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Beverages & Drinks 



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I do not often make beverages outside of coffee, tea (click on "tea" to go to the page on tea), iced tea or herbal brews. In Guatemala, I learned to make a beverage called "Horchata" which was delicious.  Following different diets, a few smoothie type beverages have come up. Some of these are really good. As for drinks (alcoholic), there are all sorts out there, and my favorite drink is wine; red wine most particularly. Sangria as I was taught to make it is very sweet and potent! Indian Lhassi is a refreshing beverage I made for one of my Indian dinners. I welcome any input on great beverages. 

I briefly discussed my introduction to how we get our coffee on the Welcome page. When I moved to Guatemala, just turned 20 years old, I really didn't like coffee, unless it was so loaded with sugar and cream that it was no longer coffee! After just a few short months I learned to love coffee - made as they did there.  When brewing coffee, most particularly in a percolator, but in any pot that repeatedly washes hot water over the grounds, the more often the washing over the grounds, the more bitter the coffee. 

In Guatemala, they had tiny little pots with a filter set on top (see below), similar in concept to those little aluminum single cup mechanisms sold here, except the place to put the coffee grounds was much deeper. Over the grounds, they poured just-boiled water, trickling it over  by tiny increments, until there was about a quarter cup of what they called "Essencia" (or coffee essence). They would use a very tiny amount of the essence in a coffee cup, and pour hot water over the essence until the cup was as full as you wanted. In effect, "reconstituting" the very concentrated essence. This way, the coffee was not only palatable - but unlike anything I had ever tasted.



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Coffee drying patio
Photo above: Huge cement coffee drying "patio" at the Coffee Plantation-  the angled tin "roofs" were lifted at sundown, and all the coffee scraped under cover for the night, to be brought back out into the sun the next day.


Getting to observe all the work that went in to making coffee beans ready for exportation in their "green" state (unroasted), was an amazing journey for me. My father-in-law also taught me to roast the green coffee, and gave me tips to know exactly when to stop roasting so it wouldn't burn.

They used a big old skillet, usually outside over an open fire. I did this in the house, but there is a lot of smoke involved, so all the doors and windows were opened! I couldn't do that with smoke detectors, here.  He showed me to stir it constantly, until it darkened, and as soon as one bean could easily be crushed between two fingers, take it off the heat!
My Dad, who accompanied me on my first trip to Guatemala, also came home completely hooked on this new method of making coffee.  Previously, he would drink his coffee with cream and sugar, but now switched to only sugar, since the coffee tasted so much better. 

He brought home a little pot, and Mom would now make their coffee this way all the time.  She would also make a lot of the essence, a bit at a time, and filled a little jar with it.  Dad would take this with him to work, and by adding some of the essence and hot water, could have a great cup of coffee at work also.


Guatemalan style coffee pot
Guatemalan style coffee pot

BEVERAGES & DRINKS recipe list

Banana Date Smoothie
      very rich - a meal by itself!
Banana Strawberry Smoothie
     a variation on the Banana Date Smoothie
Cafe Brulot
     a Louisiana tradition, and mighty fine!
"Champagne Pink" Currant-ade
     a great use for tart Champagne Pink Currant Dehydrator Jam
Horchata
     a wonderfully refreshing beverage from Guatemala
Masala Chai
     a lovely spiced chai tea
Rosa de Jamaica
     refreshing beverage made from hibiscus calyxes
Tea Article
     a comparison of different types of tea
 
 
 

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