Showing posts with label coffee drinks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coffee drinks. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

World's Best Copycat #Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte by author Cleo Coyle #coffee

Here in New York City, we have a "world's best" for just about everything. Okay, maybe not a world's best baseball team. Not this year, anyway... 

Congrats, Kansas City!

On the foodie front, however, you can always find someone here in New York trying to claim the title for the world’s best edible, like...the world's best pizza, for instance, or cheesecake, or Cronut.

Or, thanks to a ginormous Elf...

The World's Best Cup of Coffee!

* * * * *

Okay, I admit it, today's recipe may not produce the World's Best Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, but it's pretty darn good. Even better, you can make this one at home, with your own ingredients, and save a little money. 

You can also control the amount of sweetness and whipped cream in case you’re counting calories and not actually putting that off until after the New Year (like the rest of us).

Cleo Coyle's 
Pumpkin Spice Latte

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.

Every fall, Marc and I enjoy the flavor of pumpkin in so many dishes—even in our coffee mugs. With this recipe, you can whip up a pumpkin spice latte in your own kitchen, with or without an espresso machine.

While some coffeehouses use only pumpkin spice syrup, we like to use real pumpkin. The flavor from the real pumpkin tastes more natural and creates a lovely drink. We hope you enjoy it. 

Our warmest wishes to you all! 

~ Cleo

To download a free PDF 
of this recipe that you can print, 
save, or share, click here.

Click for free PDF.

Yields: 1 serving


2 teaspoons pumpkin purée (canned is fine)

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (*see my spice note)

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1½ teaspoons granulated sugar

1 shot (3 tablespoons) hot espresso

or double-strength coffee (**see my coffee note)

2/3 cup cold milk

Cinnamon stick

Whipped cream and a bit more pumpkin pie spice (for topping)


Step 1: In an 8-ounce mug combine pumpkin purée, 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and sugar. Pour the hot espresso (or double-strength coffee) into the mug. Stir well to blend the flavors.

Step 2: Froth up the milk using an espresso machine steam wand. OR simply warm the milk in a saucepan over very low heat (do not allow milk to boil or you’ll get a scorched taste) and then froth with a whisk, hand blender, or electric mixer.

Step 3: Using a spoon, hold back the foam in your pitcher or saucepan as you pour the steamed milk fluid into the hot espresso. Add a cinnamon stick and stir to mix the flavors. Top with foamed milk, whipped cream, and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.

*SPICE NOTE: Pumpkin pie spice is available in most grocery store spice sections. To make your own, simply mix the following ground spices for 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

**COFFEE NOTE: To make double-strength coffee in an automatic drip coffee maker, French press, or pour-over cone, double the amount of ground coffee that you would normally use. For example, instead of 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water, use 4 tablespoons and...

ICE IS NICE: Thanks to our Facebook friend and fellow author Wendy Wagner for her recent suggestion. Using some leftover pumpkin puree, she mixed up a batch of our Pumpkin Spice Latte and froze it in ice cube trays. Now she can pop some cubes out and microwave them in a mug whenever she feels like a nice, warm cuppa pumpkin spice joy! Or...she might try this idea. Throw the cubes in a blender with some Baileys for a chilly pumpkin spice cocktail. 

Experiment at will and...

Drink with fall joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on Facebook here. * Follow me on Twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Just Released!
the NEW Coffeehouse Mystery...

Now a Mystery Guild Selection

And a Baker & Taylor Fall Trends Pick

A culinary mystery
with more than 25 recipes!

To learn moreclick here.

This culinary mystery
includes more than 25

 delicious new recipes! 

Download the free
Recipe Guide by...

* * * 

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

The Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter

Fun Contests, New Recipes, 
Book News, Videos, and more...

To subscribe, click here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to make a copycat Starbucks Frappuccino and Test Your Coffee IQ with Cleo Coyle

Pop Quiz
What is a barista? 

a) a lawyer from England
b) someone who prepares alcoholic beverages 
c) a fashionable garment
d) a person who loves burritos
e) someone who prepares coffee drinks

A major coffee company asked 2,000 Americans this very question. As the author of a series of mysteries set in a landmark coffee shop, I was naturally interested in the results. So how did they do?

11% reported that a barista was a lawyer from England. 

7% thought it was someone who prepares alcoholic beverages. 

6% said it was a fashionable garment. 

1% reported that it was a person who loves burritos. 

41% said they did not know. 

34% got it right.

All of you hardworking baristas out there should not be disheartened. Two out of three people probably can’t tell you the difference between a neurologist and a podiatrist, either. But, hey, that’s where books can help. 

