and is a great weight loss supplement that is perfect for those of us who just love to drink coffee on a regular basis. It’s considered the “smartest coffee” ever created because its formula is completely different from the majority of other weight loss beverages. Elevate coffee focuses on your stomach and contains a cognitive element that leads to prominent weight loss. Most other weight loss beverage supplements focus on only suppressing your appetite whereas this product does so much more and often leads to high success.


The Formula

Because Elevate Coffee has a formula that’s different from any other on the market it functions as a powerful nootropic. A nootropic is a formula that helps stimulate the dopamine and opiates in your brain which increase stimulation and lead to enhanced brain function. What are some benefits of the nootropic element in this product you ask?

  • Improved Cognitive Function
  • Feel Energized
  • Feel Productive and Happy

You may be wondering what’s in Elevate Coffee. It’s important to know what you’re putting in your body and to understand how these ingredients work together to achieve the products goals.

Why Elevate Coffee Works

After your first few sips of Elevate Coffee, you’ll start to feel the effects kick in right away. I personally only use about half of a serving size and recommend you do the same to see how it makes you feel. You’ll start to feel more alert, energized and ready to get started on your day. The nootropic elements in the coffee help you burn existing fats and lead to increase metabolism. After drinking Elevate Coffee, I definitely felt like my desire to eat diminished if not disappeared all together. Obviously not eating is not the way to go but if you are able to support your weight loss with smaller portions and still have great energy, Elevate Coffee is a great support supplement to help you achieve your goals.


Try and See

I’m just at the beginning stages of my journey with Elevate Coffee. I look forward to seeing the results and am hopeful that its ability to curb my appetite, provide me with more energy and alertness along with exercise and diet will really help me achieve my weight loss goals. I have a few outfits I’ve been holding on to that used to fit and no longer do so keep your fingers crossed for me that I can make my way back into those and maybe put some of my larger sizes away in hopes to never see them again.  Have you tried a smart coffee before? What did you think? I’d love to hear your experiences. 

It Works! Keto Coffee

Have you heard of the keto diet? It’s a topic of conversation in my house right now and we’re trying to map out a plan to get started. Obviously changing your diet is tough, but I’ve learned that planning out meals is key to success so we’re at that stage. In addition to learning more about the keto diet, I’ve also been researching on Keto Coffee because let’s face it, that’s one part of my diet I am not willing to give up. From everything I’ve been reading, it’s a great way to help you stay on track and lose weight. In this post I’ll talk a bit more about the keto diet and why keto coffee works and where to get it.

Keto Diet

The keto diet is a diet that is known for being a low low-carb diet which was a hard pill for me to swallow because I love me some bread. Like love with a capital L but as I’m getting older I’ve noticed its getting harder and harder to stay in the shape that a low-carb filled diet never seemed to effect. Getting older definitely sometimes sucks. On a keto diet your body produces ketones in the liver which then get used as energy. Ketones are byproducts of the body breaking down fat for energy and this process only happens when carbohydrate intake is low.

Your fat is your stored energy so when your body is in need of energy and isn’t getting it through a higher level of carbohydrate intake, it will then burn that fat to create the glucose levels needed to form fuel for your body to operate. When your body starts breaking down fats in this way, a process known as beta-oxidation, ketones are then formed and used as fuel for the brain and body. This is known as ketosis.

The Keto Diet is not just a method used for loosing weight but is also a great way to reduce cravings, lower blood pressure, improve energy and improve cholesterol. The process of ketosis can happen when a person is on a low low-carb diet, after exercise, if a person is fasting, or during starvation which I obviously am not advocating for.

What Can I Eat on a Keto Diet?

Because the keto diet consists of low carbs, you will want to stick to meats such as fish, lamb, beef, chicken, eggs, and other seafood. Leafy greens are great on the keto diet. Salads, spinach, and kale are all great options. Above ground vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and brussels sprouts are all great options. Berries and avocados are great for you while on the keto diet. A great source of protein and awesome snack option are nuts such as macadamias, walnuts, and almonds. Since you’ll probably be eating a lot of salads, a high fat salad dressing is recommended. You also should focus on high fat dairy such as hard cheeses, butter and high fat cream. If you need a sweetener, be sure to use stevia, or any other low-low-carb sweetener.

What Not to Eat

There are some things on this list that I was shocked to find are not recommended on the keto diet. The obvious things you should stay away from are:

Grains-rice, cereal, wheat, corn

Sugar- agave, maple syrup, honey

Fruit- apples, oranges, bananas

Root vegtables- potatos and yams

That last one doesn’t surprise me but what also falls under that category are carrots which have 6 g of total carbs in one medium carrot. Now you can have carrots in moderation but I was surprised that it made the naughty list as did corn and peas!

