I Need a Coffee… Want some too???

I started late in life…


It was on the Sony Mom Blogger Junket almost three years ago that I tasted my first Starbucks Frappuccino. I remember it clearly — the day I began a Starbucks habit.

You see up until that fateful afternoon, when I was 34 years old, I had never had a cup of coffee. I had wanted to. I had sipped some. But as much as I loved the smell of coffee, the real thing just didn’t taste good to me.

But, as I sat trying to keep my weary eyes open that afternoon, (I had brought my nursing baby Olivia along on the junket, thanks to Sony!) a fellow blogger sitting next to me said, “Have one of these — they taste like ice cream.” The first one is always free, right?

And so I did. And so it did. And so it began.

My Coffee Habit…

Now, more often than not, you can find me at Starbucks, working on my laptop, while drinking a Skinny Hazelnut Latte or Caramel Frappucinno. In fact, I am sitting at Starbucks right now as I type this, working on my second latte of the night.

seattles-best-coffee-chocolateAnd, if I had a Seattle’s Best Coffee nearby, I would be dropping by there as well — since I discovered this past fall that I love them too!

You see, in October, I attended a blogger junket at Seattle’s Best Coffee.

My schedule was already packed when the email hit my inbox, but I couldn’t resist — it was Seattle’s Best Coffee, which is owned by Starbucks!

I couldn’t miss that!

So I packed my bags and drove to Seattle — to immerse myself in the world of coffee.

I never imagined I would ever know so much about (or taste so much) coffee in my lifetime! It was an incredible experience, to learn, sip, and sample my way through coffee 101.

Seattles Best Coffee - Samples

We learned about the entire process of turning those little beans into the perfect cup of coffee.




No wonder Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee tastes so darn good — such care goes into their blends!

I felt like an expert by the time I left!

Introducing LEVELS…

One of the reasons we bloggers were called to Seattle was to hear all about Seattle’s Best Coffee’s new LEVEL SYSTEM — an innovative move to bring simplicity to the coffee aisle!

Seattles Best Coffee - Levels

Seattle's Best Coffee - Introducing Levels

The Level System is a radically simplified packaged coffee line featuring a unique array of numbers and vivid colors to tell consumers exactly what they want to know: which type of coffee fits their taste profile.

The new Level’s coffee varieties include:

  • Level 1 – mild, light crisp
  • Level 2 – lively easy drinking
  • Level 3 – balanced, smooth, full-flavored
  • Level 4 – rich, elegant, complex
  • Level 5 – bold, dark, intense
  • C – Cinnamon Flavored
  • H – Hazelnut Flavored

*Level 3 available in decaf and whole bean; Level 4 available in organic fair trade blend

It was still under embargo while we were there. So I had to hold back posting even my photos of the new concept.

But now that the new Levels System packaging has been released I can share all the delicious details with you!


And as delicious as all the coffee treats we tasted were, and oh my word did we taste, the levels packaging was almost as delicious!

I just love the enticing descriptions like, “For those who like to stare up at the blue sky, and then drink it.” I am not exactly sure what that means when it comes to what kind of coffee I like, but I just love the sound of it.

And while we sipped and sampled, I learned something that surprised me. I actually like the stronger 4 and 5’s. My preference probably comes from the fact that I usually drink Starbucks which is usually a level 4 or 5.


I also like 3, which is why I enjoyed Seattle’s Best Coffee so much. They serve a level 3 for the majority of their drinks in their stores.


Surprisingly, even though I like my coffee softened with sweetness and milk, I didn’t like the weaker level 1 or 2. It was fascinating to taste all the different varieties and better understand my coffee preferences!

And yet another irresistible way to drink your coffee…

If you don’t always have time to stop into Seattle’s Best Coffee to get your Latte fix, you now have another unbelievably delicious way to consume your caffeine: the new Iced Canned Lattes.


The line includes an Iced Latte, Iced Vanilla Latte and Iced Mocha Latte each with 130 calories. I have to warn you: these iced treats are insanely good. It is everything I can do to stop after one. I could drink three in one sitting. (But I won’t. I promise.)

