Three Coffee Recipes to Impress Your Friends

Being a coffee roaster, I am an advocate for letting coffee speak for itself. To be honest, the best coffee moments I have had have been with a simple delicious, craft, pour over, nothing added. Or even better, a perfectly dialed-in espresso shot. Some people look at me funny when I say a fine tuned espresso shot can taste like candy, but it’s a real thing! If you know, you know. 

On another note, enhanced coffee drinks can really be an enjoyable experience as well. In my mind, they are on a different playing field than straight drip coffee or espresso. Where the goal when brewing straight craft coffee is letting the coffee speak for itself and highlighting the flavor characteristics developed at origin, the goal for coffee drinks crafted with added ingredients is to create a drink where the coffee itself is a component among others that achieves an end product envisioned by the person brewing the coffee. A good coffee shop will aim to do both well.

The Art of Crafted Coffee Drinks

A talented barista can build a handful of menu items with balanced, invigorating coffee drinks that knock the customer’s socks off. I remember one time strolling through Charleston, South Carolina and stopping in a cafe to try a lavender latte. The balance, or shall I say symphony of floral prominence carried by a thick milk micro foam and not leaving behind the bold shot of espresso all in one sip was eye opening for me. All the ingredients complimented each other. A well crafted drink can go beyond thirst quenching and actually provide an experience. While for me, being a coffee professional allows me to have access to all types of equipment to make fantastic coffee drinks, there are plenty of knock-your-socks-off coffee drinks that can be made with what most people have in their own kitchen. Let’s look at three recipes that will impress anyone.

Iced Mint Mocha Latte

To make this luscious drink you will need 5-6 fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of mocha powder, 3 tablespoons of medium roasted ground coffee (a coffee from South America like Brazil can work well here), whole milk, and some ice.

We suggest brewing using a french press for this recipe, however, any brewer can work. Just make sure the mint, mocha powder and coffee is being brewed together. First, in the bottom of the french press, put 4-5 mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of mocha powder (cocoa powder and sugar if you want to make your own), and 3 tablespoons of coffee. Add 1 cup of water about 1 minute off the boil to the french press. Let the coffee brew for 3-4 minutes then press the plunger down being careful not to place pressure on the slurry of ingredients. After that, pour the brewed coffee into a cup with 4 ice cubes, add milk to your liking and garnish with a mint leaf. Adding sugar in addition to the mocha power while brewing is optional.


Cold Brew Tonic

This recipe has some flexibility to it. It’s simple enough at the base level, but has potential that allows for customization. The basis of a cold brew tonic is 1 part cold brew, 1 part tonic water.  It’s as simple as that. While these two ingredients together are enjoyable by themselves, I think it’s worth adding accents to the mix.

This drink can have a refreshing citrus twist by adding 2-3 squeezed orange slices and a dash of simple syrup. Garnish with a slice of orange on the glass rim. We suggest using a Central American coffee or African coffee if you are making your own cold brew for this recipe.

It’s also easy to add a teaspoon of saffron simple syrup to the mix. Adding too much rose syrup can overpower a coffee drink, but adding a small amount to add a unique twist is rather enjoyable.


Cold Brew with Vanilla Cold Foam

While Starbucks has gotten some condescending looks from the high-end coffee community lately, I still think the creativity in their coffee drinks (or shall I say desserts), deserves some credit. I’ve particularly enjoyed their cold foam drinks. This drink isn’t as much about the mix of unique flavors that compliment each other as much as it is about emphasizing texture. There’s something enjoyable about a creamy, rich, cold foam coating your palette. Take your typical cold brew recipe, or store bought cold brew will be fine. Then mix ¼ cup of half and half with a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of sugar and blend it together. A smaller blender is better here. Top the cold brew with the vanilla cold foam, and viola!

This recipe can also use flavors such as hazelnut and caramel. It would probably be worth getting some pre-made syrups if this becomes a regular in your house.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Leave a comment below after trying these and let us know what you think.

READ MORE: So You’re Thinking About Roasting Your Own Coffee?

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