What to Drink?

So here’s where I have my concerns but there is hope! There are really only three things I drink and that’s water, coffee, and alcohol. I’m not big on juice and rarely ever have soda even in the house so those won’t be in an issue but how does one live without coffee? Well I’ve been doing my research and you don’t have to. Keto Coffee is the key. Keto coffee is coffee with low carbs and high fat. It’s also known as bulletproof coffee and I actually touched on this in an earlier post about things you can add to coffee. Bulletproof coffee was created by Dave Asprey a self described “professional bio hacker.” He believes in not wasting energy and providing your body with the resources and fuel it needs to work properly. The idea behind bulletproof coffee was to create stable energy that lasts for hours and prevents cravings until past lunch.

It Works!-Keto Coffee

Keto coffee or bulletproof coffee was invented by Dave Asprey who was on a trip to Tibet where he discovered yak butter tea. Yak butter is a grass fed butter that’s high in fat. It melts into the tea and creates a high energy morning beverage that helps produce fuel for the body that can last well into the lunch hour. When you add high fat butter to your tea or coffee, it increases energy that lasts unlike heavy cream and sugar which only increase your blood pressure and cause you to have a spike of energy only to be followed by a crash. Coffee beans are packed with antioxidants, essential B vitamins, and phytonutrients (a substance found in certain plants which is believed to be beneficial to human health and help prevent various diseases). Evidence has proven that coffee can improve brain function, suppress hunger, raise metabolism, and increase positive mood. When adding grass fed high fat butter to your coffee instead of other high low-carb additives, you are creating a perfect combination of fuel that will help you stay energized longer and burn fat while you do it.

Why Grass-Fed Butter?

Obviously the butter isn’t eating the grass. You knew that already. Right? So yea, the cows are the ones eating the grass which means these are healthy and happy cows who are able to graze and forage for their own fresh food in open spaces. When the cows are happy and have a high grass diet, they then produce much higher quality of butter. You can usually find grass fed butter at your local grocery store, just look for organic pasture butter. Some brands that are recommended are Organic Valley Pasture Butter, Kerrygold Butter, Anchor Butter, and Allgau German Butter. Grass-fed butter contains hundreds of fatty acids and almost 5 times more conjugated linoleic acid than butter from grain-fed cows. Conjugated linoleci acid (CLA) is a known dietary supplement that can help you lose fat, retain lean muscle, and maintain weight.

MCT Oil Keto

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is an amazing form of energy. Oftentimes its an even better and more easily transportable option over grass-fed butter when combining with coffee for your bulletproof coffee. MCT oil is made from coconut or palm oil and is known to be quickly absorbed. It is a byproduct of coconut oil. You can purchase MCT oil powder which is less messy and easier to transport yet has all the same great health benefits which include gut health and reduction of inflammation. Other health benefits include MCT’s ability to help fight off harmful bacteria and preserving your guts good bacteria. MCT is also known to enhance your cognitive health. There is a strong connection between your brain and gut health so when both are being provided the right fuel, you should start feeling sharper cognitively and healthier in general.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coffee
  • 2 tablespoons grass fed unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of MCT oil or powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 dash of cinnamon

This is a super simple recipe and seems very obvious on what to do next but here you go.

Brew the coffee, add the other ingredients and you’re good to go! You can use a blender to combine the butter, MCT oil, vanilla extract and cinnamon but honestly that just creates more mess to clean up later and I know I already have plenty of mess going on at my house.

Keto Coffee

Another great option is a keto coffee base which can be mixed with hot water and again makes for a super convenient bulletproof coffee. Keto Base is a great option for a powdered base and is often purchased with the MCT oil. There are four flavors including, vanilla, coffee, chocolate and peaches and cream. Keto Coffee powder is made from high quality beta hydroxy buturate and has no filters or additives. They don’t use any additives and the base contains no carbs, gums or fillers and sugars. It is doctor approved too.

 

Get Started

A Keto diet is a great way to get healthy, lose weight and stimulate cognitive health. If you are nervous like I am about giving up the things you love, try starting off with changing a few things. I’ve started with a low-carb free lunch every day along with a bulletproof keto coffee in the morning. So far I can feel the difference in my energy levels and ability to stay focused longer. I would love to hear your success stories and what you like to put in your keto coffee.

