22 Awesome Things: CoffeeWe believe that one of life’s simple – and greatest – pleasures is coffee. If you ask us, there’s nothing like waking up in the morning to the inviting aroma brewing from your kitchen or that first smell of the fresh roasted cup from your favorite café.

For coffee aficionados, it’s impossible to get by without at least one cup of coffee each and every day. It’s a ritual. We look forward with anticipation to that first sip to jump-start our day as soon as we get out of bed or when we need an afternoon pick-me-up.

It’s a mediation. We enjoy the chance to find Zen – a time to relax, reflect or recharge in the warm smells and taste. In fact, coffee time might be the most important part of your day.

There’s a whole coffee culture out there. People who love coffee are passionate about it and not afraid to show it. They savor their cups. Look around next time you’re in a cafe and notice the conversations, laptops, music and books. Maybe these coffee crazy people are onto something. Give it a whirl and embrace the experience.

The warm cup. The rich smells. The moment to pause or to connect.

And there’s no better time for coffee than the holidays when the varieties are fun and delicious. Peppermint Mocha, Gingerbread and Eggnog lattes, oh my! Starbucks commemorates the occasion by pouring their delightful creations into the iconic red cups. You know what we’re talking about. And some local coffee shops – the Coffee Beanery and The Coffee Shop (Gilbert) follow suit with delicious holiday coffee drinks.

Mmm…my red cup is waiting.

Want to make your own? Try out one of our favorite coffee drink recipes.

Peppermint Mocha Recipe

Ingredients:
• 3 tablespoons powdered baking cocoa (we recommend Ghirardelli-sweet ground chocolate and cocoa powder)
• 3 tablespoons warm water
• 1 1/2 tablespoons peppermint syrup (do not use extract) or crème de menthe
• 4 ounces coffee or espresso
• 12 ounces steamed or boiled milk
• Whipped cream
• Red sugar crystals or candy cane

Directions:
1. Combine 3 Tbsp Baking Cocoa with 3 Tbsp warm water to make into a rich syrup. Pour into a 16 ounce mug
2. Add coffee or espresso
3. Add Peppermint or Crème de menthe syrup
4. Steam or boil milk and add to remainder of cup
5. Garnish with whipped cream and sugar crystals or candy cane.
6. Enjoy!

What does your coffee ritual entail? Do you look forward to some quite time with a book and your Cuppa Joe? Do tell!