Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm not a big fan of good old table sugar. The flavor is ...boring, and not worth the calories, not to mention the headache I get from it. I don't know if it's the sugar itself, or the chemicals involved in processing and refining it, but sugar = headache within about 15 minutes.

As a result, I usually use one or another sugar substitute to sweeten my tea and coffee - either Splenda or aspartame (Nutrasweet), not Sweet-n-Low, which has a funny aftertaste. But I'm always open to trying new things, and in moderation, other sugar alternatives don't bother me.

So when my local Market Basket started carrying a xyltiol-based granular sugar substitute that looks just like sugar, doesn't degrade with heat, is all-natural, and has been shown to reduce tooth decay by up to 70% (just ask Wikipedia), I was pretty excited. Check it out - it's sold under the brand name Ideal.

There's also the old standby, honey, for tea; it adds flavor and sweetness. It's no so great for coffee, though; the flavors don't agree, in my opinion.

Instead, I've started using Agave nectar, a syrup becoming more available as it appears in Stop and Shop and other large grocery stores. Agave is the cactus originally used to make tequila, but its juice is a rich and delicious source of a soluble fiber called inulin, now used as a supplement in products like Fiber One's granola bars. The juice's fiber breaks down into sugars as it is processed into syrup for sweetening. It's pretty affordable, and adds a caramel-like flavor and enhanced body to any coffee. It's also got a gram of fiber in every spoonful!

So check out your local grocery store; you might find some sweet surprises!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm looking forward to Espresso Pods!

I have to admit, I'm lazy. Any mess I DON'T have is fine by me. The idea of getting my favorite espressos in a portion-sized, no-cleanup Pod is pretty exciting. And, once we get these Pods, not only will I not have to clean up coffee grounds anymore, but I won't have to worry about using the bag up in time, either, since the Pods are in sealed packaging.

Espresso is one of my favorite coffee types because I don't usually drink coffee black or American-style, but instead prefer iced lattes, blended drinks, espresso mochas, and so forth. I love getting the flavor of a full glass of coffee with the richness of the milk - and, as an iced coffee fan, espresso works for me because it's easier to keep the ice from diluting it.

By the way, look for new ice cream recipes soon: I got an ice cream machine and I'll be experimenting with recipes for a while. Espresso's great for ice cream for the same reason it's great for every other specialty - all that flavor in a tight package!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New item: My-Kap for Keurig K-Cup Brewers

My-Kap for K-Cup Keurig brewers
The new My-Kap is an exciting new invention that fits over the top of an existing K-Cup, enabling you to re-use the Cup several times. Each time, you can fill it with your choice of coffees, including our delicious Vietnamese coffees.

Each My-Kap comes with detailed, illustrated instructions on using, storing and cleaning it, but after using it once, you will find it delighfully intuitive and simple to use. Also included is a little tool that helps get the My-Kap back off of the K-Cup after using it.

While Keurig's own My K-Cup does not require the used K-Cup and many customers like it, we have found the My-Kap easier to use, store, and clean, and we prefer the flavor of the coffee brewed with the My-Kap.

To learn more about My-Kap, visit our store.

Coffee Hours in Medford, MA

We're happy to tell you that we will be hosting coffee hours in our Medford, MA office every weekday. Our office is at 200 Boston Avenue in the Cummings Properties office building, on the bottom floor - just go in the front door, down the stairs, and turn right.

This coffeehouse is open to everyone, and is especialy convenient for other people who work in the Cummings Properties network. Fresh-brewed cups of coffee are free, and so are the delicious homemade pastries that Pearl bakes for us. Bagged coffee is available for purchase as well.

This is a great way to try new varieties of Vietnamese coffee, and probably a big step up from whatever coffee is in the break room - and the price is right! (Yes, it's really free!)

Our hours are 8:30 to 10:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8:30 to 5:30 on Wednesday.