 

 

 

 

Iced Coffee Pops

Well if you’ve ever been to Maryland in the summer, you’ll know that humidity is an issue. It may be 85 degrees out but it will feel like 110. You can walk out of your nice cool house and immediately feel sweat starting to form on your forehead. It’s like stepping into a sauna. There are lots of ways we try to combat this humidity such as hitting the beach for a nice swim, going to the pool, going to the movies or simply just staying inside. My favorite way to stay cool in the summer is with iced coffee pops. Iced coffee pops are not only delicious but you can make them in so many ways and get really creative. I just recently had the opportunity to travel to Dubai where I had the most delicious iced coffee pop. I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. If you’ve ever been to the mall in Dubai you were probably just as shocked as I was at the sheer size of it. It’s so large due to the heat. Their residents need somewhere to go and something to do since it’s so hot there so they decided to build a mall that’s over 13 million square feet! Like me, they must also like to keep cool with yummy iced coffee pops because I’ve never had a tastier treat than the one I had there!

Iced Coffee Pop Options

As you can imagine, there are so many options when making iced coffee pops. Since you’ll be using a mold with individual spots, you can make each pop different. I love flavored ice pops so it may be a good idea to start stocking up on supplies. Iced Coffee Pops are great with flavored cream, chocolate sauce, hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate chips, cinnamon, Almond milk, coconut cream, or even ice cream. You can layer your ingredients too which takes a little more time but creates a super pretty and tasty iced coffee pop.

What You’ll Need

When making iced coffee pops you’ll need a mold of course. You can purchase one on amazon or often they have them at CVS, Walgreens or even at the grocery store. You’ll want to use a strong cold coffee for making iced coffee pops. The best method is to use the cold brew method which I created a post about a few weeks ago. You want to use a strong cold coffee to ensure the flavor comes through once frozen. Another great tip is to refrigerate the pops prior to putting them in the freezer. This gets the liquid nice a cold prior to freezing and cuts down on the ice crystals that form when freezing to ensure better texture. You will also need any ingredients you want to add to your iced coffee pops such as cream, sugar, chocolate sauce, caramel, coconut milk, almond mild, or spices.

Get Started

As I mentioned earlier, it’s best to use a strong cold brew coffee to make your iced pops. It’s super easy to make cold brew coffee so have no fear. As you’ll read in my cold brew coffee post, you’ll need to make it the day before to allow for enough brewing time. Once your cold brew coffee is ready, you’re ready to get started. Get your ingredients ready. if you just want to make one flavor, you can use one of the options below and fill all 6 molds the same way. If you want to mix it up, go for it! A different coffee ice pop for almost every day of the week.

Caramel Iced Coffee Pop

What you’ll need:

Caramel Drizzle

Sweetened Condenced Milk

Milk

Cold Brew Coffee

Vanilla extract

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans coarsely chopped

In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4th cup of sweetened condensed milk and 1/8th teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour mixture evenly into molds and place in fridge for about 2 hours to get super cold. Once cold from the fridge, move to freezer. Allow about 2 hours of freezing time to firm up mixture but not freeze completely. Once firm, pull out and insert stick.

In clean bowl, mix 1/2 cup cold brew coffee, 6 table spoons of milk, and 2 table spoons of sweetened condensed milk. Put bowl in fridge to get cold then add evenly to molds over milk mixture. Freeze for 4 hours.

Lastly drizzle caramel over coffee layer and then sprinkle coarsely chopped chocolate covered espresso beans on top. Put back in freezer for a minimum of 8 hours and maximum of 2 weeks.

Mexican Coffee Pops

What you’ll Need:

1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso-cold

1/2 cup milk

3 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy and thick. If it’s too thick you can add a little milk, if it’s too thin add more ice. Fill molds with mixture and inserts sticks. Place in freezer for at least 4 hours.

Mocha Cream Pops

What You’ll Need:

1 3/4 cups of cold brew coffee mixed with 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup of vanilla frozen yogurt

1/4 cup of chocolate chips

1/4 cup of milk

Pour 1 3/4 cup of coffee with chocolate syrup and heavy cream mixture into molds about 1/2 way up. Insert sticks and freeze for about 2 hours until firm but not completely frozen.

Blend together frozen yogurt, chocolate chips, and milk. Add a layer of mixture to frozen pops about 1/2 inch thick. Freeze again for about 2 hours.

Add final layer of coffee with chocolate syrup and heavy cream. Freeze pops for at least 8 hours if not overnight.

