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Drinks Toasty

Californians Will Now Be Able To Drink Beer While Getting A Haircut

It’s a nice touch whenever a barbershop offers you some water, especially on a hot day, but it’ll be an even nicer touch when they start offering beer and wine.

Californians will soon be able to enjoy such, as the state just passed a bill that will let beauty salons and barbershops serve up to 12 ounces of beer, and 6 ounces of wine, without needing a liquor license.

Apparently, there are a few salons and shops that already offer this as a compliment to the cut, but could technically get in trouble for doing so. As of January 1, 2017, they will no longer have to worry, as lawmakers are making sure they take care of the big problems affecting Californians.

They should just open up a dance floor next, and just turn into beauty salons/night clubs.

As long as the barber isn’t tipsy, and handing out terrible fades, I’ve got no problem with this law, I guess.

h/t latimes, picthx Reach Guinto

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Drinks Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Now Trending

Which Major Coffee Chain’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the Best and Worst This Season?

As fall extends its reach further across the land, we’re going to start seeing some iconic, seasonal items again: Halloween decor, brightly colored leaves, and the return of pumpkin spice flavored everything, to name a few. Although we’re now swimming in everything from pumpkin orange juice to pumpkin cream cheese, it’s really the pumpkin spice latte that started it all.

Coffee chains everywhere now realize the power of the PSL, and have taken strides to incorporate the fall flavor into their coffee lineups. So what does that mean for you, the average coffee drinker and pumpkin spice-lover? Well, it means you have a lot of choices in regards to where you’d like to take your PSL business.

Don’t worry, we went to six of the biggest coffee chains in America and tried each of their pumpkin spice selections. We even ranked them from worst to best so you don’t have to waste your time on sub-par coffee this fall. After all, there’s a lot of pumpkin spice to enjoy and only about two appropriate months in which to do it. We better get drinking.

6. HONEYDEW 

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Photo: Honeydew Donuts

Ordered: A medium, hot pumpkin spice coffee, cream only ($2.50)

Disclaimer: This selection from Honeydew Donuts was a pumpkin spice coffee, not a pumpkin spice latte. And, no matter what you want to call it, it was truly one thing: bad. Which is why, sadly, Honeydew will be starting off the list in dead last place.

The coffee itself was poorly made; very watery, with almost no indication that it was, in fact, coffee I was drinking. There was a hint of pumpkin in the coffee, but it tasted sour, almost not like pumpkin at all.

5. MCCAFE

McCafe PSL

Photo: Food and Wine

Ordered: A medium, hot pumpkin spice latte, cream only ($2.39)

Going into pumpkin spice season, the McCafe was pretty hyped up. People were praising McDonald’s for releasing the McCafe so early and were even speculating that McDonald’s might finally pull ahead of Starbucks this year with a superior PSL.

Sorry guys, this year is not that year. As is the common complaint with McCafe lattes, the drink was way too sweet, even despite the fact that I ordered the drink with no sugar. The latte had a nice pumpkin flavor to it, and even a hint of cinnamon, but it was almost impossible to taste through what can only be a metric ton of artificial sweetener.

Honestly, I couldn’t finish the latte.

To be fair, McDonald’s lattes have an unbeatable price, especially compared to Starbucks and Coffee Bean. If you enjoy super sweet coffee, this might be the latte for you — but I will not be drinking this fifth place latte for the rest of the season, thank you very much.

4. COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF

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Photo: POPSUGAR

Ordered: A hot, medium pumpkin spice latte with skim milk only ($5)

Similarly to the McCafe was the PSL from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. But let it be known that this was still a delicious latte, one I definitely finished. However, this latte had a few drawbacks that kept it from the Top 3.

What I loved about the latte was the mix of fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. If I could have come up with a smell to perfectly capture fall, that would be it. But pumpkin? Pumpkin was not the star of this drink. The flavor was not really pleasant and left more of a sour aftertaste than anything. The more I drank, the easier the sharpness was to ignore, but those first few sips had me wondering what I had just spent $5 on.

The presentation of the latte, with honey cinnamon sprinkles on top of perfect whipped cream, was gorgeous and that spicy aroma was to die for. But if you’re in search of a true PUMPKIN drink, this may not be your go-to. For gingerbread or other fall flavorings though? This is a must-try.

