Browsing articles from "March, 2012"
Mar 30, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino

Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino

The term “Mexican chocolate” can refer to many different types of chocolate they all have one thing in common: they’re spicy. Mexican chocolate, in just about every form, is flavored with a variety of spices, and you’ll find flavors that include cinnamon and a variety of ground, dried chilies to add some heat to the mix. I’ve had it in brownies and desserts, but Mexican chocolate makes a fabulous hot chocolate and you can find it on the menus at many higher end coffee shops. It’s also easy to use Mexican chocolate to spice up your drinks at home. You can buy bars of the chocolate at many regular grocery stores these days and grind them up to stir into hot chocolate. I like to make my own mix and use it for drinks like this sweet-spicy Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino.

The mix I make includes cocoa powder, shaved dark chocolate (for extra richness), sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a generous pinch of ground chipotle or pasila chilies. Cayenne pepper can work well, too, but should be used more sparingly as it doesn’t seem to blend quite as well with the chocolate. I’ll make a big batch and keep it in a ziploc bag for when I’m in the mood for some kicked up hot chocolate, but you can mix it up a drink at a time.

For the cappuccino, I combine the mexican chocolate mix with coffee and whisk it very well, then top it with steamed milk. Sprinkle some on top for garnish at your own risk, as those chilies can offer some real heat when they touch the tip of your tongue!
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Mar 20, 2012

Starbucks Reserve 100% Kona Coffee, reviewed

Starbucks Reserve 100% Kona Coffee, reviewed

Kona coffee, from the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, is one of the most prized coffees in the world and demans a high price tag. The region’s rich, volcanic soil, shaded hillsides and lovely weather produce consistently excellent coffee with a distinctly smooth flavor profile. Unless you’re in Hawaii, it’s not common to see Kona on coffee shop menu boards and it was definitely exciting to see 100% Kona Coffee enter the Starbucks Reserve lineup this month. I jumped at the chance to have a cup from the Clover machine at my local store when they started stocking it.

The coffee is dark and very smooth, with an almost velvety finish. It is fruity and sweet, with a floral hibiscus note to it and a smooth, citrusy aroma. It’s billed as a medium bodied coffee but seems darker, although it doesn’t quite have the earthiness of some dark roast coffees. It’s smooth enjoy that just about anyone would enjoy drinking it.

I’ve seen this sold at several other Starbucks in my area, even those that don’t have Clover machines (unlike some of the other reserve coffees), so it is one that you might want to keep an eye out for and bring home to brew. It goes without saying that it’s well worth indulging in a cup if you’re at a store with a Clover, too.

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