Review Cuisinart Coffee Maker

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This is the same machine, 2 years later. Still looks and preforms like new!

Remember when I reviewed this Cuisinart’s Cuisinart Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System coffee pot? Here I am re-reviewing it.

It’s still awesome! 2 years and going strong! Insert cheers here***

This is the one appliance that is used daily in my household. The first thing I do when I step into the kitchen is turn on the hot water feature. (Pets are cared for first thing. I use it to warm their food.)

I can say that this machine is quite the workhorse as daily pots of coffee are made and many, many cups of tea. The hot water feature is used not only for teas and cocoa, I use it to make oatmeal and as i’ve said, heat my pets food.

Everything I’ve done 2 years ago with this machine, I still do. I wipe the machine down with a damp cloth (inside and out) regularly. I used white vinegar to clean the inside of the machine about one-two times a month and the filters get changed about every three-four months. I feel I can stretch the filter changes as I use already filtered water. I don’t have “off/funny” tastes with this unit. I’ve had people ask if the tea tastes like coffee. I can honestly say, I don’t have an issue with that. My tea tastes like tea! 🙂

This machine is so useful when friends are over. They go to the hanging cups and help themselves. We can sit at the breakfast bar and chat and sip and make more beverages to our hearts content!

Cuisinart still sells this unit. Don’t hesitate to buy it. It was a smart purchase, I mean…(I thank Santa Claus for leaving this amazing machine under the tree those years ago!)

Hope you enjoyed the review and it was helpful to you. Whatever you do in your day, make time to have a cup of something. Whether you are a coffee, tea, cocoa drinker, taking a moment for yourself or with someone you care about and enjoy a cup is a wonderful way to start your day. I take mine out onto the deck (weather permitting) and even if it’s for five minutes, I take time to breathe in the clean air and sip my drink…starts my day happy.

Take five minutes for YOU. Breathe, sip your drink, and let the happiness fill you!

Be well Friends. Peace, Koko

DIY Tea Box Repurposed

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I am a huge note taker. Also, for me, there’s a comfort that comes from the feel of physically writing or even doodling. It’s also a wonderful way to clear the mind. Because my mind doesn’t rest, writing things down helps to relieve having to think/remember everything. I like to write on note cards (3×5’s). They are the right size. I can fit them in my purse, or pocket, and they tuck nicely in the corner of a nightstand or drawer.

Ok so, I have 3×5 cards littered in a few places. I’ve been meaning to buy a card holder. Well, I’m not the most patient person and it was late last night when I decided I NEEDED a card holder. I was making tea at the time of this “thought”…and the box my tea was in would do nicely. Shall I continue? Okay, you’ve twisted my arm…

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Before I show you what I did…I made tea, of course! I like this tea with raw honey (neat info on  raw honey ) and raw cream.

Continuing…

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This tea is really seriously delicious. If you are short on time to measure out the spices (like here  or here) to make your own, give this one a go! 

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Only three bags of tea left… I took out the insert.

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I decided I wanted to keep the lid and sides to help reinforce the box. Plus the peacock is so adorable! 😉 They were too big folded inside, so I measured, and trimmed. 

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Fold the flaps down.

 

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Add the 3×5 cards. I made the tabs by cutting a few cards. Now I’m more organized. A more “Zen” workplace and I feel better having all my notes in one place. 

I could have gone out to buy one, but truth be told, then I wouldn’t have this cute box with a monkey on it!

I’ve said it before, and I will continue saying it…I appreciate your support, kind words, and follows. As the card reads on the desk…THANK YOU! Your comments make me smile and your kind words make me sigh! These past few months I’ve needed it more than you can know. THANK YOU.

Take care of yourself. Peace, Koko

Review Cuisinart’s: Coffee Plus 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker plus Hot Water System

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We just got the Cuisinart’s “Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Plus Hot Water System”.  In one word; LOVE. We are big coffee drinkers, and what’s more is we are big tea drinkers too, and the occasional hot chocolate gets in there somewhere.

Coffee makers come with all kinds of bells and whistles. In your most basic maker, there is an on and off switch and the hot plate; which is what the coffee pot sits on. For most people this is good enough. But for those of you that need a built-in programmer so your coffee is ready whenever you want it to be, this has that, and more!  The features are really simple to use.

