All of our coffee at De la Gente is some of the best specialty grade coffee in the world! This isn't my (Mindy Grantham) biased opinion, but rather a fact. I realize that this grade of coffee is spectacular served black. This is how I normally drink it - every single day at the office and at home. However, there are days that I want to try something different. I get bored often...just ask my friends. I have the attention span of a gnat. I'd love to try coffees from around the world, but alas, we live in Guatemala and work in an even smaller village and don't have other coffees readily available. Therefore, I'm making do with what we have and trying new things just for the fun of it.
Visit this page often as I'll post ways we're having fun with coffee. We don't just work in the coffee industry - we're coffee lovers!
Thai Iced Coffee
- Very strong black coffee, sufficient to brew 4 cups. We used a dark roast of the San Miguel coffee. Coffee should be ground appropriately for the method you plan to use (we used a French Press).
- 2 t ground cardamom
- 4 T sugar
- 1 t almond flavoring
- 4 T heavy cream
- Ice cubes
- Add the cardamom to the ground coffee and mix well. Brew the coffee.
- When done brewing, add the sugar and almond flavoring, mix well. Put in the refrigerator to cool.
- Fill 4 12 oz glasses about 1/2 way with ice cubes and fill 2/3 full with coffee. Stir in 1 T of cream into each glass.
For a very cool layered effect, hold a spoon on top of the coffee and pour the cream slowly into the spoon so that the cream floats on top of the glass over the coffee. Enjoy!
August 19: At our staff meeting today, we did not try a new recipe for coffee, but rather we made the same coffee 3 different ways to see which we preferred. We used a moka pot (sometimes also referred to as an espresso maker - although it isn't), a Bonavita Immersion Dripper and a French press. We used a medium roast from the UPC cooperative in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala and ground the freshly roasted beans different ways for each method. We weighed the beans prior to grinding to ensure we had the appropriate amount for each and then heated the water to about 200 degrees F. Soon we'll be posting instructions for different ways to prepare coffee so you too can experiment to see which you prefer, so stay tuned!
Each of the staff members had a different favorite, but we were all in agreement with how each tasted. The strongest, thickest coffee was most definitely from the moka pot. No surprise given it's alternative name. It also had more acidity than the other coffees. The French press was in the middle with a robust coffee, but most certainly more mild that the former coffee. It had a nice citrusy flavor indicative of the Huehue region with a clean aftertaste. The coffee from the Bonavita was surprisingly lighter and sweeter than the others. It was very smooth indeed.
Since this is my 'column' for now (at least until Andy figures out I've taken over this page) I'll tell you that the Bonavita was my favorite. Now, it could just be because it was the middle of the afternoon and the coffee was refreshing, but it was truly a great tasting coffee. Most mornings, however, I'd prefer something strong to kick me in the butt and wake me up for the day. In that case, I'd choose the moka pot. All 3 were delicious, it's just a matter of choosing which one is right for you - in that particular moment.
August 26: Thus far, I have been in charge of determining what we're trying at the staff meetings. This week, I decided to pair different types of chocolate with our coffee. Today's coffee was a dark roast from the San Miguel Escobar cooperative (Antigua region). We had chocolate from the Choco Museo (Chocolate Museum) here in Antigua. I brought in white chocolate, white chocolate with macadamias, milk chocolate, milk chocolate with pecans, dark chocolate and dark chocolate with chile. Not surprisingly, we all had different favorites. Mine was the white chocolate with the macadamias. I felt like the coffee melded with the flavors of the chocolate very well and made it melt in my mouth. Most days, I enjoy a hot cup of coffee with some mint chocolate. See what you like best!
The fun continued on the 26th, as we hosted a games night at our house for current DLG employees and some current and past volunteers. When I was initially looking for some coffee recipes to try for staff meetings, I found one for Mexican Coffee. I thought I'd make it for staff, but since it contains alcohol, I figured it was inappropriate. However, in our free time - game on! What could be better than coffee and alcohol, right? Here's the recipe I used:
Mexican Coffee (Cafe Mexicano)
- Hot black coffee. I used a medium roast of the San Miguel coffee. Coffee should be ground appropriately for the method you plan to use (I used a French Press).
- 1 ounce Kahlua
- 1/2 ounce brandy
- 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup
- 1 dash ground cinnamon
- Sweetened whipped cream (OK, so I skipped this ingredient since it's not readily available in Antigua and we don't own a whisk to make it fresh - the drinks were still great!)
- Place Kahlua, brandy, chocolate syrup and cinnamon in a coffee cup.
- Fill with hot coffee and stir to blend.
- Top with whipped cream.
September 2: Guatemala is well known for it's world class coffee and chocolate, so why not combine the 2 for an amazing drink? I asked myself that very question and decided it was a fantastic idea. Today, we drank traditional Guatemalan hot chocolate (from San Juan del Obispo) made with chocolate 'tablets' melted in milk on the stove. For the coffee, I utilized our famous San Miguel Escobar full city roast made in the Moka Pot for a full, rich flavor. The ratio was about 2/3 chocolate to 1/3 coffee. The outcome was delicious!
