Move over pork belly, cardamom is the next big food trend. I know this for certain, because I recently saw the article, “5 Reasons to Love Cardamom“, via the Huffington Post. The post lists the many ways to use this floral spice and it just so happens that it came out on the very same day that I had bored my boyfriend with a lengthy discussion about my adoration for cardamom. So, after reading the article, I immediately informed him of my vindication by a major source, and also politely asked him to stop complaining about “the weird scent” in my oatmeal cardamom cookies. I’m on to something here, I just know it.
With that article still in mind, I woke up bright and early this morning. I remembered that there was a bottle of cardamom and a bag of fresh coffee waiting in the kitchen and I couldn’t help but experiment.
I first have to admit that I make a very good cappuccino. I don’t feel egotistical making this statement, only because I learned to make this coffee drink after months of working with Italian chefs, who constantly complained about cappuccinos in the Dominican Republic. I repeatedly practiced making the drink, which should have a balanced combination of espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk. It may sound complicated, but making a good cappuccino at home does not require an espresso machine with a bunch of fancy gadgets. If you don’t have a coffee grinder or an espresso machine, you can still make a cup that rivals many restaurants.
For my take, I use almond milk, instead of conventional milk, and I sweeten it with organic brown sugar or raw sugar. Now I’ve up and gone crazy, because I also had this early morning idea of adding whole cardamom seeds, fresh out of the pod, into the coffee filter. The result? Fragrant, flowery coffee which added a special note to an early morning cappuccino. So, after a successful experiment, here is a quick guide to how I make my cappuccinos (with cardamom!) at home.
A quick guide to making a cappuccino scented with cardamom at home:
1. If you have a coffee grinder, grind up some fresh coffee. If not, please do not keep your ground coffee in the freezer or in the refrigerator. Buy small amounts of coffee at a time and keep it at room temperature in a cupboard.
2. I make my coffee using a greca, or a moka in Italian. It’s a percolator and my mother taught me to fill it up with water only until the filter’s bottom stick touches the liquid (my mom makes amazing coffee, by the way). Next, carefully pack the coffee into the filter, pressing down with each spoonful. Then, add the seeds of two cardamom pods to the top of the coffee. Close the percolator as hard as you can and set it over low or medium low heat. My mother taught me that low heat allows the coffee flavor to develop more, versus zapping the water with high heat.
3. As soon as you hear the sizzle of the coffee rising through the reservoir, turn off the heat and set aside.
4. Heat the almond milk in the microwave until it’s steaming, about 1 minute or so. Once it’s hot, give the milk a quick whirl with this Aerolatte, a great little tool for frothing milk at home.
5. Select a beautiful coffee cup (because yes, it does make a difference). Add the hot coffee to the cup.
6. Use a spoon to add the frothed milk on top of the coffee. Then add the rest of the milk, which should still be hot and steamy.
7. Dust with cinnamon, add some organic brown sugar. Stir and enjoy a flowery new way to start your day.