Category Archives: Recipes

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Sugar Cubes

Espresso Sugar CubesWant to flavor your coffee, with cream, sugar and more coffee? Well, we have just the thing, with a bit of a sweet twist. What is this magical potion? Espresso sugar cubes! These sugar cubes are similar to the popular drink “shot in the dark,” which is a shot of espresso poured into a cup of coffee. If this blend of coffee, sugar and espresso doesn’t wake you up and get you’re heart racing in the morning, we don’t know what will!

These caffeinated sugar cubes are surprisingly easy to make. All you need is white sugar, brewed espresso and a few cooking utensils. If you want to get fancy, you can try experimenting with cookie cutters or ice cube molds to create different shapes like hearts, stars or seasonal patterns. If you really want to step up your game you can also try flavoring the cubes with something besides espresso, such as Monin syrups. For instance, we think Toasted Almond Mocha sounds pretty tasty, and that Rose flavored sugar cubes would even pair well with tea. In other words, don’t be surprised if you find us back in the kitchen playing around with sugar in the not so distant future. In the meantime, watch Brandi and Kaylie get their buzz on as they mix up these espresso sugar cubes.

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Sugar Cubes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons brewed espresso

Directions

  • Measure out the white sugar and brewed espresso into a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir the ingredients together until everything is moistened and combined. The mixture should have the texture of wet sand.
  • Pour mixture onto a large rectangle baking dish or baking sheet, and smooth out the mixture with a spatula. You’ll want the mixture to be about ½ inch high, otherwise you will have giant sugar cubes.
  • When you have achieved your desired thickness, cut the sugar mixture into small squares to form cubes.
  • Let the cubes air-dry, uncovered for 12-24 hours.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Seahawk Burger

Seahawk BurgerRecently, the Seahawks have been a pretty deal around these parts. They did win the Super Bowl after all. Not ones to fall behind on a trend, we decided to celebrate their success by creating our own yummy treat – the Seahawk burger!

What makes this burger special? It has espresso in it! What, you thought we’d make something that didn’t involve coffee? Besides espresso, this burger contains the usual ingredients you would expect to find. To keep this recipe local, we did try to use Washington or Seattle-based produce, coffee and wine. Think Beecher’s cheese, Chateau Ste. Michelle wine and locally roasted espresso. We think this burger might also pair really well with a beer from one of our many craft breweries, such as Redhook or Pyramid. However, if you don’t live in the area, feel free to substitute in your own local brands.

While some naysayers, or fans of rival teams, may try to argue that football season is over, nothing says summer like grilling burgers on the barbeque. If it happens to be raining, you can always cook the burgers in a skillet. Plus, these burgers are a great way to help tide yourself over until football season starts up again.

Hungry? Check out our video to learn how to make these giant (and tasty!) Seahawk burgers with Brandi and Kaylie. You may even catch a glimpse of a surprise guest.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Seahawk Burger

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 sliced sweet onion (such as a Walla Walla)
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup Washington state red wine (Merlot or Syrah)
  • ½ shot brewed espresso (such as Zoka’s Espresso Paladino Blend)
  • 4 (6 oz.) grass-fed ground beef patties
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 cup arugula (you will need a ¼ cup for each burger)
  • 12 slices of Colby Jack Cheese (use 3-4 slices for each burger)

Seattle Aioli:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • ½ shot brewed espresso

Directions:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions and mushrooms in the oil until the onions start to caramelize and mushrooms soften, or about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to the skillet to season the vegetable mixture. When the mixture has cooked down, add the red wine and ½ shot of brewed espresso (reserving the other ½ for later).
  • Cook the vegetable mixture for five more minutes until most of the wine and espresso burn off. This will give the mushrooms and onions a really nice flavor.
  • In the meantime, cook four hamburger patties to taste and begin preparing the Seattle aioli.
  • To make the aioli, combine the mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce and other ½ of the espresso shot together in a medium sized bowl. Wisk until smooth.
  • Spread aioli on each hamburger bun.
  • When the burgers are done grilling, top each patty with 3-4 slices of Colby jack cheese, mushroom and onion mixture and arugula lettuce.
  • Makes four large burgers – enjoy!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Springtime Cocktail

Springtime CocktailIt’s springtime! That means it is time to break out the shorts, T-shirts and sandals. Okay, that’s not quite the case here in Seattle. It is still a little cold to start wearing our warm weather gear, although some of us do anyway. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t start preparing for nicer days (after all, at least the sun is now out on a regular basis) and what better way to do that than with a springtime cocktail!

Made with zippy fruits and herbs like strawberry, lemon and basil, you’ll be thinking spring with just one sip of this cocktail. If you plan on serving this drink at your next party, make sure to pick up some extra ingredients since you will want to at least quadruple this recipe to make sure you have enough for everyone. Watch as Brandi and Kaylie stir up a few ingredients to create this refreshing adult beverage and serve it to a surprise guest.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Springtime Cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ oz. Monin Strawberry Syrup
  • 1 leaf(ves) basil
  • 1 strawberry(ies)
  • ice
  • ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. gin
  • 5 oz. cocktail/martini glass
  • Cocktail shaker

Directions

  • Muddle the strawberry, basil, lemon juice and Monin strawberry syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  • Pour in the vodka and gin, and if you want your drink extra cold, a few pieces of ice.
  • Cap shaker and shake vigorously.
  • Strain and pour over ice.
  • Garnish with an additional strawberry and serve.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Kona Bar Milkshake

Kona Bar MilkshakeIn case you haven’t noticed, Brandi loves blending up different foods; and sampling the results of course! In her past recipes she has thrown a piece of cake and even a donut in a blender. This time around she blended up two candy bars (combined with a few other goodies). This leads to the question, will it blend?! There’s nothing worse than a lumpy milkshake, so we used our trusty Vitamix 300 to mix up this recipe. In our opinion, the Vitamix works just as well (if not better) than other blenders on the market. In fact, our milkshake turned out just how we like it – rich, smooth and creamy.

However, we didn’t use just any ordinary chocolate bars when making our milkshake, we used the Kona Bar. What makes these chocolate bars special is that they are made with Kona coffee beans, to provide you with a little extra perk and a little extra crunch. We used Raspberry Kona Bars in our recipe, because who doesn’t love chocolate, raspberry, coffee and ice cream? However, these bars come in other tasty tropical flavors like coconut, macadamia, vanilla, passion fruit and hibiscus, which we imagine would be equally good if you decided to substitute them in. We just started selling these bars at our retail locations, so if you live near one of our stores, make sure to come try them out.

To learn how to make this delicious coffee flavored shake, watch Brandi and Kaylie try it out in this video.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Kona Bar Milkshake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 Kona Bars (we used a raspberry flavored bar, but feel free to substitute one of their other tasty flavors)
  • 4 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup of hot fudge
  • Whipped cream (for topping)

Directions

  • Chop up the Kona Bars into medium-sized pieces
  • Combine the milk and ice cream in a blender
  • Add ¾ of the chopped Kona Bars to the milk/ice cream
  • Blend until smooth
  • Heat the fudge and drizzle it on the bottom of the cups
  • Pour milkshake on top if the fudge
  • Top milkshake with whipped cream and the remaining chopped Kona Bar pieces.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Crème Brulee

Coffee Creme BruleeCrème brulee is a dessert prep that has withstood the test of time (it has been around since 1691), and for good reason – it is so delicious! We recently found that if we were going to be historical about it we should have served this dessert last week, since in Catalan cuisine crème brulee is served on March 19th for Saint Joseph’s Day.

However, if you ask us, it’s always a good time to consume this scrumptious treat so we went ahead and made it anyway. After all, there’s nothing quite like the satisfying crunch of cracking through the crisp, glossy brunt sugar crust on a crème brulee. Although, diving into the smooth and creamy custard underneath is a close second. Our version of this old standby does have a slight twist to it though – coffee! As you might have guessed, we love espresso so much that we add it to a recipe whenever we have the opportunity. We must admit it does taste pretty darn good.

Watch as Brandi and Kaylie play with fire (we promise no buildings were harmed or burned down during this film) and create some mighty fine coffee crème brulee.

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Coffee Creme Brûlée

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of light cream
  • 2 teaspoons of finely ground espresso
  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon brandy

Directions

  • Start by heating your stove to medium, and combining the cream, finely ground espresso and half the sugar in a medium sized pan.
  • Stir the ingredients until all of the sugar is dissolved and the coffee is mixed in well.
  • Meanwhile, put the egg yolks in a separate bowl and beat in the flour to make a smooth paste.
  •  Then, gradually stir the warm coffee mixture into the egg paste you just created until everything is combined well.
  • Return this mix to the pan and heat gently, stirring the mixture for 5-10 minutes until it forms a thick custard.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brandy.
  • Pour the custard into 4 small ramekins. Let them cool, then cover and chill the custard in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to serve the crème brulees, sprinkle each one with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar. Next, caramelize the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch. If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch, you can achieve the same effect by the placing the sugar covered custard under your oven’s broiler for about 5 minutes until the sugar caramelizes.

