Monday, June 30, 2014

Fair Trade Coffee 101

What is Fair Trade Coffee? We see it listed everywhere; stores are boasting that they offer Fair Trade Coffee and make it seem super awesome. So what is it? Fair Trade is a program, entirely voluntary, that is used by coffee importers and food companies that want to create a side market for producers, often disadvantaged, small-scale farmers, in developing countries.

There are several components to being Fair Trade:

  • Purchasing of targeted coffee via organized farmer co-ops that are ensured to be democratic. 
  • Commodity floor prices that are always agreed upon and ensured to be able to provide a dignified living for the farmers. 
  • All exports by producers are direct. 
  • Importers have to promise to make affordable credit available to the farmer co-ops. 
  • A global structure of non-profit certifying association. 
  • A fee that is paid by the importers and wholesalers to cover the cost of any certification. 
  • A seal that assures consumers that the project was traded with all fairness. 
When you purchase Fair Trade Coffee, you can rest easy knowing that you are helping coffee farmers develop pride, independence, and community empowerment; they can provide a real living for themselves and their families. 

Purchase your Fair Trade Coffee from Coffeevines and spread the love! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Coffee Cake Recipe: Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Do you enjoy having a delicious pastry to go with your morning single cup coffee? Well, if you do, then we have the absolutely perfect coffee cake to pair with your morning coffee. It's a sour cream coffee cake and it. is. divine. 

All the recipes we share are ones that feature ingredients that are easy to find in stores, if you don't already have them in your cupboard. For this sour cream coffee cake recipe, you will need:

  • 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts- if you are allergic to nuts, then just omit this ingredient. Not a big deal. 
  • 3 tablespoons of cold, sliced butter- unsalted? Sure. 
  • Quarter teaspoon of salt- kosher? Go for it. Sea salt? Go for it. Regular? You betchya. 
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • Half cup of all-purpose flour. 
  • Quarter cup of brown sugar
  • Half teaspoon of salt - not a typo. You'll need this.
  • Half teaspoon of baking soda.
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 and a half cups of cake flour
  • 1 and a quarter cup of sour cream
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs at room temp
  • 1 and a half cups of sugar - granulated
  • 12 tablespoons of butter- you'll need this plus the other butter
And for the glaze: 
  • Half cup of sugar- confectioners
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Now, let's to baking so you can enjoy this with your K-cup coffee

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. While that's heating up, use non-stick spray and some flour on a tube baking pan (10 inches).
  2. Mix the butter and the sugar in a bowl either with an electric mixer or manually. With a mixer, use a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes. Do this until the mix is lighter in color and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the vanilla extract and the sour cream. In that order. 
  3. Grab a mixing bowl, sift the baking powder, flour, salt, and baking soda into it. Put the mixer on a slow setting, then mix in the powder mixture and mix until it's all mixed in. Now, you can mix it some more manually for a bit. 
For the streusel: 
  1. Grab the brown sugar, flour, salt, butter, and cinnamon and mix in a bowl. Use your fingers to form crumbles. If you are using nuts, mix them in here. 
Back to the cake:
  1. Grab 50 percent of the batter and spread in the tube pan. Toss about 3/4 cup of the streusel into the this. Mix the rest of the batter into the pan and spread it, then place the rest of the streusel on the top of it. Bake it for an hour; monitor until it looks done and the toothpick test comes out clean. 
Now, let the cake cool, this will be about half an hour. Move the cake (make sure the streusel side is on top) onto a plate. Mix the confectioners sugar and the syrup with a whisk. Make it like a glaze. Spread on top of the cake. 

Now slice and enjoy with your coffee. Spread the happiness and love! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pancake Recipe Perfect for Pairing with Coffee

On a nice weekend morning, nothing is better than having a delicious plate of pancakes and a hot cup of single cup coffee. We found an incredible recipe for apple-bacon pancakes with cider syrup. Oh my, they will even make pancake lovers out of someone who once despised pancakes. If you like apples, pancakes, and bacon, you will absolutely love these. These pancakes have a nice sweet, yet slightly smoky taste to them.

The ingredients in this recipe are very easy to find in a store, if you don't have them in your kitchen cupboards already.

  • Half cup of apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar, and make sure it's divided 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • half cup of whole-wheat pastry flour. Yeah, has to be whole wheat. 
  • Quarter cup of all-purpose flour. None of that flour that isn't cool enough to do more than one job! 
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. That's not a typo. 
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • Half cup of nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 cup of apple, peel it and dice it (about 1 medium sized apple)
  • 4 slices of bacon, fried and cut
  • 1 teaspoon of canola oil, and make sure it's divided
Now that you have ingredients good to go, let's get to frying up some pancakes to pair with your medium roast K-cup coffee! Or, if you like K-cup tea, that works too! Delicious. 

