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Irish Coffee Dessert

Traditional Irish coffee is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, stirred, and topped with thick cream. The coffee is drunk through the cream.  This variation has similar ingredients, but it is in the form of a set dessert. Definitely worth a try! The popular alcoholic drink, Irish Coffee, was created in the winter of 1943 by Chef Joe Sheridan. The story goes that he whipped up something special to drink for a group of cold and weary passengers who were waiting for a flight at the Foynes Airbase in Ireland. Apparently silence descended on the group as everyone enjoyed this delectable concoction.

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From Bean To Brew

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages and it has been enjoyed by people around the world for many centuries.   Whether you prefer single or double shot, short or grande, no fun or wild, the world is a better place because of coffee!

A coffee bean is a seed found inside the fruit of the coffee plant, often referred to as a coffee berry. Each coffee berry has two beans. When dried, roasted and ground, coffee beans are used to brew coffee. If the seed is not processed, it can be planted and will grow into a coffee plant.  Even though they are seeds, they are referred to as ‘beans’ because of their resemblance to true beans which are part of the legume family (see the post Keep Your Finger On The Pulse for more info on legumes).  

Click here to see a very informative infographic on where coffee comes from.

Making a good cup of espresso is an art within itself, but latte art is the cherry on top!  Latte art, also known as barista art or coffee art, refers to the practice of pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the resulting latte.   There are two main types of latte art: free pouring (pattern created during the pour) and etching (using a tool to create a pattern after the pour).   The exact origin of Latte Art remains hazy, but the trend presumably began in Italy.

Related posts:
Join The Club! on SA Coffee Club
The Way You Like It on Seattle Coffee Company
– Is Fat Black The New Skinny White? on bulletproof coffee.

On its own, coffee has no kilojoules and is packed with healthy antioxidants. Having up to 5 cups of coffee per day is linked to several health benefits.  Drinking coffee may:

  • reduce cavities,
  • boost athletic performance,
  • improve mood
  • stimulate the central nervous system, i.e. making you feel more alert
  • boost  nerve cell activity in the brain, potentially protecting against memory loss.
  • lead to a decreased risk of contracting alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.
  • help t0 prevent gout, Type 2 Diabetes and Parkinsons disease
  • may reduce the risk of developing clogged arteries, which in turn might reduce the risk for heart attack
  • used ground coffee makes great compost!

On the downside, coffee may increase LDL cholesterol, affect pregnancy outcomes and increase anxiety and blood pressure.

Caffeine trivia:

  • more than 98 percent of our caffeine intake comes from beverages (see the chart below)
  • a light roast has more caffeine than a dark roast
  • decaf does not mean zero caffeine, it still has 8.6 to 13.9 mg caffeine
  • caffeine’s chemical name is trimethalxanthyne
  • combining a pain reliever with caffeine can make it 40 percent more effective
  • Caffeine overuse can trigger a fast heart rate, insomnia, anxiety and restlessness, among other side effects.
  • Abruptly stopping use can lead tosymptoms of withdrawal, including headaches and irritability.

Sources:;, and





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The Way You Like It

The guys at Seattle Coffee Company believe that life is too short to drink bad coffee.  I could not agree more!   Seattle Coffee Company’s slogan “the way you like it” is definitely not just empty words, but sums up the whole experience at Seattle Coffee Company.

Seattle Coffee Company is a family-owned South African business. They were pioneers in bringing coffee culture to South Africa in 1997 and for close to 20 years they have been providing customers with gourmet coffee experience in a context that serve as urban refuges where customers can hang out, catch up, slow down or get going.

Seattle Coffee Company’s baristas are trained to make your drinks just the way you like it, i.e. customised to your individual taste. If your favourite way to get your caffeine fix is a double shot espresso with hot pouring cream on the side, they won’t disappoint!   All coffees on their menu are available in regular or decaf, black or with full-cream, semi-skimmed, skinny or soy milk. They are also investigating rolling out almond milk as another dairy-free option soon.

Of course, many people enjoy preparing their favourite coffee in the convenience of their own home.   All of Seattle Coffee Company’s coffees are available to purchase in their café stores as whole beans for home brewing.  Visit Seattle Coffee Company’s website for useful tips on how to prepare the perfect cup of coffee at home as well as basic guidelines for ordering your coffee at one of their café stores.   Try one of the many recipes on this website with freshly brewed coffee: Coffee-infused Moroccan Lamb With Figs, Apricots & CashewsMuskadel-Espresso Chicken Breasts with Plums or PrunesCaribbean Coffee Chocolate and Banana CakeCoffee Apple Walnut Cake, Affogato, Creamy Mocha MousseMocha Ricotta Cheesecake, Irish Coffee DessertTiramisuFrozen Mocha Cheesecake.

