You or your loved one enjoy a mocha in the morning? Ready to score some points while saving some of the excess cash you’re spending for your “specialty” coffee at the local coffeehouse? Instead, maybe it’s time to use that money towards creating your own quality coffeehouse right in your kitchen. Here’s a recipe to get you started; a Hawai’i-style gourmet brew without too much hassle (don’t be scared off by the amount of type; it’s simple but I’m certifiably long-winded).
* Dark Organic Coffee Beans – Even if you could care less if you get some concentrated chemicals in your coffee mug every morning, buy organic because it improves the ecosystems of farms, increases biodiversity, and preserves water quality. And any surfer knows how much it sucks surfing in agricultural residues after a nice rain. Why dark? Those who like mochas usually appreciate the rich flavor found in dark “French” roasts. Despite what most people think, dark coffee is less acidic. Try to avoid the over-cooked Starbucks brand coffee beans that are roasted to bitter. If you can’t find good beans locally (Kona purchased anywhere but in Kona can be quite expensive, yes?), there are many organic coffee growers/roasters online (look for Certified Fair Trade -meaning no slave labor- and Shade Grown). Purchasing whole beans direct from a reputable roaster means you will get it fresh with the most flavor. Better yet get green beans and roast yourself. Of course never buy pre-ground coffee – coffee grinders are cheap but can demolish and heat the beans. Splurge on a burr grinder if you can, or if you’re broke-ass just grind as needed at your local store. I think the old hand grinders are cute and sometimes way more efficient.
* Raw Cacao – Navitas Naturals organic cacao is delicious and processed at low temperatures to maintain nutrients and vitamins. Cacao is high in magnesium, vitamin C, and higher in anti-oxidants than red wine and green tea. This company is committed to social and environmental business practices, working directly with farming communities and supporting native organic farmers and farming methods. (Sure, you can also get some Ghiradelli.)
* Raw Sugar – Look for sugars, like Coconut Secret, that are not heat processed.
* Coconut Milk – Available at most grocery stores. Check the Asian Foods section for unsweetened, premium, first pressing, organic. Avoid the low-fat version. If you’re in Hawai’i or have some spare coconuts lying around, you can make your own fresh coconut milk.
* Rice Milk – (I like vanilla; organic will keep you GMO-free). Only problem is isn’t doesn’t froth well. The new Hemp milks are yummy and nutritious, but shake well – they have a tendency to separate and bead up and don’t look as appealing in the mug. Probably the most rich option is almond milk. They spray almonds with LOTS of pesticides, so definitely look for organic!
* “Pumpkin Pie” spices.
* Filtered water for coffee brewing is best
Make two shots of espresso or a strong coffee. Though the process of making coffee is ultimately important, that’s another recipe for another time. Many “Mr. Coffee”-kine coffee makers suck and with the advent of much better machines for a decent price it’s silly to not spend more on something you use every day. Many swear by the tried and true cowboy coffee. Others love the French Press. Still others prefer vacuum or cold brew for a no-acid coffee that’s kind to the belly. I like the stove-top percolators or espresso machines. But one thing’s for certain, if your coffee sucks, you’re going to end up back at the coffeehouse.
Whichever you decide, while the coffee is brewing, fill a saucepan with approximately 1 cup rice/hemp milk, couple tablespoons whipping cream or half and half, couple tablespoons of coconut milk (per mug) – I’m firmly opposed to measuring; just eyeball it. A big mug is important. Put approximately one full teaspoon of raw sugar (sweeten to taste), and a full teaspoon of cacao in your mug. Add a small amount of hot coffee into the mug while stirring; mix well! Then add the remaining espresso or coffee to 1/2 to 3/4 full, and fill the rest of the mug with the hot milk mixture. Top it off with whipped cream. Dash with pumpkin pie spice, or better yet grate some nutmeg and cinnamon yourself. The spices have a warming quality that are great pre-surf – and compensate a little for coffee’s tendency to deplete one’s Protective Qi, which can cause one to get cold more easily (just don’t use cinnamon every day as too much can irritate the stomach). You can also top off with some shredded coconut, chocolate syrup or shaved cacao.