Although most of the coffee consumed every day is in beverage form, a tiny yet fascinating universe of always-interesting, often-bizarre coffee creations exists elsewhere. Coffee is among the world’s most popular exports, drinks and products, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before people started thinking “outside the mug.”
On The Acidic End of The Spectrum…
Coffee is such a versatile flavor that it can sometimes provide a connection between otherwise disparate foods. Espresso balsamic vinegar is a recent culinary experiment that is proving to be a triumph of ingenuity—an unusual-yet-effortless marriage of flavors that could garnish a nearly limitless array of foods. It pairs well on a wide variety of foods and flavors, including ice cream, brisket, pizza, smoked gouda, chocolate mousse and oven-roasted chicken.
Here’s a recipe featuring espresso balsamic vinegar from gourmet food website SonomaFarm.com:
Espresso Balsamic Fruit Dip Recipe
Yield: 1-1/4 cups
Prep Time: 10 mins
1C dairy sour cream
1/4 C packed brown sugar
2T Espresso Balsamic Vinegar
Assorted fresh fruit
- In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, brown sugar, and espresso balsamic. Cover and chill the dip for at least 2 hours or until serving time (up to 24 hours).
- Stir before serving. Serve with a tray of assorted fruits for dessert or as an appetizer.
Unbeknownst to many, coffee grounds make excellent soap—their rough texture helps to scrub away unwanted odors, replacing those smells with the fresh, sharp scent of coffee. Here’s a fairly standard recipe for those just looking to dip their toe in the water:
Coffee Grounds Soap (from PopSugar)
8 ounces glycerin soap
1/4 C used coffee grounds
1 t vanilla
1 t powdered milk (not essential, but helpful for substance)
- Create a double boiler by filling a small saucepan with 1 C water, topping with a metal or glass bowl, and placing over medium heat. Add the soap to the bowl and let it melt completely with the help of the steam from the boiling water below (1-2 minutes).
- While the soap is melting, lightly grease four rounds of a muffin tin and place a small spoonful of coffee grounds at the base of each. Once the soap has liquefied, turn off the heat, add the vanilla, one teaspoon of the coffee grounds and the powdered milk, and give things a stir.
- Carefully ladle the soap into the muffin tin, filling to the top of each round. Allow the soaps to cool for several hours, and then pop them out with the help of a butter knife. Wrap in parchment paper.
For a more extreme (and definitely more masculine) version of the product, which also features walnuts, check out The Art Of Manliness website.
Now you’ve made soap, why not fix that small crack in your dark wood dresser? Mixing 2-3 tablespoons of instant coffee with just enough water to make a thick paste (for wood with red tones, add a few drops of iodine), use a disposable plastic knife to fill the crack. Remove any excess with a damp cloth. Let the solution dry completely, then buff it with furniture wax.