It has a temperature setting for low, medium, and high allowing you to really customize your cup-of-joe! We keep ours on medium temp and that is plenty hot enough. Now when we are going outside with a cup we will turn the setting on high to give our hot coffee a chance at staying hotter longer while we are out working in the cold.

This maker does have what Cuisinart calls “brew pause” and that means if you need that caffeine fix NOW, then you can simply pull the pot out and pour before it’s finished brewing the entire pot. A brilliant feature for when that visitor or relative comes for a visit; you know who I’m talking about, the one person that won’t utter a single word until coffee has crossed his or her palate.

It has a water filter; a simple charcoal pack that is easily installed. I use filtered water anyway, but knowing this has a filter built-in, makes it doubly nice. I’m all for filtering out as many impurities as possible.

I like that it comes with a gold tone filter basket. Not all coffee makers come with one. I made the switch many, many years ago, well before some coffee makers started including them (again, not all coffee makers include the gold tone filter basket). I’ve had to buy them in the past.  If you have to ever replace it, it costs around 10 dollars, but keep in mind, my last one lasted 2 years!  I never really liked dealing with the paper filters. Less to toss in the trash the better. But if you go this route, look for the paper cups that aren’t bleached.

Now I’m really excited to tell you about the hot water feature. I seriously never thought how this one luxury would change my life! Okay, maybe I went too far, but really, this feature is so awesome. I’ve said it before, we are big tea drinkers. The tea kettle was the most used “pot” in the house. We boil a lot of water. Constantly filling the pot setting it to boil, waiting for it to boil, then forgetting it, to then be subject to the eardrum piercing “teapot scream”. This would happen no less than a dozen times a day. The stress of not wanting to leave the kettle because you wanted to avoid the “scream” was apparent :( .  Pouring water from the kettle was another stress as water would spill out and down the spout and puddle on the counter no matter how careful you were.   We have gone through many tea kettles and all have this leaky-when-you-pour issue. If that wasn’t bad enough, we always had to be mindful of a kitty burning his paws on the hot stove.  I know, they shouldn’t be on the counter in the first place, but it happens. (And YES counters are wiped down several times a day! Not so much from the occasional kitty not minding manners, but I have black granite counter tops. Need I say more? :P )

Not only is the hot water feature awesome for making tea and hot cocoa, it is very useful for our pets foods. If you are into the dry soup mixes this hot water feature is perfect for that too. It’s also great for making oatmeal too (just ask about my amazing oatmeal recipe).

It has its own water reservoir; holding 54 ounces. The heating element works so fast that I feel it’s almost a no wait ready hot water maker! The hot water feature even tells you when you need to add more water via red light indicator. Again, the water heats up so fast that I have never had to “wait” for it to get hot before I can use it. By the time I’ve measured out my tea leaves the water is ready. If that isn’t a fast enough time measure, I’ve taken a tea bag out of the canister, put it in my cup and poured. In my book, that’s fast. And the best, best thing…no more loud kettle scream! My ears thank me daily. There is a light to tell you when the water is ready if you really need to know; It will go from a flashing light to a solid.

A convenient drip tray catches an unwanted drip or two and it’s removable allowing taller mugs to be used.  Great for those tall travel cups! There is a safety feature that allows you to lock the hot water dispenser lever. We don’t have use for that as we are an adult household, still, may come in handy if you have a very curious cat or counter-high-dog (Great Dane!)

It has a blue back-lit LCD making the digital clock easy to read. The blue light is so pretty!  Another plus. What!?…Pretty makes me smile.

If all of that wasn’t good enough….wait for it…, it’s BPA free! I love that!

Is this machine perfect? Do I have anything negative to say? If I had to pick one thing, it would be the “beeping” sound it makes to let you know when the coffee is finished brewing (and turning off).  It’s… very audible.  Not obnoxiously loud (not sure if it would “wake a baby” kind of loud), but definitely perceptible. I suppose that is a good thing if you are in another room, upstairs, sitting on the back porch waiting for “said” coffee to brew, you get the picture. All in all, it’s certainly not “too” loud to make me take this back. In fact there are a few appliances I do own that I’d give back….NOT my Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable plus Hot Water System! NEVER!

Would I recommend this to a friend? Absolutely! In fact I would give it to someone I love! ❤ This would make a wonderful gift for a college student. Coffee and hot water on tap!

