What’s with Death Wish Coffee?

If you watched Super Bowl 50 you may have seen the commercial for Death Wish Coffee. Vikings rowing a long boat on a stormy sea that turns out to be… Death Wish Coffee! So what’s with Death Wish Coffee? Forbes published an article about the commercial, the company and a small business ended up with a Super Bowl commercial.

Mike Brown, the founder and owner of Death Wish Coffee, a blend with twice the amount of caffeine of most coffees, won a contest for small business owners who wanted to advertise during the Super Bowl. In the commercial a Viking ship forges through stormy seas, which turn into a river of strong brew that flows into the mouth of a satisfied coffee drinker. The contest sponsor, Intuit QuickBooks, paid for the production plus the cost to air it during the Super Bowl, a reported $5 million for 30 seconds.

Mr. Brown started packaging and selling his coffee online in an attempt to add some profit to his coffee shop business. While the commercial was running the visits on his web site went up to 10,000 a minute and his sales have doubled. But, what’s with Death Wish Coffee and why is it so strong?

Robusta Arabica Mix

Mike Brown mixes Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to make Death Wish Coffee.

Robusta coffee is properly named Coffea robusta, or Coffea canephora. This variety of coffee is a more hardy plant than the Arabica variety. It is less prone to infestations of insects or plant disease so it is also cheaper to grow. Originating from plants in the western and central sub-Sahara Robusta yields more coffee beans than an Arabica plant and Robusta coffee beans contain about 2.7% caffeine as opposed to 1.5% for Arabica. The Robusta plant can grow as high as thirty feet. It is the primary coffee grown across most of Africa from Ethiopia on the Indian Ocean to Liberia on the Atlantic and South to Angola. The most recent export of Robusta coffee beans has been to Vietnam where coffee farmers produce the second largest volume of coffee in the world after Brazil.

Caffeine in non-coffee drinks comes from Robusta coffee beans. And a Robusta Arabica mix is used in Italian espresso blends.

Espresso Blending

Years ago David Schomer, a coffee lover and owner of Lucid Café, wrote about espresso blending.

Four years ago I sat down with Italian roaster Andrej Tricci. He explained that Italian gourmet roasters devote most of their time and energy searching out fine robustas to add to their blend. They look for coffees that will give them the longer lasting crema and at best will not detract from the flavor of the finer Arabicas in the blend.

Thus Death Wish Coffee has its origins in Italian espresso where robusta is used to increase caffeine content and Arabica is used for its superior flavor. According to Mr. Schomer it is possible to find single source robusta that has excellent flavor and is not just a caffeine enhancer.

Is Single Serve Coffee on the Way Out?

No less authority than The Washington Post wonders if America’s favorite coffee trend is coming to an end. They are referring to the single serve coffee pods pioneered by Keurig which still dominates the markets for coffee pods (K-cups) and coffee pod machines.

Several years ago, coffee pods seemed invincible. Sales of the single-serve cups were skyrocketing, more than tripling in the United States between 2011 and 2013. Sales of coffee pod machines were soaring, too, growing from 1.8 million units to 11.6 million between 2008 and 2013, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor.

Today, however, things aren’t looking quite so rosy for coffee in its most convenient form.

On Monday, Keurig, which dominates the U.S. market for both coffee pods and coffee pod machines, announced that it sold 7 percent fewer machines during the holidays than it had the year before, the sixth straight quarter in which unit sales fell. The news was particularly disappointing given how crucial the holiday season is for the company.

Single serve coffee grew because it is an efficient way to make coffee and it is convenient. This was an especially attractive feature during the depths of the Great Recession. However, as the economy recovers Americans are happy to buy coffee from the drive through at the coffee shop. But another aspect of this situation is that the vast majority of coffee pods are not recyclable and end up in the land fill.

Organic Coffee in a K-Cup?

Last year we questioned if organic coffee in a K-cup made sense.

Billions of K cups go into landfills each year. If part of the reason you drink organic coffee is that you want to protect the environment then even organic coffee in a Keurig K cup is a problem. But there was a solution. Keurig also made refillable K cups under the brand, My K Cup. You could also refill these with any coffee of your choice, which would commonly be cheaper than the coffee from Keurig. Unfortunately that changed.

Some years back, thousands of Keurig single-serve machine fans found a cheaper alternative, however -refillable, non-disposable K-cups, little plastic coffee grounds holders, which the company graciously sold under the brand of “My K-Cup.”

Not only was it cheaper, but the coffee drinker had more choice, as “My K-Cup” could be filled with any brand of coffee off the shelf.

