STARBUCKS IS GOING COCONUTS!…##COCONUT MILK

Once again, our neighborhood coffeehouse, Starbucks is testing a new idea; more of a product, coconut milk. Actually, they have tried it in San Diego, California and Washington before and the response seemed to have been favorable. As a result, based on customers’ demand, they have added coconut milk on their menu.

Sometime this month, (February 2015), Starbucks will offer coconut milk on its list of milk options. Based on reports in the media, it will only be in certain territories like Oregon, Ohio and Cleveland. I say bravo to them for taking this step.

It’s not surprising to me that the coffee chain has gone this route. I guess those in charge at Starbucks have discovered that the product is on the upswing. We have all seen a few of the high-profile celebrities, like Rihanna and others toting coconut water. And clearly, someone is doing their homework to know that the health benefits of coconut milk are tremendous.

Studies have revealed by the scientific community that the fat content in coconut includes a large amount of lauric acid which makes it heart healthy. As a result, it doesn’t have any negative effect on cholesterol in the body. Further studies have shown that countries like Sri Lanka and Polynesia where coconut is popularly used in the diet, heart related illnesses are uncommon.

I reckon that Starbucks’ nutritionists have done the research to know that their customers will also reap:

  • loads of fibers, vitamins, minerals
  • a slow absorption in the body which will not spike the glucose level in the body
  • an extra boost of energy, which makes it excellent for physically fit individuals

The question is, “will this test of coconut milk take off?” Already, they have had a positive response in California and Washington. We in Jamaica and in the Caribbean on a whole have been using coconut milk in our sweet and savory dishes for decades.

So far, I’ve  not used coconut milk in my coffee. Maybe, I should do a taste test. Although I love the product in various dishes, I’m sure it’ll be an acquired taste, ‘chasing’ my coffee. Who knows? I’ll have to take a quick swig and determine from a few shots.

Various companies like Grace Kennedy, etc have processed the milk and canned same in different sizes. This step makes it convenient for cooks to use in the kitchen. I do stock same for when I’m strapped for time. However, I prefer to purchase the wholesome product which averages about $1.99. To me, that’s priceless.

When I take it home, I use a hammer and give it a few bangs so as to break the husk. Ahh, it’s always a pleasure to drink that refreshing water within. I extract the flesh from the husk with a dull knife. Coconut pieces are then chopped and placed in a blender with water. A few minutes of blending action will yield perfectly healthy milk from nature.

COCONUT FLESH IN HUSK
COCONUT FLESH IN HUSK
COCONUT MILK AND LEFT-OVER PIECES OF COCONUT
COCONUT MILK AND LEFT-OVER PIECES OF COCONUT

Perhaps, Starbucks should stir awareness by recruiting a few prominent individuals like sports stars and entertainers to promote the coconut milk in coffee and the diet on a whole.That would seem ‘kool’ to their fans and supporters. Starbucks would definitely see a positive on their balance sheet.

Now, the question is, “where will Starbucks access the coconut milk?” Perhaps, Jamaica Coconut Board along with Grace Kennedy. That would be an excellent way to go. However, word out is that they already garnered their supplies from an Indonesian island called Sumatra in a concentrated form.

Will the addition of coconut milk to the menu be a permanent ‘fixture’ and increase sales? Only time will tell.

 

BERRIES AND EGGS ON THE OUTSKIRTS

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Guys, it was divine on the outdoors. Temperatures were flirting in the mid 70’s. So, I decided to perch myself on my back patio. What can I say? It was a great decision. For me,  It doesn’t take much to be happy. Sometimes, it’s the simple things within one’s reach.

Anyway guys, I made yours truly a creamy omelet with a few pieces of left-over sweet potato/apple waffles. And of course, as you can see a serving of black/strawberries with a sprig of mint. And, it’s always great with a drink of coffee.

Guys, life is wonderful. Be kind to your loved-ones as well as your beautiful palates.

WHAT’S THE NEXT MOVE FOR STARBUCKS?…..A SINGING BARISTA AT YOUR DOOR…EH!?

