What’s In Your St. Patrick’s Day Coffee?

With America’s favorite Irish holiday right around the corner, it’s time to consider what wonderful additive will go with this year’s St. Patrick’s Day brew (coffee).

Irish Whisky is a tried and true spike to your morning. There is a reason after all it is called “Irish Coffee”.

Creme de Menthe in your coffee is for those who add multiple sugar packets and need that semblance of “let’s drink green things” for the occasion. Think of it this way … Do you channel your inner Ross Geller?  

Not into mint or whiskey? Don’t let your friends tip them back without you over breakfast. Here are other ways to add some pizzazz to your coffee:

Amaretto will give you a nutty flavor for those who like their Hazelnut flavored coffees from Starbucks.  Caramel Vodka would suffice for those that like the sweeter spectrum. Of course both of these could also be topped with a whipped cream topping so you really get the coffee shop feel. Salted Caramel would also fit the bill. Lastly, chocolate liquers like Godiva would provide the most dessert-like experience of them all.

It would be a fun experiment to try what I call the “breakfast liquors” like the Van Gogh’s PB&J flavor, the Glazed Donut flavor from Mama Walkers, BAKON vodka, or Waffle flavored Georgi vodka. Probably wouldn’t want more than 1. Those Flavors don’t mix with typical bar mixers, so why not look to have breakfast in a cup and pair them directly with the coffee! 

If I planned Starbucks seasonal coffees

It is November 1 and the Christmas-themed drinks are already being offered at Starbucks.  While I love a pump of the Sugar-Free Peppermint in my Cafe Americano and wish it was offered year round, I feel like so many holidays like Thanksgiving always gets overlooked.

If I could control the seasonal offerings at Starbucks and give equal playing time to the seasons, here are some flavor combinations that would work wonderful and change monthly.


January Chai or Buttered Rum, something sweet and warming for the dead of winter
February Mocha Strawberry, just like chocolate covered Strawberries for your Valentine
March Spearmint, and of course it wouldn’t hurt to toss some green food coloring into the milky froths for St. Patrick’s Day
April English Toffee and Peanut Butter Mocha, almost tastes like Easter candy to me
May Iced Coffees, time to cool down as the weather heats up
June Green Tea Lemonades, extra spin-off flavors like acai berry or pomegranate optional
July Coffee Floats, adding a scoop of ice cream never killed anyone
August Coconut, an island vacation for your coffee
September Salted Caramel, since it is the height of apple harvests afterall.
October Pumpkin Latte.  Does this need explanation?
November Cranberry Chai, or something fun to get you amped for holiday dinners
December Peppermint Mocha, Gingerbread and Egg Nog, all big holiday favorites for the Christmas shoppers and home brews out there.

This is just my first stab at a unique take on each month, taking advantage of all the major American holidays and months of the year.  So, what am I missing?

Black N Bold XLV Limited Edition Coffee

Many businesses in town are doing specials related to the upcoming Steelers SuperBowl. La Prima has packaged a special Black N Bold XLV coffee which has me wishing the SuperBowl season never ends. As titled, the coffee is very bold and dark, but extremely smooth. I had La Prima has a stand at the Pittsburgh Public Market (@PghPubMarket on Twitter). The very kind worker was happy to grind the rich beans for at home brewing. I am sure to return and get more of this blend before the big day on Sunday.

La Prima Espresso on UrbanspoonThis is not the first time I’ve caught La Prima turning heads. I’ve been asked to ship La Prima coffee to co-workers in DC after they experienced the premiere coffee at Simpatico Espresso downtown.

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The Fire Escape next to the Ben Avon Fire Department

The Fire Escape, a Place for Everyone

The Fire Escape next to the Ben Avon Fire Department
The Fire Escape next to the Ben Avon Fire Department

If I told you I went to Ben Avon, PA  you would probably look confused and say “Where is that?”  Ben Avon, PA is just 6 miles north of Downtown Pittsburgh, just off the Camp Horne Road Exit on I-279 North.   It’s a quiet, small borough with a church, a mix of new, old and Victorian homes, a small handful of little businesses and right next to the Fire Station is The Fire Escape.

The Fire Escape is a coffee and tea shop with some really good food! In the mornings the locals stop in for the coffee before their bus or car ride to work, parents dropping off their kids at the bus stop always go in and kids coming home from school stop by and they get a small snack before heading home!

The Fire Escape on UrbanspoonI wasn’t exactly hungry at the time of my visit, but I went for a nice hot cup of apple cider.   The Fire Escape offers lattes, teas, coffee, frozen drinks like smoothies and bottled drinks.   They also have a nice variety of pastry and lunch options like wraps, salads, a soup of the day and their all famous Chili that is Hormone and Antibiotic free!

The next time you are in the North hills of Pittsburgh go say hello to The Fire Escape!