Categories
Drinks Fast Food Health

Peet’s Coffee Adds Golden Cold Brew To Their 2019 Menu

It’s the start of a new year and so begins my cycle of trying to eat and drink healthier. Thankfully, chains like Peet’s Coffee are launching a few new beverages that will make this gradual transition into health consciousness a little easier.

The brand is introducing their new Golden Cold Brew Fog, a “gold” cold brew, to the 2019 line-up. Peet’s is known for offering turmeric-based gold drinks as a seasonal option, and this will be the first time the chain dabbles in cold brew coffee.

Peet’s Golden Cold Brew Fog features a Baridi Blend cold brew that’s brightened up by turmeric, with notes of honey syrup, ginger, milk, and ice. Also joining the menu will be the Golden Matcha Latte which sees matcha green tea paired with steamed milk, golden turmeric, and honey syrup.

The two new items will be joining Peet’s Golden Caffe Latte.

Turmeric, a spice made from a plant in the ginger family, is a natural anti-inflammatory compound. The ingredient is also known to boost the capacity of antioxidants in your body.

Boosting your body’s antioxidants, while staying awake on the drive to work, sounds like a fantastic start to the year.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food

Starbucks Just Launched A Protein Cold Brew That’s Entirely Plant-Based

It appears Starbucks is trying to help you with those gains, as the coffee chain just released a duo of protein-packed cold brew slushes nationwide. The two new flavors are the Almond Protein Blended Cold Brew and the Cacao Protein Cold Brew.

Starbucks’ Almond Protein Cold Brew boasts a blend of the chain’s slow-steeped cold brew along withe Almond milk, plant-based protein, almond butter, and a banana date fruit blend over ice.

The Cacao Protein Blended Cold Brew features cacao powder, cold brew coffee, coconut milk, plant-based protein, and a banana date fruit blend over ice.

Each beverage has about 10-12 grams of pea and brown rice protein.

Photo Courtesy of Starbucks

I grabbed a couple from the Starbucks next door for my fellow coworkers to sip on.

“I think it’s a tastier, pricier alternative to post-workout protein mixes, which can be incredibly bitter and often taste very much like the flavoring agents they use,” said Constatine Spyrou. “This tastes clean, natural, and less bitter.”

He also added that he’d be happy swapping out protein powders at the gym for one of these post-workout, he’d just rather the beverage had double the amount of protein offered.

“It tasted like a reduced sugar banana shake,” said Ricky Zollinger, video producer and all around buff guy. “If I were to drink it, I would probably do it before a workout. Banana is a good source of energy and would also wake me up.”

Those who aren’t familiar with the taste of protein shakes may be surprised by the initial bitterness behind the beverage. Myself, the taste of the almond flavor definitely took me by surprise, but quickly grew on me the more I tried it.

Starbucks says the drinks will only be available for a limited time while supplies last. This will probably one of the final menu additions before the return of Pumpkin Spice items.

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#foodbeast Adventures Brand Drinks FOODBEAST Grocery Hacks Products Recipes SPONSORED Sweets

These Cold Brew Packs Give You Jugs Of Quality, Affordable Coffee In Just 24 Hours

Cold brew has quickly become one of the smoothest and most flavorsome ways to enjoy an iced coffee. However, home cold brew kits tend to be on the expensive side, and coffee shops charge quite a bit more if you want some.

Up until now, cold brew fanatics have had to spend a little more out of pocket to get their morning caffeine fix. That doesn’t have to be the case, though, with the inexpensive way one company is approaching homemade cold brew.

Southern California-based coffee brand Don Francisco’s has developed a cold brew “pouch” that makes it both simple and less costly to make your own at home. A 4-pouch pack can make up to 96 ounces of coffee (or 12 cups) in total, and costs just under 9 dollars. The product is certified organic and uses 100% Arabica beans, too.

Don Francisco’s product works by creating a concentrate of cold brew that you then dilute with ingredients of your choice. The preferred way to start off is by dropping 2 packs into 4 cups of water and letting that steep for 24 hours. You then add 3 cups of filtered water and voila! you have delicious cold brew!

