Product Highlight: Guy Fieri West Coast Roast Single-Serve Coffee

You know this man. You’ve seen his platinum blonde, spiky hair. You’ve heard his distinct voice all over the Food Network. This man is Guy Fieri, and the guy has done it all. He’s a successful restaurateur, the unofficial face of the Food Network and a creator of many culinary products, including his Flavortown Roast single-serve coffee cups.

As a chef who has traveled around the country rating and reviewing dining establishments, we can’t help but trust that he’ll produce quality food products. Well, we’ve decided to turn the tables on him and review one of his products: the West Coast Roast!

Guy Fieri West Coast Roast Single Serve Coffee

Before we move onto flavor profiles and such, let’s talk about the name first. To be honest, it takes serious balls to say your coffee is reminiscent of a traditional West Coast dark roast coffee, because the West Coast treats their brew like an art. Unlike the East Coast (mainly New York), where people typically prefer their coffee fast and on the go, West Coasters enjoy the experience all the way from creation to consumption. They have so much respect for the coffee bean and try to extract perfection out of it. Think artisan-made, sustainably crafted, pour-over coffee.

Maybe we’re thinking too far into this, but these are the expectations we had from name-only first impressions. The results?

We loved it! While there’s no way it could ever really enter the same league as an actual cup of handmade coffee from a West Coast café, it was still incredibly tasty! It’s a rich, bold, dark roast coffee, which can be sipped on leisurely and luxuriously throughout the day. You can also easily imagine drinking a piping hot cup in rainy, overcast weather like you’d experience in parts of Nor Cal or the Pacific Northwest. It’s definitely a full-bodied brew, so you’ll get robust and complex flavors with every mouthful.

For a coffee that’s made for convenience and brewed in less than a minute, the flavors are surprisingly very intricate. We give the West Coast Roast positive marks all around, as it has easily combined the benefits of both East and West Coast coffee without even meaning to!

If you’ve tried this Guy Fieri coffee k-cup yourself, let us know in the comments below whether you agree with us or not!

Top 5 Coffee Shops Around the World to Visit Before You Die

As I sit here writing this blog post and sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee, I can’t help but think about the dent this simple beverage has made on so many different cultures. Coffee has become a staple all over the planet and has become a symbol of tradition, productivity and even comradery. In today’s world, it is easy to see just how deeply coffee has ingrained itself into our daily lives. From our morning rituals to our afternoon pick-me-ups, coffee is always there to perk us up and provide us with the energy we need to tackle whatever the day may throw at us.

The relatively recent influx of coffee shops around the world hasn’t gone unnoticed. As the industry gets more and more competitive, coffee shops must continuously come up with ways to gain an edge over their competition. This competitiveness has led to the establishment of more stringent quality guidelines in the sourcing of ingredients and the creation of more eye-catching, beautifully designed shops. To commemorate the coffee industry, I have compiled a list of the five best coffee shops worldwide, which includes coffee shops that not only feature thoughtfully designed spaces, but also highlight fresh, exceptionally crafted brews!

Outside Caffe Vita
Image by Jamey Voss

  1. Caffe Vita – Seattle, US

    Ah, Seattle, the rainy Northwestern city that gave us ‘90s grunge rock and Starbucks Coffee—one of the biggest and most popular coffee chains in the entire world! Since the founding of Starbucks in 1971, Seattle has become widely recognized as a beacon of coffee expertise, attracting thousands of java junkies (and Kurt Cobain wannabes) every year searching for America’s best cup of joe. With that said, it comes as no surprise that wonderful coffee shops line almost every corner of the city. However, in the crowd of espresso and iced Americanos, one Seattle café has remained consistently triumphant among caffeine-crazed fans across the nation.

    Say hello to Caffe Vita, a locally owned favorite that has been dominating the city’s coffee scene since 1995. Caffe Vita offers a remarkable experience, allowing customers to see, taste and even touch the coffee they purchase. This provides a unique learning opportunity—and one you probably won’t get at your local Tim Horton’s—and shows just how fresh their farm-direct beans are. Vita has even been named the “Top Spot in the World for Coffee” by Condé Nast Traveler! With props that impressive, it’s nearly impossible to exclude this gem from the list!

