Monday, June 18, 2012

Full Circle Brand Review (And Giveaway)

"A recent study showed that the coffee maker reservoir is the 5th germiest item in the home.  Even if you can’t see the build-up, it is there."

When was the last time, if ever, that you cleaned your coffee equipment with a commercial cleaner?  I have recently learned that dirty coffee machines impair coffee in 2 ways. First, built-up grounds can work their way into the coffee. Second, built-up residue of coffee oil (which neither dish soap nor vinegar can get rid'll see proof below!) gives the coffee a bitter, rancid flavor. The sad part is, you won't even notice how much your coffee has changed until you taste it again AFTER you've cleaned your equipment!

Enter Full Circle Brand....

Full Circle Brand, by Urnex, is the first ever entirely green coffee equipment cleaning product! Their products are 100% Phosphate free and all the ingredients are renewable, sustainable and natural.....AND every container is made from recycled packaging.

Full Circle Portfolio Details:

Coffee Grinder Cleaning Tablets
  • Removes the coffee residue and oils that lead to bitter tasting coffee- all w/o removing any parts of your machine.
  • One box contains 3 / 1.2 oz bags of coffee bean shaped tablets (3 uses per box)
  • Recommended use: Once per month or when switching between flavored, decaf, and caffeinated beans.
  • $9.95
Coffee and Espresso Equipment Descaling Product (for coffee and espresso equipment)
  • Breaks down lime scale and mineral build-up inside your machine ensuring great water flow, consistent brew temperature, and beverage consistency.
  • Comes in liquid and powder form
  • One box contains 2 / 4 fl oz bottles or 2 / 1oz packets of powder (2 uses per box)
  • Recommended use: Every 3 months
  • $9.95
Coffee Machine Cleaning Powder (for coffee equipment)
  • Removes the oily residue buildup that leads to bitter tasting coffee
  • One box contains 3 / .32 oz packets (3 uses per box)
  • Recommended use: Once per week
  • $9.95

Espresso Machine Cleaning Tablets
  • Removes the oily residue buildup that leads to bitter tasting coffee.
  • Specifically formulated for controlled solubility, easy rinsing, and powerful cleaning while maintaining the inner workings of your espresso machine.
  • One box contains 8 / 2g tablets (8 uses per box)
  • Recommended use: Follow directions described by manufacturer of your machine
  • $9.95

I was given the amazing opportunity to try out the Full Circle Brand Products and am super stoked to share my experience.  I've had my percolator for 6 years now and am ashamed to admit I have never cleaned it with a commercial cleaner.....always just regular dish soap, or a vinegar/water soak.  This is what it looks like after it's been "cleaned":

Scary, huh?! lol  As you can see, there is an awful lot of staining going on there that I just accepted as normal.

O.k Full Circle Brand....Let's see what you can do with this hot mess!

There was no mention as to which product I should use first when it came to a first time cleaning, so I went ahead and used the Descaling Liquid first to rid my perk of any lime scale and mineral buildup.

Here are the after photos:

Much cleaner.  Most of the accessories looked great!  The only exception was the heating rod...It still had a slight staining.  The other issue I noticed was with the pot itself.  When I wiped the inside of the percolator to dry, there was a black residue on the paper towel...but this was most likely due to the oil residue and I was confident that the next product (the Cleaning Powder) would nip it in the bud.

...So, on to the Cleaning Powder!

I'm pretty sure positive this product was not made with a percolator in mind, since it completely bubbled out of the spout as it was perking/cleaning (Note: It does not state on the package that it can be used in a percolator.  I just took the risk)....but judging by the brown color of the fluid coming out, I knew it was doing it's job and I was happy as a clam!

After pictures:

Check. It. Out.  My percolator has not looked this clean since I BOUGHT IT!   And the paper towel after I wiped the inside dry??

...Sparkling white!

As if all this new found cleanliness wasn't great enough, my taste buds were treated to an amazing cup of coffee the next morning!  The first thing I noticed was that my coffee was piping hot, just like I remember it being when I first got my percolator.  The extreme temperature has always been the main reason that I loved perking my coffee.  Over time the mineral buildup had prevented it from heating efficiently, but it was so subtle over the years, that I hadn't really noticed.  I am extremely excited to have it back to it's original, super HOT temperature again!

The second thing I noticed was how amazing the coffee tasted!  It was bold, smooth, buttery.....hands down, amazing! I can't believe how much my morning cup of joe had changed over the years....and, again, this was without even noticing.  Now that I know how to keep my coffee tasting so wonderful, I will never be able to go back to that limey, oily, stained version of my percolator again! 

You can change your coffee for the better, too!   Urnex Brands, maker of Full Circle at Home portfolio, has generously offered to send one lucky winner a retail box of all 6 products that are in the portfolio.   Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and good luck! (Please note: Posting a blog comment is the MANDATORY entry.)

Disclaimer: Urnex Brands provided me with these products to review. The views and opinions expressed within this post and regarding these products are mine and mine alone.

Giveaway terms and conditions:
Open to US & Canada residents only. The winner will be selected at random and will be notified by email. The winner will have 72 hrs to reply back, before another winner is chosen.

The Rafflecopter has spoken and the winner is
#52 Joann Woolley

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mocha Chocolate Chip Frappe

It's that time of the year when the temperature is getting hotter and the drinks are getting colder.  So, this weekend, I was on a mission to make the perfect Frappuccino to cool me down.  It all started with pouring our cooled, left over brewed Espresso into ice cube trays and freezing. (Any coffee brewed strong will work!) These little cubes are perfect for Iced Lattes too, so be sure to freeze your left over coffee every day and you will have a nice stash ready to go all Summer long! 

This weekend, though, I was all about the Frappe....and chocolate (of course!) so I started by blending the following ingredients: 6 coffee cubes, 2 large moderate scoops of chocolate ice cream, 1/8 cup of dark chocolate chips (or a small handful), and 2/3 cup of milk.  Blend well and then pour into a glass.  I topped with a few extra chocolate chips and Voila!  The most amazing Mocha Chocolate Chip Frappe!

Next time I might try adding caramel chips instead of chocolate...maybe even switch up the ice cream too!

Do you also make your own homemade coffee treats?  If so, what are your favorite flavor combinations?