Cuisinart Coffee Maker Starbucks Coffee & Creamer Food Finds

A Late Bloomer

I did not discover the joy of a cup of a coffee in the morning until I was about 31years old. My parents drank it as I was growing up and I sure thought it smelled good. They drank it black and I sure thought it tasted bad! I was having brunch at someones house and she served Lion’s brand coffee from Hawaii that had a hint of cinnamon and she offered me a cup with a little bit of sugar and cream and I was immediately hooked! I had no idea that coffee could taste so wonderful.  Hubby Tom was delighted when I joined him in his morning ritual of sipping coffee as he started his day. For us, it is a nice way to start our day together. We pour our morning cup and chat about the day ahead, planning out our week and catching up in general. It is my favorite part of the day.

I ordered that Lion coffee by the case from Hawaii until the company had the nerve to discontinue my favorite flavor. From there we found a store brand that was good for a while but we grew tired of it and went in search of more flavor. We tried Peets, Eight O’Clock, Seattle’s Best and Dunkin Donuts just to mention a few. We finally settled on Starbucks Colombia. At Winco Foods where we live it is sold for just under $8 per bag. Sometimes Target sells it for less. When I see it at a good price I stock up and put it in the freezer. Now that son David (no worries he is after-all almost 21) has started drinking it every day we are going through a lot more!

We use to have this Braun coffee maker that made the best coffee and although it was still working it looked terrible. What was once an all white coffee maker had started to yellow from age and it no longer looked great on my kitchen counter against my white tile back splash. It was also making a lot of sputtering noises during the brewing process! Hubby Tom did his research and discovered that Braun was no longer in the coffee maker business. We settled on a new Cuisinart coffee maker that was highly rated by Consumer Reports and various other on line resources.

The timing was perfect as we had a load of donations to take to charity so I put that Braun coffee maker in the back of my van and gave it away. The next morning we made coffee in our shiny new Cuisinart. It was the worse cup of coffee we had at home, ever! Hubby Tom threatened to go to the thrift shop and buy back our discarded Braun!

For weeks we tried many different ways to make our coffee with the hopes of getting a good cup. Mostly we turned out what would be considered hotel coffee,  you know the kind that you make in that little pot in your hotel room using that little packet they give you. ICK! By the way we no longer use that little coffee maker in hotel rooms, more about that later.

A Good Cup

We finally have our method down, we start with hot water even though we know you aren’t suppose to, we don’t think the coffee maker heats the water up enough to make a good brew. We use more coffee grounds than the instructions say and we pack it down firmly in the filter like you do for making espresso. Lastly we run it on the slower 1-4 cup setting even if we are making a pot full which is usually the case. It actually does taste like good coffee now, thank goodness!

Fat Free Creamers

We have tried a number of creamers. I use to use half and half but that is just too many calories and way to easy to go overboard with what appears to be a simple pour. Fat free milk makes the coffee a strange color and appearance is important you know, after all it is the first thing I drink in the morning! Almond milk was also a no, it made the coffee taste strange. Land O Lakes has a good fat free creamer but I sometimes have a hard time finding it in a larger container.

Trader Joe’s carries this Shamrock Farms fat free half and half that is one of our favorites. The flavor is good, it makes the coffee the right color and it clocks in at just 20 calories for 2 tablespoons. It does contain corn syrup but it does not say high fructose corn syrup so I am still uncertain if Dr Oz would approve! You know that HFCS is on his list of no-no’s.

I recently found So Delicious coconut milk creamer at Whole Foods and gave it a try. This product is soy free, fat free and dairy free.It is made with organic coconut milk and a few other ingredients to make it thicker. It has a great flavor and strangely it does not taste like coconut. It does not have a lot of weird ingredients in it either. I like it enough to buy another container the next time I am in Whole Foods which will most likely be today. So Delicious also makes this incredible frozen dessert bar that I reviewed earlier in the summer. Check out that post here. I like every product of theirs that I have tried so far.


Sometimes a good cup of coffee is hard to find when you are traveling. I found the Starbucks instant microground coffee packets at Costco. We took these on vacation with us and found them to be excellent. Now hubby Tom takes them with him when he travels for business. This is the best instant coffee around. If you don’t have a Costco look at Target or your regular grocery store for these.

