Little’s Coffee Review: French Vanilla, Swiss Chocolate, Rich Hazelnut and Island Coconut Flavours!

wp-1490538662524.jpgToday I am reviewing the instant coffee that rescued the most important relationship in my life so far. Excluding my dog.

I am of course speaking of my relationship with coffee.

A few months ago the unimaginable happened. I went off coffee. I suspect it had something to do with being a bit ill with some kind of infection, dehydrated, and my body telling me to slow down on the caffeine. But my taste buds decided after that after I was well again, we weren’t going to be drinking coffee for a while. Until I found these cool flavours, and began mixing them with 100ml of unsweetened chocolate coconut milk, and hot water- like a much healthier mocha. My taste buds and coffee were reunited. Thank god. Seriously, everyone needs to try the above combination.

I got mine between Holland & Barratt’s and Waitrose, and have waited until I’ve gone through a few jars to cast my judgement. In a nutshell: I am impressed. All of the below flavours taste of what they say on the label, which is some feat even outside of the coffee world. If anyone has ever read a herbal tea packet or the label on a bottle of wine then you’ll know this isn’t always the case (notes of apple and mango my arse Echo Falls).

There’s no added sweeteners, the flavours are all 100% natural, and (if you’re counting) each serving is 4kcal. I pretty much use a ladle to make my coffee so I’m going to disregard that last bit of information.

Now, to the flavours…

French Vanilla – 3.5/5

The most sophisticated flavour I think. Slightly sweet, smells incredible when mixed with chocolate milk to make a vanilla mocha. I feel like this would be great in overnight oats, or used to make affogato (ice cream with coffee poured over the top. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it).

Swiss Chocolate 4/5

I didn’t get a strong chocolate flavour here, though I did have my morning coffee with that unsweetened chocolate milk added, so this is possibly why. All in all, this flavour was more subtle, and simply seemed to bring the smoothness of the coffee out more. If you like subtle then opt for this one over the more out-there flavours (and they make Irish cream flavour, so this selection is pretty vanilla as far as Little’s goes)

Rich Hazelnut 4/5

Slightly sweet, smells amazingly nutty -and almost creamy. It smells like the sugar-free hazelnut syrup at Starbucks, but tastes a hell of a lot better. It tastes how you want Starbucks to taste. Its probably the sweetest of the four I’ve tried, but I adore it- possibly because it isn’t cloyingly sweet. This is fantastic in a banana-nut Frappuccino (200ml unsweetened almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 12g PBFIT or 1tbsp peanut butter of choice, 2tsp this instant coffee, and a dash of cinnamon. Blend. Dance with caffeinated joy).

Island Coconut 4.5/5

Between this and the above I think I’ve found my favourite (how could we guess it would be something nut orientated). The coconut scent of this coffee is AMAZING. It isn’t as strong when you drink the coffee, but it is definitely there in the aftertaste. I actually love that the coffee still comes through, and that Littles managed to achieve such a great balance of the two flavours. I can’t wait to make iced coffee with this one.

 

There we have it, a whistle stop tour of my current coffee obsession. The next flavours on my list to try and get hold of are the Maple Walnut, Amaretto, and Chocolate Caramel. If you’ve tried any of those and want to advise me, then comments are more than welcomed below…

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Raspberry Tiramisu Overnight Oats

wp-1483785515348.jpgI don’t know about you, but some days I have about one million things to do, and need to be out of the house as fast as humanly possible- but I’m not someone to skip breakfast. Especially around this time of year, when my brain needs to be working at full power to complete my assessments. When those days are on the horizon, then I make sure that I’ve prepared some overnight oats. These oats are perfect for those mornings.

This particular flavour is for anyone who happens to be a fan of Italian desserts. Specifically, tiramisu. That mixture of cream, coffee, chocolate, and a nip of rum is perfect every time. Don’t worry though- I’m not planning on getting you tipsy before a lecture or an important meeting. Whilst you can use a rum flavouring, I actually like to use an almond essence and a little vanilla. These ingredients are my personal preference, but feel free to opt for the rum. We’re also using oats to keep you full of energy, yoghurt for protein (you can always sub in almond, coconut, or soya yoghurt if you’re intolerant/allergic to dairy, or vegan), we have chia seeds for your omegas, coffee to perk you up, and raspberries for one of your 5 a day. If you do have the time, then these look impressive layered in a glass, as shown above.

