The last thing I do before going to bed is set the automatic timer on the coffee pot. As much as I love a really good cup made from French press or an Aero press, my sleep-fogged mind just can’t deal first thing in the morning.
So I set the coffee pot and when my alarm goes off, at least the coffee is ready. After really struggling to get in a better morning routine since moving into our new house a few weeks ago, Aaron and I agreed we would BOTH get up at 6am together. We would have a few minutes to wake up without the demanding song of ‘I want cereal, never mind oatmeal… actually can I have eggs?’, grab a quick shower and be in a little happier more competent mind space when our kids got up. And it was working! For like 4 whole days! But then the kids somehow figured out what we are up to and started waking up earlier and earlier. Scarlet came and got in bed with me at 5:45 this morning. Hashtag awesome. Hashtag not.
I impulse bought an electric milk frother off Amazon and it has changed my coffee game. Dark early mornings don’t seem so bad when there’s a good cup of coffee to look forward to.
I decided I wanted to make lattes at home and because I love a little vanilla syrup, and I have a plethora of vanilla beans from a failed ice cream experiment from last summer, why not just make vanilla syrup? I started by making a simple syrup, which is really easy, it’s just equal parts sugar and water. I do 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. Set it on the stove and simmer on low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat off and scrape the inside of a vanilla bean into the syrup. Drop the whole pod into the syrup, stir well, put the lid on and walk away while it cools. Later, remove the pod and using cheesecloth or a fine tooth strainer, strain the syrup into an airtight container. You will still have little flecks of vanilla bean in the syrup, but the bigger pieces will all be gone. The syrup keeps in the fridge for a couple weeks.
For an at-home ‘latte’ when you don’t have an espresso machine:
- 8 ounces strong coffee. We buy Sumatra from Lincoln Avenue Coffee. They roast their coffee locally here in Yakima and we love them.
- 1/4 cup milk or half and half, steamed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean syrup
Pour brewed coffee into favorite mug, stir in vanilla syrup. Top with foamy milk. Pretend you are at Starbucks or some really great hipster coffee shop, pretend you are reading a book and are completely alone. Ignore screaming children while you enjoy your ‘latte.’