Due to all my health challenges over the last ten years or so, there are many things I can’t eat and drink. The good news is that a small amount of coffee is something my body can take and I make it one of my daily rituals, and like everything I do, I make it with gusto and put 100% into it.
Grinding beans daily means releasing the antioxidants they contain and the jury’s always out, when it comes to how healthy coffee is. I believe that one cup is good for me and say a little prayer before drinking it, or dare I say, relishing it, sip by sip.
On weekends, my husband and I often enjoy our matching cups of coffee, and after tasting many of my flavour blends, his favourite is Madagascan Vanilla and Thai Jasmine (Mali), made with fresh ground Starbucks limited edition Bali, Guatemala Casi Cielo or Espresso roast and seasonally, the lovely Christmas blend.
The process of making the coffee is really very easy, and I first experienced this ‘real flavour’, on my first trip to Chennai, in South India. Their ‘decoction’ coffee uses a similar method, and the flavour is truly king.
So, here are the steps for my daily coffee ritual:
1) Grinding beans – pick your favourite roasted beans, available at Starbucks, Supermarkets and Market stalls all over the world. My beloved bought me my very first coffee bean grinder from the James Martin range at Wahl. I grind it to different consistencies depending on my mood – the finer the grind, the smoother the coffee.
3) Add flavourings – I tend to use Vanilla as a base essence, as it softens the taste of roast beans and takes any bitterness off. I then add whatever essence takes my fancy. Favourites are Jasmine essence, Rose water, Orange blossom water, Almond essence, Cinnamon powder and I do sometimes grind a cardamom pod of two, with the coffee beans. I also like a touch of Nutmeg powder, in the winter. I love to acquire syrups by the amazing company, Monin, and was given the almond syrup from Selfridges in London, for my birthday, but I plan to collect Coconut, Cherry blossom, Violet, and perhaps Ginger and Caribbean syrups, when I have my syrup fund in place. I tried Banana essence with cinnamon, but somehow, it’s not like in pancakes or cakes – it was quite a weird combo. I’ve tried coffee with Starbucks seasonal syrups, like Dark Cherry, Amaretto, Butterscotch and Gingerbread, but somehow, I wasn’t very impressed.
4) Add sugar to taste (I like the unrefined Billingtons golden granulated type) and pour in the coffee and stir very well.
5) Enjoy and really savour the aroma – this is the best part, when enjoying your very own home made gourmet beverage.
Once you try this at home, you’ll be very picky about buying coffee in shops and cafes. Moreover, you will save a ton of money by doing this. It can cost up to £1000 to buy a year’s worth, in coffee shops, if you’re an everyday drinker.
I do hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about my little daily indulgence. A small pleasure that is truly wonderful. After leaving the corporate world, I have found the biggest happiness, in little wonders, from watching the setting of the sun from my window, to the birds chirping, to gently inhaling the aroma of freshly roast coffee beans.
Enjoy and may you be blessed with many flavour combinations!
“I orchestrate my mornings to the tune of coffee.” Harry Mahtar
Photos: Akin Aworan