Want to Try Them?!? Enter to Win

Seattle’s Best Coffee would like YOU to be amongst the first to try their new blends. As well, they want to include a “Curiosity Pack” filled with sample sized bags of their new Levels coffee (five blends labeled “1” through “5” in order of the strength of the roast), so you can experience and find your perfect blend.

Leave a comment telling us about your coffee habits and you will be entered to win.

We will have five winners, each will receive a 4-pack of iced canned lattes and a Levels curiosity pack.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian shipping addresses and closes on March 4th. This giveaway is void where prohibited. Please see our site’s terms and conditions for our complete contest rules.

Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom. Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.

Please Note: My travel and accommodations, as well as product samples and prizing, were provided by Seattle’s Best Coffee. My love of coffee and Seattle’s Best is all my own!


  1. says

    I love coffee! I make it at home and have it every morning and every evening after dinner. I like a mild, smooth black coffee – no sweeteners or flavorings added for me.

  2. says

    Janice~ you have a charmed life! :)

    I love coffee. I drink “regular” coffee at home every morning (we prefer flavored creamers) but I love treating myself to specialty coffees (like Starbucks) when we’re out and about. I’d love to win this prize!

    • says

      I really do Heidi — BUT if it seems too charmed, I stayed up till 6:20am getting this post done. LOL It is charmed, but tiring. Hence the new coffee habit.

  3. Sheryl Edwards says

    I need my coffee to get going in the morning. I also love a cup in the afternoon with a little treat as an afternoon pick me up. And sometimes, I even have a cup of decaf in the evening, especially in the winter. I always drink coffee with cream. Sugar free hazelnut liquid creamer is my favorite! I have wonderful memories of drinking a cup of coffee with my mother, grandmother and sister. We would drink our coffee and enjoy having a wonderful chat! :)
    Following and tweeting @textiff

  4. Erin says

    I am currently 5 months pregnant & coffee isn’t my thing right now. I can do iced coffee every once in awhile. This would be a great gift fo my Hubby who has to hide his coffee from me :)

  5. says

    Great post! I LOVE my coffee at home with sugar free creamers ~ I even get excited in the night cuz I can’t wait to get up and have that yummy stuff in the morning!! Ha!! :)) Love my Starbucks every now and then – just so expensive!! My Fav is Skinny Van Latte – Venti of course :))

  6. brandy says

    My coffee habit is pretty typical, one cup every morning.. Sometimes more in the winter..and anytime I get to a Starbucks..but, the closest one is 50 miles away so don’t get that very often!

  7. Kirsten says

    Oh how I could go on about my love of coffee…
    After my daughter was born my taste buds changed & suddenly put hair on my chest coffee was divine. I still love the lighter blends but I found myself walking into a little Dominican cafe by my train sation to get my cup of Bustelo only the way they could make it. I got sick from the food…but the coffee kept me coming in…now that’s love.

  8. Cassandra D. says

    Wow…I was never a coffee drinker until college. My roommate was crazy for it and so I started going to the coffee shop with her and instantly fell in love! Now I need a cup of Joe daily – whether it’s the fancy stuff or just regular home-brewed. I try to make it at home as much as possible to save on costs, but sometimes its tates so much better when I haven’t had to do anything but drive-thru on my way to work! Thanks.

  9. says

    One of the things I miss most from my transition to being a WAHM is getting coffee outside of my own home. We go through a lot more coffee now; I drink it all day long! But I make it a point to treat myself once or twice a week.

  10. says

    I just started drinking coffee…thanks to my husband, who is a coffee junkie…lol I have a cup every morning after the kids are in school. I like mine lightly sweetened with french vanilla creamer. Yummy

  11. says

    At night, I set my coffee pot to auto-start for me in the morning while I’m in the shower before getting ready for work. Then I drink a cup while I get ready and take a big travel mug with me for the drive.
    I’m also a little weird, because I put ice cubes in my coffee, because I don’t like it too hot.