  1. Mix the cider, brown sugar (just 2 tablespoons), lemon juice, and the cornstarch into a small saucepan. Bring your mix to a medium heat until boil. Whisk it and cook it until it thickens; this should take about a minute or two. 
  2. Whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and the last bit of brown sugar (there should be 1 tablespoon left) in a small mixing bowl. Mix in the egg, egg white, and the buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Then, mix in the dry ingredients, bacon, and the apple chunks until it is all combined. Yeah, it will be thick batter indeed! 
  3. Grab a skillet (large) and with a half teaspoon of oil and put on medium heat. Use a quarter cup of batter and cook four at a time. They should be about 3 inches in diameter per pancake. 
  4. Cook until the edges are dry and you see bubbles start to form in the middle (this will take about two minutes). Flip. Cook a couple more minutes or until they are golden brown. 
  5. Serve pancakes, pour on apple cider syrup. Sip a dark roast single cup coffee, read your favorite section of the paper. Repeat. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Southern Sweet Tea from K-Cups

Hopefully you have enjoyed the K-Cup coffee recipes and our K-Cup tea recipes because we love sharing them with you! Recently, we shared a post about K-cup iced tea and people seemed to love it, so, how about a recipe to make southern sweet tea? Indeed, it does sound awesome.

As you know, we love to share recipes that do not require a lot of work, crazy ingredients, and that require you to run out to the store; all the recipes we share have ingredients that you should already have in your home (unless you ran out and are due for a grocery trip anyhow). Well, this recipe falls right in line with the others on that regard.

True southern sweet tea is made by using some black tea, putting it into a big jug of water, then placing it out in the sun to do its thing. This way is just as tasty and refreshing with a fraction of the waiting time. It doesn't require waiting hours and hours and no powdered teas, just a simple K-cup

The ingredients you will need for this recipe are:

  • 1 black tea K-cup (I like the Celestial English Breakfast)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or artificial sweetener (whatever you enjoy more or must use)
  • 1 slice of lemon (you can do a very small wedge but a slice works better)
  • a tall glass
  • Measuring cup
Now that you have your ingredients ready to go, let's get started. 
  1. Take your tall glass and fill it up with ice. Do it to the brim but you can hold a few cubes back if you'd prefer. 
  2. Place the sugar into the measuring cup. Do not put it into the tall glass. 
  3. Brew your K-cup into the measuring cup, not the glass with ice. 
  4. Mix the sugar and tea together until all the sugar is mixed in. 
  5. Pour the tea from the measuring cup into the glass with ice. 
  6. The ice will melt in the glass so you'll likely want to add more. 
  7. Place the slice of lemon on the rim of the glass, or in the glass on top, or whatever you want, it's your iced tea. 
  8. Drink up! 
A convenient and easy place to buy K-cups is right here at Coffeevines :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

K-Cup Recipe: Perfect Iced Tea for Summer

It's hot outside, for many of us, it is humid as well and that makes it so much worse. How can we stay cool in these days of summer? Sure, you could turn on the air conditioning but what about when you have to go outside or you would rather have the windows open? One of the best things is to cool down with a nice iced beverage.

So to help you out, we researched a fantastically simple yet delicious recipe for an iced tea that is made from K-cup iced tea. As usual, the ingredients in this recipe are easy and are likely things you already have around your kitchen; if you do have to run to the store, they are easy to get and cheap. It's not like you'll have to order off the internet and shipped from Bangladesh.

Here are the ingredients and tools you will need for this recipe:

  • A nice tall 12 ounce glass
  • Ice ( of course, but had to say it)
  • Citrus of some kind (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit. Lemon or lime will work best, though)
  • Sugar or artificial sweetener (if you like it a little sweet)
  • Mint leaves (optional but adds a nice taste and look)
  • Iced tea K-cup (does not matter what brand or what kind of tea, just use whatever kind is your favorite.)
Now that you have your ingredients and tools ready to go, here is how you make your delicious beverage. 
  1. Fill your 12 ounce glass with ice. Put in as much ice as you would like, whether a lot or a little. 
  2. Place your glass at your single cup brewer. Brew your K-cup into that 12 ounce glass. 
  3. Take whatever kind of citrus fruit you are using and cut it into wedges (like we said, you can use lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit). Squeeze one wedge into the iced tea then place the rest into the glass for a nice look (put in as many as you'd like). 
  4. Place the mint into the glass (if you are using any mint). 
  5. Enjoy while soaking up some rays. 
Looking for an easy place to buy K-cups? Then shop Coffeevines