Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee with Starbucks Single Origin Coffee

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I just love discovering new types of coffee and new flavors as part of the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community! My latest package from the coffee masters at Starbucks focuses on the new Starbucks Single Origin Coffee.

What is Single Origin Coffee, you ask? Coffee beans get many of their distinguishing characteristics from the soil, climate and elevation where they are cultivated. Single-Origin coffee is exclusively sourced from a single location, and the resulting flavor is unique to that place of origin. There are three distinct flavors I had the opportunity to try. Read on for the breakdown of what makes each special to their unique region!

Rwanda Rift Valley

Rwandan farmers, committed to improving the quality of their beans, are cultivating some truly amazing coffees. This one features spicy dark chocolate notes with rich aromas. It flourishes in the nutrient-rich soil – a stunning red in color – of Rwanda’s Rift Valley. It delivers an elegant flavor to your cup and a promising future to Rwanda’s premium-coffee growers.

Timor Mount Ramelau

This coffee is cultivated near Mount Ramelau, a lush forested peak in East Timor where the weather is perfectly temperate. It features mild spice notes with a roasty-sweet finish. Nurtured in the backyards of small-holder farmers, only the ripest coffee cherries are selected, resulting in a smooth, refined cup.

Guatemala Laguna de Ayrza

This smooth, medium-bodied coffee thrives in the highlands of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, above a double caldera lake. The rich volcanic soils allow the beans to mature slowly as their delicate flavors become deeper and more complex. It is rich and balanced with lively flavor notes.

My friends at Starbucks also sent me the perfect pot to brew it in along with a cozy coffee mug for ultimate experience in tasting. I love all three of these coffees, but after experiencing the ultimate taste test I think the Rwanda Rift Valley is my fav. It’s also available in K-Cup form for all of my Kuerig users out there. Try some today!

Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community: Welcome Kit Favorite Products

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I was a devoted coffee lover and Starbucks fan long before I was invited join the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community. You might remember that I literally lived on top of a Starbucks in Florida before moving to New York. (I may not live directly above one now, but I have like 12 within walking distance. Win!) I also adore Starbucks’ at-home offerings and regularly stock my own shelves full of Starbucks. I also have a minor mermaid obsession, so I connect with all aspects of the company – down to the logo.

So naturally, I was thrilled to partner with Starbucks and join this exclusive group of bloggers! Through the program, I’ll get access to the latest Starbucks products before they hit the shelves so I can test them out and share the deets with you all!

I recently received my Welcome Kit and I’ve been having a blast tasting all of the new products and exploring the world of Starbucks Coffee. Equipped with my handy dandy Starbucks Coffee Passport, I’ve been mastering the fundamentals of how to properly brew and taste coffee.

With my new coffee knowledge and my old taste buds, I’ve put these new items to the test and I’m very pleased with the results. Read on for info on my absolute favs! I think you’ll love these delicious Starbucks goodies just as much as I do.

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Starbucks Collection Dot Drinkware

I like my coffee like I like my men – tall and hot. (Sorry, had to.)  So, I really love the design of this quirky polka-dot mug because it gives me exactly what I need. It’s a large mug that keeps your coffee nice and toasty while your hands stay cool thanks to the mug’s double wall construction. The metallic gold dots on the ceramic mug have a hand-painted feel which makes drinking out of it seem even cozier. Designed by Starbucks Creative Studio, there are also a bunch of other fun designs to choose from, all under $20.

Starbucks Core Coffee Series – Caffe Verona

This rich coffee is well-balanced with a dark cocoa texture and a roasty sweetness. It tastes delicious when prepared with a simple pour-over brewer. Caffe Verona was originally blended for a Seattle restaurant to pair with its chocolate cake. (Makes perfect sense why this one ended up being my favorite.) It also pairs well with chocolate chip cookies. And chocolate croissants. And chocolate.

Starbucks Coffee Passport

I originally thought this might just be a novelty item, but I’ve fallen in love with my Starbucks Coffee Passport. Each page is packed full of useful information about each variety of Starbucks Coffee. In addition to an abundance of coffee facts, there is room for recording your own tasting notes. I’m so excited to continue using this tool throughout my Starbucks adventure!

Stay tuned to find out what else Starbucks has in store for next month! In my next post I’ll also put my new knowledge to good use and school you on how to best prepare (and consume) your coffee. Until then, happy brewing! 😉

Stay Beautiful and Healthy this Holiday Season with Meatless Gardein

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It’s easy to gorge on food during the holidays. I’m totally guilty of this myself, and I find that it’s not just my waistline that suffers! Often times, my complexion freaks out even more than my weight when I don’t eat right. I talk a lot about skincare products you can use to treat skin conditions like breakouts, discoloration, and dry skin… but something to remember is that what you put in your body is just as important as what you apply on it.

That’s one of the reasons why I love Gardein! Gardein offers delicious meatless, vegan and vegetarian foods including burgers, meatless chicken, and more. With overwhelming statistics showing how plant-based proteins are better for your health and the environment, it is clear that Meatless is going mainstream! With Gardein, you can enjoy healthier holiday appetizers with zero guilt or adverse affects on your waist or face.

If you aren’t completely on Team Vegan, I’m not saying that you have to nix meat from your diet completely because trust me, I love me some bacon. I do believe that it’s extremely important to enjoy anything (meat and martinis included) in moderation though. Gardein is the perfect tool to help you strike that balance!

Incorporating more plant-based protein into your diet and cutting back on meat is beneficial to your health and to the environment. Plant-based foods have less fat and no cholesterol which help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity and diabetes.