  2. Outside Kaffeine Coffee Shop in London
    Credit by Koray Hussein

  3. Kaffeine – London, UK

    Can you think of a more fitting name for a world-famous coffee shop than “Kaffeine”? I sure can’t! Kaffeine is a relatively young London-based coffee joint that first opened in August 2009. This specialty café continues to serve as a trailblazer for the city’s growing coffee scene, and it has established a high standard for competitors to follow since opening. Kaffeine is also widely recognized for singlehandedly regenerating the city’s Oxford Street neighborhood, turning it into a vibrant and eclectic utopia. This Australian-style café prides itself on its unparalleled focus on excellent coffee and offers a wide variety of espresso-based beverages made from its state-of-the-art Synesso Cyncra Espresso machine, loose-leaf teas by the Rare Tea Company, and a selection of delicious English juices and Italian soft drinks. Kaffeine also proudly serves great-tasting food from a menu that changes every week! With a friendly wait staff and a long list of notable awards (including Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” for three consecutive years!), it’s not difficult to see why we added this English gem to our list. Next time you find yourself in London, ditch your cup of tea for a truly memorable cup of joe at Kaffeine!

  4. Cafe Central Vienna Austria
    Image by Silia

  5. Café Central – Vienna, Austria

    Beautiful, elegant, historic. These are just a few words that describe Vienna’s Café Central. Seriously, this café looks like it came straight off the set of Harry Potter, and that’s only part of the reason we chose to include it on our list of best coffee shops around the world. Want to sip coffee at the same café visited by historic icons like Freud or Trotsky? Café Central boasts a history like no other, and it has been one of the most popular cafés in Vienna since 1876 when it was a key meeting place for several Viennese intellectuals. Occupying the first floor of the beautiful Palais Ferstel, the café continues to be the city’s leading source of classic Viennese cuisine, traditional coffee specialties and tasty bakery items from its in-house patisserie. Are you planning on adding this spot to your vacation itinerary? Make sure to save your spot! This café is so popular it takes reservations, which makes it easier (and faster) for you to enjoy the delicious brews of coffee and tasty foods!

  6. Toma Cafe Madrid Spain
    Image by Naked Madrid

  7. Toma Café – Madrid, Spain

    Sometimes, the little hole-in-the-wall’s truly the best. That is the case with Toma Café in Madrid! This unassuming Spanish café has cemented its place as one of the country’s best coffee spots, and rightfully so, as it serves fresh coffee to thousands of Spanish locals and tourists each year! With popularity like that, how can you not include it in a list of the world’s best coffee joints?

    Featuring a clean, modern design and an expertly curated selection of robust coffee beans, Toma Café sets a high standard for coffee shops in (and out) of Spain. While the café includes unique beverages like a chocolate picante on its menu, its primary focus is to deliver naturally delicious coffee whose rich flavors remain uncompromised. Unlike many of the nearby cafés, Toma prides itself on its high standard of quality and diligent brewing procedures. Featuring intense, toasted aromas, all of Toma’s beans are organically sourced from a variety of countries, including Guatemala, Brazil and Ethiopia. The beans are then carefully toasted by hand in-house.

    This small café is big on community and serves a variety of different kinds of people. From local coffee fanatics to students feverishly typing away at their computers to couples whispering sweet nothings over steaming cups of joe, the environment at Toma is as lively and eclectic as Madrid itself! You never know who you’ll run into at Toma Café, but one thing is for certain—you will leave having tasted one amazing cup of coffee!

  8. One Shot Coffee Philadelphia
    Image by One Shot Coffee

  9. One Shot Coffee – Philadelphia, US

    Coffee shops seem to be a mecca for bookworms everywhere. Whether book lovers spend their time pecking at their laptop keyboards or flipping the pages of their favorite novel, it is undeniable that these shops provide the perfect environments for a combination of relaxation and productivity. To end our list, we chose One Shot Coffee, a Philadelphia coffee joint that is as bookish as they come! Featuring an interior that meshes a keen sense of modernity with a rustic library style, this café allows you to dig into your scholarly side as you sip on one of East Coast’s best cups of coffee! One Shot Coffee specializes in serving a wide variety of creatively crafted beverages, but the menu doesn’t stop there! One Shot proudly serves brunch and house-made pastries with a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of customer service. This Philadelphia gem showcases a rotating coffee and pastry menu, so you can try something new and delicious each time you visit!

Did we forget to include your favorite local coffee shop? Comment below to share some of your own top coffee shops in the world!