Brewin’ with Brandy: Milky Melon Cooler

milky melon coolerAlthough it is still pretty cold outside, at least around these parts, this is the time of year where the sun starts to appear a little more frequently, making us long for the return of warm summer days. While we have a quite a few more months to go before that happens, we can at least get our taste buds (and our minds) in the spirit for warmer weather with a milky melon cooler.

While the recipe for this drink might sound a little unusual, it is surprisingly light and refreshing. Better yet, it is super easy to make since all it requires is cold milk, watermelon syrup and an automatic milk frother. We made our milky melon cooler on the Capresso FrothTec Automatic Milk Frother, but you can make this recipe with any standalone milk frother that has a cold froth setting, or even on a manual model like the Frieling Milk Frother.

Watch Brandi walk us through these few easy steps and then mix up a drink of your own. You’ll feel like you’re relaxing at the beach or having a picnic in the park in no time!

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Milky Melon Cooler

Ingredients

Directions

  • Fill an automatic milk frother up to the max froth line with cold milk.
  • Put the lid on the milk frother and select the cold frothing option.
  • Once the milk starts frothing, open the lid and slowly pour in the watermelon syrup.
  • Put the lid back on and allow it to froth until complete, about two minutes. The milk should have a nice silky texture.
  • Pour over ice and serve.
  • To pretty up your drink you can try decorating it with slice of watermelon and drizzle of syrup over the edge of the glass.

For the Love of Coffee

Roasted coffee beans in the shape of the heart on white backgrouValentine’s Day: a holiday to celebrate the one who is near and dear to your heart, the one that is always there when you get up in the morning, the one who motivates you throughout the day and the one who will help keep you from falling asleep when you have a late night project  – coffee!!

What better day than Valentine’s Day to explore your passion for all things coffee? Of course, it might be nice to share your love of coffee with those who are important to you too. If you don’t know where to start or are having a hard time coming up with something to do, here are a couple of tips to help you out.

Bypass the Crowds

One of the things that people dread about Valentine’s Day is having to wait hours to get into their favorite restaurant (yes, it can happen even if you have a reservation). However, if you plan a coffee based date, you can skip the wait and spend the day as you please. Instead of doing dinner, try grabbing breakfast or brunch instead, that way you can start to your day by bonding over a cup of delicious coffee or espresso.

If you’re the type of person who likes to be on the move, you can also get your drinks (and snacks!) to go and take them to your favorite park or location in the city for a private picnic. In fact, many cities and towns have “secret” gardens or hideaways that only those in the know are aware of, which can be dug up with a little online research. Checking one of these places out is a great way to surprise your other half, and you will learn something new about your city.

Another option is to head out to your favorite café for dessert – after all, today is one of the few days where you have an excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate and nothing goes better with chocolate than coffee. While drinking coffee at night may sound counter intuitive, there are an amazing number of coffee shops that are open late just for these types of occasions. Some cafes even sell drinks that are spiked with vodka or a variety of liquors so you can get your party started.

Brew Up a Heart Throb Latte

If you want to avoid going out all together today, you can always make your coffee or espresso at home. Surprise your sweetie with a latte in bed or brew up some tasty after dinner coffee. If you really want to go all out, try whipping up the “Heart Throb Latte,” a special drink that our Bellevue Store Manager, Rachel, created for Valentine’s Day. The recipe is actually pretty simple and the drink tastes just like a raspberry truffle – yum!

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine the sauce and syrup together in a cup and then pull the espresso shots directly into the cup and mix well. Add the steamed milk to taste. If you’ve gotten your latte art making skills perfected, now is the chance to show them off by creating a heart-shaped design on top of the drink.

Share the Love

CoffeeLoveSharing is caring and our treat to you is to share our coffee knowledge thorough our  classes. They may even be a good date for fellow coffee and tea aficionados; after all, sometimes the best gifts are free.

Have you always wanted to be able to create beautiful hearts in your lattes but have not been quite sure how to make them? Then make sure to sign up for our Latte Art class in March, where you will learn how to make hearts and other designs. Come next Valentine’s Day, you’ll be able to surprise your sweetie with heart in their morning latte.

