Chicago Coffeefest 2013: Innovative and Tasty Products

coffee Fest 2013

In less than 5 hours, I’m going to head straight to Baltimore to board the Boltbus to NYC.  So why am I going to New York? I’m going to this year’s Fancy Food show held in New York City as a way to explore  new products, trends and yums. Maybe there’s something in here that will trump the elusive cronut? Anyways, before I head out, I am going to do a short but sweet blog entry on Chicago’s Coffeefest this year:

Kevin entered the espresso contest---hope he won!
Kevin Groenef (Chicago Coffee Roastery) entered the espresso contest—hope he won!

Best Coffee Beans

Door County Coffee & Tea Co: The coffee is rich yet smooth yet perfect. I brewed the Highlander Grogg (Irish Cream with Caramel) at home and felt like I was in Irish heaven. I highly recommend this coffee! Visit their website at: www.doorcountycoffee.com

Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters:  Puerto Rico is known for their coffee–and I can see why.  The barrista made some impressive latte art after she brewed us a piping hot cut of decadent coffee.

Puerto Rico Coffee Co.
Puerto Rico Coffee Co.

Amazing Mints

Hint Mints: Celebrities love it, foodies yearn for it, I thought it was delish’. Hint Mints are packaged in trendy lil cases that range from basic blood red to exotic flowers, tigers and artistic masterpieces. My favorite flavor was pomegranate acai sour since it was sweet yet guilt-free.

Most Creative Product Line in the Show

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild: This was by far the most impressive company at the show. The owner had Jesus, Budda, Nietsche, and Meshuga mints. The company also sold creative fruit bars that had a historical backing to it without being overly pretentious. If you are a history buff or are an educated member of society—I HIGHLY recommend buying gifts from this company. Not only will you make a great impression but you will also get a kick out of the company’s sense of humor.

Best Chai

The Chai Company: I normally hate chai (do not derride me,  just because I am ethnically Indian, does not mean I love all Indian inspired products) but the chai from this company was divine. I sampled the roobois, spicy oolong and the authentic teas. I was quickly impressed with the smooth yet subtle taste. The spices were added in intelligently and this particular chai is suited for people with sophisticated palates since you need a smart tongue to decipher each spice.

Greatest Coffee Syrups and Sprinkles

Torani: I’ve been a fan of Torani for half of my life. I use this particular syrup in my coffee, lemonade and smoothies at home. Did you know that you can make fancy schmancy drinks at home with this product? Check their website for more details.

Guittard Chocolate: If you want to add a dash of sophistication, please add some guittard chocolate pieces into your coffee. I did and was quickly impressed with the richness found in this exquisite chocolate. It’s all natural, and GMO free.

Le Sirop de Monin: If you are into variety, class and unique flavors then please check this company out.  I thought I was in candied-syrup Disney World for a second since they had like 40+flavors at the show. The representatives were affable and I had a wonderful time drinking these mango slushies they freshly made using their syrups.

Spectacular Oatmeal

Umpqua Oats: All I have to say about this product is that they really are super oats. If you want to lose weight, get more vitamins into your body and prefer hearty not mushy oatmeal, then eat this. I ate it and felt healthier.

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Apple Crisp:  It was scrumptious, palatable and I heart the white chocolate chips. Not only is it tasty but  it’s highly portable so I know I can take it on the go. Moreover, if you ever need to eat something nutritious but need something that’s great for a sensitive stomach, I highly recommend this product. My bf wasn’t feeling too well so I told him to  eat this particular oatmeal. After 10 minutes, he felt better. One can safely deduce that the oatmeal sped up his recovery.

Best Slushies–EVER!

Carmi Flavors:  I sampled 5 different slushies from 5 different companies that day but was only impressed with one company. Carmi Flavors had exemplary slushies that were remarkably yummy, unique and easy to make. If the weather is scorching hot and your mouth feels parched, you can actually make these slushies at home. Visit their website to learn more.

Honorable Mention: BEST AD AT THE SHOW!
Honorable Mention: BEST AD AT THE SHOW!

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