Spicy Mocha

Who doesn’t love chocolate and spice? I know I certainly love this spicy mocha as it’s an indulgent treat with that nice bit of caffeine to get you going. My spicy mocha is similar to a Mexican hot chocolate, but with a couple twists that make it not only healthy but enjoyable.

Ingredients

  • coffee from a 2 c moka pot or percolator
  • 1 c almond milk*
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice*
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon*
  • 2 shakes cayenne*
  • 2 chakes of alspice*
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla powder*
  • 1 shake of ginger powder*

Recipe

Brew your coffee in the percolator. Warm up your milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes. When it’s done, froth it in the french press as I have explained in a prior post.

Mix your spices, sugar, and cacao together in your mug and add just a little coffee. Mix until it forms a smooth paste, now add the rest of your coffee and stir to combine.

Pour in your milk, and it’s ready to sip on. Enjoy!

*Use whatever spices you have and that make you happy! Also, use whatever milk you like; oat milk would be splendid in this. Sweetener is optional although I do recommend it as the cacao powder contains no sweetener. You could also do this iced!

Creamy Chai

My creamy chai is definitely a warm comforting drink. Filled with spices and tea as any chai is, this creamy chai is excellent as is or with espresso giving it that extra caffein kick. My chai is definitely not a traditional simple chai, nor does it have a super special blend of spices. But it is delicious and fairly tasty and quick to make.

Spice Blend for 1 Serving

  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon*
  • 1/2 tsp allspice*
  • 1/4 tsp ground dried ginger (fresh will give more kick)*
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg*
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper*
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla powder*

Ingredients

Recipe

First, put your water in a small saucepan on the stove over high heat. To it add your tea and spice blend. Boil this mixture four around 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.

At this point, you can add your milk straight to the pan to heat, or if you like that “latte feel” like me, you can warm your milk in the microwave for a couple minutes and froth it in a french press like the percolator “latte” recipe. After I warm and froth the milk, I strain the tea and spices into my cup (the water should have reduced a little now to make this more of a concentrate) also adding the agave and pour in the milk. Viola, you’re ready to enjoy!

*Even if you have almost none of these spices, you can make a chai; it will just be more traditional which is also good! A traditional easy chai is black tea, cardamom, ginger, and milk. Easy as that. Adding sweetener, what milk you use, and how you make your chai are all totally up to your taste buds. Have fun with this recipe!

Spicy Cacao Iced Latte

This spicy cacao latte was born from boredom and a love of coffee and spice. The spice and coffee will wake you up well, and the cacao will give you that delicious chocolatiness to enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • dash of turmeric
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or agave
  • 2 c non-dairy milk
  • coffee from moka pot
  • ice

Recipe

Brew your coffee in the percolator; mine is a 3 cup percolator so you get about 1/2 c actual concentrated coffee from it.

Blend the milk and spices to incorporate them and get a little froth.

Now add the coffee and ice to a cup with your spicy milk and enjoy!!

Percolator “Latte”

Hi all! One of the first types of homemade coffee I ever experimented with and got hooked on was using a Percolator like a Bialetti. It doesn’t require precise measurements, buying a 2 cup one is fairly cheap, they last forever, they’re easy to use, and you can make multiple types of coffee with them.

Some people will tell you that a percolator makes espresso; this isn’t technically true because of the pressure required to make espresso. That being said, a percolator is the easiest way (I have found) to make a coffee that is as close to espresso as I can make at home. As for the milk for the “latte” (which I put in quotation marks because a latte uses espresso, and technically this doesn’t use espresso), you will need a french press to create the foam.

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping tbsp light roast coffee beans
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • about 2/3 c water
  • 1 1/4 c almond milk or preferred milk

Recipe

First things first, you need to grind your coffee and cardamom together. I use a little electric spice grinder given to me years ago by my grandparents. It isn’t very precise and won’t uniformly grind your beans, but it works for me. In the spice grinder, it takes about 1 minute of long pulses to grind my beans to the right size.

