Holiday Drinks + New Menu Items at Dunkin’ Are Coming Soon!
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Starbucks Goes Hipster With Its New Mason Jars


By Cooking Panda

Starbucks is trying out a new look, it seems … by giving the mason jar a chance to shine like the hipsters. Customers in Singapore can now get their cold brew in one such jar, if they want to be cool.

Mashable reports that South Korea customers were blessed with Starbucks mason jars first, with a line of green-capped jars available to them in 2016. But Singapore’s mason jars of today come with black lids, apparently to match their fancier Reserve brand. I guess that’s what’s in right now.

The jars are marked with a Starbucks logo, and we think they’re probably great for the environmentally conscious consumers who don’t want to create more trash in the world. According to Seventeen, Starbucks has confirmed that the black-lidded jars are only available in Singapore right now (the green lids are still offered in South Korea). The jars are $8.50 or $5.90 if you buy yours filled with cold brew.

Just because you don’t have access to the mason jar glasses in the U.S. yet, doesn’t mean you have to settle for disposable plastic cups, so don’t get down. Sure, it’s disappointing that we don’t get the trendy new jars (unless they plan to surprise us for summer?), but Starbucks still sells lots of different to-go cups and mugs that can be re-used. So that’s what we’ll have to settle for using in the meantime. 

Who knows? Maybe they’re planning on giving us something even cooler and trendier than silly old mason jars. Maybe they’re giving us ombre mugs or something. That would be fun and different! Just keep your eye out for interesting new finds. I’m sure we’ll get something cool.

Also, don’t forget that we can still get that nice Reserve brand of cold brew with or without the mason jar mug. We don’t need a hipster mug to help us enjoy our coffee anyway. I’m happy enough just to have that yummy cold brew Starbucks is so great at making.

Not that it wouldn’t be nice to have a cool-looking glass …

Sources: Mashable, Seventeen / Photo Credit: Cheepeer/Instagram

Tags: cold brew, Mason Jars, singapore, South Korea, Starbucks
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Dunkin’ Donuts Introduces Brand New Cold Brew Variety


By Cooking Panda

Good news, cold brew lovers!

On Feb. 27, 2017, popular coffee and donut chain Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it is introducing a brand new type of cold brew to its lineup just in time for spring.

The Sweet & Salted Cold Brew is available for a limited time at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants. It features DD’s signature Cold Brew (which was introduced successfully in 2016) sweetened with liquid cane sugar as well as a special, brand spanking new proprietary salted whipped topping.

We are seriously dying to get our hands on this one. DD claims that the drink delivers both saltiness and sweetness in every single sip, which is a classic combo.

And guess what? That’s not all! To go with its brand new coffee, you probably already guessed that the chain is living up to its name and is bringing a new donut to its menu as well.

The Vanilla Truffle Donut is a yeast shell donut that is stuffed with a creamy, rich vanilla-flavored buttercreme, frosted with chocolate icing, and then topped off with both white and dark chocolate curls.

This thing sounds seriously decadent, and is a totally welcome addition to the chain’s March menu!

Lastly, DD is bringing back its Shamrock Sprinkle Donut for the holiday season, which is a yeast ring donut frosted with chocolate icing and then topped with ultra-special shamrock sprinkles. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, you can also go with the DD Chocolate Filled Croissant, which is a flaky and buttery croissant (yum!) filled with dark chocolate and served all warm and gooey.

Make sure to stop by a participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant soon, as these goodies are only available for a limited time nationwide.

Source: Dunkin' Donuts / Photo Credit: Dunkin' Donuts

Tags: coffee chain, cold brew, Dunkin' Donuts, sweet & salted cold brew, sweet and salty
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Caribou Coffee’s Hot Cold Brew Makes No Sense (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

Caribou Coffee has come out with a brand new drink that is sure to puzzle. It’s a hot cold brew? It’s called the Hot Crafted Press, and the method behind the madness is actually pretty interesting.

Brand Eating reports that this new “Hot Crafted Press” was introduced in January 2017 and that the way it is crafted is by steeping the cold brew for 12 hours, then adding vanilla cream and sugar, and finally the coffee is steamed up with an espresso wand and served. What? What is the purpose of making cold brew, then reheating it?

Well, the idea might be to get a smooth taste, like the cold brew is usually known for, since cold brew is less acidic. At least, that’s what Brand Eating guesses, and I think they’re right on the mark. If the coffee is made the cold brew way with the less acidic, smoother taste, then sweetened and warmed, the idea is that you’d be getting a nice hot cup of coffee that tastes so much better than the regular drip-brewed cup you’d usually get. I wonder if this is true?

The new Caribou item has gotten mixed reviews from confused customers, including one not-so-convinced Foodbeast writer. “Basically, their cold brew has been turned into a hot cold brew,” he says. He also makes a good point in saying that heating up the coffee might eliminate its healthy features, like those valuable antioxidants. “Sorry, Caribou, but I’m not down with this new coffee product of yours,” he finishes.

I have to say, I’m personally on the fence with this one. On the one hand, I love my cold brew for the smoothness of flavor. I also love complicated new drinks, probably because they intrigue me. So, to try or not to try? Let’s try it! I don’t know if I’m fully convinced that they’re not just making money off of those of us who are suckers enough to buy into something like this, but it’s worth a shot to learn something new.

Points for creativity, Caribou. Bring it on!

Sources: Brand Eating, Foodbeast / Photo Credit: Caribou Coffee/Instagram, Caribou Coffee via Brand Eating

Tags: Caribou Coffee, coffee, cold brew, Hot Crafted Press
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Starbucks New Holiday Drink Is Completely Different


By Cooking Panda

Starbucks is well known for changing its menu seasonally, providing us with fall flavors in the fall, fun festive flavors in the winter and fruity iced teas in the spring and summer.

