December 29, 2014

Coffee Lover: My Favorite Coffees, Teas & Accessories




My coffee addiction started in my freshman year of college. It started as a fun thing to do with friends on study dates, a morning treat at my dorm's breakfast buffet, or a pick-me-up between classes. Over the years it's developed to a 3 to 5 cup a day habit that I'm actually just fine with. One of my favorite things to shop for at the grocery store is, you guessed it, coffee. It's always fun to try new K-cup flavors and I also love items like coffee presses and milk frothers that make me feel like an at-home barista. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of my favorite K-cup varieties, mugs, coffee grounds and other accessories. If you're looking for new stuff to try out, or if you're a coffee lover yourself, I hope you enjoy this list and come across some now favorites!


Timothy's German Chocolate Cake K-Cups
I'm actually not a huge fan of german chocolate cake because of the texture, but I love the way this coffee incorporates the flavor. As it brews it fills the air with the smell of chocolate and coconut, and I love drinking this one with a little bit of chocolate or vanilla almond milk.


Donut Shop's Regular- Medium Roast Extra Bold K-Cups
The regular Donut Shop K-cups are my favorite non-flavored type of coffee, because you always have to keep those around. I like to have regular coffee for when I want to add flavored creamers or when I'm drinking it with a sweeter breakfast plate.


Chocolate glazed donut coffee is soooooooo good. This favorite isn't brand specific for me, but the Coffee House ones are usually easy to find. They smell delicious and make me feel like I'm at a donut store while I'm drinking it.

Gloria Jean's Brown Sugar Cake K-Cups
Gloria Jean's K-cups have tons of dessert-inspired flavors like almond torte, brown sugar toffee, macadamia cookie and my favorite- brown sugar cake. I've shared this one with many friends and they all love it's sweet, rich taste.

Folger's Gourmet Vanilla Biscotti K-Cups
I saw these at Target recently and decided to pick them up and was really surprised at how good they taste. I don't usually go for vanilla coffee but this tastes different from other coffee flavors, and it's easy to drink and smells heavenly. 

Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups
I've always loved pumpkin spice coffee so naturally I picked up a box this fall but I actually ended up having to buy a few! It has a kind of cinnamony nutmeg flavor and it tastes like, well, fall. 

Starbucks Caramel K-Cups
The Starbucks caramel coffee is simple and sweet and I love how it tastes super rich. It's sweeter than most flavored coffees I've tried but not sickeningly so. Don't expect to drink a caramel macchiato is what I'm saying, but it's still really delicious. 

I'm a southern girl and I love my sweet tea, but these Lipton K-cups have a touch of lemonade flavor to add a cool sour twist to it. I'd definitely recommend these during the spring or summer because they have the sweetness of sweet tea but light at the same time. 

Republic of Tea Coconut Cocoa Tea
This is my all-time favorite dessert tea. I just add a pack of sweetener to it and it seriously tastes like chocolate and coconut. I've tried some of their other dessert teas like red velvet cake and chocolate peppermint, but this one has a richness that the other flavors don't. 

Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaffeinated Peppermint Green Tea
You can usually find peppermint tea year-round, but I love the holiday varieties that add a little bit of vanilla to them. This one from Celestial Seasonings is sold at Target and Walmart, and the like, but I also love the Trader Joe's version, 'Candy Cane Green Tea'. 

Detox teas are usually really weird tasting, in my opinion, and while this one isn't super detoxing I still feel pretty good about drinking it. It's got a hint of sweetness and smells so good. This tea has a little bit of caffeine but not nearly as much as a cup of coffee. 

For some reason I get super nauseous when I drink green tea in the morning, but not when it's flavored. My favorite is this blueberry green tea from Yogi. It tastes very good, smells like blueberry and doesn't have that bland taste that some green teas do. 

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Most of the other teas I drink are fruity or dessert-inspired, but I like to drink english breakfast tea in the morning if I don't feel like coffee. I always have to add some milk and sugar to english breakfast because it's got a spicy kick to it, but this Harney & Sons tea is perfect for that.

Apple hot cider is always delicious, but this grove square flavor has a caramel kick to it that takes it to the next level. It's so good during the fall and winter and a nice alternative to hot chocolate if you've had too much of that!

I love the Starbucks hot chocolate mixes and this marshmallow one is my favorite. It kind of tastes like smores, actually, and it smells like them too!

The Contigo travel tumblers are definitely the way to go when you want something that will never spill and keeps your drinks hot or cold for a very long time. I've gone through many tumblers before I purchase one of these but I've had mine for over a year now, use it almost everyday and I love how it keeps my coffee hot for hours and never leaks.

This rose gold tumbler is absolutely gorgeous and I love using it for both hot and cold drinks. It's practically a clothing accessory in itself because it's so beautiful, and it actually does a fairly good job with insulation for a cold cup. 

For iced coffee (or water) I love the Kate Spade Break the Ice tumbler. It's very high quality and I love the fun design. 

Anthropologie's monogram mugs have been a favorite item for years now, and this year I've been seeing their gold limited edition version in stores and had to pick one up. I love the black ones they usually sell but these add a touch of glamour and look beautiful at my coffee bar.

World Market has sold these for a very long time and most of my friends actually have one of their own. They're simple, cute and affordable and I love that they're very big so you have plenty of room for cream, sugar or foam!

I'm a big crossword lover and I think this design is so fun. It's simple yet unique and I love using it while I'm eating breakfast- it brings a smile to my face every time!

Pottery Barn has a collection of these city-inspired mugs, including New York, Texas, Paris etc. and I particularly loved this London one. It's just the right size for a glass of coffee or tea, not too small and not too large, and the print is very cute. 

I hesitated on getting a milk frother for a while because I wasn't sure that they'd work, or that I'd actually use one, but I got one a couple of months ago and use it almost every day. You just turn it on and dip it into a cup of milk (I've used almond and regular and it works great for both) and it'll turn the milk to foam for your coffee! Using a frother really makes your coffee station feel like a coffee shop and I also think they'd make a great gift for any coffee lover. 

While I am a Keurig user, I also love the AeroPress when I have a little bit more time in the mornings. It makes coffee that's a lot smoother and bolder than what you'll get from a coffee machine. They're reasonably priced, too, as they usually range from 20 to 40 dollars.

I've been using this coffee-mate creamer for years and am always so excited when I pick it up in late November. It's the perfect addition to coffee during the holiday season and the name says it all: Peppermint. Mocha. 

I usually add sweetener to my tea, and sometimes to my coffee, and this PureVia Stevia sweetener is my favorite by a longshot. One packet really does the trick and it dissolves very easily. The texture is more like powdered sugar than granulated so it's easy to mix into both cold and hot drinks, and it doesn't leave a weird aftertaste like some artificial sweeteners do. 

I recently upgraded to the Keurig 2.0 and I have been looooving it. As someone who drinks a ton of coffee and likes to brew some when I have friends or family over, the option to brew an entire carafe saves a lot of time, and money too since you don't have to use one of the single k-cups for each person. You can also choose from several sizes for your single cups, from 4 oz to 12 oz, which is great for giving you options with mix-in room. 


Coffee photo credit: subsetsum via photopin cc