A plant-based diet is also better for the environment. One of the biggest environmental impacts of a meat-eating diet is the depletion of natural resources, specifically the consumption of large amounts of water for livestock production. Cutting back on meat can also help reduce your carbon footprint as well as air and water pollution.

Doesn’t that make you want to eat less meat? You’re in luck because I just so happen to have a fun and super easy Thanksgiving appetizer idea just in time for the big day next week. This dish is called “Thanksgiving Tasting Spoons” and it’s seriously like Thanksgiving in one bite!  Create this super simple snack for your guests and they’ll all think that it was very Top Chef of you.

Thanksgiving Tasting Spoons

 Ingredients

  • Gardein Turk’y Cutlets
  • Tasting spoons
  • Your favorite cranberry sauce recipe
  • Your favorite mashed potato recipe
  • Your favorite stuffing recipe

Instructions

  1. Prepare Gardein Turk’y Cutlets according to package instructions.
  2. Cut each Turk’y Cutlet into bit size pieces.
  3. On a tasting spoon, add 2 teaspoons of mashed potatoes and 1 tablespoon of stuffing.
  4. Drizzle with gravy.
  5. Place Turk’y on spoon and top with cranberry sauce. 

Gardein is also offering other fun and tasty holiday products including Savory Stuffed Turk’y and Holiday Roast. For more information, products, and recipes, visit www.gardein.com. Happy feasting!

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[Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gardein.]

Stay Refreshed and Stylish this Summer with Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee


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Bathing suit? Check.

SPF 70? Check. (Seriously.)

Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee. Check!

I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to sacrifice style for time when you’re running around this summer! Stay refreshed and stylish with help from Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee, a blend of premium Starbucks coffee and 2 percent milk, inspired by the coffee blend and flavors used in the handcrafted Iced Coffee beverages served in Starbucks cafes.

It’s the perfect pick-me-up for those hot summer days when you’re running out the door and need to grab something in a hurry. I always keep one (or three!) in my beach tote along with my other summer beauty essentials.

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Here is my ultimate summer style on-the-go checklist:

  1. A bathing suit that makes you feel beautiful. Maybe yours is a string bikini. If so, more power to you! My power suit is a versatile black swim dress that I love to just throw on and go.
  2. Sunscreen. If you aren’t into the traditional kind, there are a ton of other lightweight serums infused with sunscreen that will absorb quickly and do the trick! Check out Supergoop. Love!
  3. A versatile hairstyling product. My fav for my beach bag? ARROJO protective thickening lotion. This multitasking spray protects hair from harmful UV rays and humidity while instantly thickening hair strands.
  4. Makeup setting spray. Urban Decay’s “Chill” is perfect for this. You can quickly spritz your makeup with it in the morning and it’ll stay on for hours – no matter how much you sweat or splash around in the water.
  5. Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee. Like I mentioned earlier, this stuff is my saving grace for staying energized on-the-go during the endless summer festivities! The Coffee + Milk variation is my favorite. You can purchase some of your own at your local grocery or drug store. It runs about $1.99 a bottle or $5.99 for a four pack. SBX_Iced_Coffee_sSrv_NEW

Bottled Starbucks Iced Coffee beverages are the perfect blend of premium Starbucks coffee and 2 percent milk. Available in four delicious offerings: Coffee + Milk, Low Calorie Coffee + Milk, Vanilla, and Caramel, Starbucks Iced Coffee ready-to-drink beverages are the perfect on-the-go refreshment to get you through the daily commute, big projects such as spring cleaning, or an exciting road trip with friends. Look for it at major grocery and convenience stores, available nationwide.

[Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company.]

Cool Off this Summer with the New Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee


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Confession: I am a total Starbucks-aholic. In fact, I live on top of a Starbucks. I can literally sit on my balcony and smell the coffee brewing in the morning… then I just pop downstairs and buy some. It’s dangerously accessible!

I also love all of the awesome products I can stock my own coffee station with like the Starbucks Keurig K-Cups, the instant Via coffee packs, and my newest fav – the Starbucks Bottled Iced Coffee!

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Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee is a blend of premium Starbucks coffee and 2 percent milk, inspired by the coffee blend and flavors used in the handcrafted Iced Coffee beverages served in Starbucks cafes (like the one I jokingly refer to as my basement). Flavors include Starbucks Iced Coffee + Milk, Starbucks Low Calorie Iced Coffee + Milk, Starbucks Vanilla Iced Coffee, and Starbucks Caramel Iced Coffee.

It’s the perfect pick-me-up for those hot summer days when you’re running out the door and need to grab something in a hurry. I’m also not far from the beach (#SouthFloridaProblems), so I love to get one to throw in my tote (next to my SPF 70).

It’s refreshing, keeps me awake when I need it, and it’s also not too bad in the calorie department either! Lightly sweetened, it’s made from simple ingredients and ranges between 50 – 120 calories per bottle.

You can purchase some Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee of your own at your local grocery or drug store. It runs about $1.99 a bottle or $5.99 for a four pack.

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Bottled Starbucks Iced Coffee beverages are the perfect blend of premium Starbucks coffee and 2 percent milk. Available in four delicious offerings: Coffee + Milk, Low Calorie Coffee + Milk, Vanilla, and Caramel, Starbucks Iced Coffee ready-to-drink beverages are the perfect on-the-go refreshment to get you through the daily commute, big projects such as spring cleaning, or an exciting road trip with friends. Look for it at major grocery and convenience stores, available nationwide.

[Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company.]