Product Highlight: Torani Peppermint Twist

While Christmas has passed, we choose to believe that we can still enjoy all of our holiday favorites well until the winter season is over. Some of those favorites being Christmas music, Christmas movies, hot chocolate, and of course all things peppermint. And when paired with richer and bolder flavors, like a hearty medium roast coffee, peppermint really takes center stage. Our current peppermint flavored coffee of choice is the Torani Peppermint Twist coffee.

Each and every sip of these peppermint coffee Keurig k-cups is simultaneously reminiscent of the cool, brisk air of winter and the warmth of a glowing fireplace. Similarly, in contrast to the bitter and robust flavoring of the coffee, the peppermint will bring out cold, spicy & slightly sweet notes that are cooling and tingling to the senses. It’s an irresistible combination! Your steaming cup of coffee won’t get any more refreshing than this.

Torani has a reputation for producing some of the most mouthwatering naturally flavored syrups for all types of beverages, including tea, soda, cocktails, smoothies and coffee. With over 100 different flavors under their belt, it’s obvious that they know what they’re doing. So when they decided to introduce a single-serve coffee line, we didn’t hesitate to curate it into our online selection.

Awaken your senses, take an invigorating breath and brighten your mornings with the Torani Peppermint Twist flavored coffee from Coffee Marvel. We offer these by the box, and each box contains 24 convenient k-cups® for your Keurig® 2.0 machines. Simply pop one into your brewer at home or work, and have a rejuvenating mug of peppermint coffee in your hands within mere seconds. And if you order $49 or more from our store, we’ll ship it to you for free.

Experience endless holiday cheer with Torani’s Peppermint Twist coffee today!

10 Reasons to be Thankful for Coffee

When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner this year, skip the sappy speech about the importance of family and express thanks for what’s really important—coffee. If you get a disapproving glare or an under-the-table kick from your father-in-law, simply rattle off these 10 interesting coffee facts and reasons for celebrating copious coffee consumption.

  1. There are proven long-term health benefits.

    Research has made it apparent that coffee is a veritable super-beverage. Along with a positive effect on liver function, coffee also reduces the likelihood of type 2 diabetes as well as Alzheimer’s and cancer. Drinking a daily dose of coffee may also extend your lifespan. A 20-year survey found that respondents who frequently drank coffee had almost a 30 percent lower risk of death.

  2. It’s the perfect holiday beverage.

    Three words: pumpkin spiced latte. How could hipsters survive without this popular holiday treat? PSL isn’t the only holiday-inspired beverage, however. There are plenty of Christmas-themed coffees like Torani’s Peppermint Twist that are ideal for winter festivities.

  3. You can drink it hot or cold.

    With a bevy of different brewing techniques at your disposal, you can change the temperature of your coffee to be compatible with the changing seasons. Sip on iced coffee in the summer and hot coffee in the winter!

  4. It gives you energy when you need it most.

    Whether you need a jumpstart to your day or a pick-me-up during the afternoon, coffee is a reliable source of fuel. Coffee sustains over 60 percent of the workforce and ensures college students function on a basic level.

  5. It inspired the world’s greatest cake & ice cream flavor.

    If coffee wasn’t mainstream, we’d be wallowing in a world with only vanilla and chocolate desserts as options. Luckily, coffee cake and coffee ice cream are around to provide variety and break up the monotony.

  6. Coffee makes us happier—it’s scientifically proven!

    Coffee is brimming with essential antioxidants that raise our spirits. According to a recent study, regular coffee drinkers are 10 percent less likely to be depressed than their java-less counterparts. Harvard found that drinking two to four cups of coffee per day lowered suicide risk by roughly half.

  7. It’ll fuel your workout.

    Consume coffee before lifting weights each morning and you’ll get an extra boost when the caffeine hits your bloodstream. Caffeine increases performance by stimulating the central nervous system and the heart. For the best results, drink a cup roughly an hour before going to the gym.

  8. It sparked the invention of the webcam.

    The first webcam was invented in 1991 by researchers at Cambridge who wanted to be able to view a live feed of their coffee pot and see if it was full without getting out of their seats. We can’t decide if we’re impressed more by their innovative thinking or by their laziness.

  9. Coffee is downright patriotic—it’s America’s beverage of choice.

    After the Boston Tea Party, drinking tea became taboo within American social circles, as it was seen as a British beverage. Founding father John Adams renounced tea altogether and began drinking a cup of coffee every afternoon instead. This led to the widespread adoption of coffee by the American people. Over one hundred years later, President Theodore Roosevelt inspired Maxwell House’s “good to the last drop” slogan and consistently drank a gallon of coffee every day.

