As August comes to a close, the heat and humidity are rampant in North Carolina. It is hard to be outside for extended amounts of time during the heat of the day. Morning or late evening is best, but the humidity is still present. Being a coffee drinker, this presents a challenge for me as I adore a good cup of coffee, but also cannot drink hot coffee in the middle of a hot summer day. Luckily, the makers of Quokka Brew contacted me and asked me to try their new oat milk latte for an honest* review. Their lattes combine cold brew and oat milk with a blend of organic amino acids and nootropics eliminates the jitters, anxiety, and crash from caffeine. The creators share that Quokka Brew is also proven to improve focus, cognition, and mental clarity.
I was excited to put this product to the test. I often want a cup of coffee in early to mid-afternoon, but do not want to make a hot cup during summer days. I also tend to get a bit hyper when I have coffee later in the day. One of my coworkers used to beg me not to drink afternoon coffee because I would always get overly ambitious with our work goals. Morning coffee does not do this to me, but afternoon coffee gives me hyper energy. It does not always lead to productivity, it sometimes leads to just being hyper.
I had inquired with the company to make sure the oat milk used was gluten free and was told it was, so all lights were go for this product. I waited until afternoon to try the samples to see what happened. This product did not disappoint. It did for me what morning coffee does. I was able to focus, stay awake, and be alert. I did not feel any hyper energy and I felt focused on my work.
The coffee was sweet, which is different than how I generally drink coffee. However, I enjoyed it for a treat. With only 3 grams of sugar and 90 calories it was a decent afternoon snack. I enjoyed the flavor of the vanilla and oat milk together. I could see myself buying this for hot summer days and afternoons when the weather is cooler too. Quokka Brew currently has an indigogo campaign to buy this new flavor, but they also have a link in their shop as well. Be sure to head to both places and check it out. Happy sipping!
* Do you have a product that you would like me to review? I am happy to accept samples of your vegan product for an honest review. Please visit here to read more
I used to watch my mom drink Bailey’s with family and sneak a sip here and there. When I was old enough to drink, I indulged in the original Baileys a couple of times on its own or in coffee drinks. I only drink a couple of times a year, so it was an occasional treat with friends. Then I went vegan and Baileys was off the table. I had forgotten about it until I read stirrings on the internet of a vegan version of Baileys called Almande. To see that it was also labeled gluten free made my heart do a happy dance. As soon as it was available at my local ABC store, I bought a bottle. I am still on my first bottle, but it has been enjoyed in hot chocolate, coffee, and plain. I imagine this bottle will last a while, but I like having it around for an occasional treat by myself, with family, or friends.
Product: Baileys Almonde, Almondmilk Liqueur
Overall Grade: A
- It is vegan and gluten free. It says so on the bottle!
- It is becoming more widely available where alcohol is sold.
- The flavor is sweet and smooth like the original.
- The bottle looks very different from the original, making it easy to determine if you are drinking the vegan version.
- The price seemed in line with other specialty liqueurs.
- Having this option allows for vegans to have more specialty drink options.
- The bottle does not have a “use by” or “best by” date. I have had my bottle for a while and put it in the refrigerator, but I do not know how long I can continue to enjoy it.
- It would be helpful if they put the ingredients on the bottle. Some of us like to know what we are consuming. I read every label, so this was hard for me to trust that the ingredients were fine for me to consume. The only information the bottle gives is that it contains almond and soy ingredients.
A local store, Compassionates Product & Apparel, opened recently with a mission to “live with compassion while raising awareness of a vegan lifestyle”. The grand opening was at a local VegFest and I had the pleasure of stopping by the booth. The booth had shirts, bags, stickers, koozies, and mugs available for purchase with words of compassion. After carefully looking through the options, I came away with a mug for my kitchen. Check it their online shop to see the products offered, more will be added soon. Maybe they will be at your local VegFest.
Product: Compassion, Kindness, Vegan mug by Compassionates Products & Apparel
Overall Grade: A
- The mug has a simple design with effective wording.
- I like the colors! The inside is red and the outside is black with red lettering. There were other choices as well.
- The mug is dishwasher and microwave safe.
- The price was very reasonably priced at $8 (they are now $7 online).
- This is a vegan owned company.
- All of the products support a vegan and compassionate message.
- The products can be ordered online.
- There is a good variety of designs and products.
- I usually like to have at least one con, but I cannot think of one in this instance.
Those who know me well, know that I am a no presents type of gal for holidays. Every holiday, I remind my husband that I do not want anything. He loves to get me gifts, but I generally return them to the store. He usually bugs me for something that he can get me and I usually have the same answer- nothing. Before Mother’s Day, I knew he was itching to get me something so I sent him an email with information about a sale from No Whey. Sure enough, on Mother’s Day I received a big box of truffles. I rationed them to one per day and had a nice sweet treat for several weeks, until the box was gone. I even offered to share with him, but he said they were mine. I gave him one and enjoyed the rest. If he is reading this, I hope he gets from it that I would accept truffles, or any sweet treat, from No Whey for any holiday!
Product: Signature Truffle Collection, No Whey! Foods
Overall Grade: A
- They are made using a vegan milk chocolate and are the closest to dairy milk chocolate that I have had.
- The truffle flavors were fun. My box came with the following: “milk” fudge, coffee, grand marnier, raspberry, and salted caramel truffles.
