This blog post was sponsored by Starbucks but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. #StarbucksAtHome #SavorEverySip
Fall isn't one I'd call my favorite season but in practice, it truly is the favorite. I mean, fall is when Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Latte hits the shelves, a time so special, it deserves it's own season! Now you can #SavorEverySip and make Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Latte and Starbucks® Fall Blend at home, in your Keurig. It's the best way to all the flavors of fall made even better when sipping coffee from a DIY mug sitting atop the most adorable, easy felt coasters. Today I'm sharing how to properly taste coffee and we'll create a DIY mug worthy of holding your favorite Starbucks® brew.
How to savor every sip of fall – coffee tasting tips
Did you know that there is a method to tasting coffee? Fine coffee, well, that's something worth waking up early for and these tasting tips make the experience so much richer. There are four steps to the ultimate coffee tasting experience: smell, slurp, locate, and describe. All of these tips can be used for tasting and savoring coffee made at home or in the cafe.
Always smell coffee before tasting it. Our mouths distinguish only four tastes: salty, sweet, bitter and sour, but our noses can detect thousands of smells, which enhances our experience of everything we eat and drink. Doesn't the smell of coffee just perk up all of your senses?
When tasting coffee, be sure to slurp it to spray the coffee across your palate and let the subtle flavors and aromas reach all the tasting zones of your mouth. I know, this sounds like something mom would scold you for but slurping is totally okay when tasting fine coffee.
After slurping, think about the coffee’s weight and feel in your mouth. Where are you experiencing the flavors on your tongue? These areas will correspond with the places on our tongue where we taste sweet, salty, bitter, and sour, further influencing the taste of the coffee.
Think about how you would describe your coffee tasting experience. Which words would you use to characterize the aroma, flavor and how coffee feels in your mouth? What other food flavors or aromas can you compare the coffee to? You might have heard coffee described as “chocolate” or “woody” or “tangy”; these all refer to other tastes that people are using to describe the full experience of the coffee.
Walmart has a short quiz to help you find your own personalized flavor recommendations. Are you Starbucks® Fall Blend or Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte person? Tell me which coffee drinker you are, in the comments!
Developing your coffee tasting skills
Once you've tasted the coffee, now it's time to learn how to describe the flavors. The Four Tasting Characteristics of coffee are aroma, acidity, body, and flavor. The tasting methods above will help you to fully experience each of these characteristics so that you can better describe and enjoy the coffee.
Aroma is the way a coffee smells. Sometimes subtle, aromas can be earthy, spicy, nutty, floral, and are directly related to the coffee’s flavor.
Acidity is the tang or tartness of the coffee, usually described as low, medium or high. You’ll taste and feel the characteristics of acidity on the sides and tips of your tongue and sometimes the back of your jawbone, like when you taste citrus fruits. Coffees with high acidity are often described as bright, tangy, and crisp with a clean finish. Low acidity coffees feel smooth in your mouth and linger. Acidity does not describe the pH level of the coffee.
Body is the weight of a coffee on your tongue, described as light, medium, or full. Similar to comparing non-fat milk with cream, light-bodied coffees feel light on the tongue and have a clean finish while full-bodied coffees feel heavier, with lingering flavors.
Flavor is the way a coffee tastes. Flavors can vary greatly between coffees from obvious and subtle and register in different parts of your mouth.
Use all of the characteristics outlined above to describe how a coffee tastes. This can add to your experience as you visualize the flavors while drinking the coffee.
Starbucks at Home – now for Keurig at Walmart
I am super excited that you can now make your favorites at home with Starbucks® Fall Blend – Roast & Ground, Starbucks® Fall Blend K-Cup® pods, and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte – K-Cup® pods from your local Walmart. Are you as excited as I am about this? I may just hoard these in my pantry all year long …
Want to bring home the flavors of fall? Look for these packages at your local Walmart.
Then get ready to make your favorites, like Pumpkin Spice Latte using Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte – K-Cup® pods!
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte – K-Cup® pods is a two part process. Each K Cup® pod in the package is matched with a packet of Pumpkin Spice. Pour the Pumpkin Spice Latte packet into your favorite mug.
Place the mug inside the Keurig machine, under the spout.
Place the “Caffè Blend Step 2” K Cup® pod into the Keurig machine and close the lid securely.
Press the button to select the size of cup you'd like to brew. The Keurig machine will do the rest!
Like the tray we have our Keurig sitting in? We made this DIY coffee station on our blog, earlier this year. Make it for your own kitchen here: DIY Coffee Station
Once the coffee has finished brewing, stir to blend well and enjoy with a plate of your favorite fall cookies or dried fruit and nuts.
DIY Hand Lettered Coffee Mug: “My Favorite Season is PSL”
This fall season, make a mug worthy of every Starbucks® blend, with ceramics markers and a bake at home mug. Here's what you'll need:
- bake at home mug
- ceramics markers
- cotton swabs
- rubbing alcohol
- paper towels
You'll use the rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to remove any mistakes you might make with the markers. These particular markers are food safe when baked onto the ceramic mug so you can draw all the way up to the lip of the mug or write a secret message on the inside. I drew a tiny orange heart in the bottom of the mug!
Watch this quick video to see how I made the mug – and how you can make one too:
Did you notice the cute coaster this coffee mug sits on while on my desk?
You can create felt coasters like this really fast and in your favorite fall colors. You can make 4 of them for under $2! Here's what you'll need:
- felt sheets (get the 9×12 felt from the kids crafts section of the craft store – it's from recycled plastic bottles and really affordable)
- fabric glue or felt glue
- die cutting system or a small plate to trace, a marker, and scissors
There are two ways to make these coasters, depending on what kinds of tools you have in your craft room. If you don't have any tools, use the tracing method I share first.
- Trace a small plate, about 4.5″ or 5″ in diameter, onto the felt with a marker.
- Cut out the circle using the scissors, just inside the marker line so the marker line won't show.
- Glue this circle to a second sheet of felt in a different color.
- Using pinking shears, cut out the felt around the circle., leaving a 1/4″ border. If you don't have pinking shears, you can hand cut a scallop or wave pattern around the perimeter of the felt circle.
- Allow the glue to dry before using.
With a die cut machine:
- Die cut a 4.5″ felt circle and a 5″ scalloped felt circle.
- Glue the felt circle to the scalloped circle and allow to dry.
Aren't these coasters just so CUTE?!
Make your morning ritual feel even more special as you savor the flavor of Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte – K-Cup® pods from this cute mug! What saying would you put on your mug?
RELATED POST: Pumpkin Spice Latte inspired wreath
Be sure to pick up Starbucks® Fall Blend – Roast & Ground, Starbucks® Fall Blend K-Cup® pods, and Starbucks® Pumpkin Spice Caffè Latte – K-Cup® pods at your local Walmart and collect 75 stars when you purchase 3 qualifying Starbucks® coffees. Offer valid at Walmart from 8/27 – 10/31. CLICK HERE for more details.
Which blend will you choose?