September 1st officially marks the beginning of pumpkin season. Pies, lattes, and rolls -- oh my! I am a pumpkin eating olympiad, and this year I plan to beat my personal pumpkin consumption record by a landslide. To do that I am going to need a little help from my friends in the blogosphere. Every fall I am shocked by the new, creative and most importantly -- delicious pumpkin recipes, especially when it comes to coffee concoctions. I have compiled my favorites for ease of access and your viewing pleasure. The twist? All of these pumpkin spice coffees can be made with a Keurig® brewer!
Boba translates to “big pearls” in Taiwanese and is often referred to as bubble tea. The “pearls” are tapioca that is boiled, soaked in something sweet such a sugar or honey and placed in a fruity green or black tea beverage. Yep, I thought it was odd at first too.
Then I tried it and fell in love!
Tapioca pearls are little bundles of goodness that I can only describe as a gummy bear in the shape of a tiny ball - smaller than a marble but, bigger than a BB. The texture is pleasing and rather than pop; they are slightly chewy. I am willing to bet that a Boba tea shop has opened in your neighborhood or will be soon. Although it seems to be a recent phenomenon, it has been around for years, originating in Asia nearly thirty years ago.
My teenage daughter introduced me to the Starbucks® pink drink. She is a "secret menu" aficionado, and I reap the benefits of her knowledge. Sometimes her revelations are a bomb (unicorn frappuccino) but, in the case of the pink drink - she hit a home run. This baby combines Starbucks® acai refresher with coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberries. The result is a light and refreshing, strawberries and cream treat.
Several of Starbucks® famous coffee roasts are available in the Keurig® K-Cup® pod format including French Roast, Pike Place, Breakfast Blend, Veranda, Cafe Verona, and Caramel. For my fellow Starbucks junkies, this has been a dream come true as we can now feed our habit right in our own home- any time of day. No more searching for a 24 hour Starbucks® or wishing they delivered! The only thing missing in the pod format is an espresso. Keurig® brewers are not capable of brewing a true espresso but, using the lowest water setting of the machine is close enough for me.
Some like their coffee tall, dark, and rich (just like their men as the joke goes). Tall and rich I agree with but, I am all about the blondes, blonde latte that is. Starbucks® has introduced a new take on their entire line of espresso-based drinks, blonde roast. I have been drinking Starbucks® Veranda K-Cup® coffee pods, and although not an espresso, I have been pleased to discover, it is a blonde roast!
Blonde roast means that it is a medium and mellow blend as Starbucks® describes it. Veranda fills both requirements and is even labelled as such on the box. Espresso, however, is a method of brewing that a Keurig® is not capable of doing. A higher pressure espresso brewer is required to extract all of the delicious oils and nuances of a coffee bean in the concentrated format of espresso. But, if you prepare K-Cup® pods using the lowest water setting of your coffee machine it will be darn close to an authentic espresso. Using the "strong" setting on Keurig® 2.0 helps too!
My Keurig® brewer has been cranking out my copycat version of Starbucks® Blonde Roast Caffe Latte since the day I walked by their banner reading "Blondes have more fun!"
My first experience with coffee was at a college as a barista. In between each class, I would serve a mad rush of exhausted scholars. My customers were mainly returning students who were balancing a family, career, and pursuing a college degree. To describe them as exhausted is an understatement. Many would arrive at 6:00 pm for evening classes after a full day of work and a stop at home to feed their children. These people needed caffeine and lots of it. For this reason alone, the witches brew joined our coffee menu.