Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Starbucks Delicious Pairings: Saving My Bacon On Thanksgiving

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is almost here.  Again.  Already.  Thanksgiving is when the flurry of activity and must.do.now. really takes off, but stopping to smell the roses - or the coffee - along the way makes for a far more pleasant journey.

Because Thanksgiving is always such a busy day - and there is so much food to eat and then eat again - I always go with a light breakfast that takes no preparation at all.  This year, we're doing Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee and blueberry muffins from the Bakery at Walmart.  It doesn't get any easier than that, and it's pretty darn tasty, too.  I'm not the only one who thinks so.  WalMart actually has a Delicious Pairings display of this combo in its bakeries now.

Delicious Pairings display at Walmart

Silly me, I need to give it a test run before the big day.  Fortunately, I have a few like-minded friends who have no issues getting together to chat about Thanksgiving plans and how to make things a little easier.  The fact that I offered up Starbucks coffee and blueberry muffins didn't hurt either.

Starbucks coffee does deserve its own special preparation, and my friend has the perfect coffee maker for it.  It doesn't just "make coffee."  It carefully presses and crafts the coffee.

Special coffee maker

This is a coffee maker that can grind its own beans, if needed.  Starbucks has thoughtfully done that for us, so we just sat back and waited for our coffee.  When the first cup was poured, one friend didn't believe it was hers.  "I didn't ask for a latte," she explained.  Apparently when you craft coffee, it looks different from how it does when you brew a pot.  Who knew?

cup of coffee with froth because it was pressed

Yep, it really comes out looking like that.  Coffee at my house isn't nearly so fancy.  And regardless of where this coffee is made (or crafted), Starbucks Breakfast Blend is tasty.  It's a medium blend, so not too strong, but there are hints of flavor.

Part of the reason I enjoy drinking good coffee like this is that it's one you savor.  You don't simply gulp it down to get caffeine into your system.  Proof?

drinking a cup of coffee

Interestingly, we tried the coffee both without the muffins... and while eating the muffins.  There is a reason for the pairing of the blueberry muffins with the Starbucks Breakfast blend.  We all agreed that the coffee itself tastes fruitier with the pairing than it does on its own.  We disagreed a little about the specific notes we felt (we would make great wine connoisseurs, wouldn't we?), but fruit was agreed.  I could taste more the blueberry or blackberry notes, while another friend felt it was more like a sweet lemon hint.  It's another great reminder of why pairing food with what we drink makes a difference.

Coffee paired with a blueberry muffin
Yes, my coffee cup is smaller.  Some of us know we can only handle limited amounts of caffeine.

By the end of the morning, all my friends and I felt better about our Thanksgiving preparations.  It didn't seem so daunting knowing that others had the same stress, yet year after year Thanksgiving dinner turns out just fine.  Besides, I know what I'm serving for breakfast on Thanksgiving to make life just a little bit easier for me.  And I have plenty of choices when it comes to the Bakery at WalMart, but I think I'll stick with the blueberry muffins.  They really were #DeliciousPairings with the Breakfast Blend.

Display of bakery items

And the best part?  I usually only buy my Starbucks at their retail stores, so I didn't know that there is a special bonus when I've finished with my pouch of coffee.  I can bring in the empty bag and exchange it for a free coffee at Starbucks.  Think I can finish it before Black Friday?  You know I'll be doing my best, and my family will definitely help me out!

Cup of coffee with Starbucks bag

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own.  #CBias #SocialFabric

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