Thursday, September 16, 2021

Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate…Oh My!

coffee

Comparing the world’s most famous hot beverages

When the warm summer breeze turns into blustery autumn and winter air, the time has come for cuddling under a blanket, in front of the fireplace with a warm cup of…what? Coffee? Tea? Hot Chocolate? Oh My!

Coffee

Coffee is a great hot beverage to enjoy each morning or in the afternoon for a much-needed caffeine boost. But, it can also be enjoyed decaffeinated as a warm drink before bed.

The coffee bean was originally native to Ethiopia. In the 15th century, coffee beans were brewed into a drinking liquid in Yemen. This concept would soon spread to surrounding regions such as Cairo and Mecca.

Coffee is thought to be the most popular beverage consumed in the world. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 450 million cups of coffee consumed every single day! In addition, it is estimated that 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year worldwide.

Gingerbread coffee recipe (thanks to www.allrecipes.com)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened whipped cream
Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the molasses, brown sugar, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Add about a 1/4 cup of coffee to each cup, then stir in about a tablespoon of the spice mixture until dissolved. Fill cup to within an inch of the top with coffee. Stir in half and half to taste, then garnish with whipped cream and a light dusting of cloves.

tea

Tea

Tea is another great option to warm up when it’s chilly outside! Tea comes in several forms including loose leaves and in tea bags.

Tea originated during the Shang Dynasty in China. It is believed that wild tree leaves were blown into a pot of boiling water for the Emperor. The scent was appealing to him and ultimately led to him drinking it. After its discovery by the Emperor, it is thought that tea was only used medicinally.

Tea is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. An estimated 160 million people in the United States consume tea (hot or iced) daily.

Easy Chai Tea (thanks to www.realsimple.com)
  • 8 cardamom seeds
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  •  2 cups whole milk
  •  4 bags black tea (such as Darjeeling)
  •  8 teaspoons of sugar or more, to taste
Directions

Place the cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet. Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is probably one of my favorites during the autumn and winter seasons. There is something so comforting about sipping the rich hot chocolate topped with marshmallows that makes you feel warm inside and out!

Hot chocolate originated in 500 BC Mexico! The Mayans would grind cocoa seeds and then mix it with water, chili peppers, and cornmeal. Today, the process of making it and the taste of hot chocolate is quite different to the Mayans. 

Hot chocolate is a very popular seasonal drink. While tea and coffee are both widely consumed year-round, hot chocolate seems to be a favorite during the cool months of the year.

 The Best Hot Chocolate (thanks to www.delish.com)
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Chocolate shavings, for serving
Directions

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to a simmer. Whisk in sugar and cocoa powder and stir until no lumps remain. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla and cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted. Turn off heat.

Pour hot chocolate into mugs, then top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!

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