Have we ever had the coffee talk? You and me? No? I didn’t think so. Well, there’s no better time than the present. So, please, indulge me. I promise to make it brief.
Don’t hate me for saying this, but I’m not a fan of the whole Starbucks phenomenon. I just don’t get it. The uber-sweet, syrupy concoctions make me bloated and remorseful. The macchiato-this and frappuccino-that overwhelm me. And that size thing–grande, venti, whatever-de … really? I apologize to anyone who has ever been behind me in the drive-thru window. Yeah, that was me in the white car with the “Roux” license plate who took forever to decide on what to get then had to pull over, run inside and plead for a do-over since I messed up yet another order. Their menu is just too much for a coffee purist like myself to make sense of.
No. Me? I start each day with two cups of Community Coffee Dark Roast, brewed extra-strong, with a splash of cream. Community is a New Orleans coffee that has been my go-to for decades. It’s rich and robust and reacquaints me with my NOLA roots each morning. I turn to the same stuff for afternoon pick-me-ups and cold-weather-chill-chasers. Sometimes, though, when dining at one of the classic New Orleans restaurants, I like to close out my meal with an after-dinner coffee drink. More clearly defined as coffee with a respectable amount of booze and the occasionally flambé. Now this may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. After-dinner coffee drinks have been around for ages, are steeped in tradition and, most notably, contain alcohol. I lean towards the Irish Coffee, a whiskey-laced brew topped with a collar of whipped cream. It’s bold but not overly spiced or busy like some of the other offerings. Plus, it’s easy to duplicate at home.
Now that you know where I stand, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a respectable fancy coffee.
Irish Coffee Recipe
2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon light brown sugar (or more to taste)
8 ounces freshly brewed, dark roast coffee
1/4 cup whipped cream
Fresh ground nutmeg, for garnish
In an Irish coffee mug (a tall, glass coffee cup with a handle), combine the whiskey and brown sugar. Heat in microwave on high for 20 seconds. Add coffee. Slowly pour the whipped cream over the back of a spoon so it floats on top of the coffee. Garnish with nutmeg. Makes 1 drink.