Winter 2014: What To Do In Cincinnati


When you’ve lived in Ohio your entire life, you start to run out of things to do. You’ve done Kings Island and Cedar Point. You basically grew up in a mall and thrived off samples from one of the three Chinese places at the food court. And you are such a pro at driving in the show, you could teach a Nascar driver a thing or two.

209The polar vortex last year had many of us in Cincinnati stuck at home. I thought that moving 45 minutes south meant no more snow and milder winters.

Learning a lesson from last year’s fiasco, it’s the perfect time of year to get out and have an adventure before the next polar vortex buries us alive. Here are some of the top picks:

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

It’s grey during the day and night sets in earlier than we would like. Let’s take advantage of that! If you drive through the right part of Clifton at the right time of evening, you can catch a glimpse of the billions of lights glittering on the hillside. Magical doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Holiday Pops with Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

Wear red and you’ll fit in just fine with conductor John Morris Russell. What would be a cooler Christmas card for 2015 than a shot of your family, dressed to the nines, in front of Music Hall?

Catch them December 13 through 14.

SantaCon 2015 at Fountain Square

From noon to midnight on December 13, you can join the rest of your fellow Santa fans downtown for SantaCon. Dress code is holly, jolly, and a bowl full of jelly. This Christmas tradition is for the adults that love the spirits of the season.

Macy’s Downtown Dazzle

Also at Fountain Square, this event is for the kid inside us all. While most families will be watching the show from Fountain Square, the best seat in the house is atop the Carew Tower. For just a couple bucks a person, you can watch Santa rappel down the Macy’s building with a reindeer in tow.

Yes, the reindeer rappels on all fours.

What is your favorite thing to do in Cincy at Christmas time?  Share with us below!


Evolution of a Coffee Addict: Pokémon Style


As someone who has gone through the evolution of coffee addiction, and grew up in the peak of the Pokémon era, this is extremely accurate.

How did your coffee addiction grow? Or are you still a Roastyke?


Want more laughs? Our Pinterest is chock full of ’em. 

Foggy London Latte: Earl Grey Latte in 5 Minutes!


I discovered Earl Grey tea in college. I was an avid Lipton Black Tea consumer for years, but when I found out that my favorite Starbucks-affiliated on-campus coffee pit stop didn’t carry my drug of choice, I had to adjust.

The only black tea on the menu was Tazo’s Earl Grey. Or should I say, the only tea that wasn’t accompanied by the words “fruity,” “passion,” or “caffeine-free.” Homey don’t play that game.

earlgreyteaBringing that Venti sized, steaming cup back to my table, I was skeptical. First off, it smelled like Fruit Loops. Seriously, take a wiff of that bergamot and see for yourself! Secondly, it was literally not my cup of tea.

But years later, the only thing that can get me to sit down, focus, and pump out a productive work day is Earl Grey tea.

Foggy London Latte Recipe

A twist on my favorite hot tea, the Foggy London Latte, is everywhere! It’s a sweet, creamy, comfort drink for those rainy or snowy days.

Here’s What You Will Need:

  • Your Favorite Earl Grey Tea Bags or an Earl Grey K-Cup
  • Milk
  • Sugar or Your Favorite Sweetener
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Lavender, Optional

Here’s How It’s Done:

Brew your Earl Grey Tea and Lavender together. If you use a Keurig brewing system, just brew the tea over the lavender and let it steep. You can steep longer for a stronger tea, which is going to give you a deeper Earl Grey flavor. Remove the tea bag and strain your lavender.

Add in about 1/2 a cup of steamed milk and 1 tbsp of sweetener with the 1/4 tsp vanilla. To steam your milk, you can heat it on the stove (don’t let it boil!) or in the microwave. You can adjust these elements to taste as well.

Serve your creation with biscotti or a warm chocolate chip cookie.

Take your taste buds on an adventure with our recipes! Check us out on Pinterest.

Top 5 Best Things About: Thanksgiving


This is the story of a young woman just dreaming of a day off. Weekends were nice and coffee breaks got her through, but it was the holidays that made her squeal inwardly with joy.


OK, so it’s not so inwardly. I’ve been professing excitement for the holidays for weeks now. But now that we have a day off to stuff our faces and sleep it all off on Thursday, I couldn’t be more excited. It’s the days leading up to this vacation that are going to drag and drag.

tumblr_m2l0tlEXI21r3e62yo1_500The Best Things About Thanksgiving

1. Family You Never See Throughout the Year

Getting the family together can either be the best or worst thing about the day. No matter what, you have to say you are thankful that you made it through another year together… or else mom is going to make you sit next to your needy uncle that chews too loudly and asks you about your life plan.


2. The Bird

Turkey. I am so thankful that the pilgrims decided to use this bird in their feast. It has all of the best qualities – it’s a lean meat, it’s hilariously stupid so I don’t feel bad about eating tons of it, and it makes for a glorious, sleepy afternoon. Rock on, Tom.


You just have to accept that you are going to come into work a couple pounds heavier on Monday. Don’t worry. Everyone else will be in the same boat. If they aren’t, it just means they had a horrible holiday.


Speaking of food, that turkey doesn’t just magically appear on the table. Jump in the kitchen and get into the game! If anything, you can Instagram as you pop the rolls in the oven. Make all of your followers think you are domestic.


