I could hear it coming, rustling softly through the coffee trees, stirring the monkeypods, and sighing through the sugar cane.
For no reason besides my own creative enjoyment I am developing a set of Hawaiian-themed cocktails.
From the start I knew that one of my Hawaiian cocktails was going feature coffee, and it didn’t take long to settle on the other components, all classic Hawaiian flavours that pair well with java: dark rum, macadamia nut, and orange.
Kona is a city and region on the western, leeward side of the big island. For many it has the perfect weather: warm days, cool nights, infrequent rains, and a nearly constant, gentle breeze. There is a lengthy description of Kona’s balmy … Continue reading.
Originally published March 18, 2012.
Cream, rich as an Irish brogue;
Coffee, strong as a friendly hand;
Sugar, sweet as the tongue of a rogue;
Whiskey, smooth as the wit of the land.
-a traditional toast accompanying Irish coffee
The Irish coffee typically served in restaurants here either has cream stirred into the drink, or whipped cream floating on top. The traditional way to enjoy the drink is to gently pour heavy cream onto the surface of the coffee so that it floats, then sip the coffee through the cream.
Let’s discuss ingredients.
The Coffee – Use good coffee. Brew it strong.
The Sugar – Irish coffee is made with brown sugar which has a distinct, cooked, molasses-like taste. … Continue reading.
Did you know that for much of modern history domestic consumption of coffee involved roasting the beans yourself every time you intended to brew a cup of joe?
When coffee first swept Europe in the seventeenth century, most coffee was brewed and consumed in public coffee houses, but by the nineteenth century, most coffee was prepared at home. Green coffee beans were purchased from a grocer, then roasted, ground, and boiled just before serving. And not just on lazy Saturday mornings: under every circumstance, if there was time to drink coffee, there was time to roast the beans yourself. During the American civil war, green coffee was a standard ration for the Union army, and every night soldiers … Continue reading.
I was surprised to learn that Austria has a strong, distinct coffee culture. I probably shouldn’t have been, as the adoption of exotic goods like cane sugar and coffee beans was the hallmark of European imperialists, and Austria, as the granddaddy of European imperial powers until the First World War, has been roasting, grinding, brewing, and drinking coffee for centuries.
The story of how coffee came to Austria was told to me several times during my stay. In 1683, the Ottoman army, led by the Grand Vizier, besieged Vienna. A Polish soldier named Jerzy dressed in Turkish garb and left the city to contact Duke Charles of Lorraine and ask for assistance. Jerzy snuck back into the city, bringing a … Continue reading.
While on the AMS Great Alberta mushroom foray near Hinton, we came across some large patches of Labrador tea.
Labrador tea is a little evergreen shrub. It was once commonly brewed by the natives and used in countless medicinal applications. It was also part of some of the traditional gruit mixtures of northern Europe. (For an explanation of gruit, and why it could be important to our provincial brewing identity, please see Alberta Beer: A Thought Experiment.)
The principle flavour is minty evergreen. I swear when I bruise the fresh leaves I also get a sweet melon aroma, but I haven’t been able to convince others of this, nor have I been able to coax that flavour into solution. … Continue reading.
This is a quick one. I just learned that raspberry leaves make good tea.
Pick the leaves, dry them in a low oven, and store in an airtight jar.
To serve, steep in hot water for 4 minutes, as you would any other tea, and strain.
I’m not good at describing the subtlties and complexities of something like tea. To me, raspberry leaf tea tastes a bit like green tea…