Who doesn’t love coffee? Dark, luscious, and silky or light and creamy smooth, everybody seems to have an opinion on what makes up the perfect cup of Joe. When it comes to coffee, I enjoy many different blends and presentations; from espresso to iced mocha lattes. When it comes to beverages, nothing is more satisfying in the morning than a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. If you doubt me, then take a quick look around. Coffee beverages have become so mainstream that McDonald’s even has a new ‘cool’ brew! You can grab a cup at most grocery stores, the farmer’s market, the mall, the airport, and from a vendor on the street corner.
Aside from enjoying a cup of coffee when I’m out and about, I really enjoy making coffee at home. Since nothing goes better with fresh Beignets or buttermilk biscuits than a steamy hot cup of coffee, I thought I’d provide a few of my favorite recipes for you to try.
The first recipe makes a base for many flavorful coffee drinks. There are several different methods to choose from, each producing a slightly different flavor. It makes excellent iced coffee, coffee with Kahlua or Irish Coffee. This strong hot brew of dark roast coffee with chicory, know as Café Noir, has slight undertones of chocolate. Serve as is or flavor with steamy hot milk for Café au Lait.
To brew in a manual drip pot, use 1 – 2 heaping tablespoons of drip grind dark roast coffee with chicory to 1 cup of boiling water. Fit the filter in the pot and add coffee. Moisten the coffee with ½ cup boiling water. Once absorbed, continue adding boiling water, a bit at a time. Avoid flooding the grounds with water. This method extracts as much flavor from the coffee as possible.
To brew in an automatic drip pot, use 1 - 2 heaping tablespoon of drip grind dark roast coffee with chicory to 1 cup of boiling water. Fit the filter in the coffeemaker and add coffee. If making 4 or more cups, add an additional tablespoon of ground coffee. Brew coffee in the usual manner.
Once the coffee is made, it is ready to be flavored. For Café au Lait, please follow the recipe below.
Note: If you don’t care for the flavor of chicory, simply use the same method with a nice dark or French roast coffee.
Café au Lait
Once you have brewed a cup or pot of Café Noir, just add an equal amount of steamy hot milk for Café au Lait.
1 part hot Café Noir or French Roast Coffee
1 part hot milk
To heat milk, scald over low heat in a sauce pan just until a thin film forms. Alternately, you can scald the milk in the microwave. Just fill a mug ½ full of milk and heat until hot (about 40 seconds).
Pour equal parts hot scalded milk and hot coffee into a large mug. In some New Orleans establishments, you will find a pitcher of scalded milk and a pitcher of hot coffee on the table so that you can pour your own, exactly as you like it.
Sweeten to taste, if desired.