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Iced Coffee Pop Life

These are some pretty awesome options for making iced coffee pops and obviously if you want to make a simpler version, you can take cold brew coffee, add a bit of milk or cream and sugar and pour into the molds. I love a creamy gooey coffee pop and I like to get creative with it so have fun with it. If you like this post, please let me know what you liked about it and if you have an amazing recipe for a coffee ice pop, please share!

 

 

 

 

Consumer Reports-Best Coffee Maker

There are so many choices when it comes to a coffee maker and it’s important that you find one that not only makes a mean cup of coffee but that also fits with your lifestyle. If you live in a small apartment, you’re not going to want a huge coffee maker that takes up you’re entire counter space. If you like to entertain you will want something that can serve a decent amount of guests. Often times we end up with multiple coffee makers hoping to find one that is just right. I’ve had my fair share of coffee makers over the years and have learned along the way that investing a little in a coffee maker definitely pays off. If you’re looking for the Best Coffee Maker based on Consumer reports, here’s some suggestions I’ve come up with.

                                    

Behmor 5393 Brazen Plus Temperature Control Coffee Maker

Yes, you read correctly, temperature control! This amazing machine really does its job. With a customizable temperature control system along with the ability to control the brewing temperature and presoak time, you are really living fancy with this machine. The pulsed water flow design ensures that all grounds are fully saturated and the presoak function adds water to the grounds before brewing allowing the coffee to fully bloom. You can rage the temperature control from 190-210 F and it has altitude calibration which is apparently critical for ideal coffee extraction! Who knew!? The Behmor Brazen Plus is accurate within 1 degree of set temperature! Amazing right? Its high quality carafe, duh, that can maintain the optimal coffee temperature for hours. Wowza. It does have a 6 cup minimum brew requirement to ensure the integrity of the flavor but you’ll want that much and more! Yum.

The Behmor Brazen Plus has a 7.8 consumer report rating.

Bonavita Connoisseur Coffee Maker

This is an excellent coffee maker for a great price. Its stainless steel look is sleek and is an easy to operate with a one touch brew operation and auto-off ability. The filter basket, carafe lid, and shower head are all dishwasher safe so its great for clean up too. It has a powerful and precise 1500-watt heater that maintains the optimal brewing temperature of 195-205 degrees. It has a flat bottomed filter basket and larger shower head which allows for a better saturation and uniform extraction. Its durable and BPA-free. If you’re looking for something that’s not too tough on the wallet and produces a great cup of coffee, the Bonavita Connoisseur is great option for you.

The Bonavita Connoisseur Coffee Maker has an 8.6 consumer report rating.

Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741

Let me just say that this coffee maker is too legit to quit. I don’t personally own one but have a friend who does and I am finding reasons to get over to her house as often as possible and am always up for a cup of coffee when she offers. Its stainless steal carafe is thermal and the perfect shape. It has a manual adjust drip and stop brew ability. Its a super quiet machine and brews a full carafe in 4 to 6 minutes. It has a unique copper boiling element that rapidly heats the water to a controlled brewing temperature between 196 and 205 degrees. This allows for a soluble extraction of the coffee flavor. It then automatically switches off when the water reservoir is empty. It has an ideal water saturation time to maximize the coffee complexity, aroma and flavor which is achieved through the cone shape brew-basket. Its BPA/BPS/BPF and Phatalate free and has a 5-year Manufacturers warranty! This coffee maker really has so much to offer and makes an absolutely amazing cup of coffee.

The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 has an 8.4 consumer rating.

Keurig K575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

We all know the Keurig name. I think Keurig makes a great coffee maker. My only issue is with the k-cups. If you are going to buy this machine, please be sure to buy the reusable cups that you can fill with your own coffee grounds. Its not that the k-cup doesn’t make a decent cup of coffee but they are terrible for the environment. This coffee maker does have some great features that I personally think make it a great coffee maker for the office or if you just like one cup of coffee in the morning. It has 2 filters which help your coffee taste great and five temperature settings to provide even more control over the brewing process. It has a large water reservoir that allows you 10 or more cups before having to refill. Although this is not my favorite coffee maker personally, I do like how convenient it is. The water heats up pretty quickly and you can get a decent cup of coffee from it in a mater of a few minutes. It is a fan favorite for many.