  10. Modern financial institutions were born in coffee shops!

    Believe it or not, the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange were both originally located inside coffee houses. From 1698-1778, London’s brokers would trade securities over a cup of joe at Jonathan’s Coffee-House. New Yorkers would trade in the Tontine Coffee House until 1817, when operations moved to Wall Street.

  11. By now you should be convinced—without coffee the world would be a much darker and less productive place. If you’re particularly thankful for coffee this holiday season, comment below with any fun facts about coffee you may know or tell us your favorite seasonal K-Cup® roast!

Torani Pumpkin Spice Flavored Coffee for Thanksgiving

By now, leaves have already started to fall, people are starting to don more and more layers, and pumpkins on doorsteps will soon be replaced with cheery holiday wreaths. But don’t fret! As we transition from Autumn to Winter, our favorite orange gourds are simply moving from one place to another, away from the brisk outdoors into the warmth of our homes – and our bellies!

Pumpkins have long been an American staple for the Thanksgiving holiday, and pumpkin spice, in particular, has recently become the most popular ingredient in new variations and experimentations of fall favorites. It’s everywhere, and there was no way that we wouldn’t offer you pumpkin fiends a fast and convenient pumpkin spice coffee option for your mornings… afternoons… or basically any hour of the day.

At Coffee Marvel, we’re offering Torani’s new Pumpkin Spice coffee k-cups® online. Torani has a rich history of formulating the tastiest and some of the most creative syrup flavors for all types of beverages, so it’s no surprise that they’ve mastered this much adored coffee flavor of the season. With hints of earthy ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, these pumpkin spice flavored coffee cups evoke the essence of pumpkin pie and are absolutely irresistible to the senses. One whiff of all its richness will instantly send you to another place – a place where loved ones gather by the fireplace, a place of bustling activity in the kitchen and a place of sweet, spicy and savory aromas permeating the room.

Pop a Torani pumpkin spice single-serve cup into your Keurig® (compatible with Keurig 2.0 brewing systems), and you’ll get more than just a fresh, piping hot cup of coffee; you’ll get a stirring and nostalgic experience ready for you in less than a minute! You can find Torani’s pumpkin spice single-cup coffee at our online store, and order them by boxes. Each box carries 24 cups of pumpkin-infused coffee that you can brew right at home, work or anywhere with access to a Keurig® 2.0 machine. With orders of $49 or more, we’ll even ship it to you for free.

And since November is the month for gratitude, we’d like to take a brief moment to thank you Torani Pumpkin Spice coffee. Thanks to you, we’ll be able to skip long, crowded lines, and truly enjoy the experience of a quick seasonal brew in peace. So grab a box today, and have a happy start to your holidays!

5 Coffee Treats for Adults This Halloween

Who says that only kids can get treats for Halloween? Instead of raiding your child’s trick-or-treating stash while they sleep off their exciting night, you can indulge in your own Halloween treats for adults that contain the ultimate grown-up ingredient: coffee.

Most of us are familiar with chocolate-covered espresso beans, which have a satisfying crunch and give you a burst of energy. But today’s culinary masters really kick it up a notch. Some of the following treats can be found at specialty stores and chain supermarkets while others can be crafted at home. No matter if your dessert tastes lean more towards cookies or candy, spoil yourself this Halloween with these five delectable Halloween coffee treats and recipes.

  1. Amaretti s’mores

    You’ll win points at the office by handing out little Halloween treat bags that contain a couple of these marvelous cookie treats. Containing only five ingredients, these amaretti s’mores from Living The Country Life are simple to prepare and oh-so-good. The following recipe will make 16 treats, perfect for sharing.

    Ingredients:

    • 6 tablespoons hazelnut/chocolate spread
    • 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
    • 32 amaretti cookies
    • 16 large marshmallows
    • Optional: 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

    Preparation:

    Thoroughly mix the hazelnut spread and coffee powder in a small bowl. Spread the mixture onto the flat sides of the amaretti cookies, and sprinkle with hazelnuts if desired.

    Using metal skewers, toast the marshmallow over a gas grill or the hot coals of a charcoal grill until golden brown and soft, rotating the skewers occasionally. Carefully place a roasted marshmallow between the spread sides of two cookies and allow to cool before serving.

