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

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.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cleo Coyle's Fast Frappuccino

First, a happy contest announcement. We have a winner! Ellen of Jacksonville, Florida, is this week's winner of our $25 gift card for Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and gourmet food store. More information on how to enter this week's drawing is at the end of this post...

Well, it finally arrived--the sticky, sweltering oven that is August in New York. On these warm, airless days (so still that nary a gum wrapper stirs), a hot cup of coffee holds less than its usual appeal for me. My solution: chill it!
Despite making my living by the bean, I am not a fan of traditional iced coffee (too watery), but I am a huge fan of frozen coffee frappes.
ou may know this drink by any number of names: Frappuccino is the most common. That's the term Starbucks trademarked after buying the Coffee Connection chain in New England, which had previously trademarked the term.
Or maybe you know the drink as a Coolatta (Dunkin' Donuts version) or a Mochalatta (Cinnabon's version). Then there's the very latest entry into the coffee bar business: McDonald's. Their McCafe frozen coffee drink is simply listed on their menu as an Iced Vanilla Latte or Iced Mocha.
Well, now it's time for the Chilly Cleoccino! Yes, my own easy (and smart) home version of this popular summer drink. Why so smart?...The typical first step in a drink like this is to make "double-strength" coffee. The reason is to keep the coffee flavor from being diluted by the additoin of ice. My solution? Don't use ice. Make ice out of your coffee. Even better, use your leftover Joe for this recipe...

To get my Iced Cappuccino
and Iced Mocha recipes,
click here.

The recipe will appear in PDF format.
You can save it to your computer or print it out.

If you'd like more of my recipes or would like to find out more about
the books in my Coffeehouse Mystery series, then click over
to my virtual home at

One last note. My husband and I often save up coffee all day long to put in our ice trays. The best way to do this is to pour the dregs of each pot into a special container that you can store in the fridge. Keep it there all day (or even two days), continually adding the remnants of your coffee pots until you have enough leftover Joe to fill an ice tray.

My final tip for these hot August days: CHILL, BABY! CHILL!

~Cleo Coyle
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing...

ENTER TO WIN OUR CONTEST! You must enter NEW every week. Our weekly Mystery Lovers' Kitchen contest randomly awards one of our site visitors a $25 gift certificate to the Williams-Sonoma kitchenware and gourmet food store. Entering is easy: Just sign in to this blog and leave a comment or send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to Good luck!