Most people use this day to shower their significant others, friends, family and even pets with affection, but don’t forget that machines need love too! After all, your espresso machine makes you tasty espresso drinks day after day, morning, noon and night with nary a complaint (well, it shouldn’t be complaining, and if it is, all the more reason to keep reading). However, just like any other relationship, the one with your espresso machine is improved with maintenance. So why not make a date to take your machine to one of our maintenance classes and give it a little extra TLC? At this event our Service Writer will teach you how to perform routine maintenance on your semi- or superautomatic machine, which will prolong it’s life and improve your espresso. Space is limited in all of these classes so, if you’re interested, make sure to get in touch with us and sign up.

Don’t Forget Your Friends

Doing something nice for someone doesn’t have to be reserved just for significant others. It’s great to also acknowledge those people who you see on a day-to-day basis or have known your whole life but don’t always have the opportunity to thank (or show your appreciation for all that they do for you). So pick up morning or afternoon coffee for your co-workers and neighbors, or even make it for them yourself. If you have friends or family members that live out of town, send them a letter, a gift card or even call them. While all of these things sound simple, just knowing that you care and took the time to think of them will brighten their day.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Shortbread

espresso shortbreadPerk up your afternoon coffee or tea break with this espresso shortbread recipe. These cookies have espresso mixed into the dough and a layer of espresso on the bottom, so they are sure to give you a buzz that will get you through the rest of the day. The fact that they only require a couple of common ingredients and their short baking time make them easy to whip in a pinch (or whenever you are need of a extra jolt of caffeine).

To learn how to make them yourself, watch Brandi create this surprise recipe under Bunny’s direction.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ sticks of butter
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of espresso powder (for convenience sake we used a finely ground espresso blend).
  • ¼ cup of espresso beans, roughly ground (French press grade grind)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven 350F.
  2. Cream 1 ½ sticks of room temperature butter and ½ a cup of sugar, until  the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds.
  4. Add 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour and 1 ½ teaspoons of espresso powder and mix until smooth (about one minute).
  5. Spray a 9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  6. Scatter the ground espresso evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  7. Gently press the dough into the espresso covered pan.
  8. Place pan on the top oven rack and bake until the shortbread is set, about 18-20 minutes.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Spicy Mocha Recipe

Spicy MochaWhen we found a recipe for a mocha that contained not one, but three of our favorite ingredients (chocolate, cinnamon and chilies) we had to try it. The cinnamon and hot chilies definitely provide this mocha with some extra heat, so it is sure to keep you warm on cold winter nights.

The cool thing about this recipe is that, unlike the other mocha recipes we’ve done, you don’t need an espresso machine to make it. We did use a machine to pull the shots for the three cups of espresso required for the recipe but, since the milk is being heated on the stove, you could just as easily produce the espresso using a stovetop or other brew methods that don’t have a steam function. It’s like “making a mocha the way your grandmother used to,” but with a little more of a kick when it comes to the taste. To learn how to make this recipe yourself, watch Brandi flex her cooking muscles and whip up this tasty drink.

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Spicy Mocha Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 small dried red chilies
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups of espresso
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Directions

  1. Start by combining the milk, cinnamon sticks and chilies in a large sauce pan.
  2. Turn the stove to high and heat until the mixture reaches a simmering point. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid scorching.
  3. Once the milk mixture reaches a simmer, remove from heat and cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
  4. After steeping, stir in the powdered sugar, 1 ½ cups of white sugar, 3 cups of espresso and 1 cup of cocoa powder (reserve ¼ cup for later).
  5. Return mixture to the burner and bring to a simmer again.
  6. While the mocha mixture is simmering, mix the heaving whipping cream and remaining ¼ cup of cocoa powder, and whisk until stiff to create a whipped cream topping.  Set aside.
  7. Once the mocha mixture has reached a simmer, remove the cinnamon sticks and the chilies.
  8. Ladle the mocha into cups and top with a dollop or two of the whipped cream blend. Enjoy!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Whipped Cream

Espresso Whipped Cream RecipeSometimes, simple is better; but other times, souping up simple is even better. Take this espresso whipped cream recipe, for example: With the minor addition of finely ground coffee to a fairly standard whipped cream recipe, you produce something that is altogether more sophisticated and refined.

This delectable topping could proudly accent a gourmet coffee brew or molten chocolate cake; heck, it could even stand on its own, chilled in a decorative serving glass. And if you don’t have Brandi’s rockin’ biceps to work it out with a standard whisk, you can whip it up using an electronic mixer when you’re not even in the room! What could be more simple?

Watch her show us how it’s done in this fun recipe how-to video.

Recipe: Espresso Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee – we used Velton’s Twilight

Directions

In a medium bowl, beat all the ingredients until it forms soft peaks. Can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator if needed.

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