Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mocha Mixes

Flavored coffee drinks may not be the healthiest morning beverages, but they sure do make the day seem much brighter. I prefer to drink vanilla lattes, but on the rare occasion I crave chocolate I get a hot chocolate or mocha.

Hot chocolate originated many years ago when the ancient Native Americans steeped crushed cocoa beans in hot water. The Spanish later added sugar to this treasured drink to sweeten the bitter flavor. Eventually, a mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa beans was combined with coffee granules to create a mocha. "Mocha" means flavored with a mixture of chocolate and coffee. In The Encyclopedia of Country Living, Carla Emery explains the process of creating cocoa powder, coffee grounds, and the eventual combination of the two if you are interested in the entire story.

For those who cannot wait to make their own mocha mix, here you go!

Combine 2 cups strong black coffee (instant is okay), 3 cups hot milk, 4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar. (If cocoa powder is already sweetened, skip the sugar.) Beat until foamy.

Combine 1-cup dry nondairy creamer, 1 cup cocoa powder, 2/3 cup instant coffee, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Keep it in a jar in a cool place. To serve, add 3-4 teaspoons to 1 cup of very hot water. Also can be served with a dollop of whipped cream on top, or cold with ice chunks in it, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 

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