3 things: a perfect at home cafe au lait

cafe

Earlier this year, when I was living very, very far from Starbucks, I taught myself how to make the perfect at home café au lait so I could really (REALLY) enjoy a hot, milky, foamy hug in a mug. 

Have I ever told you about my relationship with coffee? I love it. I love it in a totally non-desperate kind of way. I don’t NEED coffee. I don’t need caffeine to stay awake or feel awake or anything else to do with wakefullness. I can, and have on many occasions, enjoyed an espresso-based beverage and gone straight to bed. You probably hate me. 

I have a mini coffee maker that brews 4 cups/2 mugs worth and drink one cup in the morning and one cup around 3:30pm. And I make it the same way every time.

3thingscafe

  1. brew strong (or strong-ish) black coffee; fill a mug about 60% to the top with coffee, add sugar if that’s your thing (do you like flavoured coffee? add flavoured syrup to the black coffee)
  2. add 1 inch of cold milk to a 12oz jam jar, seal the lid tightly, shake 30 seconds, remove lid, microwave for 30 seconds (full tutorial here)
  3. pour hot milk into coffee and spoon in foam

Now that I live within 2km of Starbucks I find myself only going on Sunday mornings (or double star days) because I love my at home method so, so much. Though if you have a Nespresso + foamer I am officially jealous. 


ps: here’s the recipe for the banana raspberry chocolate chip bread up there. it’s amazing. 

 

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cream + sugar

I’m fairly certain it’s no surprise that coffee shops are one of my favourite places. Whether it’s grabbing a drink or working for the morning or stealing a little wifi, coffee shops and cafes are pretty much the best. THE PEOPLE WATCHING! We sourced out a great one in Vancouver (Timbertrain), a habit that I think sister and I will be doing for many more of our vacations. Look for the little, independently owned (or small franchise); they have cute interiors (don’t rush, take your time, look around, they’re gorgeous) and friendly baristas that seriously know how to make an exceptional latte.

coffee

Dineen Coffee Co in Toronto:dineen

Balzac’s in Guelph, which coincidentally has the same tiles as Dineen: balzac

Analog in Calgary: (the inside is also super cute – and how handsome is Martin? – but the A on the outside is my fave)analog

Timbertrain in BC: (so good and smooth; must go if you’re in Vancouver)timertrain

Salt Spring at the Ferry Terminal in BC:saltspring

Mirage in Victoria:

mirage

And of course, Café du Monde in New Orleans! cafedumonde

I have a Starbucks across the street so my new travel motto is to try one of a kind coffee shops along the way and now I can’t wait to hit the road just so I can get photos of so many more cute cafes…maybe one of the USA’s 50 best coffee shops? Maybe one of these 25 in Canada?? (also highly recommend Higher Ground in Calgary – the coconut latte, so good. Or Revolver in Vancouver. Or Ella’s Uncle in Toronto. Or Red Brick in Guelph. And definitely have the Phil & Sebastian roast in Calgary; strong but good.)

Take a break. Notice the little things. And savour iced latte weather!

 

Have a favourite? Please share! I’m always looking for a new place. 

my fave: iced coffee

So remember that one time you were checking the weather forecast and you nearly dropped your phone cause you saw the number 42 (that’s celcius, baby) and the word September in the same screen shot? No? Just me? efffff. Why might it get up to 42 degrees (with humidex) tomorrow? whhhhhy? I bought a super cute sweater today (cranberry, cuffed sleeves, gah. so cute) and I want to wear it. (but also, I guess woo that’s it’s still summer!)

So, 9 days into September I’m making a pitcher of iced coffee to get me through the next few days.

iced-coffee

In the peak of summer I’ll typically make a big batch of cold brew iced coffee and a tray of black coffee ice cubes (that’s the secret to not watering down your coffee) on a Sunday afternoon so it’s ready for the week ahead. Need a batch to get you through this late summer heat wave? Here’s my go-to “recipe”.

Cold Brew coffee
1/3 cup of your favourite ground coffee
1.5 cups cold water
these are the basic measurements, from here, you can duplicate that as many times as you like/will fit in your container

Stir and let the mixture sit on your kitchen counter overnight. In the morning, strain grinds out through cheesecloth/paper towles/drip coffee filter, and refrigerate. Voila! A pitcher a iced coffee ready for the week. (I take mine with 1 splenda or a spoon of sugar, a splash of cream and a lot of milk, if you were wondering…also, if you shake the milk in say, a martini shaker before pouring it in, even better)

Love Starbucks iced coffee? they actually sell bags of their iced coffee grinds in stores (or is it online? I’ve seen it). Alternatively, I buy the True North blend at Winners (a few dollars less than grocery stores) and will cold brew half a bag at a time.

ps: Starbucks? Look, I love you. Really do. Love love love. But….you know when is too early for a pumpkin spice latte? August. 

pps: ugh. pumpkin. *shudders*