Slang, of course, is an important part of any novel’s setting, whether it's cop jargon or medical terminology, and I always enjoy reading a story in which the author is teaching me something new about a culture or region. 

For our Haunted Bookshop Mysteries, which feature the ghost of a hard-boiled PI, my husband and I researched the patois used by gumshoes of the Black Mask era. For the Coffeehouse Mysteries, however, we made like our ghostly detective (Jack) and haunted coffeehouses. 

For those of you who enjoy coffeehouse culture already, you can test your java IQ with my glossary below. For those who don’t have a clue what the difference is between a "dry" cappuccino and a "skinny" latte, my list of terms will give you a head start on some basics and an easy recipe that you can make in your own kitchen. May you...

Drink (and read) with joy!
~ Cleo

Some Basic 
Coffeehouse Terms
from Cleo

Shot–a single serving of espresso, often in a small cup called a demitasse.

Doppio espresso–two shots of espresso; “Doppio” in Italian literally means double.

Espresso–An Italian word that literally means “express,” the term refers to a method for making coffee. Espresso usually starts with a darkly roasted coffee (an “Italian” or “espresso” roast), which is ground very fine and packed tightly into the “portafilter” handle of an espresso machine. A small amount of very hot water is forced through these packed grounds at a high pressure. The contact time between the water and the coffee is very short, about 25 seconds. When an espresso is made correctly, you should see a reddish-brown “crema” at the top of your cup. This coffee foam is the single most important thing to look for in a well-made espresso. It tells you the oils in the coffee have been released and suspended in the liquid. (If you’re in France, you might hear customers ordering “café noir,” which is what they call a single shot of espresso.)

Latte–(“lat” for short.) All Italian-style drinks in a gourmet coffeehouse start with at least one shot of espresso, and the latte is no exception. Short for “café latte,” this is the most popular drink served in American coffeehouses. It’s made by adding steamed or hot milk to one or more espresso shots. Americans top their lattes with foam. Italians do not.

Cappuccino–(“cap” for short.) Like a latte, this drink starts with espresso, but much more foamed milk is added than you’ll find in a latte.

Dry (or foamy)–as in “I’d like a dry cap.” Dry means you’d like more foamed milk in your drink.

Wet (or flat)–as in “I’d like a wet cap.” Wet means you’d like less foam in your cappuccino and more steamed milk instead.

Mocha–chocolate variation of a latte

Vanilla latte–when you add vanilla syrup to a plain latte

Caramel latte–when you add caramel syrup to a plain latte

And so on: Many more variations can be made to the latte by adding different flavored syrups. The above flavors are the most popular. Others commonly found in American coffeehouses include hazelnut, almond, raspberry, Irish crème, peppermint, cinnamon, and Valencia orange. 

Steamers–a drink of steamed milk using flavored syrup and no espresso.
More fun coffeehouse terms include:

Red eye–aka Speed Ball, Depth Charge, Shot in the Dark, Café M.F. This drink works on the same principal as a boilermaker. It’s a shot of espresso dumped into a cup of brewed coffee. When you really need that caffeine buzz, this is your drink.

Why bother–a decaf espresso, as in: “One ‘why bother,’ please!”

Harmless–a drink made with decaf espresso and skim milk.

Skinny–coffeehouse jargon for requesting skim milk in your drink instead of whole.

Breve–as in “I’d like a breve latte or I’d like a breve cap.” This means that you would like half-and-half instead of whole milk in your drink.

Pull–as in “short pull” of espresso or “I pulled a doppio espresso for him.” Espresso machines once had handles, which the barista pulled to begin the process of forcing the water, under high pressure, through the espresso. The term stuck, even though modern coffeehouse espresso machines no longer function the same way.

Ristretto–In Italian, ristretto literally means “restricted,” and that’s a good way to think about a restricted, or short shot of espresso. It’s made with less than the usual amount of water, essentially stopped or pulled short. (You might also hear the term “short pull.” This produces an even more intense flavor than a regular espresso shot.)

And, finally...

You can be your own barista
with this frosty, refreshing 
recipe for a copycat "Frap"...
coffeehouse slang for
Frappuccino, of course!

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle's
Chilly Copycat "Frap"


Makes one 8-ounce serving

1/3 cup coffee (4 coffee ice cubes)
1/3 cup milk (low fat is fine)
2 teaspoons sugar (or more if you like your drinks sweeter)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (makes a mochaccino)
whipped cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Fill an ice cube tray with leftover coffee and freeze. Place four of your coffee ice cubes in a blender. Add milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and (optional) cocoa for a mochaccino. Pulse the blender to chop the coffee cubes into fine particles. You can create an icy drink with small chips (like a frozen margarita) or run the blender full speed until the mixture is completely liquefied yet still cold and frothy. To finish, pour this frosty refresher into a glass mug and top with whipped cream.

