A Coffee Shop In Your Kitchen

At least here in the United States, a cup of coffee used to be a simple thing. Ya paid yr dime, ya got yr cup o'joe and that was it. Today, we choose from mica lattes, frocchopinos, double latte espress, and that doesn't even count the basic espresso and cappuccino. I am reminded of Enrico Fermi, who, when atomic particles such as muons and kaons were being discovered and named in the 1930's, remarked that"If I wanted to remember all that I would have become a botanist." He must have understood, because he went on to develop the process that led to the Atomic bomb, but like him, I understand coffee but am overcome by all these varieties. With a grind and brew coffee maker, turn your kitchen into a coffee bar.

Here are but a few: We have the frappe, a popular drink in Europe and Latin America that we have recently adopted. Cold espresso blended with two teaspoons of sugar, milk and crushed ice. A refreshing drink made even more so if you add some brandy and cr?me de cacao.

If you feel like something completely different, try a Cappuccino Borgia. Borgia, if you will remember, poisoned anyone who got it his way. Luckily, the poison in this drink is orange juice. Six tablespoons of orange juice and a quarter cup of milk is blended into an espresso. For a real treat, be a true Italian and try it as a gelato: peeled orange and a half cup of chocolate ice cream.

Back to this century and this hemisphere, and you can try a Calypso Cooler. Add mashed bananas to chilled strong coffee and two cups of coffee flavored ice cream. Sit by the pool and relax. Or go off the deep end and add four tablespoons of rum.

If you like a little kick to your coffee, try Caffe Zabaglone. Place a quarter cup of dry Marsala, a quarter cup or sugar, a pinch of salt and four egg yolks in a pan and cook slowly over low heat until thickened. Add a cup of strong Italian blend coffee and you've got a drink that it breakfast in a cup. It is also said to cure a hangover!

The next stop on our world culinary tour of coffee drinks is New Orleans. A competitor in the breakfast as a drink category is the Mardi Gras. Mix eggnog, bourbon and heavy cream. Pour into a cup of double straight American roast coffee and you won't know whether to wake up or go to sleep.

The Turks are purists when it comes to their coffee, so all you will find in a Turkish coffee is cardamon. But the Scandinavians decided to take Turkish coffee and make Cardamon Kaffee. To an eight of a cup of cognac, add two teaspoons of curacao, a teaspoon of sugar and a cracked, seeded pod of cardamon. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds and then light with a match. Pour over double strength coffee, but wait until the fire is out before you drink.

Maybe these drinks aren't as strong as atomic bombs, but they can rock your world!

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About The Author, Clinton Maxwell