Thank you for reading. Be well. Peace, Koko 🙂

 

Apple Spiced Infused Tea

I baked an Upside-Down Apple Cake last night.  Part of the directions was to boil water and then add the sliced apples, cloves, and cinnamon stick, turn it down and simmer for five minutes…then discard the cloves, cinnamon stick, and water.  Well if you know me, you know I don’t like to waste, as well as I LOVE getting more than one “thing” out of something.  So instead of dumping out this amazing apple/clove/cinnamon infused water, I made tea!

I remembered a tea that http://hariqhuang.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/apple-cinnamon-tea/ Hari made and it sparked my brain, “Brilliant I know what I can do with this apple spiced infused water”!  Oh my! It was so good, that I am doing this every time I make this cake. In fact perfect compliment to it.  When I was a kid and not feeling well, i’d add sliced ginger to this concoction.  Ginger is very soothing for the tummy!

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Apple Spiced Infused Tea

Now even if you are not making this Upside-Down Apple Cake you can still make this infused tea.

Boil 6 cups of water.  While water is boiling…

Peel, core, and slice two apples.  I used granny smith. I like the tartness to them.

After the water comes to a boil…

Add the apple slices

Add 8 cloves

One stick of cinnamon

Simmer for 8-10 min.

Strain out the solids.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 nice mugs full of apple spiced tea!

FYI: If you want you can grate the apple like (Hari) did.  Or, you can slice the apple, then chop up the sliced apples, to expose more of the apple for a deeper infusion. I found just slicing them and simmering them for the 10 minutes did the trick. No real right or wrong.

The flavors will depend on the types of apples used, but if you are an apple lover, then any type of apple will make for a nice tea.

An herbal infusion is a tea that is steeped longer than a couple of minutes and usually more than one herb is used in a larger amount.  By steeping it longer you get the maximum amount of essential nutrients from that particular herb/flower/etc.

Herbal tea is really any “tea” that is non-caffeinated made from an infusion process using any herb, flower, or spice. 

True teas come from the tea bush (Camellia sinensis), which is where we get our green, black, oolong, etc. teas from). 

By the way…The upside -down apple cake was a hit.  Family had it for dessert, then the next morning with half and half poured over top!

This was a happy cake.  We all couldn’t help smiling while eating it.

Here’s to you all having a happy day, no matter what kind of cake your are eating!❀

Flavored Water…Simple and Inexpensive!

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An easy way to drink more water…Get a container, preferably a large one with a lid.  (The one pictured is a 56 oz. bottle). Fill up the container with good clean water.  (I say that because not all water is created equal!)  I don’t always; but drop a tea bag in, any flavor; this one happens to be a passion tea by TAZO.  And sip away.  I will drink one to two of these bottles a day.  And that doesn’t count the hot teas or a cup of coffee I may have throughout the day.

Water is so important for the body.  Did you know that hunger pains you feel could also be a sign of needing to be hydrated?  Water is necessary for many functions of the body; for proper elimination, for great skin, for energy (yep, feelings of sluggishness can be a sign of needing more water). So go grab a bottle and sip throughout your day.  Make it into a game.  My sister-in law and I will text each other back and fourth….”Drank another glass!”  It makes it silly fun 😉

That’s my version of flavored water.  Simple and inexpensive!

What do you do to help you drink more water?

Here’s to Awesome Health,  Koko❀

Sunday and Chai latte

It’s a beautiful day.  I’ve got the day, well this moment to myself.  I’m going to sip this tea and breathe.  If you haven’t tried chai, please do.  Spice of star anise, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, and to round out all the spices; ginger.  It really is a delicious blend.  I like to add a bit more fresh ginger finely shaved and sometimes a splash of organic half and half.

Take a moment for yourself; sip tea and breathe…and have a beautiful day.  Peace, Koko

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Chai Latte

Star anise: aids in digestion

Clove: good for entire digestive tract and joint anti-inflammation.  This little spice is jam-packed with nutrient dense goodness!  It’s an excellent source of manganese.  It has omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, dietary fiber, and vitamin C.  Also a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Cardamom: great digestion issues like IBS, heartburn, and intestinal spasms.  When I’m feeling under the weather I consume this spice.  Great for sore throat too.

