What can I add to my coffee?

Oh Lord . . . let’s see:

  • Milk, which within that category has a whole mess of options (cashew, almond, 2%, soy, etc.)
  • Lemon, a nice thin slice was an obsession for me for years
  • Chocolate, a drizzle or some shavings
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Caramel drizzle
  • Mint
  • Sprinkles
  • Ice cream
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Alcohol, this option alone can make this post pages long

. . . and my personal favorite: nothing.


Over the years I have tried almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, whole milk, half and half, sugar, Baileys, KahlĂșa, lemon, cinnamon, chocolate, caramel, mint, whipped cream, and sprinkles. I either requested the addition, the addition came automatically with the order, or I saw it available and thought to myself, why not?

Interestingly, this list is not exhaustive. I hadn’t heard of some of these options until I researched and asked for added input from friends. I’m also hyper-aware that sometimes culture influences not only what kind of coffee is served, but how it is served. Perhaps if I went to another part of the world I would get a whole new list of items.

At the same time, while I learn about current possibilities, I also know that baristas, coffee enthusiasts, and coffee connoisseurs are constantly testing boundaries. The next craze, the next element of allure and sophistication, is waiting to be discovered.

This list will never be complete.

For now though, at home, I’ll take my coffee in its purest form: black. It’s the easiest, and the cheapest. Any additions I’ll leave to the expert baristas and coffee shop owners to create, offer, and provide for me. It’ll make the experience away from home feel all the more different and all the more special.


When is it appropriate to drink coffee?

That’s a trick question.

It’s always appropriate.

If you crave it, drink it.

If you want it, get it.

Just as it is noon somewhere (have your alcoholic beverage) . . . there’s a coffee break happening somewhere, so have your coffee!


What can you do with coffee grounds?

Thanks to Netflix and a job that required some research on food waste, I have enlivened my inner environmentalist and found a new appreciation for all foods. Even coffee, which I truly love dearly, has found a new element of love and adoration.

I have discovered that leftover coffee grounds can be dried and then used:

  • as insect repellent
  • as a skin exfoliant
  • as a compost enhancer

I have discovered recipes for candles, soap, and other household items.

I am ashamed to admit that up until about two months ago I threw out my coffee grounds. I put them in the coffeemaker, drank my coffee, and then dumped them in the trash or down the drain. Terrible! Irresponsible! Heinous!

As I continue to learn, and research, and grow as a coffee enthusiast, I think it’s important to consider the possibilities.

Coffee can be so much more than a drink. If we can help ourselves to more than a cup, and help the environment on the way, let’s do it!





On the Merits of Coffee

Across civilizations, throughout millenium, all over the world, people have consumed coffee.

Coffee is everywhere.

There are specific reactions, images, and ideas when someone says: Turkish coffee, Thai coffee, or Kan Kohi.

There are definitive opinions on how best to make coffee: traditional drip coffeemaker, Keurig, French press, Aeropress, and more. Which one brings out the flavor? Which one is most convenient? Which one can I afford?

There are a multitude of flavors–and the flavors seem to increase with each passing year and season. From Hazelnut to White Chocolate to Toffee. From Pumpkin Spice to Holiday Blend.

All these flavors can be amplified and morphed through an endless array of toppings–think whipped cream, cinnamon, and mint.

And if that weren’t enough, coffee can be served at breakfast or after dinner. It can be served hot or iced. It can go with a meal, it can be your meal.


Coffee is not a singular drink. It doesn’t look the same, taste the same, smell the same, or feel the same–not in Italy, Egypt, and the United States. Hell, one local coffee shop in California will have a great coffee menu and serve superb coffee, and just down the street, another coffee shop will do the same, but in a completely different fashion. The coffee is different, but it’s still outstanding.

This is the reason coffee feels like the superior drink of choice.

In its history, its cultural manifestations, and roots in every society, coffee stands apart from all others. In its ability to be utterly delicious, while also being exceptionally versatile. Coffee, again, is in a category all on its own.

In terms of the merits of coffee, the merits are manifold and multifaceted. So, raise your mug, cup, glass, or thermos–you’re drinking coffee, arguably the most recognizable, wide-ranging, and delicious of all drinks in the world.


San Francisco, CA, USA: Home Cafe

Welcome to my favorite part of the world: the Bay Area.

I have a deep love, unconditional love really, for the Bay Area, specifically San Francisco and Berkeley.

I consider the Bay Area more than home, it is heaven on earth.

One day . . . when I’m a millionaire . . . I’ll live there. For now, I’ll just visit and encourage you to do so as well.


When you visit San Francisco, and I know you will, and you really have to, I recommend a stop at Home Cafe.


Enjoy the hills! Enjoy the outdoors! Take the Muni, get a Lyft, or walk over to Noriega St. and 20th Ave. It’s part of the experience.


You’ve arrived.

It’s a small venue and there is no outdoor seating.

I went on a Saturday morning and had to take my food and drink to-go. It was packed–line out the door.

As the line moved, I noticed long tables, seats next to big windows, and a fun policy: no devices.

LRG_DSC00297 (2)

While no one is going to kick you out, I saw someone on a laptop, this establishment encourages conversation. I appreciate that, and it plays well into this idea of “home.”


Well, it’s not pictured because I took it to-go, and I opened it up, and I tasted it, and then I devoured it. I’m not sure how I breathed I ate so fast.

What did I get? Condensed milk toast.

I feel like San Francisco is the only place where toast could be marketed and purchased as a meal. I would say I fell for it (I bought toast?), but honestly it was an amazing dessert, or large pastry. So amazing, when I opened my container I couldn’t stop to take a picture or consider anything but shoving it into my mouth.

Now, this trip was made possible by one of my best friends who lives in San Francisco. She got some toast as well, but hers was the special of the day. We both shared some of our toast with her baby. Her baby loved every bite–every bite we managed to share with her. So that’s three great reviews on the toast–that means get some toast!

And what goes with toast?


LRG_DSC00292 (2)

If you look at reviews online, one thing people keep saying is: drinks are great for Instagram!

Well, as important as pictures may be to some, and I understand presentation is crucial, let’s face it: it needs to taste good.

LRG_DSC00287 (2)

And this is where Home Cafe won my heart all over again. I ordered their famous birthday cake latte. Presentation and Instagram worthiness: A+. Then, the first sip.

It was sweet, but not overdone. It had a creamy feel to it. It wasn’t exceptionally strong, but from what I gather it’s not meant to be a strong elixir of coffee or caffeine. It was just delicious.

I’m not a chugger of coffee, I usually allow it to cool for about 5 minutes and then I sip for a good 30 minutes. That did not happen. I drank this quickly. It was simply a perfectly balanced drink. Truly delicious. I craved it every day after our visit.

My friend? She got a coconut almond latte. She enjoyed her drink as well, but I think birthday cake latte wins. We did not share any coffee with her baby. We did however drink our coffee and eat our toast at the San Francisco Zoo. That’s right: the zoo!

Home Cafe has an intimate venue, Instagram worthy coffee, delicious coffee, insane toast options, and a great location–just four miles from the zoo.

So, with all of that in mind, the next time you’re in San Francisco: get some coffee, and toast, at Home Cafe–and if there’s nowhere to sit, or if you want to drink and eat with a pretty neat view, head over to the zoo! And when you’re done at the zoo, go back to Home Cafe–let me know about the rest of the toast!

Coffee Lesson #3

coffee grounds:

  • the waste product from brewing coffee
  • the dregs remaining after brewing coffee
  • do not confuse with “ground coffee”

The first definition is interesting. To state that it is a “waste product” is debatable, check out “What can you do with coffee grounds?” for added insight.

LRG_DSC00569 (2)
Coffee grounds poured out and ready to dry . . .

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