  12. Sonia Koehler says

    I was also started drinking coffee late in life just a few years ago now I dont know what I would do with out I prepare everything at night so in the morning when I wake up all I have to do is push the on button to start brewin by the time I make breakfast for my kids coffee is ready for me to poor!

  13. Shana says

    Sounds absolutely YUMMY! My husband and I have different coffee tastes. He uses more scoops than I’d prefer, so I go add more water to it when he’s had his 2 cups and leaves for work. I drink way more than I should, but it’s my one guilty pleasure!

  14. says

    I love Seattle’s Best coffees…they carry them at my local Safeway store. I haven’t seen the iced coffees there, but I hope they get them. I’d love to try them.

    By the way Henry’s Blend is my all time favorite.

  15. Andrea O. says

    I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was almost 30! But now I enjoy a cup or 2 with flavored creamers, but for me it’s more of a treat than a must have to get through the day.

  16. says

    I was always a mocha girl, myself. It started in high school. Just a few months ago I finally started drinking coffee and I consume entirely too much and blame it on having two sets of twins.

  17. Lisa Burkholder says

    I started drinking coffee because my husband got a night job and he wanted a coffee maker so I got him one! But then I was smelling the yummy coffee so I started drinking it too!

  18. says

    I first tried starbucks so long ago I can’t even remember when it was! lol! I am a java chip frapp kind of girl but try not to over do it while I’m trying to diet! :)

    My coffee habits started in high school! I would have a cup of decaf coffee with my grandmother each morning before school. I drank it (and still do) with a little bit of sugar and milk or french vanilla creamer. French Vanilla is my favorite flavoring!

    Now my husband makes the BEST pots of coffee ever! We drink 1 or 2 cups in the morning or when we need a pick me up through out the day. A few days of week I have 1 or 2 cups at night after putting my 2 year old to bed so i can unwind and get some work done! :) Blogging and housework would not be possible without the help of coffee!

    Thanks for sharing with us Janice!


  19. says

    You know, I’m a lot like you in that I never liked coffee. Oddly enough, I discovered I love coffee flavored icecream and Starbucks bottled Frappucino. Maybe I just haven’t found my blend yet. My grandmother keeps telling me I won’t be an adult until I drink coffee or tea…maybe this is my chance to grow up?

  20. Fabs says

    We don’t have a Seattle’s Best Coffee where I live. :-( But I find myself at the local coffee shop almost every afternoon, I usually order a Tan which is kind of in-between a mocha and a latte. I’d love to try some SBC, though!

  21. says

    I have to have my coffee to start the day. With a young toddler in the house, coffee is a must! I also usually have a cup in the afternoon after the little one wakes up from naptime.

  22. Celeste says

    Love coffee–thanks to my Italian dad who never let a day go by without a latte! Pregnant right now, so I sip on decaf all day.

  23. annaliza says

    i started drinking coffee when my grandparents used to make it when i was little and staying at their house. haha. it was part of my collection of fuzzy, childhood memories. i am a mom now and still drink coffee. i make it sweet according to my mood. 😉

    thanks for the opportunity.

  24. JD Northwest says

    I’m a regular coffee drinker. I like Americano to drip coffee, rarely a sweeter coffee drink. At home on the weekend I rely on a French press to get me through the morning. Heaven is a cappuccino in Florence while people watching.

  25. Jennifer H. says

    I start every morning with coffee. Lots of cream and sugar. Anytime I have some time away from the kids I always treat myself to a Mocha or Latte.

  26. says

    OMG… Coffee!!!!! I was just trying to remember when my coffee habit started because I dont recall drinking coffee when I was in the Navy. At one point in my life I was drinking 3 VENTI carmel Machiattos a day… and then I found out how many calories were in those babies. I am a “dont talk to me until I have had my coffee” kinda girl and lucky for me, hubby knows it so he brews it, makes me the perfect cup of coffee, splenda and powered creamer and puts it next to by the bed!

    What a fun contest!

