National Coffee Day – Vegan Version

A variety of medical studies have found that coffee actually has some impressive health benefits. That’s good news for those of us who are going to drink it either way. Today, on National Coffee Day, I thought I would devote a hot minute to a discussion of coffee and, in particular, seasonal vegan coffee beverages.

Now, it is important to note that some of the benefits of coffee on your health disappear if you overindulge, or if your coffee is frequently/always full of fat and sugar. Taking the animal fat out of the equation is helpful, but sugar is still something to keep an eye on. Still, sometimes, you might want coffee that feels a little more like a dessert. And at this time of year, that brings to mind the ever popular PSL (pumpkin spice latte).

If you are in the U.K. and some other locations, you can get the vegan version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks this year. In the U.S. that isn’t available yet, but there is no shortage of yummy seasonal drinks! Here are a few examples:

Starbucks
Salted Caramel Mocha Latte – Substitute mocha sauce for caramel sauce, skip the whip, and ask for non-dairy milk
Cinnamon Dolce Latte – Ask for non-dairy milk and skip the sprinkled topping and the whipped cream

Peet’s
Pumpkin Latte – Can be made all vegan, including the whipped cream! What? Truth
Vanilla Cardamom Lattee – Just ask for non-dairy milk (and/or whip) Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Your Local Coffee Shop
Frequently, smaller coffee shops can do some serious seasonal magic, so check in with your local shop and see what they have going on. I bet they can whip you up something seriously amazing. The one nearest me (Groovegound Coffeebar) can make a vegan Pumpkin Spice latte with non-dairy milk and pumpkin spice syrup and a gingerbread latte, along with other seasonally interesting options!

If a PSL is what you really want, and you can’t find a place near you that can make one, Califa, Silk, and Almond Dream all have Pumpkin Spice non-dairy creamers to add to your own coffee or espresso. Throw on a little pumpkin spice (McCormick, Frontier, and other brands make them) and you are ready to go!

Kiss Me Organics – Matcha Green Tea Review

matcha

Kiss Me Organics recently contacted me to see if I wanted to review their organic matcha green tea. The tea is only available at Amazon right now, and I had seen it before there while browsing for matcha, but I hadn’t tried it. So, I readily agreed!

If you haven’t had matcha before, it can be a bit of a surprise. It’s a very “grassy” tasting tea, has a pretty hefty amount of caffeine punch, and is really green. Matcha is pretty much the only tea that I sweeten, because of the strong green flavor.

I generally like matcha best either as a hot latte drink or a frozen latte drink, and I found that this matcha was no exception. Those were my favorite ways to prepare it. I liked it a bit less as an iced latte, but mostly because I heated some water to dissolve the tea, and then when the ice and soy milk were added, it became too watery for me.

For each of the frozen matcha lattes (pictured above), I used two cups of soy milk, 1.5 slightly rounded teaspoons of matcha, ½ scoop of vegan protein powder, and a teaspoon of agave syrup. I blended all of that first until well mixed. Then I added a pinch of xanthum gum (for texture) and ice cubes and blended (using my well-loved Vitamix) to a nice texture. Super tasty.

Matcha powder isn’t inexpensive, and this is no exception. But, a little goes a long way, so this pouch will last through many cups of tea, in whatever form you like. It can also be used for baking. The recipe guide they send to first time customers has a lot of interesting recipes to try matcha in. I haven’t tried them yet, but there is time, however, because I’ll be buying it again.