The Cafe de Compresado

There are three rules when I make myself a cup of coffee:
1. It must have chocolate.
2. It must have a "flavor."
3. It must consist of no more than 1/3 actual coffee.

I started drinking coffee as a mistake. Four years I survived the streets of Seattle without touching the stuff, compensating with steamed milk and chai... and Seattle's Best Coffee hot chocolate, which came with a wonderful chocolate swizzle stick. Alas, since Starbucks bought out SBC this has been replace by the signature Starbucks "nasty" hot chocolate. The world grows lesser... but I digress.

My downfall came the day I started working at a summer camp. Mornings began with a staff meeting and Bible study, and I, not able to function properly before 10am, would immediately fetch a cup of hot chocolate in an attempt to pour some life into myself. Whether it was the sugar in the chocolate, or burning my tongue on the scalding liquid, or occasionally missing my mouth and ending up with a wet lap, it usually worked.

But the same machine that heated the water also made the coffee. Often after the coffee was made we would forget to remove the coffee grounds and turn it on again for straight hot water, resulting in water with a weak coffee flavor. Too groggy to wait for a second run of "clean" water, I started making my hot chocolates with this pansy coffee, and the long slide towards actual coffee began.

Of course, although I say "actual coffee," my concoctions usually make black coffee drinkers scoff. Over the years I have tinkered and dabbled with a whole host of strange ingredients, from peppermint sticks to powdered sage, searching for the perfect blended drink. Because my many different jobs often limited my choice of ingredients, I landed on a distinct morning boost for each one. My cafe's menu would look something like so:

The Flying Squirrel - A mocha with molasses. My wake-up for driving bumpy logging roads in Alaska.

The Man-O-War - Instant coffee and powdered milk, honey, melted milk chocolate, South American vanilla extract (which has more alcoholic content). Used to sit on the beach and watch the sun come up, Galapagos.

The Morning Mongoose - Steamed milk with brown sugar, cinnamon, rooibos tea. From my pre-coffee days, to take the sting out of the morning chill, South Africa.

The Akoekoe Kokonut - Kona coffee with brown sugar, moo cow milk, coconut milk. For the long walk to work, Hawaii.

Break Room Brew - Gritty coffee, milk probably past date, hot chocolate, sugar (remove flies.) The lumpy milk adds excitement! From the GF break room. Best enjoyed with a bolo levado and Bob Heath swearing in the background.

The Monterey Maple - A mocha with cream and maple syrup. My survival method for morning meetings, Massachusetts.

The Golden Aspen - A latte with pecan creamed honey. For recovering from long days of shovelling snow, Colorado.

But black coffee alone? Not on my watch! I'd rather suffer narcoleptic spells throughout the day than try to stomach the stuff. Baking chocolate needs sugar, yeast needs flour, and black coffee needs the entire contents of the pantry to cover its nigh unpalatable flavor.

Now here's a thought... In movies, they always show gruff generals planning out their war strategies over black coffee. No one ever plans out a war strategy over cinnamon eggnog latte. What if we could shove a caramel macchiato into the hand of every despotic tyrant in the world? Flavored coffee = worldwide peace? Hmm, think about it.

5 comments:

Erin said...

Okay, I'm not sure where GF is, but I like how the menu mirrors your travels!

In the case of the generals, if you were to give them REAL macchiatos and not the Starbucks version, they'd be far more wired than on black coffee as a REAL macchiato is a straight espresso with just a touch--a dollop, if you will--of foam on top. :) Silly Starbucks trying to change the language! Although I did just get much merriment from the picture of some five star general screaming "somebody get me my decaf soy chai NOW!"

-W- said...

Black coffee is the perfect cure for an asthmatic coughing fit. I have been drinking a cup of it a day since I got this chest cold on Memorial Day.

I can't say I wouldn't prefer an eggnog latte! I think that is my ultimate favorite coffee beverage, although coffee + molasses + soy creamer is a close runner up. Plus it gives you an iron boost!

Kt said...

Wup... sorry, GF means Gould Farm, Massachusetts.

Okay, I could see black coffee as being medicinal, sort of like eating raw cloves of garlic or gargling with salt water. But that's it. I give no more allowance to black coffee.

Maaaan... I make myself crave coffee just thinking about it...

TSOldtimer said...

Ew. I'm glad I still only have about a cup a month to remind myself that I don't like it. And when I do, it's souped up with A LOT of maple syrup and cream. It mostly has a splash of coffee for color. But I guess I'll always love the theory and mystery behind coffee.

Mummy Dearest said...

Yumm. I only drink espresso, I'll have you know. For some reason, I don't get the usual caffeine hangover like I do from coffee.

And here's how I make it: I use my old fashioned espresso maker (stove top) that makes one cup at a time, add a bit of sugar just to sweeten it just so, and then milk, and drink it piping hot.

Also, Kt, check out my latest blog post. I tagged you for a Meme!