A Cook's Diary

Coffee. One of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures.

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It is storming as I write this… In fact, it’s been storming for days. Power even went out for a while this morning. I think about my girls on their own in the city during weekdays and I wonder if they have power and water and if it’s flooded near their school. I start getting antsy… then I think about Maria in The Sound of Music and her cure for stormy nights and the blues. “I simply remember my favorite things… and then I don’t feel so bad.”

My favorite things. Right. Coffee. One of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures.

To be able to drink a cup of really good coffee first thing in the morning is a joy. At least, to a self-confessed coffee addict like me. But, coffee addict that I am, I am no purist. I love variety in my coffee. I like flavors, I like textures, I enjoy my coffee hot or cold.

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To add flavor to my coffee, I have tried a lot of techniques. I have bought flavored ground coffee. I have tried flavored coffee creamers. I have also experimented with bottled coffee syrups. Some were good; others were downright disasters. And there’s a valuable lesson that I’ve learned: although I like variety, I also get bored easily. For instance, if I buy a bag of flavored (say, almond) ground coffee, it means I’m stuck with almond-flavored coffee until the contents of the bag have been consumed. Same thing with flavored powdered creamers and bottled syrups. To make sure that they’re consumed before the expiry dates, I’m obliged to use them day in and day out until I’m so bored with their flavors that drinking coffee becomes less exciting.

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So, I went toward a different direction. I flavor my coffee with things that serve a whole lot of other purpose. For instance, if I want Irish Cream coffee, I add a little Bailey’s. I am not constrained to drink Irish Cream coffee everyday just to consume the bottle of Bailey’s because Bailey’s is used for cocktails and even for baking projects. Same thing is true when I want chocolate-flavored coffee. I just drop in chocolate morsels which I keep in stock because I use them for baking.

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And when I want vanilla coffee, I just add vanilla sugar to freshly brewed coffee.

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No need to buy vanilla-flavored ground coffee of vanilla-flavored creamer. I can make vanilla sugar at home and it keeps for a long, long time.

Homemade vanilla sugar? Sure! Click here.

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