A bottled Frappuccino is tasty, but at 200 calories and 31 grams of sugar, it's not the best option for a caffeine fix. Enter Coco Cafe. This bottled coffee beverage is made with hydrating coconut water, so not only does it bring down sugar and calorie counts, but it also contains more potassium than a banana! Keep watching to hear what we think of its latest flavor offerings!
"What is that stuff?" I asked the barista, eyeing the dark tan mixture he poured into my Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.
"I don't really know," he responded. As if to explain, he added, "I just got back from a two-week vacation, so I'm kind of out of it. And this is our first day making this drink."
I watched with both curiosity and suspicion as he followed the tan liquid with a more-than-generous drizzle of caramel and a shower of toffee-colored bits. I'd stopped into my neighborhood Starbucks to check out the new offering, released today — the first new Frappuccino flavor in a year — but after watching two being made, I still wasn't sure what was going into the drink.
Keep reading to learn more about the Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.
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Coffee lovers and green tea enthusiasts, unite! A new study out of Japan shows that people who drink both beverages every day have a lower risk of stroke than those who drink just one or the other (or neither).
Researchers have been touting the antioxidant properties of green tea for years, and recent studies show that your daily coffee fix boosts more than just your energy levels. But putting the two drinks together — not in the same cup, of course — may help you reap the health benefits of both.
Researchers looked at the coffee and tea consumption habits of almost 82,369 Japanese adults over 13 years and found that people who had a cup of coffee every day were 20 percent less likely to have a stroke (compared to those who didn't drink coffee at all). But that's not to say that coffee is better for you than tea. In fact, the study noted that people who drank four or more cups of green tea a day were also about 20 percent less likely to have a stroke. Since the two drinks help prevent strokes in different ways, drinking both can lower your risk of stroke more than just drinking one or the other, the study authors explained.
Coffee breaks just got a little more exciting, thanks to Coco Cafe, a boxed beverage that combines the hydrating powers of coconut water with espresso, a splash of reduced-fat milk, and sugar. While we've been loving the original latte flavor, we recently got a chance to try its latest offerings: vanilla latte and mocha. Fans of traditional bottled coffee beverages will not be disappointed.
If you've ever had a bottled latte or mocha drink, Coco Cafe's offerings are pretty similar tasting, but with a few minor differences. While the taste of coconut water is not at all present in either drink, it does cut through the richness of the dairy. The result is a drink that doesn't taste too heavily of milk, but still retains enough creaminess to satisfy iced-coffee cravings. Of the two, the vanilla was my favorite, the taste of coffee came through with just enough sweetness to balance it out. While the mocha was good, it tasted more like a lightened-up version of chocolate milk than a coffee drink: I couldn't taste the espresso, and the distinct taste of cocoa powder overpowered the drink a little too much for my taste.
As for whether or not the use of coconut water makes this a healthy offering or just a slick gimmick, what Coco Cafe does have compared to similar drinks, is a hefty dose of potassium — 600 milligrams worth. And because it relies more on coconut water than milk and sugar, overall calorie counts are lower (especially in terms of the sugar). Caffeine levels seem to be pretty on point: the 11-ounce drink contains 120 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the amount of a single shot of espresso. And while it is a healthier choice than, say, a bottled Frappuccino, at 140 calories and 19 grams of sugar, Coco Cafe's drinks shouldn't turn into a daily habit. But what they are perfect for are those hot days when a sweet and creamy treat is a must.
Today, Starbucks announced the release of a new drink, the Hazelnut Macchiato. It was quickly met with protests from some of the chain's customers, many of whom claimed the drink isn't really new, since both the Starbucks-style macchiato (vanilla syrup, steamed milk, and espresso) and hazelnut syrup have been on the menu for years, so technically, it's been possible to place an order for the drink all along. We decided this called for a side-by-side taste comparison between three drinks: the newly dubbed Hazelnut Macchiato, the coffeemaker's original Caramel Macchiato, and the similar and ever-popular Hazelnut Latte. See how the new beverage stacks up.
If you're feeling like you want to take an afternoon nap, then a coffee break can be much-needed. Just walking to the coffee shop can perk you up, and the caffeine does the rest. Make sure that your coffee break doesn't turn into a diet sabotage with these healthy ideas.
