I spend waaaay too much money at coffee shops and restaurants, especially during the summer. AVE Styles intern, Alyssa Hodson, is in the same boat. Together, we have decided to start a recipe series of our favorite foods and drinks that won't break the bank. Get to know Alyssa more and share in our yummy adventures! Waking up to the sweet aroma of coffee brewing in the morning is one of my fondest memories of when my grandparents came to visit. My parents do not drink coffee, so it must have skipped a generation and hit me full force. When I was young, one of my favorite parts of going to the store with my mom was getting to sample their coffee and cookies. If you asked me how I took my coffee, I’d say there was little coffee compared to the creamer and sugar. But now, if you asked me how I take my coffee, I take it seriously, very seriously J and on a budget. Coffee can definitely take quite the bite out of a budget! I was lucky enough to have Starbucks as a part of my meal plan as a college student (thanks GCU), but I am now graduated and I still need my coffee. I may emphasize that I need coffee that tastes good and doesn’t break the bank.
So I have been experimenting at home and attempting to make coffee as good as my local coffee shop, which I do understand is quite the feat to overcome. I used to have a cheap coffee pot that in turn gave me cheap tasting coffee. I’ve learned so far that something as simple as trying a different brewing method or grinding the beans right before you brew may seem little, but they can definitely affect the taste of your coffee. I decided to go shopping and was able to find a coffee press for $5 (Most of them run around $20, but I found this gem at Ross). I would suggest buying the coffee beans whole and buying a grinder separate. Heads up though, don’t grind your beans too small or you’ll find a lot of pieces of coffee beans in your coffee cup and not at the bottom of your coffee press. Not very pleasant when you have to chew your coffee. If you want to use your coffee press right away and don’t have a grinder, no worries! Just find a coarser ground coffee that you like.
Check out this link on how to use a coffee press: http://stumptowncoffee.com/brew-guides/press-pot/. And this link for more information on the actual brewing method for fellow coffee snobs: http://www.sweetmarias.com/brewinstr/brewinginstr.frenchpress.php
To spice up your coffee life, here’s one simple recipe that we've tried and liked. It's sassy and sweet with hint of cayenne pepper (the sass) and with honey (the sweet) and cinnamon to balance. You can even pour this over iced coffee if you prefer cold drinks in the summertime.
Cayenne & Cinnamon Honey Latte
For 2 cups of coffee:
1/8 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 Dashes of Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Sweetened condensed milk
1 Teaspoon of Honey
2 Cups of Hot Coffee
1) When mixing the ingredients, try throwing the Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper along with the coffee grounds when brewing the coffee. For example, if you used a coffee press I throw the cinnamon and cayenne pepper along with the coffee grounds in the beginning, so that they leave the taste and not the clumps of powder.
2) Then pour the mixture over the sweetened condensed milk and honey.
3) If you use a different type of milk, you could even try steaming it beforehand and then pouring it into the coffee.
4) Also, these measurements are according to taste, so if you like your coffee with more of a kick, throw some more cayenne in there! If you would like it less sweet, hold the honey. The coffee cup is your canvas.