  27. says

    Oh I have a major coffee habit. Love all kinds but lean more towards Starbucks iced for sure and we drink various Keurig coffees every day and always bring back a ton of Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica. Triple yum especially French press OH YES

    Sounds like a cool experience at Seattle’s Best.

  28. says

    My usual coffee drink is a decaf, non-fat, mocha with 4-pumps in a tall or 6-pumps in a grande (of mocha). I am a Starbucks mocha addict. I buy their mocha powder and have my own espresso machine at home (We live 85 miles from the nearest Starbucks and the Seattle’s Best at Borders.) We almost always stop for a coffee drink as we leave town for home!
    someluckydog at gmail dot com

  29. says

    Coffee coffee coffee, must have it now! My Starbucks addiction started four and a half years ago when my husband (fiance at the time) first introduced me to it. He was lucky enough to spend his formative years in Seattle where his lifelong love affair with beans and brew was initiated. As a former Starbucks employee (manager during college years) he insisted that I learn the “proper” way to order a favorite drink. The first delicious drink I ever had the pleasure of sipping was a Grande Soy White Chocolate Mocha. From then on it became a tradition to end each of our dates with a Starbucks iced coffee or frappucino. Since then he has also taught me about so many “exotic” sounding coffee drinks and treats. For Valentine’s Day this past week he gave me a book devoted to coffee with directions on how to make over 100 different drinks! He even inscribed the inside with “let’s make lots of love and coffee together the rest of our lives.” We collect coffee mugs during our travels and start each day with a cup of joe in our favorites, sometimes slosh down some more down for an afternoon pick me up, and almost unfailingly will swing by Starbucks or Seattle’s Best after dinner to chill and converse over one last cup.

  30. says

    my coffee habits are getting worst as I get older…..honestly i didn.t start drinking coffee till my forties….I am 55 now..don.t tell eanybody…I like t to try all kinds of coffee…now adays
    i crave a cup , arount 4pm..mid afternoon and then I.m okay…just one cup…just weird….but i really am trying to cut back…no luck…. so far….

  31. says

    I LOVE coffee! I am quite the addict and am NOT seeking help at this time. I think I began drinking coffee in my early 20’s. It’s always been about the “foo foo” stuff. I like my coffee sweet. I would drink it all day long if I could afford such a habit.

  32. says

    How did I miss that Starbucks bought out Seattle’s Best? And isn’t it kind of weird that they still keep their own label?
    Anyway, I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I will on occasion have a cup if someone else is buying! 😉
    I would really love to win this for my hubby so we could have some coffee in the house though!

  33. debra b says

    I own a keurig coffee maker and buy my k cups online. I drink coffee from the time I get up till the time I go to bed and love the flavoured ones. This would be a real treat for me to try these.

  34. says

    I am a coffee-aholic but prefer iced coffee over hot coffee. Even when it’s -20 degrees outside, I saunter into work with a huge iced coffee, which makes me coworkers laugh.
    I have to have coffee before my day begins – it is as essential to me as taking a shower each morning :)

  35. Beth Ann says

    I make a big pot of coffee every other day or so, drink about two cups that day, and save the rest in a pitcher in the fridge for the next day. I love drinking it hot or cold. Strangely, it’s not normally my morning thing (except when my dh is off), but my afternoon pick-me-up! :)

  36. Sandra Brower says

    I love coffee, but it sometimes doesn’t love me. Still, I treasure my coffee moments and can’t think of a better way to start the day than with a steaming delicious cup (or two) of cappuccino.

  37. CaroleM says

    I love my coffee! in fact I am having my ‘before the kids get up” coffee right now while I check my email. I also bring coffee in a thermos with me to work so that I can get my second hit within minutes of getting to work. And I’ve turned into a coffee snob. I drank some coffee a friend brewed the other day and I just couldn’t drink it. Oh what have I become?

