Thursday, April 28, 2011


I've stated several times that we are NOT coffee drinkers at our house.  Yes I survived as a first time mother without coffee!!!  I know you all admire me for my achievement of getting through the newborn stage without caffeine, but rest assured...a lot of chocolate was involved in my child-rearing.

For me, coffee has always been a social drink, but not one I enjoyed to any degree.  But once upon a time, during one of our MANY playdates (and yes, this was pre-kids on my end) my sister-in-law, Amanda, introduced me to my drink of choice - the Chai Tea Latte (which I order with non-fat milk and extra case anyone wants to bless me with a Starbucks run after I jump into the "mama-of-two" role)!!!  This tickles my senses, it truly does!!!

The Starbucks Store offers it's Tazo Chai Tea Latte Concentrate, and here is it's description:

"A full-bodied blend of exotic teas and spices for those who seek inner peace at a slightly gentler pace. Enjoy it morning, noon or night, for a rich and soothing escape from traditional teas.

Ingredients: An infusion of (water, black tea, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, natural flavors ad star anise). Cane Sugar, Honey, Ginger Juice, Natural Flavors, Vanilla and citric acid." 

Does that just sound heavenly?!?!  First of all....the cinnamon/vanilla combo is a huge LOVE of mine....and I didn't even KNOW until now that cardamom is in it (for those of you who don't cook Ethiopian cuisine, that is a common spice)!  No WONDER I'm in love!!!

HOWEVER....I have been feeling, oddly enough, GUILTY that I wasn't in love with the beverage that was BORN in my daughter's birth country!!!

"There is a legend that a long time ago (some have it around the year 800 BC, others around 500 AD), an Ethiopian goat herder by the name of Kaldi, noticed that some of his goats were frolicking about much more than they normally did. He saw that they had been eating something from a bush with dark shiny leaves. Upon closer inspection, he saw that they had been eating the red berries from the bushes. Kaldi ate some of the coffee cherries himself, and, being amazed at the stimulating effect that they had, brought some to the local monk.
The monk boiled the cherries and made a beverage that was strong and bitter. Like Kaldi, the monk felt the effect of the caffeine in the drink and liked it very much. The beverage soon became popular as the monks found that it helped keep them awake during long hours of prayer."

What a funny story!!!  And even BETTER is that Ethiopian's version of "Starbucks" is called "Kaldi's"!!!  {Or actually, should I say the American's version of "Kaldi's" is "Starbucks" - which I have to add was born in SEATTLE so that just means I HAVE to love coffee, right?!?}

All signs were pointing to me and coffee having an amazing relationship - but I just couldn't get past the taste.  UNTIL Lori came along.  I know our husband's joke we're twins....but its like she can see into my SOUL!!!  This girl introduced coffee to me on a whole NEW LEVEL!!!  LOL!  Our first "game night" at their house, she introduced me to an amazing combination that has now inspired...

 My PERFECT cup of COFFEE!!!!!

Although Lori's involves a fancy shmancy machine, mine comes from a simplistic coffee maker.  But I will share with you what has melted my heart, and turned me into a COMPLETE COFFEE-A-HOLIC!!!!

Here are your ESSENTIALS:
1). Ethiopian Coffee - I mean,'s not coffee unless it's Ethiopian!!!  If you don't know where to find out, let me point out that my FAB friend DARCEE is selling coffee as a fundraiser for her adoption (where I purchased this very bag) and would ADORE your support - shipped right to your door!!!
2). Coffee-Mate Vanilla Chai Spice - YEP!  You KNOW I love that!!!  Pretty much adds in perfection!
3). Cinnamon (Lori says it should be saigon cinnamon, but I'm using what I got...but she's RIGHT - it DOES add a lot!)
4). An adorable mug with your kiddos sweet faces on it to make your day =) {Mine was made at Snapfish and I pretty much have FOUR of friend Jennifer got me hooked when she made me one for Christmas with newborn photos of Monkey Man all over it!!!  You BET I melted into a giant puddle right there!}

Monkey getting in on the picture =)
HEY HUBBY!!!  I thought you said NO ONE would ever SEE the bottom of those cabinets!!!
Guess you didn't take into account my MAD picture-taking skills! =P