Making cold brew at home means you can get pretty creative with what goes inside the beverage. Infusions with mint, adding a dairy (or plant-based milk) of your choice, or even turning it into items like popsicles and affogatos are all possibilities.

The cold brew pouches themselves aren’t a new technology, but Don Francisco’s are one of the most affordable ones on shelves. At Sprouts, a California-based natural grocery store chain, Foodbeast’s own Elie Ayrouth found similar products from other coffee companies, but at nearly double the price of Don Francisco’s 8-dollar price tag.

That doesn’t mean they’re skimping on taste, though, as the custom blend of medium-dark roast grounds inside are 100% Arabica, meaning you’re getting the most flavor possible out of a coffee bean thanks to both their quality and the 24-hour chilled steeping process.

You’re also getting convenience, simplicity, and affordability from the cold brew pouches, meaning that you can get some quality iced coffee pretty easily without breaking out the big bucks at a coffee shop every morning.

What cold brew concoction would you make?


Created in partnership with Don Francisco’s

Categories
Drinks Fast Food What's New

People Are Saying McDonald’s New ‘Cold Brew’ Tastes Better Than Starbucks, Here Are Our Thoughts

McDonald’s McCafe menu has always been on the tails of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts since its conception. In the fast food chain’s latest bid to take the “Best Fast Food Coffee” title, McDonald’s has begun offering their take on a popular caffeinated drink: cold brew.

The Golden Arches has revealed a new line of cold brew-inspired drinks like the Cold Brew Frozen Coffee and the Cold Brew Frappe.

Now, the recipe behind a cold brew is pretty simple: just steep some coarse-ground coffee beans in cold water for 12-plus hours. The new drinks, however, have a tad more inside than that.

According to McDonald’s, a Cold Brew Frozen Coffee clocks in at about 290 calories and contains the following ingredients:

Ice, Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Cold Brew Coffee Extract (Water + Cold Brew Coffee), Water, Caramel Color, Dipotassium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Tripotassium Citrate, Disodium Phosphate, and Carrageenan.

Hanging around with resident food scientist Constantine Spyrou over the years, I’ve picked up a layman’s understanding for some of these ingredients. My best guess is that all these additional components are to make the “Cold Brew” supply last in the restaurant, unlike coffee chains who typically run out a little after noon.

Constantine gives me a nod of approval from across the newsroom. 

Despite the bevy of additional ingredients, including cream and sugar, McDonald’s patrons seem to have taken to the new beverages, probably comparing it to Starbucks’ regular Frappuccinos rather than a traditional cold brew.

I picked one up and brought it back to HQ to share with my colleagues. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Constantine:

I think it’s personally a bit too bitter for me, especially with the amount of milk, cream, and sugar in there. It definitely drinks to its price point though.

Isai:

It doesn’t really taste like anything that Starbucks has. It has more of a mocha/ice cream flavor than anything. 

Only time will tell if the Cold Brew drinks will have a permanent place in the year-long menu. Until then, curious coffee heads will want to try one of these frozen brews out as they’ll only be available for a limited time.

Categories
Culture Fast Food Features Hit-Or-Miss

Starbucks Now Has Sippy Cups, And You Might Never Need A Plastic Straw Again

I don’t often order Nitro Cold Brews from Starbucks, and regulars are probably now used to this sippy cup lid that was introduced back in 2017, but it tripped me the hell out.

Instead of the standard lid that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Starbucks cold drinks, the Nitro Cold Brews come with a lid that has a hole on the top edge, similar to a wide-mouth can of Mountain Dew.

I asked the barista what was up with the sippy cup, and she explained to me that it is primarily for customers to enjoy the foam that tops their Nitro drinks, such as the new Cold Foam Cascara Nitro I had ordered that day.

Then she hit me with a curveball, saying I can actually ask for the sippy cup on any of my cold drinks, and to not be surprised to see it be the new norm, as restaurant industries are always looking for ways to phase out plastic straws.

The usage of plastic drinking straws seem to be a big deal at the moment, and I learned this firsthand after posting an Instagram photo of a split cup boba adorned with not one, but two straws in it. Six of my friends promptly scolded me for the unnecessary straw usage, and reminded me that I was destroying the earth.