  38. Maureen says

    Hi – I’m a once-a-day (typically Starbucks mostly because it is the most geographically desirable) extra foamy latte. Thanks, Maureen (jnomaxx at hotmail dot com)

  39. says

    ok, wait, DID SOMEONE SAY COFFEE????? Coffee is MY department PERIOD. I grew up on coffee! Being of European background, kids aren’t given a glass of milk … NO NO NO … kids are given COFFEE with MILK (dark lattes!). By the time I was a teen, I was drinking about 15 cups per day. Yes, espressos, double espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and the normal cup of coffee! Coffee is what got me through University, and marriage, and then divorce! Coffee is essential to me … it’s like air. I NEED coffee. In fact, it’s a cold day in HELL when you DON’T see a coffee in my hand! I must confess, the only time I cut back on coffee was when I was 39 yrs old & pregnant, and then breastfeeding. As soon as baby was off of breastfeeding, I was back on my regular dosage of coffee (15-20 cups/day).

    So, you want to talk coffee, do you?

  40. says

    I never used to drink coffee, either. Don’t remember why I started, but I have one or 2 cups every morning now – at home. I have to have creamer in it. I have never been to Starbucks ( I’m a little bit proud of that because I HAVE to be the only one! :) ) even though they are everywhere!

  41. GinaGlimme says

    On the mornings I go to work it is simply coffee from the pot at home with lots of cream. Weekends and days off usually mean a walk to Starbucks for a vanilla latte, a special treat.

  42. Jennifer C says

    Being from the Seattle area – My coffee obsession started at a young age and by the time I got my license at 16 I would leave the house early before school just so I could pick up a Starbucks on the way! Of course nearly 10 years and 2 (well 3 next month!) kids later I’ve had to cut back on that spendy daily habit a bit so now it’s limited to about 3 days a week. The other days I enjoy coffee made at home. So it would be absolutely wonderful to win this giveaway and sample new yummy coffee!! I’d love to try new Seattle’s Best!!

  43. hippie4ever says

    You should try Caribou, they even use real chocolate in their Mochas! Starbucks lost my love when they stopped offering Swiss Water decaf, I really don’t like chemicals in my coffee. And when they switched soy. I’ve never tried Seattle, but I’d love to:)

  44. Crystal W says

    I came into loving coffee later in life like you. Of course “real” coffee drinkers will tell you that my coffee (which has so much sugar the spoon stands straight up) isn’t real coffee! I prefer a flavored coffee and usually buy favored coffee beans and then grind them right before I make it. I love making Frappucinnos at home for my hometown is one the only ones in America without a Starbucks, Seattles best or any good coffee shop! So it’s do it yourself or go coffee less!

  45. says

    I recently got a Tassimo one-cup coffee maker so I can indulge my coffee cravings anytime without making a huge pot of coffee. And getting flavored coffee drinks at the bookstore or fast-food place is the ultimate indulgence for me!

  46. says

    Crazy you’re blogging about this now – I JUST bought a Level 4 a couple days ago :) We love it!

    We adore coffee here – we use a french press for all our coffee making needs.
    Would LOVE to win this!! Looks delicious!

  47. katklaw777 says

    I like iced and fancy sweet dessert type coffees…Yum, yum, yum. I drink them in the evening by the fire or in the summer when I need something refreshing.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. Angela G says

    I never really liked coffee growing up. In fact, in order to keep me from liking it, my mom would always tell me that drinking coffee would put hair on your chest. Ha! About 8 years ago a co-worker told me what to get at Starbucks…a white chocolate mocha. That is what did it! I don’t get white chocolate mochas anymore, mainly just regular mochas. At home I love drinking coffee on the weekend mornings with my husband! Thankfully, mom was wrong about it putting hair on my chest!

  49. Christine Roeske says

    Heart my coffee. I’d be a 4-5 fan, too as I like my coffee stronger. Or maybe its because I put so much delectable cream in it. Either way, I love my two cups in the morning and one “pick me up” cup in the afternoon before making dinner for the family.

    Thanks for the chance to try their new blends and coffees!

  50. Shari says

    I generally only have coffee at home, brewed often with Starbucks coffee, but I’m very open to trying other kinds. I even sometimes have instant. 😉 Usually I’m a one cup in the mid-morning sort of drinker. MAYBE a cup in the evening, too, once in a great while. Must have flavored liquid creamer!

