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Make Your Coffee More Flavorful

Flavored coffee sold in supermarkets has been flavored with either natural or synthetic oils and some even have at least fifty flavoring agents and preservatives. If you want to personally put flavor in your coffee, to try out other coffee flavors, or if your favorite coffee flavor is not available in the market, here are some ways on how to make your own flavored coffee.

You can add your flavor spices to your beans and store them together in a tightly sealed container for a few hours before grinding them. Note the temperature where you will store them because while you want the flavor to be infused in the beans, you do not want them to melt onto your beans. Do not keep them together for a prolonged period of time. If they are stored for a number of days, the spice might overpower the flavor of your coffee and when you grind them, you may have a cup of strong cinnamon flavored drinks with none of the coffee taste. If you are not planning on using the beans yet, take the spice out and do not keep them together any longer than one day so that when you do use your beans, the spice will not be too powerful.

While grinding, you can also add the spice at this time. Grind the beans together with the spice of your choice. Make sure that your spice will not overpower the flavor of the coffee as well. Make sure you get the right coffee to spice ratio or proportion because if you put too much coffee bean and not enough spice, it won't have any effect at all. Or if you put in too much spice, the coffee flavor will be completely lost. It will definitely be hard to correct the flavor and the taste later on. You will only discover it upon final preparation, with the taste and aroma. So be careful how much spice you add. You cannot physically separate them when they are already in powder form. Before you make a lot of batches of coffee mix, be sure to test out the mix first in a single cup of coffee.

There are other more obvious ways to flavoring up your coffee and you can even make your own flavored coffee at home. Add cocoa powder for that touch of chocolaty sweetness, add vanilla for a soft and velvety hint of flavor, or add hazelnut, cinnamon, irish cream for a little kick or nutmeg for a completely different and special taste. You can also add other powdered drink mixes or syrups to your coffee to create your own unique flavor blend. You can top your cold coffee with whipped cream, cinnamon or chocolate powder for both a delicious and a professional looking drink. If you want to spike your coffee, add liquor such as Kahlua for a great afternoon or evening coffee cup. Adding flavor to your coffee can be fun and can bring your taste buds a wonderful surprise.


Easy Hot Chocolate Recipes

Some foods bring you comfort. Others bring back childhood memories. Some warm up your body and bring your soul along for the ride as well. Some foods can even accomplish all three. For instance, there's nothing like a hearty bowl of hot soup to make an illness seem to just melt away. Not only are they healthy to eat, there's just something emotionally soothing about indulging in a bowl of soup when you're ill. In that same vein, chocolate always has been a favorite comfort food for young and old alike. It simply tastes delicious, and fun times are sure to ensue whenever chocolate is served. When you combine the best properties for these two comfort foods, a warm, rich cup of hot chocolate can really brighten your day, warm your soul, and bring back sweet memories of Grandma's delicious homemade cocoa. And nothing soothes winter's blues than a steaming cup of chocolaty goodness.

There are many options for hot cocoa. You can settle for store-bought instant cocoa, but there are small ways you can add a special twist on the old favorite and make lasting sweet memories. Here are a few simple ideas that will take only a few ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen but will let you reap the warmth and goodness for hours.

For a rich and creamy batch of hot chocolate, add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and your own measurement for cocoa (to taste) to 6 cups of hot (not boiling) water. Stir occasionally as it heats so everything mixes well and to prevent it from boiling. The final mixture should yield about 8 cups of sweet, delectable goodness.

Another great variation to try is Mexican hot chocolate. To make this spicy delight, add a pinch of ground cinnamon and chili powder to your usual hot chocolate brew and really heat up your day.

If you prefer white chocolate cocoa, make enough for 4 cups and add ¼ teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon. This is sure to spice things up but won't leave a strong aftertaste.

No matter what the age, everyone enjoys a great cup of hot cocoa, not just for the taste but also for the feeling of comfort it brings. Science has proven that food can a have very real effect on how a person thinks and feels. A warm cup of cocoa in your hand can turn the gloomy rain, blanketing snow, or howling wind into a moment truly worth savoring. Holding a steaming cup of liquid chocolate can erase worry, boredom, and anxiety and fill your mind with happy thoughts and warm memories. Whether spicy Mexican, decadent white chocolate, or old-fashioned brimming with marshmallows, a cup of hot chocolate can work wonders on a cold winter day. So the next time the moment calls for hot cocoa, try one of these recipes. You will surely love them, and your friends and family will be thrilled with the flavorful twists. Have a warm chocolaty winter!


The Many Distinctive Styles of Gourmet Coffee Beans

Gourmet coffee beans are a popular beverage to enjoy, however, a huge number of people do not understand what the term gourmet means. They do not know the differences between the gourmet coffees and the average coffees which can be bought.

The term gourmet is often considered to represent a better quality product, which will command a higher price. Therefore, coffee that is classified as gourmet will be more expensive, with a better flavor. However, it's typically drunk because of personal taste, and although it may be gourmet, this doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best.

Many coffee drinkers will have their favorite variety of coffee, and it will be difficult to get them to drink any other style of coffee. Gourmet beans are a superior blend of coffee which has distinctive flavors and characteristics. This style of coffee is not traditionally drunk every day due to the high cost but is brewed for a special occasion or event.

The term gourmet is defined as any product which is refined and of a great quality; however, there are no restrictions as to who can call their products gourmet. Therefore, many different coffees are now referred to as quality coffees. Gourmet beans may be classified as such due to the unique growing situation and the difficulty in harvesting.

There are some very unusual coffee regions which are incredibly small, and produce great coffee. The coffee that is produced in these regions is often referred to as gourmet coffee beans. Some gourmet coffees are simply strange, and people pay high prices for them. The Kopi Luwak coffee is coffee which has been eaten and excreted by the civet cat. Although not appealing to everyone, this coffee is the most expensive in the world.

Another classification of gourmet coffee beans is the different flavorings which are typically included. The more effort and roasting, which have gone into the quality coffee, typically a greater price can be charged. The roasting process is a huge factor when considering the quality and taste of the quality coffees. The stronger the coffee the more expensive it will be and although this style doesn't suit everyone, many people enjoy dark, rich coffee.

For coffee connoisseurs deciding if the coffee is of gourmet standard is very similar to wine tasting. Although the coffee beans may have been harvested in the same place, the roasting process will often classify the coffee. Different roasting procedures will cause different flavors, and allow the coffee to be classed as gourmet beans. Understanding and tasting different coffees is essential, to be able to tell if it is a good quality.

There are huge numbers of coffee manufacturers producing gourmet coffee beans; however, coffee is a very personal beverage. What one drinker enjoys another may dislike, therefore, drinking and tasting the quality coffee is essential. Just because the coffee has a label claiming to be quality, and a price to make it look exquisite. These things do not necessarily make the gourmet coffee beans unique, distinctive or in fact, gourmet.


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