3. DUNKIN’ DONUTS

dunkin-psl

Photo: Food Network

Ordered: A hot, medium pumpkin spice latte, skim milk only ($3.19)

I’m not going to lie, I’m surprised Dunkin’ didn’t score higher with me! Like Coffee Bean, Dunkin’ Donuts had a delicious latte to offer, but it was far from perfection. In fact, my biggest complaint with Coffee Bean is the same complaint I have with Dunkin’ Donuts: the sharpness of the beverage.

While the latte was amazing, it had a slight acrid taste to it. The fall spices of cinnamon and clove were obviously present, but maybe not as abundant as they were with the Coffee Bean latte. The biggest difference of all, there was a clear pumpkin taste to this latte; in fact, it may have been even a bit too overwhelming.

The latte itself was creamy and didn’t have an artificial sweetness to it. Overall, Dunkin’ may have gone a little overboard on the pumpkin, but this is a latte I will be ordering for the rest of pumpkin season.

2. PEET’S COFFEE 

peets-psl

Photo: Locale Magazine

Ordered: A hot, medium pumpkin spice latte, skim milk only ($3.60)

For me, Peet’s was a true underdog contender, but it’s clear by the excellent ranking that this coffee chain blew me away! Peet’s latte was one of the most well-blended coffee drinks, with the perfect balance of autumnal spices and pumpkin flavor. The latte also had a perfectly steamed layer of foam on top, that stayed intact throughout the entire drink.

The only reason Peet’s came in second to the number one contender (big shocker there) was because it was just a touch too sweet for my liking. If sweeter coffee is for you, though, then Peet’s should be your choice… maybe even over the number one pick below.

1. STARBUCKS

Starbucks PSL

Photo: Eater

To the surprise of no one, the inventors of the PSL and the reigning champions of this fall favorite came in first place. They’ve perfected it, what can we say. The latte had the best balance between spiciness and sweetness, by far. With the perfect fall smell and a pumpkin flavor that has no superior, this drink has a smooth, creamy finish without it being too sweet.

Only downside? When the whipped cream melted in my drink, it crossed the line and became a little too sugary. Admittedly, that was my fault for not eating the whipped cream faster.

 

What do you think of this ranking? Do you disagree with anything we’ve said? Share your PSL favorites in the comments section.

Categories
Drinks News Technology

New Driving App Gives Users Free Coffee If Phones Go Untouched

More people glance at their cell phones while driving than they’d like to admit. As quick as a simple look would take, a split-second of losing focus could mean life or death on the road.

Toyota’s concern for this dilemma was clear when they recently collaborated with a mobile phone company to release a new app in Japan that gives drivers an incentive to keep from glancing at their phones, reports RocketNews 24.

Called the Driving Barista, the app tracks how long your phone remains facedown as you drive. If a consecutive 100 kilometers (62 miles) are reached, you earn yourself a free coffee from Japanese coffee chain Komeda Coffee. You get more coffee as more miles accumulate.

Using the phone’s GPS and internal gyroscope, drivers will find it difficult to cheat themselves to a free cup of joe. Just keep your eyes on the road and you’ll get your caffeine fix.

This isn’t the first time a brand has incorporated smart technology to keep consumers from looking at their phones when they’re not supposed to.

Hopefully, the Driving Barista sees some success in Japan. We sure could use something similar in the US. Though it’s alarming to think that we need an incentive to detach ourselves from our phones.

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Alcohol Beer Drinks

Here Are The Do’s And Don’ts To Your First Great American Beer Festival

I remember the urge to run. The long line that snaked along the side of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver dragged me in the building, up a wide flight of stairs and released me into the
cavernous Great American Beer Festival®— my first. I’m not sure what I was running to. I almost expected a lifeguard to yell, “No running!”

So I did the same straight-legged, hand flat down my sides speed walk that over-stimulated children do around a pool. I hustled to the first brewery I saw. Little did I know that the first beer sampled at the country’s largest and most renowned beer festival was my symbolic cannonball into a fascination, a career and a whole new life that I have loved ever since.

That was over a decade ago.

