I never thought I would become a coffee drinker; it’s always been tea. Hot tea, iced tea, flavored tea, any tea. I even have a favorite tea cup that I always use. When my husband Bill traveled to Taiwan for a business trip many years ago, he bought me a beautiful box of various teas. However, I never got the chance to savor them, because someone stole the box from him at the airport on his return flight home. I still love all kinds of tea, and if you twisted my arm, I would probably chose it over coffee in the end. But then there was a Christmas gift under the tree one year, a huge box that I couldn’t guess what was inside. It was a Keurig machine. It didn’t take long to get hooked. Suddenly I had vanilla coffee, Emeril coffee, Paul Newman organic coffee, mocha coffee, hazelnut coffee…. It was never-ending. I never knew so many flavors of coffee existed.
At first, I felt so disloyal to my old friend, tea. But the aroma of coffee in the morning won over the tea leaves. It was made in seconds, traveled so smoothly down my throat, and warmed me up instantly on cold days. What’s not to love? My new love of coffee reminded me that I had some coffee cookbooks in the basement. But if you have been reading my blog, you might remember that I am in the process of building new shelves and organizing my thousands of cookbooks in my “culinary cellar.” I have many books on some of the new first set of shelves, but if you saw my basement at the moment, you would laugh at the thought of me looking for one very little book – one of those small ones you see at the checkout at a bookstore next to the Godiva chocolates. How I found this one within five minutes is beyond me, but it is filled with all kinds of enticing coffee recipes waiting to be tested.
The cookbook begins with the legend of a ninth century Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi who discovered the first coffea arabica tree, to how coffee perked its way across Europe. Coffee was eventually brought to America by European immigrants. The notoriously high tea taxes in the colonies prompted the switch to coffee. The book continues with how to brew a perfect cup of coffee, kinds of coffee beans, and how to grind them. There are recipes for coffee drinks and desserts such as java truffles, espresso tiramisu, cappuccino marble cheesecake, and iced cafe au lait – all wonderful.
Thank goodness, I have not turned into one of those people who are grumpy and testy until their first sip of coffee, and I only drink a cup or two a day. I haven’t lost my love of tea, especially unsweetened mint iced tea with lemon, but I now never miss that cup of coffee every morning to sip while reading the Chicago Tribune to see what’s going on in the world. It’s a peaceful and relaxing way to start the day. However, since drinking coffee, I find there is one thing I might want to buy soon. Some Crest White Strips…