Monday, July 20, 2009

Coffee Variations


We have friends from Eritrea who invited us over for a fabulous meal of Ethiopian food, which culminated in their coffee ceremony. It's quite elaborate, the hostess gathers her equipment: stool, portable gas stove, coffee beans, special coffee maker and coffee cups. We watched her roast the beans, brew the coffee, and happily sipped the strong sweet brew. Apparently in Eritrea and other parts of Africa drinking coffee is a social event, not to be done solo. I kind of envy that, in my conflicted, individualist-driven American way.

These days I find myself unable to finish that pot of espresso coffee I've brewed in the mornings. Since I don't have a coffee klatsch to foist it upon, the simplest thing is to save it for iced coffee in the afternoons. Here are a few other ideas:

1) Frappe, popular in Greek cafes along the Plaka in Athens. Take your martini shaker. Add a serving of your leftover espresso or strongly brewed coffee. If you need sugar, add it to the coffee while the coffee's still warm. If you use sweetener, add it to the martini shaker. Heap in half a cup of ice, and a splash of milk to taste. Shake it like a caffeine addict on a jag. Pour it all, now nice and frothy, into a tall glass.

2) Cafe ligeois? Strain the ice out of the above recipe, and add a scoop of ice cream: chocolate, vanilla or coffee.

3) Thai ice coffee, this version is super simple and I make absolutely no claims regarding its authenticity. Using your leftover espresso or strongly brewed coffee, again, pour a serving into a glass. Blend a tablespoon of condensed milk (can one ever have just ONE tablespoon?) with a tablespoon of milk. Blend into coffee, add ice.

And remember to invite the neighbors over.

13 comments:

  1. Lol, you are nuts to say Ethiopian food in the presence of Eritreans :)

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  2. Good ideas you have here.
    And your Thai iced coffee stands a good chance of being about the only TIC that I like.

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  3. I'll take the coffee behind door number one. God, I love Ethiopian food. There are several good restaurants on Fairfax near Pico, but you probably know that.

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  4. The ceremony sounds wonderful. How lucky you are to have seen it.

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  5. A: Yikes! The most recent in a long line of faux pas
    AH: It was my first and only time, but I love it--I'm going to have to explore those restaurants
    Thanks, M and CO--

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  6. Dunno if I love Ethiopian cuisine but I have to back into LA one day to try some more. And the Ethiopians even have a buffet - at least the Fairfax sect of Ethiopians do.

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  7. We should arrange an outing with a few locals once the weather cools and bit and people are back from vacations.

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  8. shucks! And here I thought refrigerating my leftover coffee and dousing it with International Delight in the afternoon was sophisticated! Maga

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  9. crazy for hot cocoaJuly 24, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    mmm, thai iced coffee. coffee ceremony sounds like a wonderful idea.

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  10. CFHC: I wonder if there's such a thing as Thai iced cocoa?

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  11. IT'S MY POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Coffee is religion to me! And thanks for the info Desiree! Italo.

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