Every Monday morning I wake up around 5:30a.m. so I can catch the train by 6a.m. for work downtown. Right when I get off the train, I have this beautiful view of the restaurants and office buildings of River North – a sector of downtown Chicago. When I first started my job in the city it was February so every time I walked out from the subway, I was greeted by either a blizzard, negative temperatures or both. Most of the time I would end up grabbing Starbucks tea to waste time until I had to clock in. After a bit, I took a gradual turn from tea to coffee.
How could you blame me? Waking up so early I needed something to power me up through my day and tea just wasn’t cutting it. But the only problem was I did not like the way my body felt when I drank regular dark and hot coffee. Not only would I get jitters and acid reflux, but every time after I had a cup I would feel nauseous and sick. Until I discovered cold brew! For those of you who were unaware, cold brew is when coffee is brewed overnight/at least 12 hours and has less acidity and a sweeter taste. After I got hooked on Starbucks’ cold brew, I was slowly grabbing coffee drinks before and after class at Argo Tea due to my growing coffee addiction.
Argo Tea wins my heart over Starbucks any day. From their plethora of teas, matcha lattes, bubble tea varieties and espresso drinks. They also give me email rewards ranging from $1 to $4 what seems like 3x a week! The other day, for example, my friend and I both were able to get medium iced cappuccinos for FREE.
One day last week I stopped in for my 10th visit at Argo and snagged a free almond milk latte (espresso + Pacific Foods almond milk). Most coffee shops I go to either offer Pacific brand nut/dairy-free milks or Almond Breeze. I try to stay away from Almond Breeze as much as I can due to the additives. I try to not be such a “freak” about nut milks but once you’ve had homemade, but when its blended in cold brew – it does not taste good at all. The natural taste and creaminess is missing. It also doesn’t blend too well and the milk separates quickly. Not cute when you see white flakes floating all around.
Pacific almond milk is better for lattes and tastes MUCH better, if only it were unsweetened! But I won’t lie, I do like my coffee a bit sweeter. Maybe that’s why cold brew and I go together so well.
After delving into Starbucks and Argo Tea, I had to try my more coffee shops within the 3 block radius of my downtown classes. So naturally, I stopped into the Peet’s Coffee in Gold Coast that is sponsored by Capital One. Because of this, you get 50% off all drinks if you have a Capital One credit card. #perks
Peet’s just recently came out with their new blended refreshment drink: the Javiva. My first initial thought was, oh yup here’s another frappuccino. Nothing special, just a huge sugar bomb. Of course the Javiva still does have quite a lot of sugar but you can get it with almond milk and it has many less ingredients than your usual Starbucks frappuccino.
I grabbed a medium coffee-flavored Javiva and opted for the “light” powder. The powder they blend your coffee and ice with is what creates the thick frappuccino-like texture. I never purchase any light or reduced-fat products because I am 100% against them, but in this case, the “light” powder just meant it was dairy-free! Now does Starbucks offer that? Nope. #winwin
This dairy-free powder contains a non-dairy creamer with coconut oil, erythritol (a natural sweetener) and sugar (where the large amount of sugar in the drink comes from).
All in all, it tasted just like Starbucks frappuccinos I used to buy daily in middle school. Because I bought it just before work (bad decision), I didn’t have enough time to drink it before it melted and when it did melt, it tasted way too sugary for my liking. However, it inspired me to create my own “Javiva” and ever since, I’ve been on a roll. After trying my own take on Peet’s drink, I have concocted my new go-to coffee drink made in the comfort of my own kitchen.
- 1 scoop of Vega Protein and Greens (Chocolate flavor)
- ¼ to ½ cup homemade almond milk (or unsweetened vanilla store-bought)
- 1 cup of cold-brew iced coffee
- Combine all together in a blender and blend well.
- Pour over a cup of ice and pop in a straw to drink up!
- (Add more/less milk to your liking)
I make this blended drink every chance I’m near my blender. If I don’t have Vega on hand, I try to use Daily Good Greens chocolate blend from Aloha. Any other protein powder can work that you have in your cupboard at home!
It is very chocolatey. Tastes like a blended mocha and the best part is it only includes 3 ingredients as opposed to a Javiva or Starbucks frappuccino. It also includes cold brew over regular brewed coffee or espresso.
As I sit here and type this, I just finished homemade almond milk from Whole Foods poured in a cold brew and am day dreaming about the next blended cold brew Vega I will consume.
Here’s to all of my coffee loving readers! Keep chugging on that caffeine 🙂