While we were at home social distancing in the beginning of the pandemic, we couldn’t resist the allure of creating a novelty coffee drink (easily) in our own homes.  Not being able to go out and procure a locally crafted latte to help us get through our day means that we must come up with creative ways to enjoy a special treat.  Since many folks are already spending more time in the kitchen, we went ahead and made a couple recipes to share and enjoy.

This first recipe is a take on the coffee trend, Dalgona Coffee, or whipped coffee.  With just a few ingredients, you can make a smooth, whipped-texture coffee that is surprisingly wonderful.  A couple notes: We use sucanat rather than regular sugar for the molasses flavor it lends. We decided to reduce the sugar and add vanilla, because…vanilla.

Vanilla Dalgona Coffee – serves 1

1 Tbsp instant coffee
2 tsp sucanat (or up to a 1 Tbsp to taste)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk of choice (iced or hot)
boiling water

Add instant coffee, sucanat, and vanilla into a small bowl.  Add 1 Tbsp boiling water to the bowl and whisk vigorously.  If you don’t want to whisk until your arm is sore, feel free to fire up your hand mixer.  After about 1-3 minutes, you should have a super fluffy, thick mixture.  Pour 1 cup milk of choice into a glass and add ice.  Scoop your coffee mixture over the top of the milk.  Glorious.  Stir it all together and marvel at the smooth, drinkable texture.

The next recipe is for a Borgia, or orange mocha.  This is a great time for all the coffee making gear you’ve been collecting to shine.  What you’ll want is a way to make an incredibly strong brew.  An espresso maker is optimal, and in our case an Aeropress does the job quite nicely.  The ability to froth or steam your milk is also optimal, but if you don’t have a milk frother on hand, just heated milk will do!

Borgia (orange mocha) –  Serves 1

roughly 1/2 tsp orange zest (depending on how much orange flavor you want, this amount is up to you)
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. sugar (adjust according to taste)
tiny splash of vanilla extract
espresso or very strong coffee
1/2 cup steamed milk

Place orange zest, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla into a large mug.  Add espresso and stir very well.  Pour milk over the top of the espresso, and top with extra orange zest if desired, or whipped cream for a sweet, decadent treat.