Black pepper: improves digestion in a very impressive way helping you get the most out of the foods you consume.  It has antioxidant and antibacterial benefits too.  Last but not least, a factoid; The outer layer of the peppercorn helps you slim down by stimulating the breakdown of fat cells!  Woo hoo!

Cinnamon: Reduce inflammation and has antioxidant benefits.  Manganese, calcium, and fiber can be found in this fantastic spice.  Smelling this spice can boost brain power! I do love the scent of this tea!

Ginger: Aids in tummy distress!  Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.  If you are feeling nauseous ginger is the go-to.  Potent anti-inflammatory compounds; it really is beneficial with arthritis and joint pain.  I consume ginger daily in a drink I make and I can attest to the pain easing benefits.  From the time I was a little girl, my mom would tell me to drink fresh ginger tea for any ailment I had.  Look up more info on this amazing rhizome; the list goes on and on. Add fresh ginger shavings to everything!

Black tea: High in antioxidant benefits; good for heart health. Great for memory retention.

Let’s Make Some Tea!

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Let’s make some tea!
Making tea is really simple. There are three basic steps; Choose it; heat it; steep it! That’s all there’s to it.

Tips: 1. If you want a stronger tasting tea, don’t steep longer, just add more tea. A lot of the times steeping longer only makes for a bitter tea. (I don’t mind it, as I often forget I’m steeping.) 😛

2. Temperature plays a part in the “perfect” cup of tea.

3. Some folks with really discerning tastes may notice a difference in taste depending on what their tea steeped in or what container the water boiled in. The one way I can tell is when my tea is made in anything plastic. And I for one am not crazy about that. My water is boiled in a ceramic pot. My cup is either ceramic or glass.

4. Water can have an effect on taste too. Use the best water you can get your hands on!

Factoid:
1. Tea was discovered in China! Woo hoo! Yippee! Yay for the discovery!
2. Four cups a day is recommended to reap the health benefits.
3. Americans consume over 50 billion servings of tea a year.
4. Black teas are the most popular.
5. Green, oolong, and black tea all come from the same plant. Well whatdoyaknow?!
6. Green tea is not oxidized. It closely resembles the chemical composition of the fresh tea leaf.
7. Black and Oolong tea are oxidized. Black is oxidized for about three hours; oolong gets a shorter oxidation. A natural chemical reaction happens, making for its own distinguishing flavors.
8. Tea is naturally low in caffeine; about 40 milligrams.
9. Tea bags were use to hold samples of tea way back in the day.
10. Tea is a natural antioxidant.
11. Tea contains about half the amount of caffeine than coffee.
12. Black tea helps get rid of bad breath. I find this to be true of a lot of types of teas.
13. Drinking black tea can help reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes.
14. Green tea can help raise your metabolism. Love that factoid! (I can always get help in the metabolism department.)
15. Another weight loss tea is oolong. Oh, oh, good! In China, oolong is known for its fat blasting powers, speeding up that metabolism almost at the speed of light; well not that fast, but hey give it a try, i’m sipping kamiya Papaya oolong tea right now.
16. Tea’s are great for high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart health.
17. Tea’s an immune booster; infection fighter…Bring it on!
18. Oolong means black dragon in Chinese. Roar!
19. Drinking oolong is said to increase your brains functionality, reduce tiredness, and power up focus.
20. Tea: It’s tasty!

Teavana….ahhhhhh, they had me at first sample! I can’t walk past a shop and not sample their latest tea they’re brewing that day. I can’t say what my favorite is, as I’ve really enjoyed so many types and blends. I also can’t say whether I like hot or cold. The same tea tastes different hot or cold, and sometimes, one or the other is what I like better depending on my mood. Oh and of course sweetened or unsweetened will change the flavor, and again depending on my mood, I will have it lightly sweetened with their delicious German rock sugar. If you haven’t had their tea, you really should give it a go. If you can’t find a Teavana near you, they do ship.  (You can also find a plathora of teas right at your nearest grocery store!)

At  http://www.teavana.com  there’s a wealth of knowledge.  If you are just getting started with teas, it’s a perfect way to learn and if you’re a seasoned tea connoisseur, well, there is something there for you too! Pick that tea out, heat some water up, and steep. Sip away! Enjoy!

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Iced black tea with fresh crushed mint and a sprig of mint topper 🙂

Teavanna drinker; 10 plus years!