Archive for Drinks

Starbucks Bottled Black Cold Brew Coffee or Peet’s Baridi Black?

I’ve been making my cold brew at home for awhile now. I’ll share what I use to make it in another post. (It’s great). This post is not about my home made cold brew, but it is about bottled cold brew.

There are a lot of options out there nowadays for cold brew in a bottle. I’ve tried plenty of them, too. When inspiration hits, I’ll share about those here, too.

For today though, I’m talking about just two: Starbucks Black Bottled Cold Brew Coffee and Peet’s Baridi Black Bottled Cold Brew 

Image of Peets and Starbucks Bottled Cold Brews side by side


Which one?

For me, the choice is Peet’s Baridi Black Cold Brew. I love coffee and I don’t consider myself a coffee snob of any kind. While these aren’t the only cold brews I drink, I definitely drink these brands. Of these particular two, my first choice is the Peet’s and here’s why:

The Baridi is very flavorful. It also has a nice kick to it. It has a buzz you can feel. It’s smooth no bitterness. Let me just say, the Starbucks black coffee brew is not bad. That said, I find the taste somewhat bland. It’s light and smooth. For me this equates to a watered down taste, if you know what I mean. It doesn’t have that kick to it, either. Overall, I feel it lacks a sense of body compared to the Peet’s Baridi cold brew.

When I try these bottled black cold brews, I don’t have a high expectation. Part of me expects that it’s not going to be as good as the one I make at home. Generally, I check out these bottled cold brews with a “let’s see”, “let’s find out” outlook.

When I first tried the Peet’s cold brew I really kind of thought it would probably be mediocre. You know what Peet’s cold brew did though? Let me tell you. It surprised me.

Yeah, Peet’s Baridi cold brew surprised me. This is another reason that I prefer it over the Starbucks one. Maybe I wasn’t expecting it to taste as good as it does because I’m not a big fan of their regular in-store menu cold brew.

When it comes to in-store fresh, I prefer the Starbucks menu cold brew. It compares to the one I make at home (but I still like mine better).

Here’s some quick info about each

Peet’s Baridi Black is 5 calories, available in 10.5 oz. It’s an East African blend (sources from small holder farms). It’s bold and smooth and described as bright, juicy and aromatic. Cost is about $4.00

Starbucks Bottled Cold Brew Black is 15 calories, available in 11 oz. It has 3 grams of carb. It’s described as super smooth with a hint of cocoa notes. It’s comes from a blend of beans specially selected to brew without heat. Cost is about $3.00

I would love to hear what you think about these two. Do you like the Starbucks Black bottled cold brew or Peet’s Baridi Black cold brew?



Empower Yourself with Pure Empower Mint Tea

Today I want to share this yummy tea that I recently discovered. It’s Yerba Mate!

You’ve probably heard of it before, but have you heard of the Guayaki Brand’s Pure Empower Mint Tea? It’s sooooo goood!

No. For real. It’s really good.

It’s the best mint tea ever because it’s got the yerba mate tea mixed up in it, too. It has a rich mint flavor plus the naturally caffeinated leaves of the mate tree. That’s what I call bonus points. Mint tea doesn’t normally have caffeine since it’s typically available as an herbal tea but Pure Empower Mint has the refreshing mint flavor with the caffeine you need to help you get going in the a.m. I also like it better than just mint tea because sometimes when I have mint tea first thing or last thing in the day it can make my stomach hurt a little. I think it’s the spearmint leaves. But with Empower Mint, the Yerba Mate smooths the mint out yet keeps it refreshing.

How great is that?

Empower Mint tea is for you if you: a) love mint tea and b) aren’t afraid of or can handle caffeine.

It’s going to be a fast favorite. Trust me. So try it and let me know what you think.

By the way, you can serve it cold, too. I drink it warm in the very early morning. It serves to give me a wake up call yet it’s not as bold as coffee first thing upon waking.

Quick tip — I found the Yerba Mate, Guayaki Brand at my local Safeway. I’m sure it can also be found at any local store that sells whole foods or a health food store.

The last thing I want to say about yerba mate: it’s a dietery supplement with antioxidants.


Image of Guayaki Yerba Mate Tea Box

Image of Empowermint Tea Bag from Yerba Mate

Image of Back of Yerba Mate Tea Box

Illy issimo Espresso Coffee, Ready To Drink Coffee

I tried the Illy issimo espresso ready to drink coffee for the first time about a year and half ago. I found them at my local Fresh & Easy Store. Of course, just as soon as I fell in love with them, the store seemed to be always out of stock.

We moved across the bay and as luck would have it, there was a really close Fresh & Easy store. Lucky me, they carried the Illy issimo espresso ready to drink coffee! Life is good. Things come full circle.

About 3 to 4 months into our move, we read that our nearby Fresh & Easy store was closing. I cried a little bit … a fake cry, but still.

So here’s what happened next: I get real fast. I must accept the reality. I must adapt to the harsh ways of life. I let them go, forever.

Okay, Okay. So maybe not being able to find these isn’t the harshest thing in life, but it does dock the high life down a little bit. I’m just saying.


Illy Issimo Caffe espresso ready tp drink can

I love these!


None of that matters though when that which goes missing gets found. How dow I know? Because recently, my Honey surprised me with a 4 pack of these after coming home from work!

I love getting flowers but getting the illy espresso coffee, as a surprise and on a random day of the week made me sing!

Needless to say, I drank ’em all up real fast.

Here’s a quick Pro and Con list of the Illy issimo Caffe, Italian Espresso Style, Ready To Drink Coffee


  • It’s one of the best tasting ready to drink, to go coffees available.
  • Compared to the other ready to drink coffees available, it’s less expensive.
  • You can skip the creamer if you want. It’ll still taste good.
  • It’s the right portion (6.8 oz)
  • It comes in a small aluminum can, which is very easily recyclable
  • It’s sweetened with beet sugar
  • I think that’s enough. I’ve made up my mind.


  • There are 45 calories in each can. If you’re counting calories, you’ll probably want to pass on the illy issimo espresso coffee.
  • There are 10 grams of sugar in each. I don’t know if that’s from the beet sugar. You can get fresher iced coffee / espresso with zero grams of sugar.
  • If they get habit-forming that could be an extra expense that you might not really need.
  • It’s recommended that you DO NOT SHAKE.

Until next time, keep enjoying the little things in life!