Tag Archives: Christmas

Warming Coffee Drinks for the Dark Winter Days

Written by Lori Thiessen

My Dear Readers, the frost is on the meadow and we have all but hidden away in our respective burrows for the duration of this wintry weather. To help while away the hours, invite some close friends in for conversation and sample the following warming beverages.

The Polar Bear

Though there are many variations on this cocktail, most of them cold, I recommend the following concoction to warm the cockles of your heart. Pour into a heat-proof cup or mug:

  • 2 oz of Peppermint Schnapps
  • 3 oz of good quality hot chocolate
  • 3 oz of medium strength, good quality hot coffee

You may want to top the mixture with a dollop of whipping cream and a candy cane to give it a festive twist!

Christmas Coffee

Here’s a post festive dinner coffee that could double as dessert!

  • 6 cups strong, good quality coffee
  • 4 tbsps sugar
  • 1 organic, unsprayed orange studded with 3 whole cloves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 tbsps of Van der Hum, tangerine flavoured liqueur
  • 1/2 cup of brandy
  • 1 cup of cream
  • freshly ground cinnamon

Put the first 6 ingredients into a heavy bottomed cooking pot. Set the heating element to low — just warm the ingredients, DO NOT BOIL.

In a metal soup ladle with an insulated handle, warm the brandy near the coffee. BE VERY CAREFUL. Hold the soup ladle full of warmed brandy over the cooking pot of coffee. Light a match and set the brandy aflame. Carefully pour the flaming brandy over the coffee.

Pour the coffee mixture into heavy mugs (your fine china teacups cannot handle this!). Place a spoon over a mug and slowly pour a little of the cream so that it floats on the top of the drink. Sprinkle with freshly ground cinnamon. Repeat with each mug. Serve.

Special Christmas Morning Coffee

This coffee is a great way to start your Christmas Day!

  • 10 cups strong, good quality coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened good quality cocoa
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup water

Whipped cream, optional. Frangelico, Amaretto or Bailey’s Irish Cream, optional. Freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg for topping. Milk and sugar for serving.

Brew your coffee in the regular way. Take the next 4 ingredients and put them into a small, heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil. Remove pot from heat. Pour mixture into the coffee. Stir well. Add Frangelico, Amaretto or Bailey’s, if desired. Pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Top with ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

I hope these recipes will delight you and your friends and keep you warm.

Please remember to limit your alcohol intake during the Christmas holidays and be responsible. Call a cab if you’ve had too much.

Until Next Time,

May your coffee always be freshly brewed!

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Taking a Christmas Coffee Break

Written by Lori Thiessen

As the season bears down upon us, the question on most people’s lips is: How will I survive this season?

Now I find the question highly ironic because Christmas is supposed to be about love, joy, peace and goodwill to one’s fellow creatures.

The way Western North Americans do it (everything to excess) is kinda crazy and that craziness can be hard to handle.

My solution: Take a coffee break. Heck, take more than one.

Get out your daytimer or PDA and schedule some coffee breaks for yourself to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  This is especially true if you are on vacation during the Christmas season.

I know I can’t make nice for extended periods of time, no matter how wonderful the company. I need my down time. I need my alone time. Otherwise, I may end up saying stuff that will haunt me for many Christmases to come.

So I’m planning on taking breaks. I’ll wander down to my local caffeinated joint and indulge perhaps in a seasonal coffee, like an eggnog latte. I may bring my journal with me or a book, but most of all, I’ll bring with me a sense of doing something good for myself.

Q: How will you be handling the pressures of the holiday season this year?

Until Next Time,

May Your Coffee Always Be Freshly Brewed!

Is Santa bringing you a Rancilio Coffee Machine?

Written by Lori Thiessen

Thinking about buying that special someone a humdinger of a cappucino maker? The makers of these magical machines are hoping you will, if the tv ads are anything to go by. Santa better get an extra strong backsupport this year.

I’ve noticed an increase just lately in the number of ads for coffeemakers. Everything from Black & Decker percolators to the really high end, cafe-worthy espresso machines are being flogged.

Frankly, I’m not interested in buying one because I do like to go to the cafe to get a coffee. But during the holiday season with all the entertaining that comes with it, being able to make good coffee is essential.

I favour the good old fashioned french press for my coffee and tea needs. It’s really easy to use, easy to clean up and makes a great cup of coffee (provided you use good quality beans to begin with).

For big gatherings, I rent a big coffeemaker from my local party supply place. I get the best beans possible, grind fresh and brew away until the wee small hours of the morning.

Here’s a business idea for a bright someone: baristas and their machines for rent. It would be kinda cool to have the ability to offer your guests cafe quality specialty coffees at your seasonal soirees, complete with fancy foam art. Wouldn’t you be the talk of your social set!

Q: How do you supply coffee for really big festive gatherings?

Until Next Time,

May Your Coffee Always Be Freshly Brewed!