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Today, my GABF starts well before the line begins. I’m on the other side of the stanchions — the other side of the booth. I still get just as excited. And proud. I see the same elation on other first-timers’ faces that I’m sure was stuck to mine. I think about how much the festival has grown, how much the small and independent brewery scene has grown and maybe I’ve grown, too. (Nope, still 5’10”.) I remember when dropping one’s tasting cup was license to go bat-sh*t crazy; it still is. Not necessarily from hearing that roar 20 times each session, but from seeing the joy that it brings.

(MORE: 10 Best Medal-Winning Names from 2015 GABF)

As we look to this next GABF, I figured I’d share some ideas for newcomers that I think will help make your GABF as life-changing as my first time. Everyone experiences GABF differently, but if I had a chance to do it all over again, I might consider these.

DO: Make a list

The GABF app didn’t exist for my first fest; I’m pretty sure none did, but it sure would have been helpful. In subsequent years, I’ve been able to create lists of breweries or beers that I wanted to visit. I’ve shared that list with others and they’ve appreciated the tips. Use the app to create your own list or check out the filtered lists of beers and other things going on at the GABF.

DO: Make a pretzel necklace

No accessory says “I’m here to have fun” like a pretzel necklace. Get creative, make it a statement piece. What? You’re too cool for pretzel necklaces? How are you going to cleanse that oh-so-refined palate? Matzo medallion?

It’s Friday! Bust a move & enjoy that weekend! ‪#GABF #TGIGABF

A photo posted by Brewers Association (@greatamericanbeerfestival) on

DO: Eat before. Drink water during

Savor the Flavor responsibly and don’t let the fest get the best of you. Having some food in your stomach is imperative and water is an important part of life in the Mile High City regardless if you’re enjoying beer or not.

(MORE: 5 Questions Brewers Want You to Ask During Tours)

DO: Ask questions

Nobody will ever know everything there is to know about beer — that’s part of the reason we love it — but sharing perspectives and knowledge can go a long way in understanding it better. Whether you like the beer you’re sampling or dislike it, ask about it. What’s the style history? What was the brewer’s intention? After you learn about it, maybe your initial impression will change.

DON’T: Wait in lines

This might be just my preference, but I can’t stand waiting in line. No matter what beer is being served at the front of the line, it’s not worth it. If a glass of beer is normally about eight to 10 minutes of enjoyment, then spending 15 minutes in line for a 1 ounce sample just doesn’t compute. Instead, set your sight on finding the beers that will be commanding long lines at next year’s GABF. There are plenty of them. Find them.

DO: Dump beer

I know what you’re thinking: This dude wants me to waste beer!? That’s right. Nobody is going to shame you for dumping a beer you don’t like. There are hundreds of others to choose from. You aren’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings. Dump that sucka and find one you’d like to sip on for a bit. Downing a 12% barleywine that you don’t like will only wreck your palate, fill your tummy (and bladder) and bring you closer to naptime.

After 35 years the Great American Beer Festival has become much more than just a beer festival: it’s a family reunion for many attendees and brewers alike and a source of great pride for all who have the chance to work on it. If you’ve been before, you’ve likely figured out your own tips on enjoying your time. I hope that if you’re joining us for the first time you take some of my advice. With all that the festival and its breweries have to offer, we want you to have it wash over you like it has done for us. It is not an exaggeration to say that the GABF changed my life, and I have looked forward to it every fall since.

Bonus: Don’t run. Or at least don’t run like I did.

Written by Andy Sparhawk | CraftBeer.com

Categories
Alcohol Drinks Features

9 Plans For Conquering The Great American Beer Festival

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Walking through the doors of the Great American Beer Festival can be overwhelming for a first-time attendee, or even a festival veteran. So many breweries times so many beers equals an experience where no beer fan can possibly hope to catch them all.

How can you avoid missing out on some of the most awesome beers at the festival? First, take a deep breath and realize that this is one of the most highly regarded festivals in the world. Each beer was sent to the festival with a mission and most of the time with the beer drinker in mind.

Setting a strategy before you walk in the door can help take off the pressure. We came up with nine creatively-themed tracks — think of them as missions or quests or even scavenger hunts — to add an element of mystery to your GABF experience. Most of all take it slow, drink plenty of water and remember that the festival is about the enjoyment of beer overall. As Andy Sparhawk recently reminded us: beer is supposed to be fun.