 

The Keurig K575 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker has a 7.6 consumer rating

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with Glass Carafe

The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer with glass carafe is a class act. Now I’m not great at cleaning my carafe as regularly as I should and with a glass carafe, you’ll definitely want to keep it looking pristine. It as a single serve option that is pod free which I love. It makes custom brews: classic, rich, or over ice which is super awesome. It also has custom brew sizes: cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL multi-serve, half carafe and full carafe. With a built in frother to brew, you can have a delicious frothy cup of coffee in your favorite mug. Its water reservoir is removable making it easy to fill up. With advanced Thermal flavor extraction, the Ninja knows just how to make a cup of coffee just right. It has an intelligent warming plate to keep your coffee just the right temperature for up to 4 hours and then turns off automatically.

The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with Glass Carafe has a 7.8 consumer rating.

Your Pick

These are obviously just a few of the coffee makers out there. You may have an amazing coffee maker at home. I’d love to hear about it. Why do you love it? What makes it better than the rest? At the end of the day, a great machine + amazing coffee, and you’re set. Please comment below with any insight on the above coffee makers or any others you think are the best.

 

 

 

 

Best Ground Coffee Brands-What Coffee Should You Buy

So, there are so many brands of coffee out there and it can be difficult to decide which is the best. I often get asked what the best ground coffee brands are or which coffee brand to buy. I say, try as many as you can. I used to skimp on coffee and just went for whatever was on sale at the grocery store until I realized that there was truly no point in even drinking a cup of coffee that tasted that bad. I also think that just like with most things, you start to realize as you get older that most of the time it’s better to pay a little more for a product or service and get it done right than to go with the cheapest option and end up wishing you’d just spent a little more to get good quality. So in this post I’ll list some of my favorite ground coffee brands.

Rise Up Coffee

If you’re not from Maryland, you probably don’t know about Rise Up Coffee. Well you should. Rise Up Coffee is by far my absolute favorite brand of coffee. Rise up started after a great guy named Tim Cureton returned from the Peace corps and had decided to take out a small business loan and start Rise Up Coffee in St Michael’s Maryland. I also highly recommend visiting St Michael’s MD. It’s a charming little water town with great bars and restaurants shops and attractions. Rise Up Coffee is organic and has grown into 5 locations around Maryland and even one now in Florida. Rise Up is a full-bodied coffee with hints of caramel and chocolate. Their coffee comes from South America and Indonesia. It is mucho deliciouso.

Starbucks House Blend Whole Bean Coffee

Whenever possible, I like to shop local and to support small businesses. Obviously ranking Starbucks is not in that vein but when it’s good its good. I really do love Starbucks House Blend coffee. It’s full of flavor, rich, strong, and I’m pretty sure has a bit of drugs in it. Just joking! When you find yourself closing your eyes while drinking a cup of coffee, you just know it’s good. Starbucks House Blend is a delicious medium roast whole bean coffee is a blend of Latin American whole coffee beans. A medium bodied blend featuring a vibrant acidity and clean, well-balanced flavor.

Hawaiian Gold Kona Whole Bean Coffee

Hawaiian Gold is a master when it comes to coffee. They really pride themselves in providing an excellent product. Their coffee is never intermixed from one farm to another and have a flavor unique to the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. This is a medium roast and once you pulse that coffee bean grinder you’ll start to understand the magic that’s about to go down. I know this is going to sound stupid but I love going to get my oil changed at this specific mechanic shop. Waiting for your car to get its oil changed is usually pretty lame, and although the next part of my story does help, it’s still is pretty lame. The reason I love going there is that they always have a fresh brewed pot of Hawiian Gold available for their customers while they way. The best part, it’s free! They also have a whole station of creamers, sugars, and those cute little stir sticks.

LaVazza Super Crema Whole Coffee Bean

Okay so first of all, I love saying “super crema”. I have the best husband in the world who often makes me a cup of coffee or espresso on the weekends even though he doesn’t even drink coffee (I guess opposites really do attract). He’ll ask me if I’d like a cup of coffee or espresso and when LaVazza is in the cupboard I’ll say, “yes! serve me up some of dat super crema please!” in my best Christopher Walken accent. This is a mild creamy Italian espresso blend that’s great for espresso or slow drip. You’ll want to finely grind the coffee beans. I find it extremely important to drink your espresso with your pinky up. I like a little sugar in my espresso just to cut the bitterness but this one is so creamy, I usually hold off on the sugar.

 

Death Wish Coffee Beans

Death Wish Coffee is my go to when I know I have a long day ahead. It’s super strong and definitely gets me moving faster than any other coffee. It has approximately double the amount of caffeine of other coffees and is nice and smooth while bold at the same time. It’s Fair Trade, USDA Certified Organic and Kosher coffee so you can also feel good about drinking so much of it. This is my hang over coffee. I prefer to drink it cold so I’ll often use it when I’m making a cold brew the night before that way it’s ready to go when I’m not feeling so hot in the morning.

