Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Debut New Coconut & Almond Milk Creamers at Tasting Table Event

This past week I was invited to join Coffee-Mate & Natural Bliss at Tasting Table in Soho to get a closer look at their new plant-based creamers in action. If you don’t know, Tasting Table is basically a test kitchen and dining room – it’s where all the cool culinary action takes place, from video shoots to invite-only dinner parties. I’ve heard so much about it, that I was so glad that it lived my expectations. It is such a dreamy space and their team is amazing.

Tasting Table CocktailTasting Table NYC

Tasting Table & Natural Bliss put together a ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ menu that blew my socks off. There was a fun Acai Berry Bowl station, where Coffee-Mate’s Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer was put to the test. I’d never actually had an acai bowl before and if they’re anything like the one I had at Tasting Table, then I can see why they’re so popular.

Acai bowl station at Tasting Table

We also had Citrus and Beet Salad, Mushroom and Soba Salad, Vanilla Almond Chia Pudding with Fresh Fruit, and my all-time favorite item of the evening – Almond French Toast.

French ToastChia Cups

Because I was in a breakfast sort of mood, coffee was a must. Made with no GMO ingredients, natural bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk plant-based, non-dairy, creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy. My pick? Caramel Almond Milk Creamer. I’m a sucker for caramel anything, so this with my standard coffee is pure gold. There’s also Hazelnut Almond Milk Creamer, Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk Creamer (which made my acai bowl extra special).

Natural Bliss Almond Milk CreamerCoffee Mate Creamer

Avacado toasts, Carrot Apple Kombu Shooters, and Chickpea Panisse rounded out my evening of fun. And I can’t forget the Caramel Tres Leches Cake as dessert, which was perfectly done.

Tasting Table Avocado ToastAvocado Toast

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk Creamers are now available at retailers nationwide – with the Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer being sold exclusively at Target stores. For recipes and more information on the new natural bliss products, click here.

How Target & Archer Farms Are Changing the Way We Drink Coffee

I am a dedicated coffee drinker. Dedicated. I like mine iced, blended into a slushie beverage, or simply drip brewed and served hot. But like everyone else, I am also interested in not only the flavor of my bean, but also who and how it is being sourced. And if you’re a K-Cup user, you’ve also probably been a little concerned with what happens to that K-Cup after you’ve used it too. Target, as usual, is on the ball and has heard customer concerns. This month Target is rolling out an expanded line of Archer Farms coffee featuring a few farm-to-cup improvements.

Archer Farms Coffee Bean Bar

I was invited to spend a morning with Target and Archer Farms highlighting these new improvements. I not only got to sip from Target’s new coffee additions, I also got to see how Target is looking out for the environment, the coffee producer, and the consumer. Oh, and I was able to see my face recreated in a cup of coffee (check in out on instagram!). Basically, my ideal kind of morning.

Target Archer Farms Coffee EventCold Brew Coffee Concentrate from Target

During the event I was able to speak to Emily Olsen, Senior Food Product Development Engineer for Target. Emily spoke to me about the entire process behind the bean, and invited me to see if I could taste the differences between four of Target’s newest coffee’s. Emily, whose job involves tasting loads of coffee (talk about dream job) and finding out what customers like us want, pointed out the fruity and acidic qualities of the coffees depending on the region that they come from, as well as the manner of their processing. It was so cool speaking to her, unfortunately I haven’t yet developed a coffee testers discerning tongue – they all tasted amazing to me, haha!

Farm to Cup at Target

Target was the first mass retailer to offer fair trade coffee. But they haven’t stopped there, they now offer 32 fair or direct trade options. Because of this commitment to fair & direct trade, they’ve also improved on quality and now will be offering 12 coffees with all-natural flavoring – and yes they’ll be ground, bagged, and available in single-serve pods for you K-cup folks!

Target Archer Farms New Coffee

Speaking of single-serve pods, I was thrilled to hear about Target’s environmental efforts. Before I broke my K-cup machine (a sad tale, really), I was constantly concerned with the amount of waste that I was creating. Target is now using Real Cup Technology, which relies on BPA-free translucent packaging. A Target rep spoke about the amount of waste created by traditional single-serve pods, and highlighted the extreme differences in waste produced with their new pod design, and it is significantly reduced. Basically, the new cups not only can be recycled, the filter and grounds are made easily separated (which you couldn’t do with traditional single-serve pods), so the grounds can also be composted. It’s so great to see Target roll out this massive initiative, with so many single-serve cups used daily, the damage – or in this case the amount of prevention can comparatively have a massive positive impact.

Target_Eco Cup Decal_36 x 50_7.18.16_Screen Shot

But there’s more – all of Target’s single-serve pods benefit Waterwise, a clean water non-profit committed to cleaning the water supply in Ethiopia through creating sustainable and innovative wet mills. In addition to all this good, Target has also redesigned their bags and boxes to feature more than 50 new pieces of art that represent where that coffee was grown or the type of coffee in that package. I’ve seen many of them and they look great – you definitely won’t be hiding these bags in the back of your cabinet!