1: The Social Butterfly

social_butterfly3Are you a people person? Do you like to let fate be your guide? Then try being a Social Butterfly. This is where you ask a friend or the person pouring beer at a table which brewery you should try next. This is a great way to find out some other people’s favorite beers and break some ice.

2: The Gandalf

Wander around and try one or two beers from each of the regions in the festival hall, or one beer from each of the 50 states. Have you ever tried a beer from North Dakota? Fargo Brewing will represent the Peace Garden State. What about Alaska? Alaskan Brewing will be in attendance for the 49th State. Allagash Brewing will be the sole Maine brewery. Wander around and see what new beers you can find. After all, not all who wander are lost.

3: The Collector

the_collector_2Taneleer Tivan collects rare and wonderful objects from around the galaxy in the Marvel Comics Universe. What strange and wonderful beer ingredients can you find this year? See how many new ingredients you can try in your beers. Did Wynkoop Brewing bring their Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout? Did Firestone Walker or Adroit Theory happen to bring any beers aged in mezcal barrels? See how far you can step out of your comfort zone.

(MORE: 10 Off-Kilter IPA Ingredients)

4: The Fonzthe_fonz

Arthur Fonzarelli  knew lots of people and everyone felt like they knew him on the 1970’s sitcom Happy Days. Say “heyyy” to the CraftBeer.com interactive Beer Style guide and see if you can sample beers from categories you’ve never tried before.

5: The Indiana Jones

“Archeology is the search for fact, not truth,” Indiana Jones told his students. Just as Indy went in search of historical artifacts, brewers at GABF have produced beers fitting historical styles. Try to drink one of each of these historical beer styles: grodziskie, Lichtenhainer, gose, Berliner weiss, zwickelbier, adambier and rauchbier.

muscles_brussels6: The Muscles from Brussels

Just like Jean-Claude Van Damme took America by storm, now GABF brews up a storm of Belgian-style beers, all of them worth a try. In this track, sample beers with Belgian influence: golden ale, Belgian IPA, Belgian wit, sours and lambics. If in doubt, see if the beer’s name has the word “Belgian” in it.

7: The Luke Skywalkerdarth_vadar

A Jedi can appreciate this search for the light side of malt. Just as Luke trained with Yoda on Degobah and learned the ways of the force, this search looks for lighter-colored beers. These beers aren’t necessarily “light beers;” instead, they’re mainly beers brewed with lighter colored malts including the cream ale, kolsch, pale lager, pale ale, IPA, goses and pilsners.

8: The Darth Vader

Just as Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker, “You don’t know the power of the Dark Side,” GABF can be your ticket to exploring beers made with dark malt in some way. Hopheads in particular can stretch outside their comfort zone to find beers with dark and roasted malts including stout, porter, black IPA, milk stouts, imperial stouts and schwarzbiers.

technicolor9: The Technicolor

This is a horse of a different color. On this track, enjoy beers made with fruits, roots, woods, and barrels, or even beers of a different color like Irish reds, etc. The deeper the color the more unique the beer. How many beers are made with passion fruit? Dragon fruit? Lychee? Lingonberries? See how many strange fruits you can pick off this beer list.

MORE: A Fascination with Foraged Beer)

No matter how you choose to enjoy the Great American Beer Festival, make it memorable by enjoying in moderation, drinking plenty of water and being patient with fellow festivalgoers and staff. Remember that this event celebrates the community of beer, and we are enjoying this together. Cheers!

Written by Mark DeNote | CraftBeer.com

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Alcohol Drinks Products Technology

This Machine Makes Instant Cocktails At The Push Of A Button

It was a whole process the first time I learned how to mix a martini. Though a cathartic experience, it would definitely be easier if I could push a button and have one ready to drink in seconds.

A new invention promising to be the Keurig of cocktails seems to have solved that, says Dose.

The Somabar is essentially a robotic bartender that will make cocktails for you the way a pod coffeemaker would. The machine operates six refillable “Soma Pods”, which are similar to K-Cups. Different kinds of liqueurs, bitters, syrups, and mixers are available to play with.

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The Somabar even goes one step further than a Keurig in that it is Wi-Fi operated. This means you can create your drink from anywhere in the house with your smartphone and just come pick it up when you’re ready.