 

Conclusion

There are so many amazing brands of coffee out there and obviously these are just a few. I’ll probably edit this post to add more once I’ve tried additional coffees. If you have a fun story about how you tried a certain brand of coffee and want to share it, that would be awesome. I really love to brew my coffee at home in addition to trying new coffees when I’m out and about. Whenever I can, I try to shop local and support small businesses. If you have an awesome local brand of coffee you can share, please comment in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Things to add to Coffee-It’s Gonna Get Interesting

Unless you’re the devil himself, you probably don’t like to drink your coffee black. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh but really? Black Coffee? Ew. There are so many ways to drink coffee so as you can imagine, the variety of things you can add to coffee are endless. Now some are way more appealing than others and obviously personal preference plays a role here but in this post we’ll talk about everything from standard coffee compliments to some pretty bizarre ones. It’s all too often that I get asked these questions:

What to add to coffee?

What should I put in my coffee?

What alcohol can I put in coffee?

This post will give you a wide variety of answers. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’m a cream and sugar kind of girl but have been known to add a few other choice items to my coffee which I’ll tell you about in this post.

Creamers

If you head to the dairy isle of pretty much any grocery store, you’re bound to find a huge variety of milk or non-dairy options that can be added to coffee. My first experience with coffee came with a bit of half-and-half which I no longer am a huge fan of but would definitely take over 2% milk any day. Fan favorites of mine are the flavored coffee creamers like hazelnut or vanilla. I’ve recently had a delicious coffee with oatmilk in it and am on a mission to switch over to that but have a feeling that will take some time. Some other options are coconut milk and almond milk which are non-dairy options that are becoming more and more popular.

Pantry Favorites

My mom was the first to expose me to coffee with cocoa powder in it. Although it was far too sweet for me, I have heard that many people enjoy a chocolaty coffee. Another option is to add a piece of chocolate to your coffee. I enjoy dark chocolate and although I’ve never actually added a piece of chocolate to my coffee, I can imagine it would be quite delicious and result in a layer of melty chocolaty goo at the bottom to dribble into your mouth to finish off your morning cup of coffee. YUM.

Many people enjoy a small amount of vanilla extract in their coffee or a dash or too of cinnamon or nutmeg. There’s nothing more cozy than the smell of a warm spice bread baking in the oven. Adding a few of these ingredients to your coffee can not only be delicious but down right nostalgic. One last kitchen staple that many enjoy in coffee is ice cream. Many flavors of ice cream go great in coffee but my favorite is vanilla.

Booze Time Put What in my Coffee??

There are so many types of alcohol that go great with coffee. I would not recommend this option with every cup, especially if you’re an all day coffee drinker but it is a great option for an after dinner drink or if you’re looking for something yummy for desert and would prefer a warm beverage over a slice of cake or bowl of ice cream. My favorite alcoholic option to add to coffee is Baileys Irish Cream which is a cream based whiskey and makes for a delicious creamy decedent coffee.

My next favorite is a mud slide. A mud slide consists of 1 part Kahlua, 1 part Vodka, and 5 parts Baileys shaken over ice. You can also put all of these ingredients in a blender along with some vanilla ice cream and really have a tasty treat. Mudslides are also great with some chocolate syrup drizzled down the inside of the cup and a dollop of whip cream on top. We vacation every year with my husbands family and my brother-in-law always treats us to a delicious mudslide lake side.

You really can enjoy a wide variety of liquors in your coffee including, rum, tequila, vodka, brandy, whiskey, bourbon, and hazelnut liquor to name a few. There are tons of great recipes online to find the drink of your choice but I’d definitely recommend the first two I mentioned.

Put What in my Coffee??

So I was discussing my website with a friend and she asked if I’d ever heard of putting butter in coffee. I really thought she was joking but went home and did some research. Guess what? It’s a real thing. People are putting a small tab of butter in their coffee. Apparently adding butter to your coffee gives you an extra boost. Some people even replace breakfast with a buttery coffee. I promise to try it soon and will let you know how it is.

Cardamom is a spice used a lot in the Middle East and is an exotic spice you can add to coffee. Many enjoy the new flavor it brings out in the coffee. I have tried this and enjoyed it very much. Salt is another option to add to coffee. Some people add salt to the coffee grounds before brewing, others add a dash to their cup of coffee and say that helps naturalize the bitterness of the coffee. Others say it’s a great additive to help bring out the flavor of the coffee.