  51. says

    Love the idea of the “Curiosity Pack”! I started a daily coffee habit in college – bringing coffee in a travel mug to those early morning classes. I love the whole routine of getting the coffee in the morning. I have a few favorite mugs, half+half + sugar (though I am trying to cut back on that) – always start my day with the first cup.

  52. Alison S. says

    I LOVE coffee. I think that’s why I don’t have a coffee maker at home…because I wouldn’t stop drinking it! So it’s my treat when I’m at work or out and about.

  53. Allison McGrady says

    I like the more “fru fru” coffee drinks like lattes and macchiatos. I don’t get to have them often but they sure are good. My husband however, LOVES coffee!!

  54. Candace Sikiric says

    OMG! Love, love, love coffee! Gotta have my JAVA! I have a couple in the morning and then maybe a latte in the pm if I am in town. Love coffee

  55. says

    My coffee habits: I must have 2 cups of coffee in the morning. I generally have coffee at some point in the afternoon. I am always ready to go and buy a coffee at any nearby coffee shop! I never used to be a coffee addict until I cam back home to live with my parents!!

  56. says

    I love coffee!! I struggle to not go to Starbucks everyday (we don’t have any Seattle’s Best shops here in Omaha that I am aware of). I like to have some of a few different kinds/strengths of coffee around the house, so I can decide in the morning what I am thirsty for that day. Running around after two preschoolers every day requires me to have some coffee to keep up with them!

  57. Linda F says

    I love to drink coffee both hot and iced. I can drink it any time of the day but my favorite is as a pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon.

  58. says

    Mmmm, coffee. I do love me some coffee. It’s become a habit to have a cup in the morning soon after waking. Sometimes I’ll make a French Press full and drink the whole thing myself through out the day other times I’ll just have one mug. I recently saw these leveled coffees at the store and was sorely tempted to purchase some but I refrained since I’m trying to drink what I already have before purchasing more.

  59. says

    Serious coffee drinker here. My dd and I make americanos way too often using a handy little gadet we bought at world market. I’ll take it from it brewed, as a cappacino, latte, iced- how ever I can get it. i would love to try out the Seattles best pack!

  60. mary b says

    i guess I am an old school coffee drinker, always drank it black until I was pregnant, then had to add a little cream or ½ & ½. I am just so not into what I call “dessert coffee” as a regular drink, so I have never been to Starbucks (and no Seattle’s Best around here). A cup of cappuccino after an Italian meal is nice though.
    But I do like GOOD coffee, a darker roast is my fave, and I try different blends all the time. I like the idea of the Level system, makes it easy to choose

  61. Eileen says

    My coffee crutch is actually cappuchino’s . I cant drink alot of coffee because it gives me heart palps, but I can have a daily small cappu and my husband fills the house in the AM with the sweet smell of french vanilla or hazelnut. It is the most delicious smell of all! We like to give my husband Starbucks for bday, Father’s Day, and Christmas as a special treat! His eyes kind of glaze over. LOL!

    thanks much!

  62. Dena says

    I’ve always liked coffee, but just started drinking in more in the past year. Hubby got me a programmable coffee maker for our anniversary so we’ve been trying out lots of different kinds of coffee. Hes a medium roast kinda guy and I like it the darker the better. Sadly we have never been to a Starbucks : ( but would love to try them out sometime! Sign us up for the giveaway please!

  63. Debby says

    This would be the only way that I could drink Starbucks coffee. I love it, but my pocketbook does not! This would be a great gift to win. Thanks Ladies

  64. Allison says

    I don’t know if your giveaway is still going on, but if it is I would love to enter because lately my coffee habits include driving around from store to store trying to find one that has Seattle’s Best Iced Lattes (preferably Vanilla) in stock. I love to stock up when I can find them because I love to start my morning with iced coffee. These are the perfect size and a great price compared to the competitors! Thanks for an informative article!

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