My Summer Travels… in a Cup

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“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

 

 

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone and with a latte in hand.” – Traveling Honeybird

 

 

Midway through my morning I realized a familiar, bone-tired feeling.  I couldn’t seem to think straight, and nothing seemed to be going right.  Was it Monday?  Oh yes, but my problems ran much deeper than that – I didn’t have time for my morning coffee.

 

 

I can hear you gasping from your side of the screen – if ever there was a way to make a Monday morning worse, this was it!  Needless to say, I made it through a truly horrific day.  But I couldn’t help but daydreaming about that daily cup of aromatic brew that never made it to my lips.

 

 

Every cup of coffee tells a story – it reminds you of where you’ve been, centers you in the moment you’re experiencing, and whispers of impossible dreams still to come.  While traveling across the country this summer, I noticed that every region finds a way of putting their unique twist on America’s favorite morning pastime.  Take a trip with me and experience this for yourself.  No passport required!  All you’ll need is a large coffee mug and an even grander sense of imagination.

 

 

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Kentucky Fudge Brownie Bliss

While driving through Lexington, Kentucky I was impressed by the beautiful green trees and undying love of horses.  But that’s not all I carried away – I also convinced a local barista to share the secrets of one of their most popular brews!

What You’ll Need:

1 cup espresso or strong coffee

1/4 cup milk, heated and frothed

2-3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fine chocolate syrup 

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Cream

Pinch of Cocoa Powder

 

Dissolve the brown sugar in the hot coffee, then add other liquid ingredients.  Garnish with a puff of whipped cream, sprinkled with cocoa powder.  This one’s a little sweet, but you’ll be coming back for that second cup! 

 

 

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“Remember the Alamo” Cinnamon-Vanilla Latte

As a Texan born and raised, it’s always a joy to find a reason to go back home.  While in South Texas you’ll encounter a majority of true cowboys and cowgirls at heart who drink their coffee black and ridiculously strong.  Every once in a while, however, you’ll find a true masterpiece.  In South Texas I tasted the perfect blend between that fierce cowboy spirit and a light Spanish influence.  If there sure such a thing as “Tex-Mex” coffee, this would be it!

What You’ll Need:

1 cup espresso or strong black coffee

1/4 cup milk

Pinch of cinnamon

1 tablespoon Mexican vanilla

Sugar to taste (if you need it, you sissy!)

 

Using a wire whisk, incorporate the cinnamon and vanilla into the milk before steaming and frothing.  Add to a warmed mug, and add coffee and sugar if desired.  Garnish with a puff of whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkle, or drink it straight.  The choice is yours! 

 

 

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The New Mexico Plateau

New Mexico is known for its dry deserts, scorching heat, and terrifying scorpions and tarantulas.  As a recent native, I can testify that all of the above is true.  However, what most people don’t realize is just how gorgeous the mountain plateaus are across the Land of Enchantment.  And in honor of that, the Plateau Espresso coffee drink is a must out here.

What You’ll Need:

Clear coffee mug and regular teaspoon

1/2 cup milk (skim or 2% work best)

Milk frother

Clear vanilla or caramel syrup

1 cup espresso or strong coffee

A pinch of light brown sugar

 

First, add flavored syrup to milk and  for about a minute.  Transfer to a jug and froth until thick and velvety.  Now, pour into mug and spoon a layer of froth on top.  Turn your teaspoon over so that its bottom faces up and it just touches the surface of the milk.  Very slowly, pour the espresso over the back of the spoon.   You should get a layered effect.  Finally, add extra froth from the milk jug and sprinkle with light brown sugar for that sandy effect.  It’s just like making sand art in a mug!

 

 

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These are a few of the delights I’ve found brewing across our great nation.  What about you?  What has been your favorite experience with blending coffee and travel?

 

 

Care to share the recipe?

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “My Summer Travels… in a Cup

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