If the trend of turning any kind of beverage into a Keurig-like machine continues, we may never have to interact with a living person to quench our thirst ever again. Though, unfortunately, you will have to add garnishes and shake the drinks yourself.

Still, a bartender that won’t cut you off…

You can pre-order units for $429 at their website now.

Images: Somabar

Categories
Drinks Features Health Hit-Or-Miss

Turmeric Lattes Are Replacing PSLs, But Without All The Extra Calories

tumeric-psl-cover-ed

Pumpkin Spice Latte season is back in full swing.

It’s only a matter of time before our Instagram feeds are overtaken with an endless array of orange-tinted coffee concoctions.

While there’s no denying these things basically taste like fall in a cup, it turns out your beloved PSL might not be all that great for your waistline.

Yep, I hate to break it to you, but downing a seemingly innocent Grande PSL from Starbucks will set you back by about 380 calories per cup.

If that’s not enough to send shivers down your spine, there’s also a whopping 50 grams of sugar floating around in your beloved fall beverage. Yikes.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to swear off lattes just yet. There’s a new spiced latte on the rise that won’t turn your tummy into the shape of a pumpkin.

Behold, turmeric lattes.

That’s right, turmeric lattes — also known as “Golden Milk” — are making quite a name for themselves in the coffee shop scene, thanks to their wide range of health benefits.

In fact, according to data from Pinterest, turmeric lattes are actually becoming more popular than the almighty Pumpkin Spice Latte these days.

If you’re wondering what’s in these striking sips, it’s quite simple. They’re made with a mixture of cold-pressed turmeric juice or turmeric powder and some sort of vegan milk like almond, cashew or coconut.

Check out the pictures below for a closer look at this hot latte trend:

Move over, Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

There’s a new spiced drink taking cafes by storm.

People are ditching the artificial, sugar-packed PSLs…

…for a tasty, yellow coffee alternative.

Feast your eyes on the glorious turmeric latte.

Unlike their pumpkin predecessors, these golden sips are pretty good for your health.

In fact, these eye-catching elixirs have anti-inflamatory properties that are known to give you glowing skin…

…and can even improve your memory and overall brain function.

Plus, turmeric may even help ease the symptoms of depressionwithout all of the negative side effects of medications.

😊 #happydays #tumericlatte #smile

A photo posted by Kelly Trembath (@kellylee6) on

And these lattes are even loaded with antioxidants that can possibly help fight against cancer.

Turmeric Latte 💛 @palmvaults

A photo posted by TASNEEM ADAM (@tazzamina) on

These drinks are very versatile, as well. So whether you like your TLs piping hot…

Iced…

Golden Milk for that gentle post-summer detox, anyone? #tumericlatte #superfood 📸 @literallyallthefood

A photo posted by LACKAWANNA COFFEE (@lackawannacoffee) on

Topped off with an extra dash of cinnamon…

#Turmericlatte so pretty

A photo posted by Shel Bant (@she_ma_ba) on

Or spiced up with some tasty chai tea…

…you’ll be sure to find a turmeric latte that fits your personal taste.

Written by Kaylin Pound | Elite Daily, Cover Photo: Instagram 

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Packaged Food What's New

Dunkin’ Donuts Adds Oreo Hot Chocolate And We’re Ready To Sip

oreo-hot-chocolate-dd

As oversaturated as the market is, we still can’t get enough Oreos in our lives. Seriously, there are so many variations of the creme-filled cookie sandwich that we can hardly keep track of them.

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced a new take on the cookie for the fall season. No, it’s not an Oreo donut. Rather, the chain will be releasing an Oreo Hot Chocolate for customers to enjoy.

The hot beverage features the classic Oreo flavor of cookies and creme and will join Dunkin’ Donuts’ existing flavors of Original Hot and Dunkaccino.

We’ve learned years ago never to underestimate the power of a good cup of hot chocolate, no matter how old you are. Curious to see how noticeable the Oreo component of this new item will be, or will it taste more like the brand’s original flavor.

Now that there are a handful of Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the West Coast, we definitely want to make it a point to try a cup before they’re taken off the menu.

The Oreo Hot Chocolate is available now, nationwide, for a limited time.