Coffee at Home

Since everyone is more or less stuck at home due to Covid-19, you might be bored or looking for some kind of diversion. Why not explore some recipes using coffee?

The Victor crew found some recipes on Starbucks site. They range from coffee drinks to smoothie bowls to cakes. There are also recipes for chocolate covered coffee beans and how to do latte art!

Many of the recipes are coffee go-withs and some are made with coffee as an ingredient. Make a coffee cake or frittata to go with your brew. Or perhaps you want to make a fancy coffee drink.

Check out their recipes here: https://athome.starbucks.com/recipe/

How Italians do Coffee

Italians have certain ways of drinking their coffee. It’s different than how we drink coffee here in the states.

Here are some things that might be confusing:

For instance, if you order a “latte” you will get milk.

A bar is a cafe. They drink coffee standing up at a bar. If you sit down you get upcharged for the seat. (The price could double or triple if you sit.) Pay for the coffee before ordering.

Don’t drink cappuccino after noon – or even 11 a.m. At least not if you don’t want to be pegged as a tourist. If you order it, you will probably get it but don’t expect to blend in.

If you order caffe, you will get espresso.

The closest you may come to what we are used to is Caffe Americano – but it may come either with a small pitcher of hot water for you to dilute it yourself or a regular coffee.

What you might not find is cold brew coffee. Some regions have something they call Caffe Shakerato where they dissolve sugar in and then put the hot espresso over ice and shake to quickly cool it. Or you can just get a caffe freddo or iced coffee.

Here are some sites to find out more:
TripSavvy
WalksOfItaly

A Coffee Break

I took a coffee break last week. I went a full week without drinking coffee. The main reason was to see if I would sleep any better without my cold brew. It did not make a difference. What I did that week was drink more tea. I drank green tea, Earl Grey tea, a flavored herbal tea, and a flavored black tea. For a really good collection this winter try this Winter Solstice Loose Leaf Sampler. The box has a handy guide for how long to steep each type of tea.

I also treated myself to this tea infuser for loose tea. Rather than buy a special tea cup that comes with an in-fuser, you can turn all your own mugs and cups into tea infusers.

I am back to making my cold brew but it’s still nice to have a cup of tea in the afternoon or evening.

Coffee for Christmas

Try something new for Christmas or whatever your holiday is this season…

Add some spices to your grounds, like brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. When done, add some whipped cream and top with red and green sprinkles, crushed gingerbread, or crushed peppermints.

Buy a Christmas-flavored coffee, or a flavored creamer.

Add eggnog and nutmeg to your coffee.

If you drink coldbrew coffee, and want some spices, you may need to dissolve the spices in a little bit of hot water before adding it.

Coffee Tips from the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club has been around for quite a while. John Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892. Their focus is to protect the natural world, green living, and outdoor adventure.

They recently published an article with tips for conscientious coffee consumption. Here are some of the tips:

Buy coffee local, talk to a local coffee roaster and ask questions – see how they work how they handle energy and waste. Purchase what you need and use it all.

Get a decent to-go cup. In other words, use a reusable insulated travel cup.

If you have time, enjoy your coffee in a cafe in a real cup.

Use a manual hand grinder. They are more environmentally-friendly because you aren’t using electricity. Use a pour over coffee maker, or cold-brew your coffee.

Be mindful of plastic waste, such as straws or stirrers. Just say no to them.

Use your grounds in compost, or sprinkle on your garden or lawn. Use them as a body scrub.

Drink your coffee black and skip the dairy.

Read the full article: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/9-ways-drink-coffee-conscientiously