Archer Farms Coffee Redesign

I’m so excited about this new development and can’t wait to get brewing! These new changes roll out in stores on August 7th!

No More Dairy Envy with Lactaid & Birch Coffee

I was kindly asked to attend this event by Lactaid, while I couldn’t attend, The NYC Talon writer Kayla did – here’s her recap:

As an uptown girl, I rarely make appearances in the outer boroughs of NYC, even those as close as Long Island City. However, when I heard that Lactaid had teamed up with Birch Coffee for a special event, I couldn’t resist going.

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYC

Birch is one of the many entrepreneurial businesses that makes this city sparkle with ingenuity and adventure. Paul Schlader, one of the Birch’s founders, enthralled us with tales of his travels to places like Costa Rica, Honduras, and South Africa, in his insatiable desire to bring the world’s best coffee back to us, here in NYC. As he recapped his experiences with coffee farmers, workers, and their families, I could really tell how invested he and his business partner, Jeremy Lyman, are to making Birch as honest and committed to its coffee providers as it is to its coffee drinkers.

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYC

As a “mild” coffee addict with more than a touch of lactose intolerance, Lactaid has been my go-to product. I can experience every drop of caffeine goodness without losing the flavor and consistency that only a dairy product can produce in coffee. I love that they’ve partnered with a local coffee business for their No More Dairy Envy campaign to show that yes, you can enjoy amazing (and favorite) treats like coffee, cappuccinos, and other treats without any discomfort!

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYC

Walking through the roasting and quality-testing areas, with Paul as our guide, allowed us to experience what it takes to turn coffee from a bean into a delicious cup of joe. The step by step process of roasting, grinding, sniffing, dripping, smelling, sipping (and repeat!) could only be done by a person as passionate about coffee as Monet was about painting.

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYCUnderstanding Aroma Perception in Coffee

As far a coffee goes, I generally don’t get excited about seasonal flavors, but the Pumpkin Spice Latte I had at Birch knocked my socks off. The Lactaid foamed up and made a delicious and creamy cup of coffee that disappeared WAY too quickly for my liking. That’s one flavor combination I will be chasing through coffee breaks for the rest of the season.

Thanks so much for having us Lactaid & Paul and the Birch Coffee team! To find out more about Lactaid follow them on facebook, twitter, or visit them here!

Join Me at the #CoffeeJourneys Twitter Party!

CoffeeJourneys-Disclosure-1024x130CoffeeJourneys-Twitter-Party-4-29

For me, coffee has always been about so much more than simply a way to wake up.  From that first smell, it’s an experience the seeps into my body and wraps its aroma around me.  Discovering the perfect cup is like finding a long lost friend and all I want to do is enjoy every single second and imprint it on my memory.  So each morning, evening and even afternoon when I’m ready to relax, recharge and simply be, I reach for a cup of Millstone Coffee brewed in a Mr. Coffee Brewer.  Because from my moments alone to coffee dates with friends, I know that I can trust the quality of Millstone Coffee and Mr. Coffee to produce a quality brew that memories can be built around.

If you’re ready to discover amazing coffee brewed from the comfort of your home in the best coffee maker from Walmart, I invite you to join me at the #CoffeeJourneys Twitter Party.  We’ll be sharing special memories that have been made complete by the perfect cup of coffee as well as giving you tips on how to enhance everyday moments by adding Millstone Coffee to the mix!  So come ready to share your #CoffeeJourneys and join us for a virtual coffee date you won’t soon forget!

Join me at the #CoffeeJourneys Twitter Party

on SoFabChats!

DATE: Tuesday, April 29th 2014

TIME: 1:00 – 2:00pm ET

PRIZES: 5 – $100 Walmart gift card

EARLY BIRD: 1 – $50 Walmart gift card

RSVP: #CoffeeJourneys Party Page

LOCATION:  SoFabChats Tweet Grid

HOST: @KellysLuckyYou

CO HOSTS: @blueviolet, @dodometicdad, @KristaK2

PARTY RULES: #CoffeeJourneys Official Rules

 

TWEET TO SHARE

Craving Coffee? #CoffeeJourneys Twitter Party 4/29 1pm ET. Prizes $550! RSVP/Rules LINK #shop #cbias

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RSVP today and learn how you can enter to win our special Early Bird gift card prize!

Happy National Coffee Day – and a giveaway!

Happy National Coffee Day! Yup! You heard right- we have a day dedicated to a good café’. Now the first thing I think of when I think of coffee- is creamer. I’m a big lover of coffee creamer. And my most favorite kind of coffee creamer is Coffee-mate. Vanilla Natural Bliss Coffee-mate creamer is completely synonymous with my morning coffee. I just have to have it. It always gives my morning cup ‘o joe a perfect creamy flavor that makes even Monday mornings not so bad.

Now, what I didn’t know about Coffee-mate is that you can use their creamer for delicious concoctions far beyond the coffee cup. You can actually use Coffee-mate creamer to make amazing fruit smoothies! I know, I know! You can’t believe it! Well, neither did I until I had a chance to try them at BlogHer. They’re so creamy and delicious, plus they’re super-fast to throw together – I make them all the time now!

