Have you ever taken one of those Buzzfeed quizzes to see what kind of specialty coffee beverage you are? I have. I got coffee. Just coffee. I wasn’t sure whether to be offended or not. I mean, I bet lots of people got super-whipped peppermint mocha with a side of extra mocha. And here I am getting just coffee. Even though I wanted to be something sparkly and full of sugar, I had to admit the quiz was pretty accurate, as far as what kind of coffee I like, not my personality. I hope. It’s true, I just don’t get excited at the thought of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (or PSL time, for those in the know). I don’t have Pinterest boards dedicated to Starbuck’s hacks, and to be completely honest, I actually hate whipped cream on my beverages. I can already hear the boos and hisses. I don’t like my drinks with drizzles and dollups or sprinkles or surprises. I like my coffee deep and dark and mysterious. I think it’s one of the greatest revelations on earth when my morning cup of joe has a glorious oily rainbow slick coating the top. That oil tells me my coffee is going to be rich and probably a little bitter, but in the best way possible.
Before you bah-humbug me and start throwing your shoes or something, it doesn’t mean I don’t like anything sweet. There comes a time when everyone needs a little afternoon pick-me-up, even me, just coffee. When the house is quiet and still, and I’m feeling a bit chilly, or grumpy, or anything really, I make my way to the kitchen to make a Cocoa Mocha. It’s fun to say, and fun to drink. It’s sweet, but still cocoa-y and a just a little bitter, with a nice espresso aftertaste. It’s the perfect jolt of sweet and caffeine without being cloying and overly rich. (Take that, specialty coffee beverage personality quiz! I may be just coffee, but I can get a little crazy too, sometimes!)
Here’s what I do:
Nespresso Aeroccino (not essential, but awesome)
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1 tsp dutch processed cocoa (preferably organic or fair trade if you have)
1.5 tsp maple syrup (only real…ever)
dash of vanilla extract (again, keep it real. There truly is a difference)
I have a Nespresso Aeroccino, which is seriously the best thing if you’re into frothed milk with espresso (which I am) or if you have kiddies who like hot chocolate (which I do). Of course, an Aeroccino isn’t necessary, but it does make life easier, and easier is always good! If you don’t have an Aeroccino, see below for stovetop instructions*.
If you have an Aeroccino pour in the milk, making sure you stay about .5 cm below the max line (#askmehowiknow). Add the cocoa, maple syrup, and vanilla. Put the lid on, and turn it on. That’s it!
Next make yourself a nice short espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine or stovetop jobbie, just make yourself a small strong pot of coffee.
Pour espresso into heated cup. I usually heat mine by filling it with hot water and letting it sit until I’m ready to use the cup. This helps keep your drink warmer a bit longer. I then empty the cup and add my espresso and heated cocoa mixture.
And that, my friend, is that. Now take a seat and enjoy the fruits of your labour! (or add some whipped cream if you’re one of those people who gotsuper-whipped peppermint mocha with a side of extra mocha on their personality quiz!)
*If you don’t have an Aeroccino, all is not lost. Just pour the ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk, whisk, whisk over medium heat until the milk is hot. Don’t bring it to a boil, and don’t leave it unattended: burnt milk a)doesn’t taste awesome and b) is a pain to scrub off the bottom of a pot.