Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Make coffeehouse drinks at home

Do you love mochas and cappuccinos? Would you like to have them more often, but find them too expensive? Considering that a Tall cafe mocha can run about $4 at Starbucks, you're not alone. There are machines for making them at home, but some find them to be too onerous for daily use.  Lucky for us, the coffeehouse gods have heard our cries and given us a few ways to make our favorite drinks at home without having to spend lots of money or buying anything special.
One of the things we like best about 'fancy' coffees is the foam. Recently, NescafĂ© has come out with Mementos-a small line of powdered drinks that can be made into 'foamers' with just hot water. Instead of just the coffee flavoring like some powders, each packet has actual coffee, milk and sugar. My husband had the caramel latte and I had the mocha-both were sensational! I haven't tried the cappuccino yet, but it's next on my list. They cost about $4 for a box of 8 single-serving packets, but that box goes a long way.  Here's the webpage where you can request a free sample- http://memento.nescafeusa.com/.

If you like the mocha I mentioned above but don't have the time (or desire) to go out and get anything, here's a simple recipe you can make in about 4 or 5 minutes.

[My husband's] Makeshift Mocha
8-9 oz of milk
1 ½ half teaspoons instant coffee (more or less, according to taste)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 goodly-sized squirts of chocolate syrup, or to taste

I haven't tried it with powdered chocolate milk mix, but I'm guessing you'd just use the amount of the powder that gives milk the same amount of chocolate flavor as two squirts of syrup.

Pour milk in a large mug and microwave for about 3 minutes. Then, mix in the coffee, sugar and syrup. It might be a good idea to completely dissolve the coffee before adding the syrup; I learned the hard way that it's harder to dissolve coffee crystals when they've bonded themselves to the chocolate syrup. That's just me, though.

This is just a simple 'grown-up' drink you can make for yourself while you're making chocolate milk with your kids. It has enough coffee for the taste, but not so much that it will keep you up all night. I'm saying this rather than suggesting using decaf or 'half-caf' (although that's an option too) because that way you can just use the instant you already have for your 'morning pick-me-up' for your 'evening-wind-me-down'. It's a great 'dessert coffee'.

Speaking of 'grown-up' drinks, I have some chocolate liqueur in the back of the refrigerator...hmm...:) It might also be good to spice it up with some cinnamon or mint. I haven't tried this yet, so I'll have to get back to you.

As you can see, it's not hard to make a coffeehouse drink at home. Nescafé has a new way, but you can also do it with things you already have. However you do it, enjoy!

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