Do you ever go through phases where you just can’t get enough of something? It happens to me with food and music and activities. I was on a quesadilla kick in college. If I didn’t know what to make for a meal, quesadillas were always a surefire option. A few summers ago Eric and I got on an X Files kick–we talked about Mulder and Scully as if they were real people. And now I listen to Inland over and over again.
One of my most fondly-remembered obsessions is the mocha days of Costa Rica. We lived there as a family for one life-changing year when I was in high school. My parents and five kids (and sometimes my college-aged sister), encountering a new language together, new tastes, new rhythms of living.
Somehow we all got on a mocha kick together and started drinking it for breakfast nearly every morning. I can’t say it’s a typical Costa Rican beverage, but we did make it with the country’s rich, bodied coffee. Maybe it was our empleada who first introduced it to us. At any rate, we often had a pot of mocha heating on the stove for family members to dip out at breakfast time.
I made mocha again this morning and remembered those days: Fresh breeze blowing in from the patio, parrots screeching, the scent of limes and oranges heavy in the air. I’m snowed in in Michigan, but a sip of mocha takes me back.
- 3 cups strong coffee
- 4 cups raw milk
- 1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup sucanat/rapadura
- 2 tsp vanilla
- While the coffee brews, warm the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- When the milk is hot whisk in the cocoa and sucanant.
- Stir in coffee and vanilla; ladle into mugs. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.