Tag Archives: espresso

Blonde Ambition: The New Starbucks Flavor Sensation at Rancho Carmel Plaza!

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My weekends have been quite interesting lately, especially with my husband!  I finally got the chance to hang out with him for a full game of golf last weekend, which was actually quite fun.  But our weekends have lately been filled with “The Hunt”, as we’ve come to name the all consuming search for Funko Pop! vinyl figures.  On the way to Barnes & Noble in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area, we dropped by Rancho Carmel Plaza, a little strip mall usually frequented by me and my sister.  I wanted to try the new coffee flavor sensation, Starbucks Blonde Espresso.

I do have to say that this is one of my favorite Starbucks locations because of this very seating area (below).  It looks more like a comfy living room rather than a coffee shop, and if you placed an ottoman in front of me with my favorite movie playing in the distance with a nice cup or coffee or tea, I swear I could sit there for hours.

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On to the coffee: I really loved it!  It is a light roasted espresso, and is supposed to be creamy with hints of lemon and orange.  I was told by the barista that the Blonde Espresso would be smooth and sweet, and I would have to agree.  I had the Blonde Espresso Latte and I drank it straight without adding any type of sweetener.  After that kind of first impression, I am anxious to try all of their Blonde Espresso offerings:  the Blonde Vanilla Latte, the Iced Blonde Caffe Americano, the Blonde Cappuccino, and the Blonde Flat White.  But I think I will also ask if they will do a shot of Blonde Espresso on its own, just so I can get the full taste of the espresso and see if I can taste those citrus notes at its purest.

Starbucks is located at 10195 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 and they can be reached at (858) 613-7754.  They are open Monday to Saturday from 5:00 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Cheers and here’s to one smooth cup of (Blonde) ambition!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Home Brewed

Everyone is trying to save a little here and there, including myself.  Rather than going out on a regular basis to coffee houses to get that specialized espresso drink, try making a home brewed version.  Because of my love of anything coffee related, some of my friends used to think that I have a really pricey espresso machine at home.  I actually have a more inexpensive way to get the kind of caffeinated drink I like whenever I want.  My aunt who lived in Italy for many years (but now lives in Toronto) said this is the only way they made espresso, and was pleasantly surprised to see this is how I make my espresso when she came to visit.

Here’s an idea of how much you can save:  A great new machine from Illy called the Capresso Café Espresso and Cappuccino Machine costs around $159 and uses the E.S.E. pods (pre-filled), as well as regular ground espresso (coffee not included).

Total cost for my home brewed version, including coffee (Ground Espresso Dark Roast $28 for a pack of 2 cans on Illy.com):  $50

The Moka Pot is used to “cook” the espresso on the stove top (basically a percolator).  This sized Moka Pot makes around 4 shots of espresso (1 cup).  Bialetti Moka Pot $20 on Illy.com 

 This battery operated device is from Ikea and will froth milk, making it foamy (for you mommies out there, you can also use it as a formula mixer!).  Produkt Milk Frother $1.99 on Ikea.com.

To create your favorite espresso based drink:  Make the espresso using the Moka pot on the stove top (1 heaping tablespoon of ground espresso, 1 cup of water), medium heat to prevent boiling over; remove from heat once the liquid fills the top portion of the pot.  Heat the milk in a microwave safe cup for about 1 minute, then froth.  Add shots of espresso and flavored syrup to taste (my favorite is Torani).  Serve hot or add ice and enjoy! 

Espresso A Go-Go

Is necessity the mother of invention, or is invention the mother of necessity?  I’m not sure what your take is, but the inventor of this amazing gadget is a genius! 

Handpresso Wild E.S.E.

 Meet the Handpresso Wild E.S.E (Travel Set).  I found it on Illy.com because I received an email about their 3 day sale (which started yesterday).  This blog post is going under “Galley Goodies”,  “Deal of the Day” and a new category called “Fully Caffeinated”  because of the nifty gadget, the Illy.com sale (enter ESUMMER7 at checkout to get your discount) and because I’m addicted to anything with caffeine. 

Basically you just pump the machine, add hot water, put in the pod of Illy and you have espresso!  Whether in the car, in a hotel room, when you’re camping or practically anywhere, you can have delicious Illy espresso at your disposal.   You can also keep your Handpresso protected because the hard travel case is included. 

The only drawback I see is that you have to purchase the E.S.E. pods from Illy, but even that isn’t enough of a drawback for me.  The coffee addict in me just can’t turn away from such a magnificent piece of caffeinated machinery!