Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 15

More Coffee Talk + Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla
Coffee is probably the most consistent and most necessary beverage in my routine besides water. I maybe only go one or two days a month without it. The days I don't drink it, I don't really notice the need. I still have energy, I can make it through the day. I'd like to say that I only drink it for the taste, but if that was the case I would drink decaf, and I don't. But I really do love the taste. Nothing quite socks it to you like a coffee. However much of that is mental or physical I'm not sure, but slowly sipping on a cup of coffee is sometimes one of the most pleasurable aspects of the day.

That said, let's get to the specifics pictured above. I'll first talk about how I arrived at putting almond milk in my coffee at home (my cereal too.) Growing up of course, I always drank regular milk, or 2%, what have you. Within the past couple of years though I made a conscious decision to take in as few calories as possible through liquids (beer being a gigantic exception.) This cut drastically down on my soda consumption and any other various heavily sweetened beverages I used to love to drink. Milk was grouped into this as well. Although I never drank that much milk, breakfast cereal is a staple in my diet, and so with that the milk had to become a lower calorie option as well.

First it was soy milk. Soy milk is really great along with a lot of other foods made with soy beans. However, the portrayal of the soy bean industry in Food Inc. turned me off a bit, and although I still consume soy products, I thought I would cut out one of the main things I bought with soy. Then I switched to rice milk. Rice milk isn't so bad either, but I found it pretty watery, especially with coffee. It just didn't quite mix the same as milk (nothing will, really.) After that I settled on almond milk. It's still not the same, but it's a pretty good option in terms of lower calories. I believe it only has 40 calories per 8 oz serving, and I certainly don't use that much when putting it in my coffee. It does the job of turning that coffee to a lighter color, and that psychological edge is enough for me to be happy with the product. I never really drink the almond milk plain, so I can't review it based on its own merit, but it's good in cereal too.

Here's the thing. Many coffee shops do not offer alternative sweeteners to half + half or milk without an additional charge. Fair enough, the other sweeteners are more expensive. So I usually sweeten my store bought coffees with half + half. It feels a bit luxurious after not using it more most of the time, and I used it in the picture above with my iced coffee from Over Coffee Cafe in Hockessin, DE.

Iced coffee has become a favorite of mine when I go out to a coffee place because I'm too lazy to make it myself. It's just a lot easier to drink, especially as the weather starts to turn warmer. I'll probably be reviewing a few different coffees from different shops around town, but I'll start with the OCC because I went there a couple of days ago. There isn't a whole lot to say except that the OCC has the best coffee in our area, but unfortunately has the longest drive to get there from where I work. You have to convince yourself it's worth the drive and it usually is. At $1.75 per large, it's a pretty good deal for a bold and flavorful coffee. I believe that iced coffee is the only drink I've tried at OCC and that's because they make it right. Simple and delightful.


  1. What a coincidence. I just sent in an advertisement for Almond Breeze to the Gallery of the Absurd.

    I've never had it in coffee, but by itself, the regular almond milk I've had stinks. I use the vanilla flavor on cereal. In my coffee though, I always put chocolate soymilk. It's got way more calories than regular soymilk, but it's so, so good.

  2. I stopped buying iced coffee after realizing how fast I consume it. I honestly don't think I ever had one that lasted more than 5 minutes!