Probably the biggest sign that restaurants are leaning toward phasing out plastic straws, is the fact that ALL McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing its plastic straws with paper ones.

Yup, the Golden Arches made a huge statement, affecting over 1,300 stores in the European nation. That means the new norm for anyone living in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, will be paper straws.

A post shared by I  NY (@cindinny) on

Hell, just this morning, Alaska Airlines announced it will be eliminating its plastic stirring sticks and drinking straws, replacing them with compostable versions.

It’s obviously not something we think of when we’re sipping on our cup of Coke, but in the U.S., we use about 500 million straws a day.

The next thing that comes to mind after hearing that stat, is the middle school recycling slide show, with the poor seagull getting its head stuck in an old school six-pack holder, or the turtle with the straw stuck in its bloodied nostril.

These sippy cup lids will be an interesting case study for Starbucks, though, as they add the value of a specific mouth-feel, similar to the one you get when sipping on your hot drink, beyond the positive environmental impact they’re trying to make.

Hell, I now ask for the sippy cup on my non-Nitro, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. It makes me feel fancy AF, and now I don’t have to worry about friends yelling at me about straws.

Whether we like it or not, it looks like a change is coming. We might as well get used to losing our plastic straws, just like we had to get used to losing our plastic grocery bags. If it means one less cute ass sea otter chokes on my waste, it’s worth it.

Categories
Culture Drinks Humor

10 Tips From a Former Barista That Will Ensure The Best Coffee Experience Ever

Listen, I get that the empire that is Starbucks has been crumbling in the past few weeks. With closures due to public outrage, the coffee conglomerate has seen better days.

However, it doesn’t mean that one bad egg ruins the bunch. The bunch is human, the bunch gets that what happened is abhorred, the bunch still has to go into work the next day and deal with the hundreds of people yelling and screaming at their faces for something so insignificant like coffee being too bitter.

So show the bunch some humanity.

I’m not asking for sympathy, just decency towards the people that have been up since 4 A.M. trying to give you a little pep in your step.

I’ve been a barista for five years, give or take. I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see when it comes to inept customers not getting the simple and relatively easy to understand ins and outs about coffee.

I see how this complaint could be petty, but petty turns to torture when it’s hammered into my head every day. The fact that I have nightmares of my face melting off from someone angrily throwing coffee at my face, telling me it tastes “like dirt,” is a problem.

Instead of getting angry for not getting what you want like a child, there are steps you can take to  keep your latte from being spat into, and make your experience a little more pleasant at your local coffee shop

If You’re in Line, Decide

Figure out what you want before you get to the register. I can’t tell you how many times someone will mess around on their phone until they get to the register and still not know what they want. I’m not your mom, I’m your barista, I will help you if you know what you want. If not, at least lead with that.

Caffeine ≠ Coffee

Too many times people will walk in and say they want coffee, but aren’t down to drink a 16 oz cup of dark roast, or squeal when their cup is full of espresso. If you want coffee, say coffee; if you want caffeine, that’s a different story.  There’s so much more for you if you want caffeine. You can have espresso, iced coffee, cold brew, tea, or a mix.

There’s More Than One Type

Not all beans are equal. Certain coffee beans produce a different flavor profile and complexity. Even Starbucks, with their unicorn bs, still has three different types of coffee brewing in the morning. Ask the difference and taste it too, you’ll have a better morning if you have the coffee you like best.

Hot is Different From Burnt

Extra hot milk is just burned milk. Anything over 200 degrees is just burned. If you’re trying to save it for later just get a stopper to keep the heat from escaping, or get it later, I doubt there isn’t a starbucks around wherever you are.

Ethnocentricism is no Excuse

Cold brew has been around for a long time. Just because Starbucks recently began doling out the new drink doesn’t mean they created it. According to historical records, cold brew finds its origins in Japan, specifically in Kyoto. It used to be referred to as Kyoto-style coffee, and only recently has been proliferate amongst US markets. See, pretty interesting huh? Ask a barista, and if they’ve got an ounce of intelligence and care, they’ll gladly tell you any further information or tidbits.