The seasonal offerings at Starbucks may tempt you, but if you don't want your cup of coffee to fall in the 300-calorie range, then steer clear of a whipped-cream topping and caramel drizzle. If you opt for flavored syrup, then ask for a half-pump to cut calories and sugar. Take advantage of the free cinnamon and chocolate for sprinkling to add more flavor.
If you want a treat while you drink your coffee, then plan ahead a little. Make a batch of any of the these baked desserts under 200 calories at the start of the week to bring with you for an afternoon treat. You won't be tempted to buy a croissant when you're at the cafe if you have an equally delicious but lower-calorie treat waiting for you back at the office.
Stop feeling guilty about your regular morning latte; there are plenty of other options at the coffee shop that are much worse than that blonde cup of Joe. In fact, the average latte contains more protein (10 grams) and less sugar (13 grams) than all of these a.m. alternatives.
Fruit and yogurt parfait: Don't let the healthy name fool you; this cup is loaded with sugar. Some companies even add a sweetened fruit syrup to the bottom for more flavor. A breakfast like this contains 160 calories and 21 grams of sugar, yet only four grams of protein. That's less protein than one egg and a third of the protein that your latte contains.
Mocha Frappuccino: There's a reason this drink tastes so sweet — its 38 grams of sugar will have you bouncing off the walls before an even quicker burnout. Even if you order this drink with nonfat milk and no whipped cream, it can't beat your latte because of its lack of protein and calcium.
Pastries: These treats may seem like the perfect counterpart to a coffee drink, but be careful. Ordering one may double or even triple your calorie, refined carbs, and sugar intake. A blueberry muffin contains 380 calories, 19 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbs, and 28 grams of sugar. That's even more than a chocolate-filled croissant, which contains 350 calories.
Bagels: Holy carbohydrates! This rounded loaf contains 55 grams of carbs and 300 calories — and that's without any sort of spread. Although this bagel contains slightly less sugar than a latte, the calories can turn up empty. Make sure to order a whole-wheat bagel and finish it off with good-for-you ingredients like fresh veggies, light cream cheese, or nut butter.
Iced tea: While tea is full of antioxidants, many coffeehouses sweeten their iced tea, or they are made from artificial syrups that are diluted with water. This explains why a small chai tea from Starbucks contains 31 grams of sugar and only has five grams of protein despite the milk content! Leave the cinnamon to spice your latte on this one.
There's nothing like warm, spiked coffee to keep the night going strong! The classic keoke coffee cocktail, given its Hawaiian name because the drink is loaded with Kahlua and crème de cacao, will transport you to the tropics, even during dreary Winter evenings. Watch the video to see how it's made, then print out the recipe to try it yourself.
Kick up your caffeine fix with a few twists on your favorite drink . . . coffee! Branch out beyond Starbucks with these six recipes, which range from the sweet to the spicy. Try mixing coffee with peanuts, a dash of cardamom, Baileys, or whiskey. Here are two recipes for morning joe (and four boozy coffee cocktails) to reignite your love for the roasted bean.
Pumpkin Irish Coffee
Brazilian Coffee Cocktail
PB&J Blended Coffee
The Latte Factor is very real — the average American worker spends $1,092 on coffee. Although your cup of Joe may seem as essential as breathing, there are still plenty of alternatives to a $4 store-bought latte. So how do we start saving on this big budget drain? Here are some ideas:
- Try low-end. New York Magazine did a coffee taste test and food critic Adam Platt found that coffee from Dunkin' Donuts actually tasted better than Starbucks. If you're craving coffee, opt to get a cup of joe from a lesser-known chain.
- Cash in on freebies. Keep your eye out for freebies and remember Starbucks gives customers a free birthday beverage as long as you register your Starbucks gift card and use it once. And if you're a loyal Starbucks customer, you can attain gold member status and receive free coffee for every 12 purchases. Remember that Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day, so there should be plenty of coffee freebies then. Earth Day generally offers a lot of coffee freebies as well.
- Find Starbucks recipes. Find out how to make drinks just like Starbucks by doing some research online. Personal finance blogger Squawkfox was able to mimic a tall Starbucks frappuccino ($4) for only 32 cents. The secret is actually xanthan gum ($16), a food thickener that keeps the texture smooth and the drink together. There are also plenty of other sites that have copycat recipes of all the Starbucks drinks.
- Go instant. Instant coffee isn't too bad if you dress it up with these recipes. Add cocoa or spices like nutmeg, blend it with ice, douse it with milk, or add honey.