We’ll Toast to That!
Winter Drink Apps for Cooler Days
As winter settles in, latté orders have long changed from iced to hot, vanilla flavoring has made way for peppermint, and the days of endless iced tea and piña coladas on the beach are far-off memories. Though the change can be bittersweet, saying goodbye to one season of favorite beverages means you can welcome the arrival of another. Using iPhone apps to find seasonal drinks can ease the transition to chilly weather. Download some of our best beverage picks for a warm, cozy, sipping winter.
Steamers to Sip: Coffee & Tea
This coffee and tea app, which started in Israel and crossed the ocean to New York City in May, offers a subscriptionbased service that allows for nearly unlimited drinks at local cafés. Just enter your order in the app and show the cashier, who will punch in a code and serve up your steamy drink. CUPS allows users to get a new drink every half hour, so avid caffeine consumers can load up on coffee without breaking the bank.
The maps feature allows you to see nearby coffee shops that use CUPS, so you can grab a free cup when you’re away from your regular java stop. Monthly packages range from $7 for five brewed coffees or teas to $85 for unlimited espresso-based drinks. Pay-as-you-go options are also available. Tea ($1.99)
The info-rich Tea app allows casual tea drinkers and aficionados alike to earn a pocket “Ph.D. in tea.” Just enter your brand or type of tea, and the app’s smart tea timer will offer directions so you always get your brew just right. You can also share tasting notes with friends, learn about the history of your favorite teas, and even discover new varieties to cozy up with. Not only does the app feature a harvest season map, showing you what’s blooming at the moment, but it also includes a curated info section with beautiful photos and plenty of details to educate you as you sip. CoffeeGuru ($1.99)
If you’re on the search for a strong, independent brew, CoffeeGuru is the app for you. Featuring helpful user reviews, this app gives you the scoop on over 7,200 coffee shops in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Ireland that serve everything from pour-over to French press—it’s perfect for Starbucks-shunning espresso snobs. Document your perfect cup by recording the roaster, coffee, and brewing method, and use the gorgeous flavor wheel to accurately describe the tastes and aromas of your coffees. Coffee (In)Touch Guide (Free)
This comprehensive set of apps by Coffee (In)Touch Guide offers ratings, info, and photos of the top coffeehouses in NYC, Paris, and London (and soon, Vienna, Rome, and Amsterdam!), so you can discover new places and peruse recommendations. Besides making it easy for you to save your favorite locations, the apps supply you with the cafés’ hours of operation, menu items, directions, and Wi-Fi availability. Bonus: the apps work offline, so you don’t have to use data to discover great coffee. Starbucks (Free)
When all else fails, the green mermaid is always ready to beckon you into her espresso-laden lair. This redesigned app is easier to use than ever, and it’s an essential resource for finding the nearest Starbucks or paying for a beverage when you leave the house sans wallet.
Add money to your Starbucks card or set it to refill automatically, and enjoy Gingerbread Lattés all winter long. Manage your star rewards—12 stars equal a free drink!—and enjoy weekly messages, including free iTunes song downloads, apps, and deals like extended Frappuccino Happy Hour or extra stars with special purchases. (We’re still waiting for a feature that shows how long the bathroom line is at your nearby Starbucks.) Perka (Free)
If you’re sick of losing all those flimsy frequent-coffee-buyer punch cards, Perka is the perfect app to de-clutter your wallet. The coffee and tea rewards program works on a check-in basis, so all you have to do is open the app and tell the barista your name to get a point.