Lately I’ve been learning more about coffee so I figured a Paleo breakfast cake, with coffee as an ingredient, would be a fun recipe to share.
I also thought it would be fun to give a few recommendations for coffee houses that we’ve been to lately in Chicago, Miami, California and Portland. You know, real roasters, not the one that starts with star….. ;)
My go-to coffee order of choice used to be Mocha. The reason should be obvious, but if you’re a coffee noob then maybe you don’t know that it has chocolate (or usually, chocolate syrup) in it. And chocolate (similar to adding milk, sugar or cream) seems to only be there to help mask the coffee flavor.
I could be wrong, but that’s why I enjoyed ordering a Mocha. Because essentially I was just drinking chocolate and also because I never liked the taste of coffee. I was the one who would walk into a Starbucks and order one of the non-coffee drinks. But it seems as we age our tastes really do change, and coffee has been growing on me.
Jeff’s interest in coffee (and more specifically, the beans) and where it comes from and the different flavors they possess has of course changed my view on the stuff. Unlike wine, which I am horrible at telling a difference with, I’ve actually been enjoying the different coffee’s we’ve been having.
Coffee in Chicago
Here in Chicago, our go-to coffee house of choice started with Intelligentsia. We never really went there to work but Jeff would purchase the beans because they were roasted locally. A bag of single origin with a roasting date on the package closest to the date we were purchasing was typical to find in our house. Keeping in mind that we typically drink our coffee black at home, it was amazing to me to realize that coffee can taste so different.
One day last fall when we were working at home we decided we needed to leave the house and work elsewhere. Jeff found The Wormhole downtown and we had to go. It wasn’t necessarily about the coffee – although it was good – it was more about the atmosphere. I mean they have a full size DeLorean IN THE SHOP! Did you click the link? I mean, seriously, check it out!
Coffee in Miami
Having tasted coffee made with all types of beans, when we went to Miami we used our trusty restaurant finder app, Ness (you know, like Likeness) to help us find a good place. Eternity Coffee Roasters was where we wound up. They also sell single origin coffee beans, and roast them in house. We happen to arrive on a day when the owner was behind the counter so he gave us a run down on all the blends and beans he had on hand. The coffee I tried had some fruity notes and the location was perfect to sit down and work for a while. A very relaxing space in downtown Miami.
Coffee in Miami Beach
On our last day in Miami Beach we stopped off at Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar before heading out on our 6 hour trek across Florida. This place was pretty unique. They had Greek Coffee on the menu and I was curious, so I gave it a try. Just a different way of preparing it and it tasted pretty good. Give it a try if you’re ever in Miami Beach and walking down Lincoln Road – it’s just a couple blocks away.
Coffee in San Francisco
While we were in San Francisco earlier this month we were looking for a good place to work and I thought I found THE place thanks to Ness, but when we got there the atmosphere just wasn’t right. The chairs were hard and the room was painted a stale white, just not a creative space to be in, so Jeff found someplace new. Philz Coffee is where we wound up. It was a chain coffee house and that’s why I didn’t choose it but the combinations of drinks they produce seemed to be endless.
The only odd thing about Philz was that Jeff & I are used to asking for coffee for here. When ordered this way most coffee houses will serve coffee in a mug instead of a paper or plastic to-go cup. When we asked the barista at Philz if we could have it for here she immediately responded yes, like it was a normal request. Apparently it wasn’t though because our for here coffee came in the mugs you see above. Bonus points for Philz though because they added cinnamon to the coffee filter for mine which added a bit of extra cinnamon flavor while brewing.
Coffee in Portland
Now if you’re into coffee I’m assuming you’ve heard of Stumptown Coffee Roasters. They’re based out of Portland but if you’re in Chicago (or other specific locations around the country) you may find their beans being sold and their coffee being brewed. Specifically at Standard Market you’ll find their beans for sale and they also will brew you a cup while you shop.
This past weekend Jeff & I had a little pow-wow with Mike, a member of the Stumptown Coffee Roaster Wholesale Department. I guess you could call it a class, with all the knowledge Mike dropped on us about coffee. But really, Jeff and I learned so much from Mike about the history of coffee and how the entire process works. We discussed the life of a coffee bean and all the steps it goes through from farm to our home. Then Mike made us some stellar cups of espresso, a macchiato, a cappuccino and then thoroughly explained the difference between all the different options you can order. For the first time it all really made sense for me.
Now you don’t think I forgot about these beautiful little Paleo breakfast cakes did I?
This Banana Mocha Paleo Breakfast Cake goes fantastic with any brand of coffee you choose. You can serve the cake warmed up but we prefer to eat it cold. For breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner – it’s totally up to you (although I’d not recommend to eat it for dinner). :p
Give them a try. I know you’ll enjoy them. Maybe even add a batch to your 2014 Super Bowl Menu! :)
And if you’ve been to any of the coffee shops above, or have a recommendation for an Indie shop we must try, let me know! :)