Last but certainly not the least bizarre option is a raw egg. That’s right! A raw egg. It hails from the Nordic countries of Scandinavia and is said to clarify the coffee leaving a sediment free cup of Joe. To do this, you will need to bring 9 cups water to a boil. While this is coming to a boil mix together 3/4 cup of ground coffee, one egg and 1/4 cup of water. Add mixture to boiling water and wait 3 minutes. Turn heat off and add 1 cup of cold water. Allow resting for 10 minutes and you’ll see that the cooked egg and coffee grounds will be combined at the bottom. Pour through a mesh strainer and there you have it! It looks like I have another interesting recipe to try.

Your Choice

So there you have it. From your traditional creamers, sugar and spices to your more exotic additions such as butter, there are all sorts of ways to enjoy your cup of coffee. Because coffee can be enjoyed in so many ways, I’m sure there is an interesting option out there to try out to see if it’s your new favorite way to enjoy your coffee. I’d love to hear your favorite way to make coffee or most interesting thing you’ve ever added to your coffee and how it turned out.

How to Drink Coffee without Staining Your Teeth

Do you absolutely love coffee but are worried about it staining your teeth? Me too! Like anyone else, I’d love to have nice white teeth but am certainly not willing to give up my love of coffee to do so.

I’ve notice that there are three questions often asked when it comes to coffee drinking and white teeth:

Will Drinking Coffee Stain My Teeth?

How to Drink Coffee without Staining your teeth?

Why Does Coffee Stain your Teeth?

In this article, I will give you some get tips on how to drinking coffee without staining your teeth.


Consumption

So there are a few ways to drink your coffee that can help prevent it from staining your teeth.

First try adding milk. Breaking down the acid in the coffee and lightening the color of the coffee with milk makes the coffee less likely to stain your teeth. Keep in mind that you will need to use animal milk for this to be effective. Soy milk and almond milk don’t contain a high quantity of proteins to be effective.

Drink your coffee with a straw. I’m a huge fan of the straw. I love to drink pretty much any beverage with a straw. Drinking hot coffee from a straw has remained a challenge I have yet to accept but I’m working towards it.

Drink more water. We all know that drinking water is good for us. Drinking water is also a great way to help keep coffee from staining your teeth. If you can drink even a few sips of water after you are done with your coffee it will help rinse your mouth out and remove the acids from the coffee that can settle on your teeth and leave stains. You can also drink a few sips of water between your sips of coffee to really be proactive.

Try drinking your coffee a little faster. I’m not suggesting you rush through what I consider the most important time of the day, but if you are one to linger while drinking your coffee or have a day long habit of drinking coffee, you will most likely end up with more stains on your teeth. If you can consume your coffee a little faster, it leaves less time that the coffee is resting on your enamel and leaving stains.


Hygiene

Taking good care of your teeth is so important when you’re a coffee drinker. You can definitely help prevent staining if you take the time to properly clean your teeth and gums.

Brushing your teeth just after coffee consumption is step one. You should use a good well recommended tooth brush and I’d recommend a teeth whitening tooth paste.

Flossing your teeth is also recommended. By flossing your teeth you help remove acid from between your teeth.

Although baking soda is not the most flavorful thing used to brush your teeth, it is a great product to used to help with teeth whitening. I like to add it to my toothpaste. It also leaves your mouth feeling great.

Mouth wash is your last step when it comes to hygiene. You want to use a good rinse. Washing your mouth out with mouth wash will clear all remaining coffee acid from your mouth.


Foods

Eating healthy is important for obvious reasons but if you are a coffee drinker and also consume other foods and beverages that have high staining components like coca-cola, fast foods, or are a smoker, you’re more likely to have issues with staining.

By eating healthy foods like crunchy fruits and vegetables, you will be adding to your oral hygiene by strengthening the enamel of your teeth through nutrition. Healthy enamel is stronger and less likely to stain. Vegetables like broccoli and carrots are highly recommended when it comes to strengthening enamel.


Whitening

There are products you can buy from your local CVS or Walgreens that may help. I’ve purchased crest white strips before and thought they helped. I have also been reading a bit about a charcoal product that can be very helpful with teeth whitening. You can also talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening which I’m sure can be expensive but is probably the best bet.


Conclusion

I think if you’re here reading this article, it’s safe to say that giving up coffee is not an option you’re willing to consider when it comes to your search for whiter teeth. Trying to avoid stains to begin with is my suggestion to you. Use some methods above to encourage healthy enamel, and rinsing your mouth after finishing your coffee. If you have any great tips in keeping your teeth nice and white while also being a coffee drinker, please comment below!