So here's what I do:
           *Brew your Ethiopian Harrar
           *Get out your stinkin' adorable mug
           *Fill halfway with nonfat milk
           *Fill to almost the top with coffee
           *Add in desired amount of coffee-mate
           *Add a "glug" (yes that's an official term ;) of 
             sugar-free Vanilla Syrup 
             {Not pictured, I know....but it MAKES the drink!!!}
           *Optional* Warm up if needed....or if you have a 
             fancy shmancy machine this is where you can 
             "whip it up all steamy"!! (again, official term ;)
           *Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon
           *MANDATORY* Enjoy!!! =)

The COFFEE-MATE is what makes it - LOVE this stuff!!!!  {And apparently so does Monkey...hehee!!}

NOW my husband is wondering, why didn't we try this sooner????  He literally told me it makes me a much nicer person {for the record, that was not a MEAN statement by's a common-known fact around here that I am a NIGHT owl and I do NOT wake up in the best of moods.}

So NOW I think I'm all set for Ethiopia - this SEATTLE COFFEE LOVER has just one more thing to look forward too!   Not to mention it sounds like WE have just one more thing in common!

How do YOU like your coffee???  {You know, gotta be prepared for those coffee dates!}

P.S. 20 more days until we LEAVE!!!!



Alison said...

SO cute! I actually don't drink coffee...I just haven't ever liked the taste of it! Maybe I need to try your concoction though! :) The tea latte from Starbucks sounds awesome...I do love tea!

Alison said...

SO cute! I actually don't drink coffee...I just haven't ever liked the taste of it! Maybe I need to try your concoction though! :) The tea latte from Starbucks sounds awesome...I do love tea!

Lindsay said...

lol... High Maintenance!! :-) I just like mine with some fat free half & half and a splenda ;-) Yours does sound delish though! I might have to try it!

BB said...

wow impressive that was a long post on coffee. I didn't become a coffee drinker until my second, clay, was 1 yr old. Now I LOVE it! But I have to say if I go to starbucks my number 1 drink is a CINNAMON DULCE LATTE- so please try it. So amazing! A Chai latte is next. and try this tea, my friend's sisters company and it is soo good!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Hee hee :) Play dates before children :) AKA Auntie Mimi needs some baby snuggles!

SO glad you found your own blend of coffee yumminess! I'm going to have to try it!

And I completely agree, the SAIGON cinnamon from Costco is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Richer flavor! It makes all my cooking taste better :)

Courtney said...

Love, love, love coffee. I used to do lots of creamer (good old-fashioned vanilla), but decided I needed to "tone it down" since I like to drink so much. So now I use fat-free half-n-half with a spoon of sugar. Took me a while to get used to it, but now all the other stuff is too sweet for me! I do love me some Starbucks though!

Janet said...

LOVE the Ethoipia Harrar too!!! I'm a total latte girl, but can't quite get on board with the chai tea thing. I'm a sucker for caramel macchiatos (sp?), but on a normal morning, a cup of coffee, splash of nonfat milk, 2 tsp of skinny caramel macchiato creamer... mmmm!

Makenzie said...

I Love coffee!!! And I drink in strong and black- no sugar, no creamer, just delicious coffee goodness. But I am partial to a chai before work! I use the Tazo chai concentrate too!

Shannon said...

I don't know you were ever able to pull the late-nighters without caffeine!!:) My favorite...white mocha americano with a splash of cream....delish hot or on ice! :)

Darcee said...


LOVE MY Coffeeeeeeeeeee too! But, dang girl - I like how you are fix'n yours!

My starbucks order is a triple grande skinny vanilla! ha! :) I downgraded from the Venti QUAD! Cuz I always felt a little FREAKY saying QUAD!! ha ha! :) (now you know why I'm such a TOTAL spaztic! :))

Thanks again for your purchase and for the shout out!! :) YOU'RE AMAZING!

Debb said...

My fav is a Skinny Milkway (just oozes sugar when i say it!), but when ordering it at Starbucks, I order a skinny caramel latte. Yummy! I am, however, a Chai Tea lover as well, so you can bet that I am going to try your concoction soon!!!!!!! I'm a bit worried how I will do in ET.......I have to have all this sweet stuff in my coffee to like it......doubt the coffee ceremonies will have all my fixins.........hhhmmmmmmmm...........

HOLY COW!!!!! TWENTY DAYS!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!