Before I really get into coffee, coffee was just coffee. I could certainly distinguish bad coffee from very good coffee. However, I never really made the effort to seek it out. When I remembered to drink coffee it would be with plenty of sugar and often milk, so the coffee itself hardly mattered. More than anything, I’ve always loved the smell of coffee — be it instant, gourmet Four Barrel, or an Italian cappuccino.
Perhaps, in addition to traveling to eat, I also travel to drink coffee. If presented with an opportunity to take a break in the middle of my day for one single thing. I’d choose a nice little cafe, a mocha (with extra foam!) and a sweet little something to nibble on.
In fact, this lavender mocha recipe was inspired by my trip to Korea. A quick search for breakfast places brought up this fantastic spot. Often, when I eat at a new restaurant, I’m not only inspired by the things I eat but the things I don’t eat and pine after on the menu. In this particular case, a sweet morning drink sounded too heavy. Alas, I returned home with dreams of a lavender mocha, less sweet and made with dried lavender flowers steeped in milk versus a syrup-based drink.
There is something about a rainy, gray day that makes sipping on this lavender latte extra cozy. Bonus points if you can wear leggings and listen to a relaxing playlist. Sweet and creamy, floral and light. It delightfully incorporated in the creaminess of the milk while the lavender, as the main aroma, subtly compliments the citrus and chocolate flavors of the espresso.
- your favorite coffee beans (preferably not pre-ground, though you can use the pre-ground stuff if you don’t have a coffee grinder at home) – enough to make 4 shots of espresso
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups of low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers
Depending on your coffee maker, you’ll want to make 4 shots of espresso (2 per mug). Add the milk and dried lavender flowers to a small saucepan and gently warm it over very low heat. You don’t want to boil the milk, just get it to a warm temperature. Once warmed, remove the milk from the heat and let the lavender flowers steep in it for about 5-10 minutes.
Obviously, the longer you steep the lavender, the stronger the flavor will be. Use a strainer to strain out the dried lavender leaves and toss them. After you’ve made your espresso (or while it’s dripping, depending on your machine), steam the strained milk. The nozzle of your steaming wand should just barely dip into the milk. You don’t want to just plunge it in there; it will scorch the milk.
Divide the espresso between two mugs. Pour in the milk and scoop any extra foam on top. Serve with sugar, to taste.
We’re really stoked with the balance of sweet and floral of the Lavender Mocha. Come try one and tell us what you think! We hope that you like them! Share with us your version! Take a photo of your version of Ochazuke, send us an email, tag us on Instagram, tweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!