Saturday, April 30, 2011

Warm and Delightful Drinks You Can Enjoy in a Hot Cup

The weather constantly changes from being cool to extreme cold, from hot to really hot. Hot beverages are the one thing that remains constant throughout the consistent weather fluctuations we are currently experiencing. Hot beverages are drinks that are served in hot cups, normally served heated either through adding heated liquid such as milk or water or direct heat on the beverage itself. Hot cups serve the purpose of being a container for these well-loved and comforting drinks that people enjoy during any weather. Here are some of the most often enjoyed drinks people make in hot cups.

1. Coffee – The most common coffee-based beverages served in a hot cup are cafĂ© au lait, cappuccino, coffee, espresso, latte, and other flavored coffees. Coffee comes from roasted seeds called coffee beans which are mostly cultivated in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Office workers and other employees often find themselves invigorated when drinking coffee first thing in the morning or extremely grumpy if they are without their morning fix. A hot cup of coffee is therefore the best way to start an early day. The recent boom in the coffee industry is primarily because of commercially-available hot cup drinks from Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Coffee Bean.

2. Hot Chocolate – Hot cocoa or cocoa is often served in a hot cup to get the most flavor out of it. It is made from shaved chocolate, melted chocolate, heated milk or water, and sugar. It has a sweet taste to it, which kids find perfectly delicious. Additionally, hot cocoa in a hot cup is seen as an alternative for non-coffee drinkers because it provides warmth and comfort minus the caffeine which drinkers sometimes consider unhealthy.

3. Tea – Hot tea is considered the 2nd most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. Hot tea in a hot cup is enjoyed in most parts of Australia, Europe, and Asia. Tea is the agricultural product of Camellia sinensis, a plant native to China, South, and Southeast Asia but it is now cultivated in other tropical and subtropical regions as well. The term “tea” also refers to hot beverages served in a hot cup infused with leaves, flowers, or herbs that do not come from the Camellia sinensis.

Whether it is coffee, hot chocolate, or tea that you enjoy, remember that hot beverages are best served in hot cups. Choose an eco-friendly hot cup so that you do not harm the environment upon disposing the item.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Project Paper Cup: An Eco-Friendly Easter With Recycled Paper Hot Cups

Moms and dads! Holiday alert! Another kid-friendly holiday is approaching—Easter! For kids, Easter means egg hunts and other festivities. For moms and dads, this also means a perfect opportunity for some easy and eco-friendly art projects. Project Paper Cup presents, Easter-inspired paper cup crafts.

For this project, we will be using a particular kind of paper cup—hot cups. Gather as many used hot cups as you can and bring out your art supplies including some scissors, glue, stapler, pink felt paper, white chenille stems, small pom-poms and wiggle eyes (you can get these from the nearby craft store). If you cannot find mini pom-poms, you can cut out thin strips of crepe paper and use this as a substitute for colored pom-poms. You can also use cotton balls to replace white pom-poms.

For this eco-friendly Easter art project, we will be making an Easter bunny. This is an easy project so you can make as many as you can—the more recycled hot cups you can collect, the better!

Start by cutting two ovals from the pink felt paper. This will be the bunny’s ears. Make sure to trim one side of the oval so it will be squared off at the bottom. You also can cut smaller ovals from another felt paper of a different color and then glue these on top of the bigger ones. Attach these to the back rim of the hot cup with a stapler. Next, cut the white chenille stems into two short pieces. These will serve as the whiskers. Glue these to the hot cup as well as the pink pom-pom on top so this will serve as the nose. Finally, glue the white pom-pom to the back of the cup to create a cotton tail. You can now fill it with candy treats for Easter.

Happy Easter!