  2. Krispy Kreme Coffee Thins

    Because their reputation for making the very best in fatty fried dough apparently wasn’t enough, Krispy Kreme introduced their satisfying Coffee Thins earlier this year. The amazing little squares are available in three flavors, and you don’t even have to go out of your way to get your hands on them. You can find original glazed, cappuccino or caramel macchiato-flavored coffee thins at many national chain stores, including Walmart and Circle K.

  3. Coffeemallows

    Coffee-infused marshmallows for Halloween? Yes, please! Many cafes carry their own version of the coffeemallow, but these mini flavor bombs can be prepared in less than an hour at home, and you can let your creativity go wild by topping them with swirled caramel or chocolate drizzle.You can find the recipe to this homemade coffee treat at Pine and Crave, and you’ll need the following ingredients to get started:

    • 3 packages gelatin, unflavored
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • Brewed coffee or espresso, chilled

  4. Coffee-Flavored Popcorn Balls

    If you’re looking for coffee-flavored treats that are rich in flavor but not in calories, you’ll love coffee popcorn balls. These popcorn balls are an adult-inspired twist on the perennial Halloween favorite. Made from popped corn, sugar and your favorite brand of instant coffee, there are plenty of recipes available, many of which feature optional add-ons such as chocolate and peanuts for added flavor and texture.

  5. Spicy Aztec-Inspired Brownies

    Chocolate is said to have originated with the Aztecs, who held both it and coffee in high regard, and these delicious treats are all about the spice. Basically a boxed brownie mix that is jazzed up with coffee or espresso powder, cayenne pepper and cinnamon frosting, even novice chefs will get excellent results from this easy-to-follow brownie recipe by Cookie Madness.

    So this year, skip the basic packaged candy and enjoy coffee-inspired decadence instead. Happy Halloween!

Going Back to School with a New Cell Phone

The moment I have been dreading is here.

My oldest is starting high school. He will be leaving our neighborhood every day to further his education, end his childhood and begin preparations to leave his loving mother for an independent life. This, while perhaps neurotic, is not the source of my dread.

As far as parenting transitions go, this one is similar to when he started Kindergarten…except he’s taller than I am and a lot more expensive to maintain now. Just when parents think they are about to realize the savings of having all their children out of diapers, poof! The next moment they’re in the middle of a growth spurt. They have to eat every twenty minutes and need bigger clothes every other day. Somehow, that seemed more manageable than being suddenly presented with a teenager who needs a cell phone.

This particular transition requires a major re-think of the household budget.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons why no teenager really needs a cell phone. Generations of young men and women have managed to finish school, get on the bus, stop at the library, the mall or friends’ houses without cell phones. None of them were expected to text their parents at work to tell them where they are and what they are doing every moment between the last bell of the day and the return of parents after office hours.

And then, there is the forgetful clumsiness that comes with adolescence. They misplace their most precious possessions, they trip over their own feet climbing up the stairs, and they wander around in a half-aware daze brought on by a mix of tiredness and a refusal to go to sleep at a decent hour. Teenagers are not people one should instinctively trust with a hundreds of dollars-worth of brand new technology and a monthly connection fee.

“Stereotype much?” my son would say if he were ever to read that last paragraph. In real life, it would be accompanied by an eye roll and a dismissive shrug. Imagining the reaction is enough to make me crave the warmth and distance of a text message composed just for me. Even if it uses emojis instead of words.

I have bought into the “peace of mind” constant connection has sold me. If I know where he is, my thinking goes, he is not doing something dangerous or stupid. If he sends a text to say he’s joining a club or trying out for a team, or even just playing Pokemon Go with some friends, I am still part of his day…even if I’m a work, cooking dinner, or playing Pokemon Go while I walk the dog.

Naturally, my research-mind knows the sense of security a cell phone brings to parents is as mythical as a Mew or MewTwo sighting. Owning a cell phone can actually put teens at greater risk as targets for theft. And, then, there are the risks to health associated with carrying a cell phone on one’s body instead of in a purse or backpack. These are not risks to be dismissed.

But, if he gets into a spot where he needs assistance, I want him to be able to call for it. It’s that simple. If he spots an Articuno across town and calls to tell me, well, that’s just payback for the massive expense a kid’s cell phone entails.

Kate Baggott is a Canadian writer whose work spans from experimental fiction to technology journalism. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories.