Growing up in Seattle, the very LAST place you'd go to get coffee was a Starbucks. There are just so many other quality breweries to choose from. My favorite in the PNW (Pacific NorthWest) is Victor's Celtic Coffee. Ahhh-mazing-ly delicious coffee---certified fair trade peeps. I DARE you to try it.
One thing that Starbucks has going for them is that most coffee in NYC is, well...disgusting, I don't know how to put it nicer than that. I call it "coffee water." In order to avoid Starbucks, as much as possible, I prefer to make delicious fancy coffees at home. I don't have the counter space for an espresso machine, so I've become quite creative at mimicking drinks I've had and liked or creating my own indulgences.
1. Peppermint Mocha
8-12 oz fresh, hot, quality, brewed coffee
5 Andes Mints or if in season…2 Godiva Peppermint Truffles
1 packet instant cocoa mix (Swiss Miss or Nestle are fine)
A tablespoon of creamer (optional)
Whipped cream (Reddiwhip or similar) if you like
Red sugar sprinkles
Directions: In a big fancy mug…put contents of packet of cocoa mix, andes mints. Pour in half of coffee, stir until mints are melted and cocoa is dissolved. Add creamer. Pour the rest of the coffee in. Top with whipped cream & red sugar sprinkles if desired. Enjoy.
8-12oz Coffee (Quality brew…think dark and rich)
4-5 Hershey Raspberry Melt-away Bliss Candies
1 single serve packet instant cocoa mix
Optional Dollop of Fat Free Creamer
Optional Fat Free Whipped cream
Optional Red Sugar Sprinkle
Pour instant cocoa mix, unwrapped bliss candies into empty mug. Fill half full of hot coffee, stir with a spoon. Add creamer, stir until candies are melted and instant cocoa is dissolved. Add remaining coffee. Top with whipped cream, and red sugar sprinkles.
3. Peanut Butter Mocha Promise
8-12oz QUALITY (key word here people) brewed coffee, make sure its dark & rich!
1 pkt Instant Cocoa mix
1 dollop of creamer
Whipped Cream for topping
1 tsp Melted Peanut butter & Mini Chocolate Chips for topping
Directions: First, find someone else who loves peanut butter & chocolate together and can truly appreciate such a drink. (They should love coffee too!) Pick out a cute pair of big lovely coffee mugs like those pictured above. In each coffee mug put 5 pb dove promises, and one packet of cocoa mix. Add 4-6 oz of coffee, stir until melted. Add creamer (optional for richer flavor). Add remaining 4-6oz of coffee, stir. Top with whipped cream and then drizzle of melted peanut butter (microwave pb for 15 seconds at a time until it is soft enough to drizzle), as well as a tsp of mini chocolate chips.
8-12 ounces hot, delicious, lets go free trade, freaking tasty, not that weak NYC corner cart, coffee (What I am drinking today: Starbucks Sumatra)
3 Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Mint Squares - unwrapped, unless you prefer to eat foil/plastic, and in that case…if you are pregnant, you might have pica…talk to your OB about that one.
1 pkt instant cocoa mix, you could go cheap and do generic (just lookout for trans fat) or you could use a gourmet mix, doesn’t matter too much.
A bit of fat free creamer
A bit of light whipped cream
A little bit of red sugar crystals to sprinkle on top to make it “Sexy”
Put instant cocoa and dark choco mints into cup, pour half the coffee in, stir, wait until dissolved. Add creamer (if desired), then the rest of the coffee. Top with whipped cream and sugar crystals. Enjoy…savor…yum!
8-12 oz of the finest quality hot delicious rich and dark brewed coffee
1/4 cup or 2 oz Bailey’s Caramel Flavored Creamer
1 packet of Instant Cocoa mix
1/2 to 1 tsp sugar (optional for added sweetness)
Fat free whipped cream
Dulce De Leche or Real Caramel topping (check the ice cream topping section or the latin american section of your local grocery store—-you want to avoid “caramel FLAVORED sauce” and find real caramel syrup or topping.)
Directions: In a large deep happy mug empty contents of one packet of cocoa mix, add 1/2 the coffee, stir until dissolved. Add Bailey’s creamer, and the rest of the hot coffee, stir. Taste and determine if sweetness is enough (if not add a very small amount of sugar). Top with fat free whipped cream and drizzled caramel topping. Enjoy!