What is Cold Brew Coffee You Ask?

It’s getting hot in here, so make some iced coff-ee (to the tune of Nelly Hot in Here). Summer is almost here and here in Maryland we tend to skip spring and just go straight to the hot breeze less weather. There have been many times I have asked ‘What is cold brew coffee’ and the assumption that cold brew coffee is just pouring hot brewed coffee over ice is often the assumption. Now I’m not knocking anyone who does that. I do it myself on occasion but if you really want a nice smooth flavor without the bitterness and acidity, the cold brew method is great. Now preparing a cold brew coffee does not take a lot of effort but does take time.

Trying Cold Brew Coffee for the First Time

So I’m not going to lie. For a long time, I thought iced coffee and cold brew coffee and really all coffee in general were the same. My understanding was that all coffee was brewed hot and then cooled off if you wanted it cold. The first time I had a cold brew coffee I was in Richmond VA with my sister. Naturally we were fairly hung over that Saturday morning and she suggested a great biscuit spot to go where our hope was to soak up all that hang over with some delicious biscuits and gravy. Of course coffee also needed to be factored in and I don’t know about you but the idea of drinking hot coffee when I’m hung over is not my favorite. A nice cold cup of cold brew coffee seems to really set right with my stomach a lot more than hot coffee so that’s always my go to. My sister is a foodie and always knows the best places to go to get awesome grub and drinks so I knew this biscuit spot was going to do the trick.

We ordered the same biscuit because we’re very similar and also because we don’t like to share which means we have to get the same thing so no one is jealous of what the other person got. Our biscuit with friend chicken, pepper jelly, goat cheese and balsamic glaze was mouth watering. With something that tasty, you definitely need a nice cold beverage to wash it down and that’s where the cold brew coffee comes in. Our coffees were just as heavenly as the biscuit and had beautiful cream seeping down the inside of the mason jar it was served in. It looked like one of those delightful sand art you made at fairs as a kid only just brown and tan and liquid. Ha

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Most coffee drinkers like a hot cup of coffee in the morning or even in the afternoon but during those summer months the idea of even holding a hot cup of coffee, let alone drinking it, makes many people to steer clear from coffee all together. Now if you’re curious as to what cold brew coffee is, I’ll tell you. Cold brew coffee is the process of making coffee using course coffee grounds and cold water. That’s right! Throughout the entire process of making cold brew coffee do you ever use hot water.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

In this next section I’ll give you the steps on how to make cold brew coffee. You’ll need a few items to get started.

1 quart mason jar with lid

3 quarters cup of coffee beans

Coffee grinder

Cold Water

Coffee drip strainer

Topic/Idea 3

Content goes here.

Step One

Take your 3/4 cup of coffee beans and add to your grinder. If you already have coffee that’s been ground, you can simply use that. Set your coffee grinder to course. A coarsely ground bean is best when making a cold brew coffee.

Step Two

Pour your coffee grounds into your mason jar. The great thing about a mason jar is that you can make several cups of coffee and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 2 weeks which leaves you with probably only a few days of cold brew coffee since it’s so delicious you’ll want to drink it all the next day. If you have some will power, you can enjoy your efforts over the course of the week. Once you pour in coffee, add cold water to the mason jar. You want to fill the mason jar with water just to the lip of the jar not all the way to the top. You’ll then want to put the top on the jar and make sure it’s nice and tight. Rotate the jar several times to make sure all the coffee is well incorporated into the water then stick it in the fridge.

Step Three

After about 12-16 hours in the fridge, your coffee is ready to go. Tomorrow’s you will thank yesterdays you. Whenever my husband does something that I know he’ll regret the next day, I like to say “tomorrow’s Jimmy is not going to be happy.” It usually revolves around him eating the left overs from dinner for second dinner when he could have saved it for his lunch the next day.

You’ll need to strain your coffee. You can use a sieve, coffee filter, towel or a proper coffee dripping strainer. I recommend using another mason jar to catch the coffee in so that you can simply put a cap on it and stick it back in the fridge. Depending on how big your strainer is, this process can take some time.

Ready Set Drink

Your coffee is ready to go and you’ll likely have a few days worth to keep in the fridge which is awesome. I like to pour my cold brew coffee over ice and add a bit of cream but if made right, you probably don’t need to add anything. I’m also a big fan of drinking my cold coffee with a straw so if you have one, feel free to throw that in too! Let me know what you think of my cold brew coffee post. Thanks!