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Cool Down with Lowcountry Blend!

Hey coffee fans! As the summer days continue to heat up throughout the lowcountry, many coffee drinkers turn to iced coffee for relief. But iced coffee has a major problem: before you reach the bottom of your cup, the ice melts and makes the coffee taste watered down. For those of you who enjoy iced coffee, why don’t you consider making a batch of coffee ice cubes?

Lowcountry Blend Ice Cubes

In fact, coffee ice cubes not only prevent water dilution from conventional ice, but it can also strengthen the taste of your Lowcountry Blend, especially if you have added too much milk or sweeteners. You can also use the ice cubes to cool down your hot cup of coffee without watering it down. To make your Lowcountry Blend ice cubes, follow the instructions below.

1. After brewing your Lowcountry Blend, pour the coffee into ice trays.

2. Freeze the coffee overnight

3. Open your freezer the following day and the ice cubes are ready for use!

Lowcountry Blend Ice Cream

Other ways to cool down with Lowcountry Blend is to make coffee ice cream! This frozen treat combines the energy boost from coffee with the refreshing coolness of ice cream. It’s simple to make at home, and it’s delicious!

Coffee Ice Cream Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (press grinds through a fine mesh sieve)

Coffee Ice Cream Directions

1. Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.

3. Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating without it  running. This can take about 10 minutes.

5. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.

6 Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker. Once the ice cream thickens, it’s ready to be served!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston

 

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Get a Slice of This!

Happy Friday everyone! It is already August and that means school is near.  I hope that you all take advantage of the tax-free weekend!

Are you a fan of pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, and delicious desserts?  If your answer was “yes,” give Brixx Pizza a try!  The first Brixx Pizza was opened in 1998 and now there are fourteen locations that travel up the east coast.  The idea behind Brixx Pizza was to create an atmosphere that combined the techniques of fine dining, with the feel of being casual.  Brixx Pizza offers a variety of foods, some of my favorite being, the Margherita Pizza, the Spinach and Artichoke dip with pita, and the Southwest Chicken Salad.  You should really try those and then try the rest of the menu!  Brixx Pizza does an excellent job of creating new flavors and colors on ordinary pizza.  For instance, Brixx now has a Thai Chicken Pizza.  This pizza brings the taste of Thailand to those on the east coast!  You should really give that pizza a try if you are up for something different, unoriginal, and a little bit spicy.

This past Wednesday, the Brixx Pizza in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina showed their support for the #beanteam and the Lowcountry Blend.  Never forget that with every cup of coffee that is purchased from a Sunoco APlus store, a cup of coffee is donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank.  So, as we say a huge ‘thank you’ to those at Brixx Pizza for supporting our cause, give them a huge ‘thank you’ by visiting one of their fourteen locations on the east coast!

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston

 

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When is Coffee Day?

It seems today there is some sort of holiday or event for each day of the year. For example, International Bacon Day, Secretary’s Day, and even Penguin Awareness Day. Yes, really! Take a look here. I personally like International Bacon Day. Yum! Of course, this made me wonder if there was also a day for coffee. So I began my online search. Low and behold, there is not just one Coffee Day, but several days celebrated around the world! Amazing, isn’t it?

International Coffee Day (also known as Coffee Day or National Coffee Day) is observed September 29th. According to Wikipedia, this day is used to promote fair trade coffee and raise awareness for the plight of the coffee growers. Many businesses around the world will offer free or discounted coffee. The history of this day was first celebrated in Japan in 1983 and many countries have their own inaugural days of celebration as well. However, it isn’t just on September 29, which is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Ethiopia, and England. September 12 is National Coffee Day in Costa Rica, October 1 is International Coffee Day in Japan and you can read all the different days here.

So if you’re ever on the hunt for an interesting and fun adventure, how about planning for a Caffeinated one? If you would like to start one soon, August 17 is National Coffee Day in Indonesia and I think that’s a wonderful place to start. But before you do, you can stop by your local Sunoco APlus store in the Charleston area and pick up a cup of Lowcountry Blend to jumpstart this caffeinated trip.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston

 

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Cheers to the Lowcountry and to Coffee!!

Summer in the Lowcountry is the perfect time for a summer soiree or a backyard barbeque. With the sweet and salty ocean breeze, the hum of the cicadas and the clear starry nights the Lowcountry serves as the ideal backdrop for any summer shindig and that is something we here in the Lowcountry never like to waste. So, the next time you are planning your summer get-together add some coffee to your menu lineup. Now I know you are probably asking yourself, “Coffee at a party?” and my answer is yes. Coffee pairs great with some of your favorite spirits to create a perfect marriage between coffee and cocktail. To help the rigorous party-planning process along, I have listed three coffee cocktails that will be perfect for any Charleston celebration.

1. Mint Chocolate Coffee Martini

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1 ounce of chocolate-mint cocktail mix

1 ounce of vodka

1/2 ounce of coffee liqueur such as Kahlua

1/2 strong brewed coffee

2. Hard Coffee Soda

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1 pint of chocolate ice cream

5 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of light rum

2 Tbs. of finely ground coffee

Instant coffee crystals

Mix all ingredients in a blender and top with coffee crystals.

3. Wine Coffee Froth
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1 cup of cold coffee

2 ounces of Muscatel wine

2 tsp. of sugar

1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

Pinch of cinnamon

Whip all ingredients until foamy and smooth . Serve over ice.

With all of these new recipes your set for your summer spread, the only thing your missing is some Lowcountry Blend for these new coffee cocktails. Cheers!

