simple spiced mocha

Many years ago I saw an episode of Giada De Laurentiis making Spicy Mocha. I was fascinated even if it was too compliacted for early morning coffee.

One of my favourite things to do when staying in a hotel is make hot chocolate coffee.

About a year ago I realized I could make my own spiced mocha … even early in the morning!

One of the things I’ve been trying to change is how much sugar I use in my coffee. I began to change my habits by just store-bought hot chocolate mix. Yes, it likely contains more sugar per serving than I was using, but the first habit was to measure what I added. Now I keep emergency hot chocolate mix but I’ve found using less-than-i-expect cocoa mix and sugar doesn’t even require me to add milk!

I’m still using my aeropress, but that’s about as fancy as I get with my coffee. I buy store-brand pre-ground espresso!

One little trick I learned a while back was to brew with the aeropress inverted.

Yup, like this:


Why? Well, I had some filter leakage issues and this method is much better early in the morning when my eyes are barely open.

To make a single serving of my early morning spicy mocha:
into the mug

  • 1 serving of hot chocolate mix


  • ½ TBS cocoa
  • ½ TBS sugar

into the aeropress

  • 1 aeropress scoop worth of coffee.
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 dried chile. I’m still experimenting to find what kind I like best.


Pour boiling water into the aeropress like normal (I rarely bother to preheat the brewer) and mix (I use an orphan chopstick). Also pour a splash into the mug and mix into a loose slurry. Now you need to fish out the cinnamon stick, I have heatproof fingertips so i use the chopstick to get it up high enough i can grab it without putting my fingers into the coffee (though that would really wake me up!). Then I screw on the filter/cap and flip it onto my mug and press. I then dilute with water and if it’s still too hot a bit of milk.



For reasons I don’t understand beyond I’m obviously not yet awake — a few weeks ago I began to photograph and share my weekday morning mug of coffee with the tag #morecoffee. I really don’t drink a lot of coffee, just a mug and a half a day. About a week ago, I began to include part of my task list for the day in the frame. I mostly use instagram because it is easy to use for distribution and the silly filters help me crop out and blur stuff pretty easily. So I send it to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Flickr. I apparently impress people with the hour at which we generally wake (it’s later than when we lived in Brooklyn).

Quite a few friends have commented that they love my mug collection or they are fascinated by my task lists. So I keep taking these photos to the amusement and bemusement of my husband each morning.

I really don’t know why I started or why I continue to do it. Believe it or not, there are positive benefits from this odd habit. Now I actually write the list out in a timely manner each day (whether I look at it later is another story). In order to take a clutter-free photo, the dining table has remained semi-clear (though I need to wash that table-cloth). And I no longer burn my mouth on that first sip since it cooled slightly while I was fussing with the photo (then it gets microwaved an hour later).

#morecoffee with task list