(Cooking) Oaxacan Chocolate Coffee

Mayan_people_and_chocolateWith the pumpkin spice craze poised to take over the culinary imagination of our coffee shops from now until November 1st, I’d like to present an alternative. My go to beverage is Oaxacan Chocolate Coffee.

Mexico is one of the largest coffee-producing countries in the world, and the largest producer of organic coffee, accounting for 60% of world production. The vast majority of Mexican coffee, and particularly organic coffee, is grown by small farmers in the southern-most states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. The Oaxaca region is also known for seriously dark chocolates and earthy chiles like Ancho and Chipotle. Many of their recipes combine the coffee, chocolate and chiles – or get ground into all kinds of mole powder and sauce.

What I like about this recipe is that it makes a lot – then you have a sealed container to use for several weeks. When I first made this up I was a bit hesitant to use ancho chile powder in my coffee, but a little goes a long way – and it gives the recipe that ‘hint of heat’ and it partners with the cinnamon to make a delicious cup of coffee. I make batches of this all winter long, often gifting it to coworkers or neighbors.

The ingredients are simple –

  • 3 tablespoons chopped Mexican chocolate (such as Abuelita or Ibarra)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup dark cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla powder
  • ⅜ teaspoon (or a pinch) ancho pepper powder, or more to taste

Put all these ingredients into a small jar, and shake to combine. Keep refrigerated.

To make a spicy cup of coffee, make your morning coffee, and add two heaping tablespoons of this mixture to your coffee and stir.