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston

 

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Coffee and Public Knowledge

I was curious what happened when I Googled “coffee” and I thought I would explore the Wikipedia page. I was surprised to see how extensive the page was. In high school, I was always told to avoid Wikipedia for any credible information– anyone can edit it. Times have changed, and Wikipedia is more credible. Therefore, I am going to share some fun facts that you can find on this page. After all, anyone can post on here so it has to be true, right?

1) Coffee was referenced first in 1598. That is a long time ago, folks.

2) Coffee was initially associated with spiritual and political activism. Really? Because now it keeps people awake while they sit at their computers for 8 hours at a time.

3) Powerful sorcerers often had coffee trees planted over their graves as it was believed that it sprouted from the tears of god.

I will leave it up to you to find the sources and confirm, but it is rather interesting, don’t you think?

Another interesting website is Coffee Review . This site has a blog, a glossary, forums, and articles all centered around coffee. I thought it would be interesting to see what the people were saying about coffee (along the same lines of Wikipedia) and the forums have everything from coffee reviews and brewing tips. I suppose if you wanted to connect with coffee fans alike, this would be the place to go. In the interest of seeing what other people are blogging, and it has numerous opinions but they are all from last year. All in all, if you want information from this site, check out the glossary– it’s quite extensive.

I hope this has given you some insight into the world of citizen journalism…even if it isn’t journalism exactly. There are numerous coffee drinkers out there, and so many really are knowledgable on the drink. With the Internet, we can all share and learn about coffee, or anything else. It is just now more important than ever to check facts if you want to know for sure.

Grab a cup of Lowcountry Blend and tell us what you know about coffee! You can add it to the mix of all the other coffee facts up there. I bet this blend will compete with the rest. It is pretty darn good!

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston

 

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Fortune Telling with Lowcountry Blend

Drinking a cup of Lowcountry Blend could actually hold clues to your present and future. After drinking a cup of coffee, the coffee grounds left behind in the cup create symbols, which reveal your fortune. People from all over the globe have been reading coffee grounds for thousands of years, and coffee readings are typically done by women of the family during gatherings.

Coffee Preparation

By the time you drink coffee, there are usually no coffee grounds remaining. So it’s important to prepare your cup of Lowcountry Blend in a specific way. Boil your coffee on the stovetop. If you don’t boil the coffee grounds, the grounds will float in your coffee, which makes it difficult to drink. Pour the coffee without filtering the coffee grounds, and most grounds should fall to the bottom of your cup.

Drinking the Coffee 
I know it’s tempting to drink all your Lowcountry Blend, but make sure to leave some grounds at the bottom of the cup. When your drinking Lowcountry Blend, turn your coffee cup slowly while drinking so you can strain the grounds.

The Fortune Telling
Here’s the exciting part! The interpreter/ fortune-teller should hold the cup in one hand while holding the person’s hand simultaneously. Coffee grounds that lie to the right indicate the future, and leaves to the left reveal the past. Then the fortune-teller will look for images in the coffee ground. If you see symbols at the bottom of the cup, it means that the fortune will happen later as opposed to sooner.

Symbols
In general, work your way through the cup starting with the handle reading clockwise, and try to find connections between each symbol. Make sure to write down the symbols and the information you receive that day so you can begin to see how things develop when they do. Take a look at the common symbols below:

Apple: Fertility and creativity.
Arch: Money in business matters.
Bread: Nurture your desires, hopes and dreams.
Bridge: A major decision needs to be made – which way should you go?
Camera: Someone is attracted to you.
Coins: Money is on the way.
Diamonds: A marriage proposal is expected? If the person is married, this may be a symbol of money and material wealth.
Flowers: Flowers indicate happiness.
Genie Lamp: Your wish will be granted.
Harp: Traditional romance.
Heart: A love affair, if the heart is broken or misshapen then the person is broken-hearted.
Knots: Concern over something, take care that it does not negatively affect your health.
Road: Creative opportunities are bringing you to another level.
Ship: A business opportunity is presenting itself.

*To find more symbols, go to http://www.superstitionsof.com/coffee-readings.htm. The next time you drink a cup of Lowcountry Blend, sit down, relax, and enjoy your coffee reading!

 
 

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Touring with the Lowcountry Blend

Hey y’all! I hope that your Friday has been going well.  Stay cool because this weekend’s temperature is looking quite hot!

Today the #beanteam held our final event at Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.  We partnered with Fort Sumter Tours & Spiritline Cruises for the day, setting our booth right beside their dock.  This morning we hoped to reach those who were visiting Charleston temporarily and who may want a good coffee to grab as they are traveling between vacation spots!

We provided samples of the Lowcountry Blend, with cookies and muffins, and told people about our partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank.  We directed our interested guests to the APlus Convenience stores that carry Lowcountry Blend and handed out many t-shirts that represent Sunoco and the #beanteam. Not only did we talk about coffee and hand out samples of coffee, but we provided some “coffee” music that brought the feel of a coffee house to a dock on the Charleston harbor.

We were pleasantly surprised and excited that so many of our guests enjoyed the flavor and richness of the Lowcountry Blend.  Our guests told their families and friends who were touring with them today, so our popularity grew with every coffee cup that was given out.  As this was our last event of the summer, we could not have been more grateful for this opportunity to represent a nationally-known company as Sunoco. Sunoco has such a heart for their customers, such as their initiative to donate a cup of coffee, to the Lowcountry Food Bank, with every cup that is bought within their APlus Convenience Stores.

Thank you to Sunoco and Fort Sumter Tours & Spiritline Cruises for making today a success!

Remember, tonight is the kick off of the Olympics.  So, purchase yourself a cup of Lowcountry Blend to drink as you watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Caffeinate Charleston