But in August 2014, when Keurig introduced its “2.0” line of coffeemakers, it stopped making “My K-Cup” for it and made the machine incompatible with any K-cups already in existence, as well as with any unlicensed disposable K-cups made by other companies.

So Keurig is back to producing little plastic cups to fill up landfills and is enticing environmentally minded coffee drinkers by selling expensive organic coffee in those cups.

If there are more environmentally friendly ways to make and serve coffee it appears that environmentally minded coffee drinkers will find them, to the detriment of single serve coffee. Single serve coffee will continue because in places like hotel rooms and for single individuals on the go it is an efficient way to have a cup of coffee but for anyone who serves coffee to more than one person there are more environmentally friendly ways to make coffee and the single serve coffee maker will get moved to storage.

Drinking Coffee Does Not Damage Your Heart

There are cardiovascular benefits to drinking coffee so drink up according to an article published in the New York Post.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco looked at 1,388 people who were taking part in a larger heart study, specifically 60 percent of group who said drinking caffeinated drinks – coffee, tea and chocolate – were part of their daily routine.

The researchers looked for heart irregularities – premature ventricular and atrial contractions – in the participants over a year, but found that there were no differences among the participants, average age 72, regardless of their caffeine intake.

Their findings go against the conventional clinical knowledge in the medical world that caffeine causes palpitations, which can lead to more chronic problems including heart failure or arrhythmias.

In fact, they discovered that “habitual coffee drinkers” actually have less of a chance of developing coronary artery disease.

This is another addition to the list of benefits of coffee, especially organic coffee.

Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop any of several types of cancer. Drink coffee regularly and you are less likely to get type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or depression. There are, unfortunately a whole host of chemical impurities that may be found in a cup of regular coffee. The benefits or organic coffee over regular coffee hinge on the fact that healthy organic coffee is free of these substances.

What other heart healthy aspects does coffee offer?

Coffee and Your Heart

Last year we wrote about coffee and your heart.

Several months ago researchers reported that coffee drinkers have lower risk of having calcium deposits in their coronary arteries. Drinking three to four cups a day maximized the benefit of avoiding clogged coronary arteries as reported in Live Science. This means a lower risk of heart attacks.

The study of healthy young adults in Korea found that, compared with people who didn’t drink coffee, those who drank three to five cups of java per day had a lower risk of having calcium deposits in their coronary arteries, which is an indicator of heart disease. (The coronary arteries are the vessels that bring oxygenated blood to the heart muscle itself.)

The study participants who drank three to four cups had the lowest risk of developing clogged arteries seen in the study, said Dr. Eliseo Guallar, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, and co-author of the study published today (March 2) in the journal Heart.

It seems like the evidence for coffee as a health benefit just keeps coming.

Another issue with coffee and your heart was the concern that too much coffee would precipitate a condition called atrial fibrillation. Fox News reports that coffee is safe for your heart in this regard. (Republished from Live Science)

Researchers found that drinking coffee was not associated with an increased risk of a condition called atrial fibrillation, which is a type of irregular heartbeat, in either men or women.

“This is largest prospective study to date on the association between coffee consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation. We find no evidence that high consumption of coffee increases the risk of atrial fibrillation,” Susanna Larsson, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and lead author on the study, said in a statement.

It was a long term concern that since coffee is a stimulant that it would cause heart beat irregularities. But, that is not the case so drink up and enjoy. And there are more health benefits.

Drinking coffee not only does not damage your heart but is good for it!

Did Gourmet Coffee Start with Alfred Peet?

Most of us of a certain age grew up drinking mass produced ground coffee such as Maxwell House or Folgers. The concept of whole bean coffee roasted and ground just before making coffee did not exist. At least it didn’t until Alfred Peet came along. Did gourmet coffee start with Alfred Peet? Investor’s Business Daily writes that Alfred Peet brewed a better cup of coffee and folks flocked to his door.

Alfred Peet was convinced that Americans would pay up for a better-tasting cup of coffee. This was back in the 1950s and ’60s – way before today’s gourmet coffee shops.

He also saw hardly anyone willing to travel the globe in search of excellent coffee beans, teach the public how premium-quality coffee should taste and explain that with coffee beans, where they’re grown matters.

So the Dutch-born expert in coffee and tea made it his mission to serve an excellent product that was priced at a premium over the marketplace yet still was affordable enough to enjoy repeatedly.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea opened in Berkley, CA in 1961 and grew to seven locations by 1981.  Today the company has 283 outlets in the USA and sells bags of gourmet coffee in retail stores. Many coffee entrepreneurs credit Alfred Peet with inspiring them to sell gourmet coffee.

Sourcing Great Coffee

Something that did not happen before Alfred Peet came along was visiting coffee plantations in search of high quality coffee. And the concepts of organic coffee, shade grown coffee and fair trade coffee followed naturally as consumers became acquainted with Peet’s gourmet coffee.

The original motive behind fair trade coffee was to develop coffee trade relationships based on respect, transparency, and dialogue between producers and sellers. The point is to guarantee fair prices to small coffee growers who would otherwise have no access to fair pricing. At its heart fair trade coffee is an idea for social betterment more so than a way to make better coffee. There is a “Fairtrade” coffee brand for which coffee packers pay a fee a “Fairtrade” logo and brand name. Coffee carrying this name must come from an associated cooperative. In general cooperative only sell part of their harvest as fair trade coffee because of lack of demand.

It was Alfred Peet who first cut out the middle man and visited coffee farms, found the best product and paid a fair price to the coffee grower.

At a time when a cup of coffee was just a cup of coffee Alfred Peet introduced us to the concept that coffee could be special. We recently asked what’s the point of organic coffee? Alfred Peet taught us that quality of coffee and sourcing are important.

You do not lose any of the health benefits of coffee when you drink health organic coffee. You get the same reduction of the incidence of type II diabetes, various kinds of cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and depression/suicide by drinking organic coffee as opposed to regular. The point is that organic coffee production is sustainable and better for the earth.

Thank you, Mr. Peet.

Will Climate Change Destroy Coffee Production

A hotter climate is going to be bad for coffee. We have written about how coffee leaf rust wipes out coffee crops. Coffee farmers need to replant with new strains and plant higher on the mountain where temperatures are lower. Will climate change destroy coffee production? According to CNBC, the CEO of Illy, climate change is affecting coffee.

Climate change is a threat to coffee production in the medium and long term, Andrea Illy, chairman and CEO of Italian coffee company Illy, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.

“Coffee is one of the crops which is severely affected by climate change, which is a threat both in terms of too high temperature in some regions when it is produced, (and) a threat in terms of water security – either droughts or excessive rains – in certain other regions,” Illy said.

“(The) problem is that apparently, most of the land suitable for Arabica production which is the best and most, let’s say, most cultivated, will be reduced by 50 percent from now to 2050 as a consequence of climate change,” Illy went on to add.

Despite the possibility of a reduction in coffee production, consumption is going up. The Illy CEO predicts that they will need to be producing twice to three times as much to keep up with demand by the end of the century.

Effect of Climate Change on Agriculture

Higher temperatures, more chaotic weather patterns, droughts and floods we become the norm as the world climate change, according to experts. The Tech Times writes about the effect of climate change on agriculture.

As average global temperatures begin to rise due to human activity, scientists say the drastic effects of climate change continue to take effect all over the world.

One of the most severely affected sectors is the field of agriculture. In the past decades, extreme weather conditions caused by climate change have disrupted global food production.

The researchers found that global cereal production was as much as 10% lower in the last twenty years. However, there appears to be a “fertilizer” effect of higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The problem for coffee is that the fertilizer effect would not reduce the risk of leaf rust or help when crops are washed out by floods or die because of drought. Climate change may not destroy coffee production but it may well reduce it.

How about Cocoa?

The Bangor Daily News reports that as climate change threatens coffee production, many Central American farmers are switching to cocoa.

Soaring temperatures in Central America, linked to climate change, are forcing many farmers to replace coffee trees with cocoa – a crop once so essential to the region’s economy it was used as currency.

Farmers across the region, known for high-quality Arabica beans, still are recovering from a coffee leaf rust disease known as roya, which devastated crops over the past four years.

Now, lower-altitude areas are becoming unsuitable for growing coffee as temperatures heat up. Cocoa thrives in the warmer weather.

It would appear that as coffee production moves up the mountain cocoa will take its place at lower altitudes. Maybe we will all be drinking mocha in a generation or two!

Why Would You Buy Shade Grown Coffee?

The most common arguments for shade grown coffee are the ecological benefits. But there is more to why you would buy shade grown coffee. Let’s start with ecological benefits of shade grown coffee as reported by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

By reviewing more than 50 studies on shade-grown coffee farms in regions ranging from Central and South America to Indonesia over the past 15 years, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) can now make the case that shade-grown coffee production is the next best thing to a natural forest, and put to rest any arguments about the sustainability of a sun-coffee system.

In study after study, habitat on shade-grown coffee farms outshone sun-grown coffee farms with increased numbers and species of birds as well as and improved bird habitat, soil protection/erosion control, carbon sequestration, natural pest control and improved pollination. While sun-grown systems can have higher yields, the shaded farms easily outperform them in sustainability measurements with the trees providing an array of ecological services that offer both direct and indirect “income/payback” to farmers and the environment.

The “hidden yield” in the shade vs. sun comparison is that of the non-coffee products and opportunities coming from the shaded system. In addition to ecotourism on several shade coffee farms, firewood, fruits, building materials and medicinal plants are all resources harvested to varying degrees by shade coffee farmers and used and/or sold by farmers.

Shade grown coffee is coffee grown the natural way that coffee evolved. Although sun grown coffee out produces shade grown coffee in the short run, it is shade grown coffee and the preserved ecosystem that it entails that wins in the end.

The Taste of Shade Grown Coffee

As noted in a Grounds for Change article, shade grown coffee simply tastes better than the sun grown variety.

Experts agree that the flavor of shade grown coffee is superior to that of full-sun coffee and that it is significantly less bitter. Shade grown coffee shrubs mature more slowly and produce fewer coffee cherries so the flavor is more concentrated and mellowed in the resulting harvest.

If your goal is to buy the most flavorful coffee buy shade grown.

Coffee for the Birds

A few months ago we wrote about coffee for the birds. If you are going to preserve habitat for local and migratory birds you need to go with shade grown coffee.

Many birds that spend their summers in the USA spend their winters in Mexico, Central America and even South America. They live in mountain forests in these regions, the same places that coffee is grown. As sun-tolerant varieties of coffee have been developed, coffee farmers have cut down upland tropical forests and planted coffee. They may have planted the occasional plantain to help prevent wholesale soil erosion but have removed the habitat for local and migratory birds. The question is, if you want to limit your coffee purchases to growers who maintain bird-friendly habitats how do you proceed?

Good choices include Rainforest Alliance, USDA Certified, shade grown, Fair Trade and sustainable. In the end it turns out that the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has the strictest certification followed by Rainforest Alliance for coffee farming that is kindest to the birds.

What’s the Point of Organic Coffee?

What’s the point of organic coffee when you can walk into Starbucks and buy a good tasting cup of coffee or you can buy Folgers at the store and save money? What are the benefits of organic coffee over the regular stuff? First of all you do not lose any of the health benefits of coffee when you drink health organic coffee. You get the same reduction of the incidence of type II diabetes, various kinds of cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and depression/suicide by drinking organic coffee as opposed to regular. The point is that organic coffee production is sustainable and better for the earth.

Sustainable Organic Farming

Not long ago we posed the question, what does sustainable mean?

Alternet writes about how we should stop using the term sustainable and instead use regenerative or degenerative. They suggest a regeneration revolution.

With the "sustainability" label co-opted by Big Food, it’s time to re-frame agriculture into two categories: regenerative and degenerative.

Last week, PoliticoPro reported that the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture wants “farmers and agricultural interests to come up with a single definition of sustainability in order to avoid confusing the public with various meanings of the term in food and production methods.”

We agree with Secretary Tom Vilsack that the word “sustainability” is meaningless to consumers and the public. It’s overused, misused and it has been shamelessly co-opted by corporations for the purpose of greenwashing.

Their argument is that at best sustainable practices maintain the status quo and at worst the term is used as an outright lie. Their proposal is that people should be able to choose food that is produced using organic regenerative practices based on sound ecological principles that rejuvenate the soil, grasslands and forests; replenish water; promote food sovereignty; and restore public health and prosperity – all while cooling the planet by drawing down billions of tons of excess carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil where it belongs.

The point or organic coffee is to repair the earth and not just slow its destruction. Human kind has been farming for thousands of years but industrial scale agriculture is only decades old.

Agriculture at the Crossroads

The evolution of industrial scale farming has driven many small farmers out of business and taken over their lands. However, there is a valid argument to be made for small farmers on small plots of land which is almost always the situation with organic production. Global Agriculture writes about industrial agriculture and small scale farming.

One third of the economically active population obtains its livelihood from agriculture. In Asia and Africa, millions of small-scale and subsistence farmers, pastoralists, fishermen and indigenous peoples produce most of the food consumed worldwide, in most cases on very small plots of land. Over the past decades, agricultural policy and international institutions, as well as private and public agricultural research have often considered small-scale and subsistence farmers as backward “phase-out models” of a pre-industrial form of production. The widely held belief was that only large economic units were capable of achieving increases in productivity on a competitive basis through modern and rationalised cultivation methods, mainly with chemical inputs and the use of machinery.

An alternative view is that industrialized agriculture leads to an agricultural treadmill that crowds out small farmers to the detriment of the land. The fact of the matter is that farms of less than 2.5 acres account for 72% of all farms. These are farms whose owners have a vested interest in preserving the quality of the land. The point of organic farming is that small farmers pass their land on from generation to generation and take better care of it.

Increased Income with Coffee and Bananas

Sustainable agriculture is good for the planet and shade grown coffee is ideal. In Uganda in East Africa coffee farmers had been encouraged to cut down the highland forests to plant coffee. A new approach confirms the value of growing coffee in at least partial shade and is more profitable as well. All Africa reports about climate smart coffee and bananas and the increase coffee farmers’ incomes.

Ugandan farmers are increasingly inter-planting coffee, the country’s primary export, and banana, a staple food, as a way of coping with the effects of climate change.

Studies by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and partner organizations show that a Ugandan farmer gets 50 per cent more income from inter cropping coffee and banana than from growing either crop alone.

Conducted in over 30 districts of Uganda, the study showed that coffee yield remained the same when intercropped with bananas and the farmers gained additional income from the banana.

This approach increases coffee farmers’ incomes and moves away from industrial scale growing of coffee back toward a shade grown coffee approach.

With shade grown organic coffee the consumer gets healthy organic coffee and the grower preserves the natural environment. Coffee has traditionally been grown under a canopy of trees. This method of planting on hillsides helps prevent erosion as is still seen in regions of Colombia, Panama, and other parts of the world where coffee is grown on steep slopes. However, new sun tolerant coffee strains were introduced over the last two generations. These plants thrive in full sunlight and are capable of producing up to three times as many coffee beans as traditional coffee plants in a shaded environment. Unfortunately, in order to boost production rates growers use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides to protect the monoculture of coffee that they plant. By taking coffee out of its more normal habitat growers subject it to the same risks as other field crops and orchards in which individual infective pests can enter and destroy a crop. Considering that it can take a decade for coffee plants to mature an infection or infestation that destroys plants can be devastating. Thus the coffee planter who ceases to produce shade grown organic coffee can find himself trapped in a never ending cycle of herbicide, pesticide, and synthetic fertilizer use. The consumers of this coffee pay the price.

At least growing coffee with bananas is an economically viable step back toward traditional shade grown coffee.

The Home of Robusta

Uganda is where Robusta coffee beans got their start according to Coffee Review.

Uganda, situated in the Great Lakes region of central Africa at the headwaters of the Nile, is the original home of coffea canephora, or robusta. The main part of Uganda coffee production continues to be dry-processed robusta used in instant coffees and as cheap fillers in blends. Uganda also produces excellent wet-processed arabicas, however, virtually all grown by villagers on small plots

Coffee marketed as Wugar is grown on mountains bordering Zaire along Uganda’s western border. More admired is Bugisu or Bugishu, from the western slopes of Mt. Elgon on the Kenya border. Bugisu is another typically winy, fruit-toned African coffee, usually a rougher version of Kenya.

Coffee farmers in Uganda are seeing increased income with coffee and bananas planted side by side.

How Long Will Cheap Coffee Last?

Arabica coffee futures fell by 24% in 2016 but how long will cheap coffee last? Agrimoney.com speculates on Arabica coffee futures and asks if the rout in prices will end in 2016.

Coffee futures proved among the worst ag performers of 2015 – in particular New York-traded arabica ones which dropped by 24%, compared with the 21% decline in their London-listed robusta peer.

The drop to a large part reflected the decline in currencies in major producers Brazil and Colombia, cutting the value in dollar terms of a commodity in which they represent a large chunk of world supplies.

However, better weather in Brazil’s main Arabica-growing state, after a dryness-plagued 2014, and the continued recovery in Colombian output after a replanting program early in the decade also played a role.

As did continued strong coffee exports from Brazil, which questioned lowball ideas for the country’s inventories.

The low value of the Brazilian real made it more profitable locally for Brazilian coffee farmers to sell their coffee supplies as coffee is denominated in US dollars. The glut of more coffee coming on line from the two largest producers of Arabica coffee drove prices down in dollars but because of the weakness of the real and the Colombian peso coffee farmers were still making a nice profit in their local currencies. How long will cheap coffee last? It is a matter of supply and demand. And the relative value of the real and Colombian peso versus the US dollar.

 

Coffee in Colombia

 

Increasing Demand and Fragile Supply Side

Seeking Alpha speculates that increasing demand and a fragile supply side could strengthen the coffee market.

According to the International Coffee Organization, demand for coffee is expected to rise ~25% in the next five years (from 2015). Demand is strong in developed countries such as Norway, Canada, the United States, and Switzerland. But the biggest demand driver going forward is from emerging markets such as Algeria, Australia, Russia, South Korea, Turkey and the Ukraine. On a numerical basis, coffee demand has potential to jump to 175.8mm bags by 2020 from 141.6mm bags in 2014. (Note: A bag weighs in at 132 pounds)

This is another El Niño year and the last time this weather pattern visited South America it substantially reduced coffee production in Brazil and Colombia. That has not yet happened this year but a combination of lower production and higher demand would be a recipe for higher prices in 2016.

Lower Brazilian Coffee Production

The USDA says that estimates of Brazilian coffee production have been revised downward which would reduce supply but selling of stocks from previous years may balance out the effect on prices.

Brazil’s coffee production for MY 2015/16 was revised down to 49.4 million 60-kg bags, a nine percent drop relative to a revised number for the previous season, due to below average yields and smaller size of the beans in some growing areas. Coffee exports in MY 2015/16 reached historic levels at 36.57 million bags, indicating that the 2014 harvest was not severely affected by the drought in Minas Gerais and São Paulo. Carry-over stocks from crops prior to 2014 also supported the steady flow of exports. Carry-over stocks for MY 2015/16 are projected down at 5.2 million bags.

In short it is not clear how long cheap coffee will last although there is certainly no immediate price hike on the horizon.

Eggnog Coffee Cake for the New Year

New Year’s Eve is almost upon us and it is time to think of what to serve your guests. We ran into a great idea from The West Australian in their Life & Style section, a recipe for eggnog coffee cake. Eggnog is a classic for the holiday season and it gives a great flavor to coffee cake.

Have a slice of the cake, and it will remind you of sipping the rich, delicious and high-cal holiday drink.

EGGNOG COFFEE CAKE

  • 4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups any brand commercial eggnog
  • 1 package instant yeast (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  • Measure flour into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Follow the link to the article for detailed directions on how to make eggnog coffee cake.

Eggnog Coffee Cake

Image courtesy of The West Australian

Or take a look at our organic coffee cake recipe from a few years ago.

Follow this sequence for all organic coffee cake recipes. Mix dry ingredients first. Then add organic shortening or butter cutting it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or by breaking it up with your hands and mixing in. Then add milk and eggs and mix with a mixer or preferably a wooden spoon until just mixed. Add all ingredients to the greased baking pan and put on the center rack of your oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The coffee cake will be ready when you can insert a toothpick or tines of fork into the coffee cake and is dry when removed.

And what should you drink with your eggnog coffee cake? How about an eggnog latte?

Mixing Coffee and Eggnog

Last year we wrote about Eggnog Latte for the Holidays. Since our favorite season has arrive again here is a refresher on the origin of eggnog and the recipe for a great eggnog latte.

Eggnog probably originated in East Anglia, England and has its roots in a medieval European beverage made with hot milk called posset. Nog comes from noggin which was Middle English for a small carved wood cup used to serve alcohol. At the time of its origin the drink was also called egg flip because the preparer flipped or rapidly poured it between two pitchers to mix it. An early reference to egg nog in the colonies in the 18th century is by Isaac Weld who wrote that

“The American travelers, before they pursued their journey, took a hearty draught each, according to custom, of egg-nog, a mixture composed of new milk, eggs, rum, and sugar, beat up together”

Making the Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • A dozen egg yolks
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of chilled heavy cream
  • Nutmeg, grated
  • ½ cup of bourbon, rum, or brandy
  • Preferably all organic

Preparation:

  • Use a medium saucepan.
  • Whisk the milk and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • This takes a minute or two.
  • Use a large bowl to whisk the egg yolks.
  • Continue to whisk and pour the hot mixture into the yolks, slowly.
  • Put the mixture back into the cooking pan.
  • Cook over medium to low heat just below the temperature needed to simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a stirring spoon.
  • This takes twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  • Pour through a strainer into a bowl.
  • Stir in the bourbon, rum or brandy and then the cream.
  • Garnish with grated nutmeg.
  • Cover with a plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to cool.

Eggnog