Coffee – Straight Or Mixed? – A Purist Reforms
True coffee aficionados always drink their coffee straight, right? Wrong! There are, if anything, more blends and flavorings of coffee than there are of wine. Cast off your confines and let loose with the 101 different ways to enjoy nature’s gift.
The creativity of blenders is inexhaustible. One Indonesian blend is a combination of Sumatran and Papua New Guinea beans that makes for a delicious, full-bodied brew. Who even knew that Papua New Guineans grew coffee?
But Sumatra goes with more than just other Indonesian beans. A 50/50 mixture of Colombian Patron with Sumatran results in a smoky, tasty, dark roast that brews to perfection.
Flavorings, too, can make for a treat. Almond, vanilla, even cherry added to a Brazilian can soften the acid and sweeten the brew. Even a banana hazelnut can bring an ordinary robusta up to the level of a decent cup. But the highlight would have to be a Tahitian vanilla latte, a truly international breakthrough.
When it comes to making a mocha, the variety of chocolates matches the different options of bean. A Yemeni with a touch of dark chocolate, melted and stirred well, will enhance an already wonderful foreign blend. Or, for those days when lighter is better, try an American roast with a bit of Ghiradelli milk chocolate. Yum.
The variations possible with coffee are as boundless as they are delightful. And they’re not limited to beans, roasts or flavorings. Several different liqueurs and liquors provide another route for the coffee lover to travel.
Full-bodied Jamaican forms a solid base to which to add dessert pears, brown sugar and a hearty helping of rum. For a twist, try brandy instead of rum or apricots instead of pears. And, Amaretto’s sweetness makes a delectable counterpoint to a Costa Rican blend, for those who like getting intoxicated and sober with the same drink.
Cocoa and coffee is a traditional favorite for those who like their coffee cut. Even here the choices are not limited. Cold or hot, Mexican coffee and cocoa bean partners can pair up to make for a taste treat in summer or winter.
And the innovators of coffee confection don’t stop there. The more audacious have gone so far as to offer a frozen cappuccino that wakes up the sleepy on a warm day. For added zing, try mixing with a chocolate mint flavoring.
It’s unclear why a coffee lover would want decaf, but there are those who don’t have to get up in the morning. For them, the choices are numerous. Italian Espresso, Decaf Marrakesh and even a Dutchman (a blend of Indonesian, Central American and African) can cover the map for those who don’t enjoy ‘the shakes’.
Normally nuttiness indicates a poor quality bean. But be a contrarian and go for the Macadamia with or without chocolate. Even raspberry or coconut additions have been tried, but it might be better to work up to that. After all, it should still taste like coffee!
Just don’t come complaining when you can no longer be satisfied with an ordinary cup of Joe. Leaving the world of Purism has its risks.