Posts Tagged With: Keurig

272/365: National Coffee Day

You’re in for a brewed awakening if you choose to celebrate today’s food holiday. September 29 is National Coffee Day!

Our beloved Keurig.

Our beloved Keurig.

I wrote about one legend surrounding coffee’s origination here. An alternate version claims that a mystic from Yemen, Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, was traveling through Ethiopia and noticed the birds flying about seemed to have a lot of energy. al-Shadhili attributed this to the berries they were eating, and tried a few himself. He returned to his native land with strange requests for “double espressos” and “lattes, skinny, extra foam.” Another story says Sheik Abou’l Hasan Schadheli’s disciple, Omar – who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer – was banished from his home in Mocha (seriously) to a cave in the desert. With nothing to eat, he resorted to chewing on berries he found growing on wild shrubbery nearby, but found these too bitter. He attempted roasting them, but they turned too hard, so he boiled them to soften the beans, and subsisted on the ensuing beverage for days. Omar was revitalized, and when word of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, he was asked to return, and made a Saint. The beverage spread around the globe, but was slow to gain a foothold in the United States until the Boston Tea Party, when colonists rebelling against high tea taxes took up coffee instead. Today, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee a day, more than any other country in the world.

Tara and I are big coffee fans, and invested in a Keurig coffeemaker last year. It was actually our first joint purchase, one that gets a lot of use in our household. You can’t beat the convenience of k-cups, and there’s very little wasted coffee. To celebrate, we….are you holding your breath in anticipation yet?…drank coffee.

Ooh. Ahh.

National Coffee Day

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

161/365: National Iced Tea Day*

Tea-totallers of the world unite: the 10th of June pays homage to a refreshing beverage that can be either sweet or tart. It’s National Iced Tea Day!

It is also Herbs & Spices Day and Black Cow Day. Technically we also celebrated the former since we cooked dinner using herbs and spices, but that’s hardly unusual. And with so many desserts in the month of June, the Black Cow just didn’t moo-ve us. So, iced tea it was!

There’s a myth that a plantation owner named Richard Blechynden invented iced tea in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. According to legend, the weather was hot, and Blechynden’s tea wasn’t selling. So he added ice to the drink, and – voila! History was made. The only problem with this story is that recipes for iced tea date as far back as 1876 (Estelle Wilcox’s Buckeye Cookbook), plus the fact that iced tea was being sold at hotels and railroad stations during the latter half of the 19th century. Most likely Blechynden’s iced beverage merely helped to popularize the drink, especially when people realized how refreshing it tasted on a hot day. During Prohibition (1920-1933), iced tea’s popularity grew when liquor, beer, and wine were no longer available. Folks found it a decent enough substitute, but stumbled over the revised lyrics to the old ditty “99 Bottles of Iced Tea on the wall.”

Iced tea was originally made with green tea, but over the years black tea became the preferred choice thanks to inexpensive imports from India, Ceylon, South America, and Africa. Iced tea is most commonly served with a slice of lemon as garnish, and is often sweetened with sugar. In the South, “sweet tea” (a very strong brew with lots of sugar) is especially popular, helping Southerners deal with the heat and humidity. Bottled iced teas are available across the country, manufactured by brands such as Snapple, Lipton, and Nestea. In recent years, the Arnold Palmer (aka “Half and Half”) – a mixture of 1/2 iced tea and 1/2 lemonade, named after the legendary golfer who liked to combine the two at home – has become increasingly popular.

Iced tea is one of my favorite beverages, and I’m not alone: 85% of the tea consumed in America is iced. I’m not a big soda drinker, so 9 times out of 10 when I’m eating out I’ll order iced tea (assuming that alcohol is not in the mix, of course). (And sometimes when it is in the mix: vodka and iced tea ala Jeremiah Weed is a pretty tasty drink). So, I was more than happy to indulge! Tara and I love our Keurig coffeemaker, and have recently discovered Snapple Iced Tea k-cups. They come in both lemon and peach flavors, and each is delicious. We brewed some up tonight to go along with our dinner!

National Iced Tea Day

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126/365: National Beverage Day*

Take a big gulp of whatever you’d like today (unless you’re in New York City, of course – sizes limited to 16 ounces). It’s National Beverage Day!

As alluded to previously, it’s also National Crepes Suzette Day. As fond as I am of French pastries and lighting things on fire, we could use a break, so we’re taking the easy way out and celebrating the almighty beverage instead. We’ve had a few drink holidays before – we kicked off this challenge with one on the first day of the year, as a matter of fact – but those have all been in celebration of specific beverages (usually alcohol). Today is wide open to interpretation. And one of those rare food holidays we celebrate continuously throughout the day, with every meal!

Beverages have been around for as long as there were humans. Before there were humans, actually – assuming you believe we all crawled out of the primordial ooze. Companies like Evian make a living filtering and purifying that primordial ooze and selling it in plastic bottles for a couple of bucks a pop. How important are beverages? Experts recommend men drink 3 liters of liquid per day – that’s 13 cups! Women should consume 2.2 liters. Water is more important than food: we can survive 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. But beverage day would be boring if we were just drinking water.

We begin a typical day by turning on the Keurig. Tara and I enjoy our morning coffee, and have happily embraced the K-cup revolution. The Keurig is awesome: it’s fast, convenient, and eliminates wasted coffee. It even brews iced tea and lemonade. While we’re at work, we’re usually drinking ice water or booze. OK, that’s not an every day occurrence, but the company I work for has been known to break out alcohol during the workday on occasion. For dinner, it’s usually iced tea or lemonade (see aforementioned Keurig comment). Or milk, or water. I’m not real big on soda, but I enjoy an occasional Sprite or Coke or root beer. Tara likes Pepsi. I know, I know: there’s no accounting for taste. We both enjoy the occasional glass of wine, primarily white; I like sauvignon blanc while she is into riesling. I strongly dislike beer, but Tara digs Bud Light. My go-to alcoholic beverage is gin ‘n tonic, while hers is vodka and 7-Up. And of course, we’re both quite fond of bloody marys.

Today, we celebrated with a little bit of a lot of those beverages. Coffee, water, gin and tonic, iced tea and vodka…you name it, we drank it.

Beverages

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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