This year they’ve added a twist to their usual fall and winter lineup, however, with a cold seasonal drink for the winter season. According to a Starbucks press release, the new cold beverage, called the Spiced Sweet Cream Nariño 70 Cold Brew is slow-steeped for 20 hours, then spiced with cinnamon, anise, nutmeg and vanilla before being doused with a float of house-made sweet cream. Not only does that sound delicious, but it sounds festive as well, even being cold.

“We know our customers are looking for even more options in cold coffee,” said Yoke Wong from Starbucks’ beverage development team. “Although we’ve offered iced and blended versions of our holiday espresso beverages before, this is our first time creating a cold coffee holiday beverage.”

Not only will those who live in warmer climates like Texas and Florida appreciate this new cold brew, but there are plenty of us who prefer iced coffee year-round too, and we’ll be thrilled for this new menu addition. The drink is available starting Nov. 3 for Starbucks Rewards members, and then the rest of the United States and Canada can begin ordering the drink later in November.

If you want to enjoy your cooler months with a festive hot beverage, you’re clearly not alone, since most of the Starbucks favorites are returning. You don’t have to sip on the Sweet Cream Nariño 70 Cold Brew to enjoy a taste of fall and winter spices.

According to Delish, the Caramel Brulee Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Latte and Peppermint Mocha are all returning. If you can’t find anything you like from all of these options, then maybe fall and winter are just not your cup of tea (or coffee). And don’t forget, you can get all of these in a cold variety as well!

Keep an eye out at your local Starbucks for these fun festive flavors, and also the returning red cups!

Sources: Starbucks, Delish / Photo credit: Starbucks/Instagram

Tags: cold brew, fall drinks, iced coffee, Starbucks
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Dunkin’ Donuts Is Taking Its New Cold Brew Nationwide


By Cooking Panda

After previously testing cold brew coffee at participating restaurants in Massachusetts and Maine, Dunkin’ Donuts is finally ready to follow in its largest competitor Starbucks’ footsteps and launch its new beverage this summer.

A Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman confirmed the launch in an e-mail to The Street, noting that participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the Metro New York and Los Angeles markets can expect the cold brew to become available as soon as June 27. The cold brew coffee will then launch nationally in the third quarter, Dunkin’ Donuts CFO Paul Carbone said at an investor presentation on June 21.

Given Starbucks’s massive success with its cold brew products, it was only a matter of time before Dunkin’ Donuts manufactured its own version of the summer favorite.

According to Business Insider, cold brew coffee demands a slower steeping process, while allegedly yielding richer flavors from the coffee beans and discarding more acidic compounds. The result? A smoother, less-acidic and less-bitter tasting drink.

The coffee will be hand-crafted on location in small batches, and served in stores every day while supplies lasts.

Dunkin’ Donuts senior vice president of brand marketing, global consumer insights and product innovation explained cold brew. “Cold Brew coffee’s ultra-smooth and naturally sweet flavor profile lends itself to being enjoyed black, but is customizable based on guest preference,” Chris Fuqua said in a statement, reports 

“We’re the leader of iced coffee around the world,” Fuqua told Business Insider. “We sell more iced coffee than anybody, but we also realize that we need to keep up with trends. Cold brew is one of those trends that doesn’t appear to be going away.

“The really neat thing about Dunkin’ Donuts is you can see a Fortune 500 CEO, a student, a construction worker, and a teacher in line all at the same time,” he says. “As coffee evolves, we definitely play a role in bringing great, fairly-priced coffee beverages to the core consumer in America.”

“Coffee culture in the country is getting a little bit more sophisticated by the day,” Fuqua concluded. “Customers really understand what craft coffee beverages are, and understand the cold brew is something that they should expect from a coffee place.”

Sources: The Street, Boston.comBusiness Insider / Photo credit: dunkindonuts/Instagram

Tags: cold brew, Dunkin' Donuts, iced coffee
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This Cold Brew Coffee Is Perfect For Your Next Camping Trip


By Cooking Panda

For ages, many coffee-loving campers have had to lug bulky contraptions in their backpacks for a necessary caffeine fix. Thanks to a couple of cold-brew fans, travelers can now carry a coffee maker in a bag.

That bag, which makes eight cups of cold-brew coffee, is called the cold-brew kit. It was created by Jin and Rim Han, owners of online coffee and tea retailer Alkemy Brewlab.

The Hans were experiencing a common traveling issue when they developed the idea. There was no quality coffee nearby, and they had no supplies to make their own.

“I decided then to work on a simple, travel-friendly device that could make cold brew anywhere,” Jin said.

After experimenting with the popular cold-brew recipe from their coffee shop in Brooklyn, the Hans developed the kit.

The sturdy black pouch packs two filter bags that make four cups of coffee each. Slip the pouch into your backpack or glove compartment, and all you need is water and time. A quick video in the product description details brewing instructions.

The reusable kit costs $18, which totals $2.25 per cup. Those finished with their first kit can keep the pouch and purchase new filter bags in packs of four, which make 16 cups of coffee for $1.75 per cup. 

If you want cold brew every day, the kit is more expensive than buying a standard cold-brew coffee maker and beans. But for those camping or staying in hotels, it’s a cheaper alternative to buying drinks at coffee shops.

The cold-brew kit saves space, but Jin said it doesn’t skimp on flavor.

“I want [customers] to conveniently make cold brew in the simplest way possible, while maintaining the highest quality of taste,” he said.

The cold-brew kit contains Brazilian coffee beans with dark chocolate notes. In the works is a fruity Ethiopian blend. 

Sources: Tasting Table, Alkemy Brewlab / Photo credit: Alkemy Brewlab

Tags: alkemy brewlab, coffee, cold brew, on the go
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