Maybe you don't think you're a coffee junkie. I know I am, and gave up trying to deny it long ago. I suggest you do the same, and enjoy the drink with abandon!
Not that I'm trying to enable you to continue what some may consider to be an unhealthy addiction, but... yes, that's exactly what I'm trying to do.
Coffee is as rich as its history. The drink was America's slap in the face to British tea, and today it is assuredly the most popular, delicious beverage (and often meal replacer) in the country.
Coffeehouses and cafes have been around for over five hundred years, according to a Wikipedia article about coffee history, so I'm happy to admit they have their place. In fact, the ambiance of a neighborhood coffee shop can serve as part of the addiction - stop in every morning, say your hellos, and consume with ferocity (cleverly disguised in a relaxing lounge chair).
The downside is, you end up spending a lot of money drinking outside your house. You forget how easy it is to make it yourself, and that learning creative ways to get similar specialty coffee results on your own can be fun.
in Lake Saint Louis, while a chain coffee joint, definitely has its perks, the best being a drive-thru window. Catch them at a relatively slow time and you're in and out as quick as any fast-food restaurant, but with your unique beverage of choice in hand. Starbucks will surely make anything you want, even down to the temperature of your steamed milk.
is another popular Lake Saint Louis mainstay to get your fix, and you get free refills. Still, the chain feel to the place has a tendency to become old hat.
Wentzville Donut Cafe has (clearly) more of a focus on donuts than coffee, though its coffee is still great. It's included in the list because it's a different option and it serves up one of the best pairings with coffee of all time (bear claws, mmm).
So who made it to the top of our 'Best of' list this week?
That honor goes to...Cappuccino's Coffee Cafe in O'Fallon!
- It's a stone's throw away from Lake Saint Louis on Bryan Rd, making it almost a part of the city itself (we can pretend a little).
- When I walked in and requested a unique coffee specialty, the super-friendly staff immediately offered me a Snickerdoodle Latte. Enough said.
While normally I am a coffee purist and prefer it served in a cup, straight from the pot or carafe, I have to say it takes skill and practice to make coffee taste exactly like a certain kind of cookie.
Yes, I suppose I could have just eaten a snickerdoodle cookie with my old coffee standby, but where's the fun in that? Let the people make what they're good at, I say!
Cappuccino's also serves a full breakfast and lunch menu and a variety of other drinks, but I harp on that snickerdoodle latte - it was the perfect combination of cinnamon, vanilla and sugar.
I'm still a big do-it-yourself fan, so here is an easy snickerdoodle coffee recipe for you to try at home.
The best way to make this drink consistently is to create a standard mix you can use over time. There are tons of recipes for this online, but my favorite is from food.com (recipe below).
Snickerdoodle Coffee Mix
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup powdered milk
1/2 cup vanilla powdered creamer (non-dairy)
1/2 cup cocoa
3 Tablespoons instant coffee
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Mix ingredients together and store in airtight container. When you're ready to drink it, add 3 tablespoons of the mix to 3/4 cup boiling water.
A great idea for summer coffee galore at home is to make coffee ice cubes. Blend them with your favorite flavored creamer or with just milk and sugar to make iced coffee at home.
When you brew the coffee to make the ice, add some spices to make it even more fun, like cinnamon, cocoa powder or nutmeg.
Despite the great homemade snickerdoodle coffee idea, Cappuccino's definitely beat me this week in the recipe war - and after having such a great experience there, I'm so glad they did!
Next week: Where in Lake Saint Louis (and nearby) has all the spicy food gone?
Calling All Chefs: Think your restaurant has what it takes to make it to the top of our 'Best Of' List? Got a trick up your sleeve even the best home cook can't replicate? Let us know, and we'll come check you out!