Musical pairing – A Love That Will Last by Renee Olstead

You know I’m a Seattle girl so when Seattle’s Best contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in doing a review of their new ‘Levels System‘ for coffee, I said, ‘I’m in!’ You might be surprised to know that I haven’t always been a coffee drinker and in fact, for years was of the opinion that anyone who drank coffee needed to have their taste buds checked . . . strong, bitter and very acidic, I just didn’t get it. And then coffee bars came onto the scene . . . and with coffee bars came sweet flavors like vanilla, caramel and chocolate . . . as well as milk, cream and half & half . . . and just like that, I was a coffee junkie . . .

Seattle’s Best has recently introduced their new ‘Levels System’ packaging which is color-coded with a number telling you exactly what you need to know – which type of coffee fits your personal taste profile. And they have blends that cover an entire range of coffees – from a mild, light, crisp Level 1 to a bold, dark and intense Level 5; Decaf, an Organic Fair Trade Certified blend as well as flavored coffees in both Cinnamon and Hazelnut are also available. The higher the number on the package, the stronger the flavor profile – easy, yes? Yes! The Professor and I both preferred the dark roast (Level 5) because as noted in the opening paragraph, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and sometimes cream (shhhh . . .) are part of our regular repertoire – not at the same time mind you, but let’s just say we keep a stash of the good stuff in the fridge at all times . . .

I had scheduled an entire post on how to make cold-brewed coffee, but someone beat me to the punch; and not only did that someone write a fabulous post on iced coffee, but this certain someone posted an awesome variation on the same day . . . be sure to check out both of those ‘DIY’ posts!  Our Cincinnati family got us hooked on cold-brewed coffee about 4 years ago and we’ve never looked back; (a) it’s less acidic and therefore easier on my fickle tummy, (b) coffee is always ready to go – iced or hot and (c) making your own coffee concentrate is much, much cheaper than hitting your local coffeehouse every day.

And having coffee concentrate on hand means you can make all sorts of wonderful recipes without having to plan to brew coffee: Tiramisu, fabulous coffee cakes (I have a knock-your-socks-off recipe I’m going to share with you soon) and frozen frappes like this mocha-brandy one . . . trust me when I say, this will be a love that will last . . .

Here’s how we make it at Smith Bites!

Disclaimer: While Seattle’s Best provided me with coffee samples, the opinions and recipe are strictly my own.


  1. Where do you get dark chocolate? I’ve searched several grocery stores and can only find milk chocolate, semi-sweet, german and unsweetened. Thanks for your help

  2. Making this for my wife in the morning. Hopefully it is as good as it looks!

  3. Oh my stars….I’ll be there in, oh, 12 hours….can you have one of these ready? 😉

  4. And, of course, after looking more closely, it has occurred to me that you *cold brewed* the coffee… here I thought there was some magic bottled coffee concentrate! I shouldn’t be reading this late. 🙂 I’m still going to be making this one ASAP!

  5. Wow – This looks simply AMAZING. I will be hunting down some of that coffee concentrate because I need to make one of these! 🙂

  6. Am addicted to coffee and I only drink Seattle’s Best…I’m loving this recipe! I will try it very soon — yum!

  7. love the cayenne in there too. lol. I am curious how it is!

  8. I didn’t know you were from Seattle! How cool! I too love a good cup of coffee… something we don’t have much of here in Boston. I usually just brew it myself.

    This mocha frappe… and oh the brandy!!!… is marvelous.

  9. This look simply divine and just made me grin from ear to ear 🙂 MmmMmm nummy!!

  10. Love cold coffee on hot summer days. Funny I never drink it off season:). Perfect post and timing. My fave is iced 2% Grande light Caramel Macchiatto, tastes like coffee:).

  11. I’m not a coffee drinker either. A couple years ago, my granddaughter introduced me to the wide world of sweet cold coffee drinks….OMG.
    And this one looks super delicious!

  12. For a girl who loves coffee and chocolate…this seems heavenly! Thank you for sharing such a gorgeous cold concoction. I’m wishing I had one right now. We are HOT HOT HOT in Texas, and I need something like this to get me through my afternoon.

  13. My summers in Serbia are filled with home-made coffee parfaits, with and without the booze – it’s a prefect beverage for hot days and night, just enough to cool you off and not put you to sleep. And booze is the welcome bonus, of course:)
    I have never tried these concentrate packets, but it looks like something that would allow me to have a taste of home here in the US.
    Thanks, Debra, for another wonderful recipe!

  14. This looks so divine! Mmmm I try to avoid drinking my calories but this is really too tempting.

  15. Oh, this is dessert in a glass, and I don’t normally like the elaborate coffee drinks from Starbucks.

  16. This looks just gorgeous, Deb. We keep all the good stuff to doctor up our favorite coffees on hand too. I could not live without my coffee.

  17. Wowza, that’s one hell of a coffee! It looks so delicious and decadent, I wouldn’t know whether to sip it for breakfast or dessert! Wonderful, creative drink recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Chocolate brandy sauce? I’m sold.

  19. Oooh, I didn’t know that cold brew was less acidic. Good to know. I’ll be trying some soon.

    AND I’ll be trying this combo soon too. Unless you wanna come here and make it for me while I watch?

  20. I’m so in the mood for something like this. I just made an ‘affogato’ that I had only heard previously mentioned at Starbucks and with the recipe for a frappe I can throw away that Starbucks card cause I prefer my home brewed coffee anyway!

    Looks fabulous Deb!

  21. What a fantatsic drink for hot summer days!

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