Drink with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Brew to a Kill named a Must-Read Mystery + Comment to Win an NYPD T-Shirt from Cleo Coyle

This is a comment-to-win week! 

Because the NYPD plays an important role in my Coffeehouse Mysteries, I'm giving away this NYPD Crime Scene Investigator T-shirtMore info at the end of this post. 

But first some happy news....

A Brew to a Kill 
named a
"Must-Read Mystery"
 of the Month at B&N

I recently learned that A Brew to a Kill was named a "must-read mystery" for the month of August by B&N's mystery book buyer Jules Herbert. Not that this is on par with finding a cure for cancer, but it's a nice little bit of caffeinated news, and I'm happy to share it with my readers. If you're among them, I want to thank you for helping this series even make it to book #11. Cheers!

     As for my recipe today, it's something I use to keep me awake at the keyboard during these dog days of summer. What is it? No, not coffee, but you're close. It's...

Coffee Milk. 

I know it sounds odd, but I assure you it is one delicious and revitalizing drink. It tastes like a tall, cold chocolate milkshake but with a deep, earthy dimension and a sweet little kick of caffeine.

I mentioned this drink in book five of my series, Decaffeinated Corpse, when I introduce a struggling fine arts painter named Dante Silva who goes to work for my amateur sleuth (Clare) in her coffeehouse. 
My recipe for Hong Kong-style egg custard
can be found in the recipe section of
A Brew to a Kill
. For a look at the recipe
section's contents, click here.

Dante is a fairly minor character in many of my books. In my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill (just released last week), he plays a much larger role. He even takes a trip to New York's Chinatown as a sidekick to my amateur sleuth as she follows a lead to a Cantonese bakery and a delicious, warm tray of egg custard tarts.

As it happens, Dante was born and raised in Rhode Island, a state which declared Coffee Milk its official drink. This little point of coffee trivia was brought up by the characters in Decaffeinated Corpse and that's how Coffee Milk ended up being included in the book.

So here is my recipe, along with a shout-out to reader Nancy P. who recently reminded me how much she enjoyed this drink after learning about it through the book. 

In these last, long days of summer, there's no cheap kick like a sweet, cold coffee drink...

Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Milk


Ice cold milk
Coffee Syrup (recipe follows)

Directions: Pour Coffee Syrup into a glass of cold milk (about 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces or to your own taste). Stir and enjoy!

You can purchase Coffee Syrup from companies famous for making it like Rhode Island's Autocrat. Or you can make your own.

In the photo to the right, you'll notice what looks like a pancake syrup dispenser. But that's not maple syrup in there--it's coffee syrup! (What did you think? It is chez Coyle, after all.)

We love this easy-pour method of storing the coffee syrup. It's a convenient way to add it to milk or fortify hot coffee. Try splashing some into your own morning joe for an improvised red-eye. It's delicious, and my husband and I really do enjoy it. What follows is the recipe I use to make my homemade coffee syrup.

To print, save, or share both of these recipes in a single PDF document, click here. 

When the syrup thickens enough to coat the
back of a spoon, it's finished cooking.
Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Syrup

Makes approximately 1 cup


1 cup of ground coffee
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar

Step 1: Brew coffee (regular or decaf) in your drip maker at the ratio of 1 cup of ground coffee to 2 cups of cold water. Depending on your coffeemaker, your final yield will be a little over one cup of very strong coffee.

Step 2: Place all of this very strong coffee into a saucepan. Over medium heat, slowly stir in one cup of sugar. At no time should you allow this mixture to boil, which may give the coffee a bitter taste.

Step 3: Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly to help dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clearly simmering, continue cooking for about five minutes, stirring often and not allowing the syrup to boil. The mixture will thicken a bit as you cook it.

Step 4: When the syrup is done cooking, remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool. Coffee syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, for up to a month.


Leave a comment on this post
and you will be entered automatically to win
this NYPD Crime Scene Investigator T-shirt.

100% cotton, sizes S to XXL.
For more on the exact sizes, click here.
All profits go to the NYPD Police Museum.

Deadline to comment:
Monday 8/20

 1:00 AM (Eastern)

12:00 Midnight (Central)
11:00 PM (Mountain Time)
10:00 PM (Pacific)

Winner chosen by Random Number Generator
and announced on my blog Tuesday: 8/21

Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.

Friend me on Facebook here.
Follow me on Twitter here.
Good luck!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.