I only drink 1 1/2 cups of coffee a day and only in the morning. Caffeine anytime past noon is a no – no  for me as it will surely keep me from sleeping at night! Some studies say coffee drinkers get some health benefits when it is consumed in moderation. Coffee in moderation works for me.

Enjoy A Hot Beverage Instead of Dessert

I sometimes like a cup of decaf coffee after dinner and if we are eating out I find that it can be a nice substitute if others are having dessert but I don’t want to have the extra calories. A cup of herbal tea also works well. It keeps my hands busy and there is something satisfying and filling about a warm beverage.

Which do you choose coffee or tea?

Black or with a little something extra?

What brand of Coffee maker do you use?

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  1. Dawne says:

    I was always a tea drinker until a student brought me a coffee and I felt I had to drink it to be polite. I didn’t love it, but found myself craving more. Now, I enjoy one cup a day. I am picky about my brand as well. I like unsweetened almond milk as my creamer.

    How’s your girl doing????

    1. Tami says:

      Thanks for asking about Katy Dawne. She is doing well. She was a little sick yesterday but she slept in today and is feeling better. They are being taken out to eat tonight so that should be better than the dorm food!

  2. Joan says:

    Your story reminded me of my mom, who never could make a decent cup of coffee. She said it must have been a genetic defect! LOL!

    I’m with you all the way on the So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer. The French Vanilla flavor is the best thing that ever happened to my morning cup of joe.

    1. Tami says:

      You sold me on the Vanilla flavor! I just got back from Whole Foods and I picked up a carton to try.

  3. Karen says:

    Sounds like you have a nice ritual going. I am not a coffee drinker. I do love the flavored kinds, like a Starbucks Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, and get one every now and then. But rarely. And I hate it black. We never make it at home. I was never a tea drinker unless I was sick but that changed with my new eating habits this past year. I learned to drink tea more to keep myself from snacking. But I like flavored teas; my husband does the green healthy tea. ugh.

    1. Tami says:

      I am with you about drinking the tea instead of snacking, it really works. I like the herbal teas or the flavored teas but there is something about green tea that does not agree with my tummy!

  4. Sharon says:

    I am an all day coffee drinker and always have been. Several years ago, I switched to half regular/half decaf. Since I drank so much, I decided ingesting that much caffeine probably wasn’t good for me. I enjoy full flavored coffee, but also keep some flavored brands on hand. My favorite brand is New England Coffee Company. I discovered it at Publix in Florida, but have found a grocer that carries it here in Tennessee. I’ve begun ordering it online and have had great success with that. By joining their Facebook page, they offer some pretty good specials.

    The WORST coffee maker I ever had was a Cuisinart. I was so disappointed because at that time, it was something I had to save up for, but thought it would be worth it since we drank so much coffee. I am currently using a Gevalia brand coffee maker which I really like. That brand of coffee (available only online, I think) is also very good.

    1. Tami says:

      You are not the first person to tell me that they didn’t like their Cuisinart coffee maker! They are not cheap either. I did receive a Gevalia gift basket of teas and they are all very good.

  5. Tish says:

    I’m afraid I like coffee only when it’s very creamy and very sweet. Hot is okay, but I prefer coffee ice cream! DH, on the other hand, adores coffee. He makes it at home and at work, but has a daily Starbucks habit (plus the free re-fill). In the interests of companionship, I occasionally have a Starbucks tall skim cappucino with DH on weekends. I’m down to 2 packets of Splenda a day and need to spend them both on the coffee to make it palatable. I’ll also have the odd glass of iced-coffee (tastes more like ice cream) in the summer.

    1. Tami says:

      How sweet that you join hubby for coffee once a week, I love that. Sounds like getting down to two packets of sweetener a day is a milestone for you. Congrats on that. Have you tried Stevia or Agave Nectar for a replacement for Splenda? I like both of them and I don’t do artificial sweeteners any more either.

  6. Ann says:

    I was late to liking coffee also, but now I love it. I can’t drink it black though and I’ve tried. Just a couple of splenda and a little cream. It’s lovely. We have a machine that grinds and brews and it makes great coffee, but I can’t remember the brand.

    1. Tami says:

      I can’t drink it black either Ann! I just got back from Whole Foods and I bought a carton of the vanilla flavored Coconut creamer. I can’t wait to try it!