Guys, ‘good ole’ neighborhood Starbucks is trying the utmost best to please all and sundry. Just a few weeks ago it has been announced in the press that a delivery service will be up and running. Yes guys, no longer will you’ve to suit up and join that long queue to retrieve your morning brew. That’s service is coming soon.

You can actually get your java arrived on your front porch or office door. I wonder how many pints you’ve to order so as to obtain free delivery. For one, there must be a minimum. You know, just like your Chinese eatery. I’ve to order at least $10 before they show up for ‘free’.

Well, everyone I know likes their coffee piping hot. What if it gets cool en route  to your door. Will a skilled barista arrive and offer to heat for me? Will there be a deduction or a free cup of brew? We’ll have to see.

The latest is, dear Starbucks has developed an ‘app’. This app will allow you to make your selection of java before you arrive at the store.  You’ll be able to pay for it online and then retrieve it at the store. Eh…, I wonder if one could choose the origin of the beans. Can you imagine a disgruntled consumer, “I distinctly requested and paid for beans from the hills of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, or I said Columbia; or, this isn’t Cuban coffee!”

Guys, my take is that you can’t please everyone. Starbucks should try to perfect their brand in-house. And that means reasonable prices. Remember there’s competition from other coffee houses. WiFi is also available at McDonald’s and other places. They are in the business of serving coffee….well, a few other ad hoc items. We do appreciate the savory and sweet food items.Take care of your staff and you’ll derive excellent rewards/service from them. They in turn will provide superb service to customers and the establishment/s will be viable.

Hmm., I’m still thinking about a hot barista with bulging muscles (not too big of a biceps, 6-pack abs, not 8, that’s freaky) showing up at my door, uttering, “I’m here to serve you…coffee!” Maybe, I’ll pay for that. However, the coffee had better be piping hot.

Kudos to Starbucks for thinking outside of the box. I wish them well.

BUTTER….THE NEW WEIGHT LOSS TREND?

There we go again, once again, the so-called studies have shown that our smooth and delicious, butter can help in the area of weight management. Okay, there’s a catch; the butter will have to be consumed with our good ole morning beverage, coffee along with coconut oil.

I don’t know, I’m a ‘sucker’ to try almost anything new in the name of food science, and maybe, I’ll check out the combination. Who knows? But, for heaven’s sake, I hope I don’t like it. You see, I prefer to have my butter on my hot carbs like crackers, pasta and bread. I like to see my butter slowly melt on a toasty English muffin. I like the way it gradually integrates into all the little crevices. Just penning about it makes my mouth salivates. And, as for my coconut oil, I’ll continue to cook with it.

Guys, it’s all about balance. I’m glad I didn’t abandon my dear butter. I shall continue enjoying it as I used to. So much with their new found fat loss.

As always, be good to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.

JAVA PRICE HIKE

OMG!! Say it isn’t so. Once again, coffee prices will be going up. The press has announced that Dunkin Donuts and Folgers will be asking for a 9% increase for their product. Other companies will be following suit. They blame it on the infection of coffee beans from overseas.

Now, what are we java drinkers going do?  Clearly, they have us by the ‘beans’. Serious coffee drinkers got to have their bean high. Coffee has these amazing properties that aid in our alertness and clarity on a daily basis.  I can clearly remember my earlier years in the office in Jamaica where I couldn’t  focus without a couple cups of the java in the early morn. And, a couple more in the afternoon. Back in those days, it was the strong Blue Mountain brand with the potent beans coming from the Blue Mountain peaks of the island. I do believe that Starbucks carry the brand in their collection. Over the years, I’ve learned to mix it up with an alternate consumption of tea.

I just did my morning workout on the outskirts. I do believe it’s time. It’s time for that special cup of medium dark goodness.By the way, this morn, it’s Maxwell House. I don’t discriminate…I like to mix up my brands. I’ll drizzle in a few teaspoons of whole milk and sip my way to goodness while I view Kelly and Michael Live. Oh, those two are peas in a pod!

This hike will not stop me and the millions from indulging in that smooth and satisfying goodness. The trouble is the powers that be are conscious of our cravings. Needless to say, life is goooood!.