To listen to a interview with Peter Howie (Operations Director of Seattle Coffee Company) on the history ofSeattle Coffee Company  in South Africa, as well as its relation to Starbucks, click here.  With the first Starbucks store opening in Johannesburg in mid-2016, one cannot help to wonder how it will affect companies like Seattle Coffee Company.   With close to 100 stores country-wide, and with an ever-growing customer-base, in my opinion Seattle Coffee Company has anything to worry about.  I know where my loyalty lies!

Click here to find out how the Seattle Coffee Company’s coffee beans gets from the coffee tree to your cup.

For more information on coffee in general, like the health benefits, the low-down on caffeine, latte art, etc. see the post From Bean To Cup.

Twitter:  @Seattlecoffeeco

Seattle Coffee Co Store



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Join The Club!

If you regard yourself as a coffee connoisseur, or if you cannot imagine a life without coffee, then SA Coffee Club is the club to join!  SA Coffee Club’s aim is to increase awareness and an appreciation for good coffee. They host coffee related events in both Johannesburg and Cape Town on a monthly basis where guests get to taste and learn more about coffee.

Why join?

  • Membership is free of charge.
  • You will be invited to all their coffee events.
  • Their events are hosted by experts in the coffee industry and you will be able to experience some of the best coffees in the world. You will also have the opportunity to learn more about a variety of coffee equipment.
  • You will also have the opportunity to meet people in your city with similar interests.

For more information on coffee in general, like the health benefits, the low-down on caffeine, latte art, etc. see the post From Bean To Brew.

For more information on upcoming events, send an email to

Deon Mastenbroek
M: +27 (0) 83 628 1796


Coffee in Hands

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Affogato (Coffee Dessert)

Affogato (Italian for “drowned”) is a coffee-based dessert. It is basically a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso.  Quick and easy!

1 liter vanilla ice-cream
10 shots (30 to 45 ml per person) hot fresh espresso coffee

To serve
Italian biscuits, e.g. biscotti or amaretti

  1. Line up 10 dessert glasses.
  2. Place a scoop of ice-cream in each of the glasses.
  3. Make espresso in a coffee machine, Brikka pot or Aeropress and pour a shot of espresso into the glasses to drown the ice cream.
  4. Serve immediately with Italian biscuits on the side.


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Tiramisu means “pick me up” and is a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers or Boudoir Biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. Countless variations of Tiramisu exist. (see variations below).   Marsala wine can be added to the recipe, but other liquors are frequently substituted for it including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, or Irish Cream and especially coffee flavored liqueurs such as Tia Maria and Kahlua.

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Creamy Mocha Mousse

This recipe is a simplified and healthier version of the ever-popular classic French dessert, Mousse au Chocolat.  In her book “From Julia Child’s Kitchen“, Julia introduces chocolate mousse as follows: “It’s a sin, wickedly rich and fattening, but every spoonful is glory …”.  I had a look at Julia’s chocolate mousse recipe but decided that it is too labour intensive and too high in fat!  Carolié De Koster’s version can be whipped up in a few minutes and it can be enjoyed on occasion as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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Caribbean Coffee, Chocolate and Banana Cake

This ring cake has a velvety texture and incredibly interesting and pleasing flavour – one of the best variations of a chocolate cake and a good way to use bananas that have become a bit too ripe to enjoy as is. The cake is good when just made but the flavour improves if it is kept sealed and refrigerated for a day or two.  This cake is certainly fair to bake – it uses 8 Fairtrade certified ingredients!

Serves: 10 to 12

100 g butter or margarine, slightly softened
2 medium-large ripe All Good bananas (Fair Trade certified)
2 large eggs
60 ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt
250 ml all-purpose flour
30 ml Organic Desiccated Coconut (Fair Trade certified)
175 ml Organic Cane Sugar (Fair Trade certified)
2.5 ml bicarbonate of soda
60 ml Organic Baking Cocoa (Fair Trade certified)
1 ml Organic Cinnamon Powder (Fair Trade certified)
pinch salt
5 ml vanilla essence or vanilla paste (Fair Trade certified)

Chocolate glaze
± 80 g Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana Chocolate (Fair Trade certified)
60 ml Caffe L’Affare Organic coffee (Fair Trade certified)
5 ml vanilla essence or paste (Fair Trade certified)

Organic desiccated coconut, lightly toasted (Fair Trade certified)
Organic dried banana chips (Fair Trade certified)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a fluted ring tin (± 24 cm diameter) well with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process 1 minute. Scrape the sides once and process 2 minutes more or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Spoon the mixture in the tin, smooth the top. Bake for about 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and a metal skewer comes out clean if inserted.
  4. Cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes, loosen carefully and turn out. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Place the chocolate squares, coffee and vanilla into a small bowl and microwave on medium low for 2 minutes or until softened if tested with the tip of a teaspoon.
  6. Stir to combine and pour ans spread the chocolate glaze over the cake.
  7. Decorate with banana chips and toasted coconut as preferred. Serve or refrigerate in an airtight container.

The Fair Trade ingredients can be substituted with similar ingredients.

 Caribbean Cake & Carolie