Since Guatemalan chocolate isn't available in most places, here's a recipe that might come close - remember, you can always get De la Gente coffee in the states - just visit our online shop at www.dlgcoffee.org/shop.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 T cocoa
- 2T brown sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- Make coffee how you like it best
- Place all ingredients, except for the coffee, in a small saucepan and whisk until hot.
- Fill a mug with some hot chocolate and add coffee to your liking.
- Top with whipped cream and drizzle with some chocolate sauce. Enjoy!
September 9: Treaty Tuesday at the staff meeting again. Today's goodies included Brown Sugar-Caramel Latte and Xela Pan (a bread company that's located in Quetzaltenango aka Xela, that has some fantastic breads!). I have to admit that today's coffee recipe just didn't do it for me. I'm not sure what was missing, but if I make it again, I'll definitely be doctoring it up. Try it out, let me know what you think (firstname.lastname@example.org) and how you'd improve it.
Brown Sugar-Caramel Latte
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1/4 c half-and-half (needed to use milk as half-and-half isn't available here in Antigua)
- 1 T caramel ice cream topping
- 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee (I used coffee from Timoteo, one of the farmers in the San Miguel Escobar cooperative, which was a full city roast and made it in the French Press)
- Stir brown sugar into half-and-half until dissolved.
- Whip with a milk frother or small whisk.
- Pour coffee into a mug and stir in caramel sauce until dissolved.
- Pour frothed milk into coffee and enjoy!
September 30: It's been a while since I've written anything - mainly because I'm having troubles sourcing ingredients! I'm open to visitors that want to bring me 'exotic' ingredients, like molasses ;) This past weekend, I did make a trip to the big city of Guatemala City in order to buy chocolate chips - yep those too are a luxury item not available in Antigua. The product of said chocolate chips are Coffee Ground No Bake Energy Bites - muy deliciosos!
Coffee Ground No Bake Energy Bites
- 1 c dry oatmeal
- 1/2 c almond butter (I needed to substitute peanut butter because, well, almond butter isn't readily available - seeing the trend now?) I needed to use more than 1/2 c of peanut butter because it seemed too dry to make the balls and since I LOVE peanut butter I went for it!
- 1/2 c ground flax seed
- 1/4 c chocolate chips
- 1/4 c dried cranberries (I substituted mixed dried fruit that had cranberries in it - yeah, not easy to find here either ;)
- 1/4 c honey (easy to find here! Fresh too) I used extra because it seemed too dry to make the balls.
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Fresh coffee grounds to taste (the initial recipe I found said 2T, but I used more like 3 and still thought they needed more)
Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the fridge of 1/2 an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls. Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
And the special coffee (pun intended) for the week is Cafe Speciale. Yum yum!
Cafe Speciale (serves 4)
- 4 T chocolate syrup
- 4 fl oz heavy cream
- 3/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1 T sugar
- 12 fl oz extra-strength hot coffee - the first time I made the recipe (I liked it so much, I made it twice this morning!) I used San Miguel full city made in the French Press and the second time I used the same coffee, but made it in the Moka Pot. I preferred the Moka Pot coffee because it was a little more flavorful, but I wouldn't complain if someone gave me a cup with coffee made in the French Press!
Put 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup into each of 4 small cups. Combine cream, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Whip. Stir remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into hot coffee. Pour coffee into cups. Stir to blend with syrup. Top with shipped cream.
October 7: It was a big day at the office today! We have a volunteer with us now that loves to bake. I see a few extra pounds in my future :0 For our treats today, we had fresh baked cookies from David and Ice Cream Parlour Mocha Sodas for our coffee treat of the week. The original recipe I had for these delicious coffee drinks needed to be modified in order to work with the glasses we have at the office. I suggest taking the measurements below as a guideline and going with what works best for you.
Ice Cream Parlour Mocha Sodas (serves 4)
- 1-2 oz of coffee each glass
- 1-2 oz of milk each glass. Per Jane's request, I used whole milk.
- 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream per glass
- Enough club soda (we had plain carbonated water) to fill the glasses to taste
- Whipped cream to top them off
For the coffee, I used DLG full city roast made in the French Press. I made the coffee in advance and let it cool to room temp because I LOVE ice cream and didn't want the hot coffee to melt it right away. I poured the coffee in the glasses first, followed by the milk. A scoop of chocolate ice cream was next. None of us were sure about adding the soda to the glasses because why ruin a good thing, right?! So, we started by first trying the mixture without the fizzy water - it was delicious! Next, a little hesitantly, we added the water. I have to admit, we all liked it. It seemed to add a different dimension to the drink. You really can't go wrong either way! Ah, yes, you'll see from the photo that we skipped the whipped cream, for no real reason, really. Enjoy!