Sunday, January 30, 2011

Love For Cafe Mocha

My love affair with all things coffee began as a teen when one night at Rockin' Java a close friend introduced me to the fabulous Cafe Mocha.  I was adamant that I hated coffee; that I only liked the way it smelled.  One sip of Cafe Mocha and I was a changed girl.

Rockin' Java closed soon after that and I discovered Starbucks' Cafe Mocha, Seattle's Best's Cafe Mocha, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's Cafe Mocha, It's A Grind's Cafe Mocha, Wildfire Coffee's Cafe Mocha…you get the picture.  And while I have discovered many other wonderful ways to drink my coffee, you never forget your first love.

My dear brother and his wonderful fiance gave the Hubster and I an espresso machine for Christmas.  Incredibly intelligent folks they are, they thought we might need some liquid energy to get us through the sleepless days and nights of parenthood.  Did I mention how wonderful and smart they are?  So after 50,000 shots of straight espresso for me and 50,000 Iced Americanos for the Hubster I got to thinking…surely I can make my old standby Cafe Mocha at home.

After consulting Mother Google and many trials later here is what I've come up with:

Cafe Mocha

2 oz. espresso (or double strength dark roast coffee if you don't have an espresso machine…a french press also works well for this if you have one)
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. hot water
4 oz. steamed milk (whole milk is standard, but you can use skim or soy if you like…should be approx. 140 degrees)
whipped cream (optional)

Mix cocoa powder and sugar in the bottom of your mug.  Add hot water just until a syrup forms and stir until you have no lumps.  Add espresso and stir to mix, then add steamed milk.  Top with foam or whipped cream (or both if you like).  Makes an 8 oz. cafe mocha.  You can make any size you like; the important thing to remember is you want equal parts cocoa and sugar, and you want twice as much steamed milk as espresso.

While this is a very good basic mocha recipe, variation is the spice of life.  Here are two of my favorites:

Mexican Mocha

Same as above but add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon to the cocoa powder/sugar mixture.  Smells wonderful!

Aztec Mocha

Same as above but add a dash or two of cayenne pepper (easy does it daredevil) to the cocoa powder/sugar mixture.  This is my favorite variation…this recipe takes advantage of your entire palate.  You taste the sweet from the chocolate on the front of your tongue, the full-bodied espresso on the middle of your tongue, and the heat from the cayenne in the back.  Wonderful way to warm up when it's cold outside (and clear congestion from cedar fever)!

And for those who prefer their coffee cold, here is the Iced Americano recipe my Hubster swears by:

Iced Americano

2 oz. espresso
16 oz. glass with ice

Pour espresso over ice.  Fill to top with water.  You're done!

What's your favorite coffee recipe?

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