Don’t Play Yourself

Milk/cream and sugar are not needed. Sometimes the reason your coffee tastes so bad is because it’s just not the right type. Not all black coffee is a bitter charcoal pit. This isn’t a one size fits all type of situation. Just like there are different flavors of tea, there are different roasts with varying characteristics. Experiment a little, baristas are there to help you with that. Don’t just say it’s gross and expect us to read your mind, tell us what flavors you’re into.

This is Not That

If you order a Caramel Frappuccino with extra caramel because you want “coffee,” I will slap you. In my mind, at least.

There Are Actual Sizes

“Regular” is not and has never been a size. I assume you mean medium, which is mostly correct, but for those special folks that think I’m being dumb when I ask what exactly they mean, regular is not real.

Seek Within

If you really don’t know what you want, just ask yourself these three questions: 1. Do I want something hot or cold? 2. Do I want caffeine? 3. Do I want sugar? If you just tell your barista these three things and give them free reign to do whatever, they’ll have a blast and you’ll probably find a new favorite drink.

Enjoy

Overall, enjoy the experience that the barista is trying to impart. We genuinely care about the coffee, it’s what’s keeping us from throwing a bagel in your face at 5 in the morning. So take a minute, soak in the environment and know this isn’t a vending machine, it’s a cafe and we have real beans with real hot water and real people, not a robot.

Categories
Drinks Fast Food Restaurants

Look Out, Dunkin’ Donuts Nitro Coffee is Coming

Last year, coffee shops everywhere were jumping on board the newest industry trend: the nitro brew. It was (and still is) one of the most popular ways to enjoy your java, offering a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that reminds us more of drinking beer than coffee.

Starbucks joined the nitro phenomenon in May of 2016, and now we’re finally seeing the company’s biggest competitor preparing to throw its hat in the ring as well.

That’s right, Dunkin’ Donuts may be introducing its own nitro brew.

For anyone who doesn’t know, nitro brew is cold brew coffee that’s been infused with nitrogen, which is what gives it that irresistibly smooth finish without taking away from the strong coffee taste. And the Dunkin’s attempt at nitro promises just that; “a bold yet creamy and cascading coffee beverage”, that will be poured via tap.

Now, like many DD fans, you might be wondering why it’s taken the coffee giant so long to catch up to this major trend. The reason isn’t that the company was out of the loop when it came to nitro brew, but rather that Dunkin’ was trying to make this new product as accessible as possible.

“We have an internal group of coffee experts, as well as team members from marketing, operations and supply chain working together on our Nitro Cold Brew to make sure it’s right for our customers and our position as the #1 retailer of Iced Coffee in the U.S.,” said Chris Fuqua, Senior Vice President of Dunkin’ Donuts Brand Marketing. “Whenever we launch a new product, we focus carefully on getting the right product to our guests at the right time.”

Currently, Dunkin’ Donuts is testing their newest beverage at five locations in Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts. If the product tests positively, the company hopes to have nitro coffee on their nationwide menu — however, there is no standing plan or date for this launch.

“Our marketing, culinary, operations and supply chain teams are working together with franchisees in Boston and Rhode Island to test Dunkin’ Nitro Cold Brew,” Fuqua added. “This will help us gather feedback, evaluate our ability to execute operationally, and determine if and when it fits within our long range plans.”

Fingers crossed, everybody.

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Alcohol Drinks What's New

Wake Up, Turn Up: New Alcoholic Cold Brew Is Coming In May

It seems like alcohol and coffee collaborations are quickly becoming the hot new trend this year. We reported a few months ago that Jack Daniels whiskey-flavored coffee was available for folks to buy and brew at home. More recently, wine-infused coffee was also making a debut in Napa, CA, this year.

Now, we’re getting the first-ever alcoholic cold brew.

Bad Larry’s Cold Hard Coffee is set to hit stores in the midwest United States this May. The alcoholic cold brew coffee in a can will boast 6% ABV (Alcohol by Volume) as well as 180mg of caffeine. The beverage is said to be the first-ever amalgam of cold brew coffee and alcohol that can be purchased at grocery retailers.

The coffee was sourced from local coffee brewer Blackeye Roasting Co. and was steeped for more than 16 hours and infused with nitrogen before undergoing the canning process.

You can find the beverage at participating beverage retailers in the midwest United States beginning this May.