- The truffles were delicious! I enjoyed getting a box with a variety of flavors. I am not usually a fan of white chocolate, but I liked the grand marnier one that was covered in white chocolate.
- The company is vegan!
- All of the products are 100% Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Soy Free! Free of the common eight allergens.
- No Artificial Colors and Flavors Free of the common eight allergens!
- The company is Kosher.
- If you sign up for the email list, you are notified of sales and holiday candy.
- They have a great selection of candy for each holiday. This is helpful when trying to find candy for Easter and Halloween.
- The pricing for the truffles seems in line with other high-quality truffles.
- The truffles have to be ordered online. I am able to find one product in a local store (No No’s), but all others need to be ordered online. I have a vegan son and I would like to be able to go out and buy this candy locally for holidays or for an occasional treat.
- While the truffle price seems to be reasonable, some of the other candies are a bit pricy- especially with shipping. I don’t mind this for special occasions, but I really wish vegan candy was not so expensive. I would like to buy this for my family for all holidays.
I have a confession to make, I have a bit of an attachment to coffee. I have a hard time starting my day without it. There was a few years where I swapped a cup of coffee for a green smoothie, but sweet aroma of coffee called me back. When I see a vegan creamer, I try it out because I love knowing my options. I would prefer not to just have a vegan milk, but an actual creamer because it is thicker and creamier than a milk. When I saw that Coffee-mate was coming out with a line of non-dairy creamers, I was intrigued. I prefer my coffee without sugar or sweet creamers, but it is nice for a treat every so often. I have fond memories of drinking coffee-mate flavored creamers when visiting my sister-in-law. It was always a treat for me since we bought unsweetened creamers. Up until recently, the world of vegan creamers was mostly limited to unflavored soy. I was ok staying in that world, but so many options have been popping up that I have been venturing out.
Product: Natural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer by Coffee-Mate
Overall Grade: B+/A-*
- This tastes very similar to coffee-mate dairy creamers, from what I can remember.
- There are several flavor choices in non dairy: caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, sweet creme
- They are easy for me to find locally at Target and Kroger.
- They were comparable in price to other flavored vegan creamers.
- No gluten, soy, or GMOs.
- I did not taste an overwhelming almond flavor that I do in almond milk and creamers. I do not prefer an almond milk flavor in coffee, so this was a nice change.
- Usually almond creamer takes quite a bit of product to lighten my coffee. This creamer lightened it with about the size of a listed serving on the bottle.
- The creamers were $2.37 on sale at Target. They seemed in line with, if not a little cheaper than other vegan creamers.
- I tried the caramel one and it is very sweet. This could only make an appearance in my coffee on occasion. This could be a pro if you like your coffee extra sweet.
- I didn’t see a plain or unsweetened flavor in stores or on the website. I really wish they come out with that option as I would be more likely to buy it.
*I struggled with grading this creamer. If you are looking for it to taste like a sweet creamer, then this gets an A. The sweetness in this creamer was a bit much for me, but I enjoyed the flavor. My grade leans more toward a B for this reason.
I think I might be obsessed with coffee. Last week I posted about creamers and today I’m posting about coffee drinks. When I see a vegan coffee drink on the shelves, I give it a try. Before my vegan days, I was not a huge specialty coffee drink person, but now when I see one available I try it. Especially if there is caramel in the title! Just throw in the word caramel or mocha and vegan on the product and you have me shoving dollar bills in the store clerks apron as I take gulps. I cannot determine if I’m more obsessed with coffee, caramel or mocha. Do I really have to pick? Can’t I just love them all? Swoon!
This dreamy beauty was positioned in plain site on the top shelf of a cooler in a local gluten free food store in the area. I had to try it! I also spotted one with mocha in the title. I quickly added both to my cart. You will be surprised, however; to know that I didn’t down them both before I got out of the store. Shocking! I know! I actually had some couth and waited until I got home. Points for me! I only drank one when I got home and saved the other for the next day. Extra points for me!
I slowly sipped these drinks to savor the flavor. I really enjoyed both the mocha and caramel flavoring, but the drinks were a bit too thin for my taste. They seemed a little watered down. I am not sure if it was the method of brewing or if they used watery almond milk. I’ve made my fair share of cold coffee and found that a cold brew is the best technique for a thick and creamy cold coffee.
Even with all this said, I would buy these drinks again because of the pleasant flavors. I am also delighted that they used fairly traded coffee. Happy buzzing!
I don’t know about you, but I need my morning cup of Joe each day. At one point I got out of the coffee habit, but now I’m back again in full swing! I have a sweet baby and I’m often up several times in the middle of the night and I need a little caffeine to help get me motivated. There are so many vegan creamers on the market these days that I don’t bother taking it with me on vacation. I usually have a plethora to choose from; however, I was at the beach and went to a Publix only two options were available. Both were sweetened and I prefer my coffee without sweetener. Alas, I needed my morning Joe, so I picked up the Califia Farms Almondmilk Creamer in the original flavor. The taste of the creamer was nice, but is a bit too sweet for me to drink regularly. I liked that it didn’t add an aftertaste like plain almond milk does to coffee.
I have been back from the beach for almost two weeks and I’m still using the creamer. I am finally getting used to it. What’s your favorite vegan creamer? Do you make your own? I’ve been toying with the idea of making one.