I’m not really one for playing favorites. Not with my kids or my friends and definitely not with food. I just can’t pick one thing that is really the best. So this wasn’t an easy task, but I do remember the best cup of coffee I ever had. It’s amazing how roasted beans and hot water can be life changing, but the combination made Howard Schultz a billionaire and changed the way most of us start (or get through) our day. But this post isn’t about Starbucks. It’s about a cup of coffee I enjoyed a while back at an upscale restaurant in NYC.
It was the first time I really fell in love with a cup of coffee. It’s been a challenge ever since to recreate that moment and I have become an insufferable coffee snob. Usually great coffee doesn’t need any additional flavor, or even milk or sugar. I called the restaurant for their recipe as a surprise for my husband and they graciously shared their secret blend, including the source for their coffee beans and it was one of the best presents I ever gave my husband for his birthday. It really is the perfect give for any coffee lover, just mix it all in, place in a jar and tie a note around it.
All you need is really, really good quality coffee, like an Ethiopian Yrgacheffe, that is light to medium roasted so you can enjoy the floral and citrus notes in the varietal rather than the overpowering qualities of darker, espresso roasts. You will also need some high quality cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Here is my recipe adapted from the restaurant’s version: