Let's talk about coffee because, after all, I am a Barista. First, let me tell you the irony of my employment - I'm not big on espresso. I'm not a fan of the taste, and I've never experienced its caffeinated rush of energy. I spend most of my time drinking hot chocolates, steamers, ciders or blended drinks.
But, because we are heading in to winter (minus the snow? really! it's November, mother nature. Just fyi) I will let you in on some of my favorite warm, roasty toasty drinks for you to try out when you're feeling in the mood.
First off, I drink all of my drinks with soy as a general rule. Not because I'm lactose intolerant (because I'm not) but because I like the taste better, and it's not as heavy as 2% (which I've found has a tendency when coupled with sugary sweet syrupy goodness to upset my stomach in the morning before I've been properly nourished). Second, I only steam my milk to 140 degrees at most. Beyond that temperature, and I have to let it sit with the lid off before it doesn't fry my taste buds when I take sip.
Hot chocolates are the best. I usually drink mine with blackberry flavoring or cherry. The cherry is especially good with a little bit of white chocolate. The soy milk gives it a sort of nutty flavor, but both blackberry and cherry hot chocolates are great with regular milk as well.
An almond joy hot chocolate is my next favorite. It's made with dark chocolate, almond flavor and coconut flavor. And seriously? It's candy bar in liquid form. There's also a snickers version, reese's peanut butter cup version, and butterfinger version of hot chocolates as well.
And if you're looking to branch out even more with a hot chocolate, but candy bars just aren't your thing, try adding orange. It sounds weird, but its totally delicious.
(All of these are good as mochas if you want to add coffee to your drink as well, don't think I'm ignoring the espresso just because *I* don't like it, haha.)
When I'm not in the mood for a hot chocolate, I go for a steamer. Vanilla soy is pretty much my favorite, but I have to tell you that I love pumpkin spice steamers too. And there's one that our store makes called a Candied Apple - it has caramel sauce, apple flavor, cinnamon flavor and hazelnut flavor. It's absolutely delicious.
I'm not usually a chai person. When I worked for campus dining, I hated the chai they used. It was Tazo brand, and I'm just not a fan. So when I moved to Sister's Brew, they brought with them Monin chai tea. I was hesitant, a little scared at best, to try it out. But it's a concentrated chai, and it's got a little spice to it. I'm still too nervous to add it to my steaming soy milk, but let me tell you, you have to try an eggnog chai at least once in your life time.
I have had a weird love/hate relationship with eggnog. I loathed the stuff when I was little. I would. not. drink. it. for. the. life. of. me. But I remember that my brother loved it. I couldn't swallow it down. Too thick. Didn't taste good.
But I also have this habit of trying things that I used to not like. I keep thinking, 'I'm older now, what if I like now?' And so far, a few things I have changed my mind about (oatmeal is not one of these things) (it probably never will be).
So last year when eggnog was in season I re-tried the creamy thick yellow liquid, and I surprised myself. It was so good! And it's even better steamed than it is cold (in my opinion). And it's even better with chai mixed in it than it is by itself.
And finally, for this post, if you are in a cider mood, I don't really feel like anything needs to be added to perfection. However, it sounds crazy, but mixing some chai in with your cider is pretty delightfully yummy as well.