We’ll Toast to That!

Win­ter Drink Apps for Cooler Days

iPhone Life Magazine - - Gear Guide - by Melissa Kravitz

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

CUPS (Free)

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.

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