After grinding your beans, put water in your percolator. You’ll want to add the water so the level is just below the safety valve on the inside. If you cover the valve, the valve won’t do it’s job in the case of the percolator becoming too pressurized.

Now, add your grounds into the filter. Some people put grounds into the filter and leave the grounds unpacked, so the water can go through them more easily. In my opinion, this method is good for more diluted or weaker coffee, which is what you want when you like to drink the coffee as is. For this coffee, we want it to be strong – as close to espresso as possible. To make the coffee strong, we need to pack in the grounds.

To pack in the grounds, I like to add a couple spoonfuls at a time, and pack them in the filter with the palm of my had. Continue to pack in grounds until the filter is full, but ensure there is a little room at the top in order to screw on the top easily. Make sure you keep the edge of the filter clean, or when you screw on the top it will not seal properly.

Now screw on the top; ensure it seals tightly by cleaning the top of the filter and well before placing the top on. Now it is time to put your percolator on the heat.

Heat a burner to medium/high, and place your percolator on it. Make sure not to place the handle over the heat, as it may melt. Open the lid to the percolator and keep an eye on it as it heats. Watch for the coffee to begin dripping out of the top.

While you are waiting and continuing to watch, throw your almond milk in the microwave for around 1.5-2 minutes. Not to hot, or it won’t foam properly.

Once the reservoir becomes half full, turn your heat down to low/medium so the process slows. Wait for the coffee to almost reach the top (3/4 full) before turning off the heat. Your goal is to turn off the heat a little before your coffee spews out the top. This will ensure your coffee does not have a bitter taste and will not make a mess on your stove!

Almost there! Now you take your milk out of the microwave and add it to the clean french press. Place the plunger and lid on the top and begin plunging the milk to sort-of froth the milk. Do this around 30 seconds to 1 minute until you see that the milk doubled in volume.

Now take the lid off and begin tamping (banging it on the counter to release bubbles) and swirling it (to make the milk silky smooth after the bubbles have been tamped out). Do this until the texture of your milk is silky and smooth. It should look like similar to the picture below.

I put the foamy milk in an old coffee cup as the special coating on the inside helps the foam become smoother. Also, I create a little pointed pour spout by bending the cup.

Now pour about half the coffee into a small mug, sprinkle some cinnamon in, and add your milk to it. You can try to do some latte art, as it can be a lot of fun, but it will taste the same in the end: delicious and creamy. Enjoy!

To buy or research buying a Bialetti moka pot or percolator, click here!

*This recipe has a lot of technique and years of personal experience and research involved. Thus, it is why this post tends to be wordier and more specific than most. Below is the same coffee made with rice milk, which I enjoy more except the fact that rice milk doesn’t foam well.

Sorry for the horrible picture quality!!

Turkish Coffee

As with many things Middle Eastern, Turkish coffee (or Greek coffee) is one of the loves I discovered later in life. It’s simple, bold, and smooth.

When it comes to the coffee you can either pick and prepare it yourself or buy a tin designed for Turkish coffee; both are good options. I highly recommend this tin of Kurukahveci Turkish coffee to begin with. If you choose to pick and prepare your own beans, make sure you use a medium to dark roast preferably from Africa or South America as the flavor notes will lend to how smooth it will become. Also ensure the beans are ground as finely as possible, so they will dissolve into the water easily.

Next, there are a couple ways to make your Turkish coffee, you can buy a special pot to make it in, called an ibrik, or you can opt for the simple stirring of the coffee into the hot water method. Without further ado:

Ingredients

  • 6-8 oz water
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • sugar to taste

Recipe

Pour the water in the ibrik, and add the coffee.

Place the ibrik over high heat, and watch it or it will end up bubbling over on you.

Now wait for it to begin foaming up, and as soon as it rises to the edges of your ibrik, take the vessel off the heat for a couple seconds. Place the ibrik back on the heat after the bubbles dissipate a little. Allow the foam to rise a second time, turn off the heat, and pour into a demitasse mug or anything you have. Enjoy alone or with halva – which is an amazing combination!

In Greek culture, the more bubbles you have on the surface, the more money you will make in life. So work on those bubbles!