3. Prepping for Black Friday

Looking through the sale ads is almost more fun that standing in line at Best Buy for three days. Oh, wait, it’s so much better. Then you and your cousins can plan which stores you are going to hit up the next day. Or which stores to completely avoid because you don’t want the madness.


4. Holiday Specials

It’s the beginning of the holiday season! After the turkey leftovers are sealed and the pie is passed around, pour yourself a coffee and put up that tree. Or talk about how excited you are for your eight days of presents. We’ll be preparing our Festivus pole and brainstorming the Airing of the Grievances.


5. Getting the Day Off

Nap at 2 p.m.? I’m going to nap so hard. Watch the entire Macy’s Parade, even when Santa Claus makes his big debut? I have literally nothing better to do. Ignore work emails? Ha, you know where this is going.

emma-stone-dancing abbop tina

Black Friday Preview: Free Starbucks + Shipping for Orders Over $60

Black Friday K-Cup Sales

My first Black Friday was a blur.

I remember being small enough to get where I wanted, when I wanted. My friend’s mom took us to the mall and then to Toys R Us, after most of the the madness had died out . I was armed with my Christmas money from my Grandmother and a childlike optimism about the holiday season.

I walked out with a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets poster and one of those pocket pets that responded to a button popping up out of his head. Jackpot. I still have the Harry Potter poster, but the pocket pup was lost in the toy box of life.

Black Friday Sales

Comparing that to last year, Black Friday was again a blur. I stayed up until midnight and then headed to Target. In an effort to get the latest Mad Men season on DVD and Just Dance 2014 for my Wii, plus a few other things I have since forgotten, I stood in line for over an hour to pay. Looking back, the only thing I really still use was a tiny tub of Vaseline lip balm I grabbed at the register.

This year, I’m boycotting stores that are opening on Thanksgiving day. Even Alpine Valley takes a day off! It makes me mad that my friends have to leave their warm Thanksgiving dinners and family board games to scan tee shirts and DVDs at Target. No deal is worth that.

Black Friday K-Cup Deals & CBTL Sale

Alpine Valley Coffee will be open for business on Black Friday, the official day of the commercial holiday. We’ll come in from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST and our online store will be open as usual.

If you’re like me, you’ll be internet shopping all weekend, culminating in Cyber Monday. We’ve put together some goodies and awesome sales for you all! So while you wait in that crazy line at Target, you can order K-Cups, CBTL, and more.

Here are the official deals* for our Black Friday sale.

All items will be $1.00 off

Free goodies bags will be added to orders over $100. Including Starbucks K-Cups, 8 O’Clock K-Cups, and more!


Stay tuned for the Cyber Monday deals, coming next Monday.

*All items and deals are subject to availability. No rain checks. Shipping is free on orders $60 and over, excluding orders that include equipment. 

Recipe: Easy Pre-Thanksgiving Breakfast Bake


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Thanksgiving?” It probably wasn’t snow or polar vortex like most of our area got last night


Nonetheless, it doesn’t change what I think of. Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Yams covered in marshmallows. Gravy. And then a glorious nap courtesy of tryptophan. Next week happens to be one of my favorite weeks of the year.

When you’re a kid, you don’t get much say in the traditions. So my tradition Thanksgiving has changed as my brother and I have grown up. People move away, families grow, and we add a few more leaves to the tables in order to accommodate the addition of delicious dishes.

While I love the traditions, there is one thing that I really wish would change. Thanksgiving breakfast. I get up in a rush, barely have a minute to shower, and then the cooking begins. Every time I try to sip my coffee or smuggle a piece of pie to fuel me forward, someone calls for my help.

Before I know it, I’ve missed breakfast and we’re several hours away from turkey and cranberries.


Here’s my solution: Thanksgiving breakfast. Keep the theme of things of the season and then add coffee. Even just 30 minutes out of prep time to fuel up would bring us all another thing to be thankful for.

So, to Pinterest!

baconeggcupsRecipe: Bacon and Egg Bake Cups

How much easier can you get?

  • Cupcake/Muffin Tins
  • Bacon Strips
  • Eggs
  • Cheese

Just line the tins with the bacon, uncooked. Combine the eggs and cheese and pour into the bacon.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. They’re not going to take up too much room and you can even make them the night before and then heat them up if you are too worried about time.

You could do the same with ham and mix in different breakfasty additions, like peppers or onions.

I tend to go J.Law at the Oscars when I don’t eat. Don’t subject your fellow Thanksgiving chefs to a “hangry” experience (hungry + angry).


Why We Support Pink Ribbon Girls


We recently had the privilege to support the Pink Ribbon Girls, an amazing organization in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. They provide services and amenities for women living with breast cancer.PINK RIBBON GIRLS COOZIE

If you know someone that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, then you know how much their life changes. Suddenly, they need transportation to weekly treatments. Everyday tasks, like grocery shopping or vacuuming, become daunting. It can be a lot to take on mentally, but PRG is there to lend a much needed shoulder of support.

“I don’t have to do it alone,” one survivor says in the video above.

Mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, friends. Women of all walks of life are taken care of, given a support system, and built up through PRG. From delicious, nutritious meals to support groups to transportation, these men and women do it all.

Learn more about how you can join the fight against breast cancer and support Pink Ribbon Girls here.