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 medium ripe banana, peeled and cut crosswire into four pieces

1-1/2 cups frozen berries *(strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) or chopped fruit ( mango, pineapple, peaches)

1/4 cup Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Low-fat Vanilla

1/2 cup apple, white cranberry or orange juice

1 to 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Granulated sugar or sweetener of choice (optional)

- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; arrange banana in single layer on baking sheet. Freeze banana for 20 minutes or until very cold, but not completely frozen.

- Place berries, banana, Natural Bliss, apple juice and lemon juice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Taste for sugar and lemon; if desired, add sugar or more lemon juice and blend until combined (if using fresh berries or fruit, you may need to sweeten). Serve immediately.

*If using fresh berries or fruit, line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange berries/fruit in single layer and freeze for 20 minutes or until nearly frozen.

**Recipe courtesy of Coffee-mate

Click here for more recipes using Coffee-mate creamer!

Now Coffee-mate as a brand offer over twenty different creamer flavors, with their Natural Bliss line carrying four: Caramel, Sweet Cream, Vanilla, and their new Low-fat Vanilla. I’ve tried them all- and they’re all delicious! What I really love about the Natural Bliss line (besides the flavor) is that they’re all made with only four simple ingredients – nonfat milk, heavy cream, sugar, and all-natural flavor. Natural Bliss gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what I’m pouring into my morning cup of coffee- or my fruit smoothie! I get that creamy touch of sweetness, without any additives of preservatives, and that for me is a good quality creamer.

Now, this wouldn’t be a proper celebration of National Coffee Day without a giveaway! So if you’re one of the 82% of American coffee-drinkers that add cream to their coffee, then you’ll want to stick around for this giveaway – the kind folks over at Coffee-mate want to equip two lucky NYC Talon readers with a few coupons for FREE Coffee-mate Natural Bliss creamer! So enter below, and please leave one comment per entry!!!

To Enter:

Mandatory-

1)      Like Coffee-mate Natural Bliss on facebook

2)      Like The NYC Talon on facebook

Optional Forms of Entry

1)      Follow The NYC Talon on twitter

2)      Follow Coffee-mate on twitter

3)      Follow The NYC Talon on Pinterest

4)      Subscribe to The NYC Talon via email

5)      Share this giveaway via social media and leave a link where I can find it

6)      Leave a comment of any non-giveaway post

7)      Enter any other giveaway that I am running

*This giveaway runs from 9/29 to 10/07. Open to 18+, US only. All opinions represented here are my own. I was given my own coupons, in addition to the ones being given away. No other compensation was received. Winners will be selected in a random drawing.

Product Rave: Almondina!

Having come from a super diverse background (I’ve got a little spanish, some french, a little german, a touch of italian, a pinch of polish, and a spoonful of jewish in me) – I naturally appreciate the old ways of slowing down, and enjoying a good cup of coffee. And coffee should always, always be accompanied by a baked good.


My new favorite baked good (fine, call it an addiction) is Almondina. Almondina all started with the grandmother of internationally known symphony conductor and gourmet chef- Yuval Zaliouk. Long story short- Zaliouks granmother Dina made some really amazing cookies, cookies that her family loved for generations. And though Dina loved her family, she held on to her secret recipe until her last days, finally sharing it with her daughter Ahuda (Zaliouk’s mom). Zaliouk, noticing how grandma Dina’s cookies while delicious, also had some pretty amazing characteristics (like how they have no added fat, cholesterol, or salt)- decided he’d try out gran’s creation on a growing health-conscious consumer base. The people ate them up (and I mean that in a very literal sense). In seven years, the biscuits (renamed Almondina® after Dina, his grandmother), were available in all fifty states, sought after in seven foreign countries, and had brought him recognition as Entrepreneur of the Year.


I was lucky enough to get to try each of the eight variations of biscuits that Almondina has to offer.

My all time favorite cookie has to be the Chocolate Cherry Almondina- they are SOOOOO good, I was badgered for more by ALL my family members. They’re the perfect kind of sweet, chocolatey, crunchy, and tart mix- in fact, they taste like one of my most favorite doughnuts, just without all the fat and sugar!

Of all the biscuits, my favorite one to have with tea (yes, I’m a big tea drinker) is Gingerspice. But my favorite coffee cookie is Choconut- it just goes so well together- you have to try it! It’s like a hug from inside.

I’ve completely fallen in love with Almondina- I even added some to a gift basket that I made for a friend (I know she’ll love it)! Almondina is now available at stores like Fairway, Publix, Hy Vee, Giant Eagle, Brookshire, Mollie Stone’s, Hannaford, Jewel, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Trader Joes, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and many others. Follow them on facebook,  or twitter, and check out their entire line as well as family history on their website here.

*The product for this review was provided to me at the cost of the manufacturer, or PR agency for product review and testing. I did not receive monetary compensation. All reviews on this site are always honest, all opinions expressed are my own.