If you’ve just come for the recipe then scroll down, and you’ll find it at the end of the post.
For everyone else – of all the things I’ve had to give up, due to the injury to my jaw joint and nerves, the thing I still struggle with having given up most is coffee.
I’ve always adored coffee – and I take it black, no sugar and very strong. I love everything about black coffee – the silky black-brown liquid, so deep it could be leading directly to hell; the smell – ah the smell! How even to describe the smell of coffee? Perhaps it’s the smell of mysterious sensuousness in Eden. And the taste – woodsmoke laced with dark chocolate and the sultriness of an oncoming storm.
And that’s before we’ve even begun to consider the caffeine kick, the legal stimulant that it turns out is actually good for you.
I still find it difficult to walk by the coffee section in supermarkets. Tea branding either opts for cheery and jumping-up-and-down-for-your-attention, with talking monkeys or hearty, flat-capped cartoon Northeners; or trying to impress by being imperial (do they still call Ceylon tea “Ceylon” tea or have they figured that one out yet?) – and neither do much for me. But coffee branding … coffee knows it can afford to play it cool and so the branding is seductive, sophisticated, enigmatic. The golds, the bitter chocolates, the jewel colours of the packaging …
… all the places the coffee beans come from, speaking of lush, exotic heat – Colombia, Java, Ethiopia (which no longer exists, but strangely Ethiopian coffee still does) …
… and the intriguing flavours they’re laced with, inviting you to taste, just a sip, come on, just one sip – maple walnut, black cherry, French vanilla or …
Damn, but I miss coffee.
So I had to do something. I had to try to find some acceptable alternative, something that would give me at least some of the pleasure of coffee. And then I formulated Caffee, which really hits the coffee spot.
The chicory root is a powerful prebiotic and gives the beautiful colour of black coffee, and some of the taste – but immediately after the pleasant taste there’s an insipid wateriness to it; and that is what the peanut butter powder is for: somehow it shores up the chicory root and gives body. And then the maca powder is to give the kick I so miss from caffeine.
In a mug, add 2 heaped tsps Whole Earth ‘Organic No Caf Coffee Alternative (made with barley & chicory)’, 1 heaped tsp peanut butter powder and 1/2 tsp maca powder. Pour over boiling water, stir – then do the sensible thing, because caffee mouth burn is no nicer than coffee mouth burn, and wait a few moments until it’s reached drinking temperature.
Then relax, drink and prepare to be really active in about 15 minutes.