  7. Marisa @ Loser for Life says:

    I loved hearing your coffee history! I was a late bloomer, too! I didn’t start until I was in my mid-30’s. Now, I couldn’t imagine being without it! I often have coffee as “dessert”. I’ll have to look for that coconut milk creamer. Since I weaned off Splenda and other sugars, I’ve been drinking coffee with only milk. It took some getting used to, but it’s fine for me now.

    I don’t use a coffee maker anymore; only a French Press. Makes GREAT coffee!

    1. Tami says:

      Coffee as dessert is awesome! It does take a while for the taste buds to adjust when you give up the sweeteners. I found out that I am pretty adaptable even though I didn’t think that was true.

  8. Carol says:

    Coffee all day for me! Usually black but would love to find the creamer you mentioned.
    The best coffee maker I’ve ever used is my Melita percolator, really hot coffee.
    Hope Katy feels better!

    1. Tami says:

      Oh Carol you sound like my mom as an all day coffee drinker! We use to have a Corelle percolator that made good coffee.

  9. Weight Watcher Wannabe says:

    I to started to enjoy coffee later in life as well. When I use to work midnights after seeing all the other girls drink it I gave it a whirl.
    I drink my coffee with ff French Vanilla Cream. I like a sweeter coffee unless im having something sweet with it then it’s just cream.
    I use the Cuisinart coffee maker as well, but mine has a metal canister. I must say it keeps the coffee really warm. Like the next morning warm.. :()

    1. Tami says:

      I guess a lot of us discovered coffee later in life. The young kids are getting hooked on it earlier these days with coffee shops being everywhere!

      Son David likes the vanilla creamer as well.

      Wow that metal canister sounds like it works really well!

  10. Weight Watcher Wannabe says:

    Oh I forgot… I also use a reusable filter .Because I roll like that.. hahahaha

    1. Tami says:

      You are being kind to the environment, you rock!

  11. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I love coffee and can’t start the day without it! 🙂 I drink my coffee with just a bit of low fat milk. But sometimes a flavored creamer is nice… 🙂

    Glad you figured out how to make good coffee in your new coffee maker. We got a fancy coffee maker a few years ago as a gift, but I never liked it and we ended up giving it away (I guess I should experimented a bit more!). I now use a very cheap, simple one that makes great coffee.

    Starbucks Via is the best! We took it on vacation as well; it was sooo good. I usually miss “my coffee” on vacation, but not this year…

    Have a great weekend!

  12. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says:

    I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I think it smells good too! Actually, I think it’s more that I just don’t like hot beverages. I can drink an occasional cup of hot chocolate in the winter but that’s about it.

  13. Dr. J says:

    I usually have a little coffee in the morning before running. Studies have shown that is a good plan. I have a stash of Jamaican High Mountain coffee that I treat like gold. Although it is the worst coffee in the world, emergency room coffee like no other will wake you up when you have to get it done and lives are depending on it.
    I have it all black. I think most creamers make a better facial than a healthy addition to the coffee 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      LOL you are pretty funny Dr J!

  14. Lesia Davis says:

    I need to get a White board next to my computer so I can write some of these great items down to remember to get them. TY

  15. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    I have that exact coffee maker & coffee is my choice over tea. I don’t like the flavor of tea but I want to learn to like it due to the benefits.. maybe some of that so delicious creamer in there.. made for me since I can’t do dairy! Will have to check that out.. THX!!!! Right now, I use Nu-Naturals liquid alcohol free stevia & their vanilla alcohol free.

    1. Tami says:

      I have tried that Nu Naturals and it is good!

  16. Jasmine @ Eat Move Write says:

    I love your coffee mug. Longaberger. It makes me miss my mom. 🙂

    You bring up a really good point about drinking a warm beverage instead of dessert. It definitely works.

    1. Tami says:

      Yes it is a Longaberger mug! Gotta love a warm beverage on a cool day!

  17. karen@fitnessjourney says:

    I love me a good cup of coffee. I do just what you recommended an have a couple cups of flavored coffee after dinner several nights a week. It really does take the place of dessert nicely. I can’t bring myself to use anything but half and half. I use it sparingly so I feel justified!

    1. Tami says:

      Everything in moderation right?

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