Simply throw into a pot, chill overnight, and bring along in a cool bag. Don’t forget the spoon…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 1/4 cup EACH of unsweetened almond milk, and Greek yoghurt (I use a super-thick 0% Greek yoghurt)
  • 1tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2tsp instant coffee granules
  • 1/8tsp EACH almond essence, vanilla essence
  • 80g raspberries
  • Cacao or cocoa to dust

Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice Latte…Smoothie?!

img_20160910_093808.jpgIt’s that time of year. Am I jumping the gun a bit? If I am, I blame my Starbucks app, which conveniently notified me that the pumpkin spice latte was back. Damn you starbucks.

I have a confession to make before we go any further: I’ve never actually had a pumpkin spice latte. I know what they smell like, I know what they look like- but I haven’t been able to talk myself into trying one. I hate sweeteners in my coffee, I’m a cappuccino/Americano kinda girl, not a latte drinker, I hate whipped cream on coffee- and so the idea of pumpkin flavoured syrup, stirred into a latte, and topped with cream, doesn’t appeal to me. Perhaps this year I’ll finally bite the bullet and try one though- possibly wasting my precious coffee fund in the process. But hey, life is all about risks.

What I do know is that this Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie is amazing. It’s got actually pumpkin in it for starters. It has a subtle coffee taste, some spices,  little bit of natural sweetness, and provides two of your 5 a day. Think of it as the healthier, more pumpkin rich, version of the pumpkin spice Frappuccino. That you can legitimately have for breakfast.

So, if you are a pumpkin spice fan, give this alternative a go and let me know what you think. And while we’re on it: should I finally try the pumpkin spice latte? Comment below if you have tried it (I get the feeling I’ll be in the minority here).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 strong filter coffee, chilled
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (NOT the sweetened stuff, the 100% pumpkin stuff. I bought Libby’s 100% Pumpkin from Tesco) Continue reading

Iced Coffee Cooler

I blame Juice smoothie bars for this current obsession. I was in Leeds with friends a few weeks back and happened to see that they sold a coffee smoothie. One of those, and I was hooked. However, at £3.45 a pop it wasn’t the cheapest way of getting my iced caffeine fix. Plus the fact it costs me £4 to get into Leeds. So it’s a pretty expensive little luxury. Queue frantic kitchen experimentation in order to make the perfect iced coffee cooler.

Now, I came up with different ways of making my coffee cooler, and then settled on two recipes. One is vegan, and one is not. The vegan one is actually my favourite. Although as I typed that I realised that this is grossly unfair to my other recipe- because that tastes pretty damn good too. The perks of the vegan one are that it also provides one of your 5 a day, uses all natural ingredients, and no refined sugar- such as is difficult to monitor when adding the frozen the yoghurt to the other version. The vegan cooler feels more breakfast appropriate, as it’s more filling, and the non-vegan feels more like a healthy treat/dessert. So that’s my verdict, but you can decide on your own. You can always prepare the fro-yo coffee cooler using a vegan alternative, however I know these can be expensive and difficult to get hold of, and so I wanted to offer an alternative…
Vegan Iced Coffee Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1-2 level tsp instant coffee
  • 150-200ml plant based milk (unsweetened almond or rice milk with coconut are my picks)
  • 50ml cold water (if you want a thinner consistency)
  • 1 large ripe banana, sliced up and frozen
  • Dash of cinnamon (a tiny dash; you don’t need to be able to taste it)
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4-1/2tsp agave/maple syrup


Method

  • Throw everything into the blender and pulse the blender until the mixture is nearly smooth, then keep it switched on until completely smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and sip away…


 

Fro-Yo Iced Coffee Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1-2tsp instant coffee )
  • 50ml cold water
  • 150ml plant based or cow’s milk
  • 2 large scoops of vanilla or natural frozen yoghurt (I recommend YooMoo, or Snog)
  • OPTIONAL : Dash of cinnamon; 1tsp runny honey/ maple syrup/ agave (I didn’t find I needed it with the sweetness of the fro-yo, but if you aren’t used to strong coffee, or have a sweet tooth, then add it in)

 


Method

  • Make it the same way as the vegans my friend: blend and sip.

 

TIP! If you’re a vegan who hates bananas (not that I’ve come across one yet), and you can afford it, then make the Fro-Yo version using a dairy free alternative. I personally think this would be delicious, and the texture super luxurious. I’d recommend a vanilla ice cream alternative, or a chocolate one to make a mocha flavour.