Writer Rachel Tepper confessed that she does not like coffee. Yet she yearned to “get herself hooked.” After all, the benefits looked good: boosted energy levels, more regulated digestion, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia….. and feeling more a part of the group. After all, she said, 66% of her age group drink at least some coffee. The challenge went out and was answered by a chef at a Washington DC restaurant, a real coffee fanatic who put down five to twelve cups a day.
The first step was to try coffee from a third-wave coffee shop that specialized in pour-overs. Prepared in a Chemex, especially with a metal filter, Tepper began warming up to the coffee’s taste. She learned that the metal filter allowed more oils to pour through than the paper one, thus bringing more sweetness to the cup. The final tests involved espresso. A cortado followed by a mocha, leading up to her piece de résistance, a macchiato with honey. It amounted to an espresso that was one third honey, but it balanced out the bitter undertones and Tepper actually drank the whole cup.
Anxious to show off the range of coffee in food prep, the chef next served a three-course meal of coffee-enhanced prawns, chicken and steak. Dessert was a liqueur and coffee concoction that cinched Tepper’s new coffee acceptance, if not love. She left feeling extremely well-fed and satisfied. The only catch was that she, not surprisingly, had trouble sleeping. She now calls herself a “middle-of-the-road coffee person”. The reader of her story, linked to the image above, will appreciate all the lengths the chef went to in order to demonstrate the versatility and taste enhancement provided by coffee in food. The article also links to the three recipes savored by Tepper plus an extra beverage recipe. Not for the faint-hearted chef, they require a love of cooking because they involve many steps, but they sound delicious. Have a look, especially if you have someone you want to impress - or convert to coffee lover!