Of Tea and Coffee

My next series of posts follow a theme, but it all starts with some coffee extract.  What’s that?  Coffee extract, it makes perfect sense.

My office is involved in a bit of a competition.  I won’t go into details but all of the lawyers are divided into four teams.  I was “volun-told” (thanks EMW – that’s a good one) that I was to be a team leader.  Part of my job involves “encouraging” people to volunteer for certain activities around the office.  I get volunteers, the team gets points, etc.  Anyway, one of the activities that required volunteers last week was a shed build challenge for Habitat for Humanity.  I sent out the email to my team, asking for 2 volunteers, and offering up a dozen cupcakes to each, in whatever flavour they wanted.

Lucky for me, two eager and wonderful volunteers came forward within minutes of my email, and even luckier – each of them is a foodie in her own right.  Foodies make the best flavour-pickers.  I encouraged each of them to challenge me with something I may not have tried before.  The selections?  Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream and Cardamom Spiced Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream.

Wow.

Good choices both.

I have been busy researching each of these combinations so I get it just right.  Having tasted neither, I really have no idea what I should be looking for in terms of recipe.

Bake day is tomorrow and so I was quickly reviewing the selected recipes (which I will post about soon, not to worry), and it occurred to me that the coffee buttercream would require coffee extract.  Wait, what?  I have seen coffee extract before but never thought to pick some up and to be honest, it was a rare find in a specialty shop when I did see it.  Galen doesn’t have any.  Lemon, Almond, Vanilla – but not coffee.  In my personal collection, I have chocolate extract, coconut emulsion, lime emulsion and raspberry extract – but not coffee.  Awesome.  And I have no time to pick some up via an internet source.

Well a quickie search via our good friends at Google brought me here.   Is it possible to make your own coffee extract?  Why yes, yes it is.

So I did.

coffee extract

It was way easier than I expected, took a total of about 15 minutes, and the best thing of all is that the batch will store in a glass container indefinitely in the pantry.  I can think of a dozen or so things that will benefit highly from some added coffee extract.  In particular, I make a dark chocolate crust for one of my cheesecakes that would be so fantastic with a little coffee flavour.  Watch for that post down the road somewhere.

It is a thick, almost syrup, and it smells divine.

coffee syrup

Long story short…I now have coffee extract for next time I need some, and more importantly, I have some for the coffee buttercream I intend to make tomorrow.  Stay tuned.  Woot woot!

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