Monday, August 22, 2011

My Love Affair With Coffee

Today I'm going to tell you about a love of mine that I've had for a long time. He's French, strong, and hot!  That's right, it's coffee  ;)  
I must confess, I'm a bit of a coffee snob.  I know how I like my coffee, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I love a good strong french roast with a bite to it.
It's funny, I started out as anything but a coffee snob.  When I was a young, poor, student and I would go out with my friends, coffee seemed to be  the perfect answer to my problems. Free refills, and it kept me awake :)  Well, it grew on me, and what started out as a convenient friendship has turned into a full blown passionate affair.
I can remember where I had my first cup of dark french roast coffee.  It was at a lovely Victorian bed and breakfast Inn on the way to San Francisco.  The innkeeper served the coffee with homemade bread and jam for breakfast, I was in love :)  I'm sure my fondness for the coffee had as much to do with the fresh baked bread and the crisp delicious Autumn air of Northern California, but I was hooked.

I really do have a romantic and sensual relationship with coffee, like any great love, the fragrance and smell of the coffee draws me in, then I like to languish over it, and take my time.  I do not like to rush a cup of coffee and I've been known to microwave my coffee more times than I care to admit :)   I like it with a little agave syrup and  a good helping of real cream. My mom and I have very different ideas about "cream".   When I ask her to buy cream (or when I buy cream) I think it should say "cream" on the container, and I want "real" cream..... from a real cow!   My mom  can use canned milk, powdered cream, and at best, half and half.  Like I said, I'm a coffee snob, cream means cream, lol

I'm probably going to age myself by saying I remember the smell of fresh perculated coffee wafting through our house in the mornings.  Turns out it's a lousy thing to do to coffee from a culinary standpoint, but it sure made the house smell good :)
My Coffee Station
At home I've turned a sideboard into a coffee station.  I did this by covering the top with tumbled marble tiles (from the home improvement store)  to protect the wood from heat and moisture, and made sure it was near an electrical outlet.  I like this because anyone can get coffee (even when I'm cooking) without worrying about getting in the way :)  As you can see, the cups and saucers are stored under the cabinet (and a few above the antique mirror).  I have a standard (drip) coffee maker, a coffee grinder, and an espresso/cappuccino maker all ready for the perfect cup of coffee :) 
 Since this is a blog on entertaining :)  I'm going to give you some suggestions on serving coffee to guests.

1).  Always keep a good quality coffee around so  you're ready whenever guests show up.

2). Keep a selection of sweeteners in your pantry so you'll be ready for different guests           needs and desires.  Sugar, Splenda, Stevia,  Agave Syrup, and honey are good ones to have around.

3).  Don't pretend that skim milk is the same thing as cream :)  Keep a container of whole cream in your refrigerator, it will last a long time (be sure to check the date when purchasing) it's great to cook with too :) Ask Paula Deen and Ina Garten :)

4). If you know guests will be coming over and you'll be serving coffee, have some pastries or cookies to serve with coffee, they don't have to be homemade, just delicious :)

5). Sit, enjoy, and languish over coffee with your guests, coffee should be enjoyed and maybe even let in on some wonderful and decadent conversations :)   
Did you know that coffee intensifies the flavor of chocolate, so a chocolate molten cake like this would be the perfect pairing (of course this is coming from a chocoholic ) lol
 Or how about pairing coffee with chocolate mousse cake, YUM!
 OK, so maybe it doesn't HAVE to be chocolate :) Like I said, it just needs to be delicious.

So here's to my love, come on over and enjoy him, the welcome mat is out sweet friend.


  1. oh shannon I share your love for coffee so very much. I really rely on it in the mornings but try as hard as I can to savor my cup amidst the busy-ness with the kids. I try to get up earlier than they do and do some reading while I sip it, often with a chocolate dipped biscotti :) but there is nothing like savoring coffee with friends or family accompanied by some engaging conversation...most definitely!! Lately I've been drinking a peaberry coffee from Kenya. They say peaberry beans are very rare, occurring only in about 5% of all coffee crops. It occurs when only one of the beans inside the coffee cherry develops, rather than the normal two, leaving an ovoid bean...a "peaberry" - they say those tiny beans are prized for their remarkable concentration of flavor...I'm loving it!!! I got it at Trader Joe's!!!! Usually when I go to Trader Joe's, I pick a different coffee every time, sometimes a french roast, sometimes italian...but this one I've bought 3 times LOL!!!! big hugs to you bella

    1. They're building a Trader Joes about 15 minutes from me, I'm so excited ;)

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  2. Jaime, thank you so much for telling me about peaberry beans, now I want to try them. I wish we had Trader Joe's here in Colorado, but whenever I visit CA I make a visit, and I'll definitely try some. Here's to when we finally get to meet and savor a cup of coffee together my sweet friend :)