Checking out a new powdered coconut creamer and Ruta Maya’s new Cuban-style coffee

Since we’re talking about new Austin products today, you might want to know about two new coffee products from local companies. The first is an innovative new vegan and dairy-free creamer and the other is a dark roasted coffee from a beloved local staple.

Ruta Maya’s new Cuban-style coffee blend is called Cafe Jiguani, and it paired nicely with another new coffee product from Austin called Wander Life Coconut Creamer. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

Wander Life Coconut Creamer is a powdered creamer made with coconut milk powder, cacao and coconut sugar. It’s organic, Paleo and vegan, and is an excellent substitute for coffee-drinkers who are avoiding cream or dairy. You can simply spoon and stir the powdered mixture in your coffee or tea, but for the best froth, founder Kat Waldrip recommends pulsing the coffee and creamer together in the blender.

I tried that technique earlier this month, and it worked really well but was an extra step that felt a little like a hassle, especially since I hadn’t yet had coffee. On the other hand, if you’re already making butter or coconut oil coffee in a blender, this travel-friendly powdered version is definitely a product you’ll want to know about. In fact, Waldrip created the product after not being able to find a shelf-stable, dairy-free creamer that she could easily take with her when she traveled, which is why it’s sold in small reusable six-ounce pouches.

Blending the coffee and the coconut creamer makes a nice froth on top of the coffee. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

The creamer, $6.99 each or all three for $20, is sold in three flavors: plain, vanilla and cacao. You can buy it through the website (wanderlifecreamer.com), Amazon and at Snap Kitchen locations in Austin.

Waldrip says customers are also using it in smoothies and baking to add a hint of coconut flavor, and a colleague of mine used the cacao creamer in a spicy curry she made a few weeks ago and loved it. She also added the vanilla version to homemade whipped cream, which was also nice, she reports.

Ruta Maya, which has been roasting coffee beans in Austin since 1990, has added a Cuban-style blend to its product lineup called Café Jiguani.

Because the company can’t yet source beans directly from Cuba, the company hired a Cuban coffee expert to develop a blend of beans to recreate the signature flavor of a cup of coffee in a place like Havana. The result is Café Jiguani, a bold, nutty dark roast named for a city in Cuba near the country’s main coffee region, Sierra Maestra.

Made with 100 percent Arabica beans from South America, the coffee is sold in a 12-ounce package at H-E-B for $9.27 and, with a slightly darker roast for espresso, in 2.2-pound package at Costco for $14.99. The company says that as soon as the trade embargo is lifted — as early as next year, a rep says — they will source the beans for this roast directly from Cuba.

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