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    Chilly Fall Weather Brings Out My Craving For Warmth And My #LavazzaPassion (Salted Caramel Mocha Mockuccino)

    Lavazza Caramel Mocha CollageAre you excited for the change in weather? The nights get a little longer and colder each day it seems. As the leaves start to change and the Fall wardrobe begins to make it’s appearance (I love Fall clothing more than anything I think), you get to feeling the need for a little bit more comfort, right? You want to have some hot soups, warm scarves, fire places…and warm, tasty drinks. There’s just something about warm coffee on a chilly night that seems perfect. And who doesn’t love that same delicious coffee in the mornings? You know, the mornings where you are half-awake, running to get the kids out the door and get ready to blog (is that just me?). You refuse to remove your robe and slippers and getting to any outside chores will have to wait just a bit more. No one can argue that…be honest…LOL.

    While I do love my tea, there’s something about coffee that’s just so warm, rich, and fulfilling…plus you can’t really deny that fantastic boost it gives you just when you need to wake up the most. I don’t drink black coffee, but coffee drinks with milk, some sugar, some pizzazz…I can really get behind. I enjoy experimenting with all the different ways to drink coffee, too…drip, French press, espresso, latte, cappuccino, all of it. They all have such different character and flavor, it’s amazing it’s all based on the coffee bean! It also helps a lot that Bill loves any and all coffee…in just about any form.

    I know that there is a pretty wide range in quality when it comes to the brand of coffee itself. It’s like wine in that way. I’ve tried a number of coffee brands so far and I always seem to come back to Lavazza. It’s said to be “Italy’s Favourite Coffee”…who can argue with the Italians about coffee? The flavor is rich, and just seems to taste how coffee is supposed to taste. While Lavazza creates excellent espresso, I love all the drip coffee blends they offer probably a little bit more. I’ve enjoyed the Gran Aroma, Classico, Perfetto, and Gran Selezione, but tend to go more for the Gran Aroma most of the time. It’s a medium roast that’s smooth and easy to drink. The Classico is another great medium roast that’s a little bit richer. Bill loves the intensity of the dark roast Gran Selezione, but also loves that the Peretto espresso roast’s dark and velvety nature reminds him of a good espresso. Plus, at $7.99 (Gran Aroma) to $9.99 (Classico, Perfetto, and Gran Selezionefor a one pound bag…it’s a steal for coffee this well made!

    logo-lavazzaAs part of my search to explore coffee to see what I like and what I really love, Bill and I have been playing around with some different coffee drinks to see if there’s something that really hits home as being the perfect go-to coffee drink to pull on those Fall days and nights.

    Through trial and error, this is what we’ve come up with the Salted Caramel Mocha Mockuccino. Let’s take a look and what goes into it and why I chose it:

    1. Fall is the ideal time for some hot coffee to warm us up through the transition from the summer heat. No iced here.
    2. I just have to have some milk, especially frothy milk goodness is also a key to the overall taste and feel of the drink. Let’s be honest here, whole milk is just the way to go, but any milk is great. The creaminess is just the perfect compliment to the acidity of the coffee. There are a ton of great frothing options, but we like using the BonJour Milk Frother because it’s hand held, it’s easy to operate and works well every time, and is easy to clean.
    3. Our coffee of choice for this drink would be the Perfetto. It is  the ideal selection given that the taste and feel is similar to espresso…perfect for a latte or cappuccino.
    4. There’s has to be a touch of sweetness to cut into the boldness of the coffee, especially for me. To remind us of one of our favorite fall treats, the Caramel Apple, we decided to us some Monin Caramel syrup. It has great flavor and really compliments the coffee and milk so well as the majority of Monin Syrups were designed for use in lattes and mochas. It comes in sugar-free versions, too. I tend to go easy on the caramel since the flavor is very strong…at most a tea spoon per coffee cup-sized portion.
    5. What does well with caramel? Chocolate does…you knew that, didn’t you? We added some Godiva Hot Cocoa Powder. You can add a little bit more powder if you really like chocolate, but I think a tablespoon or tablespoon and a half per cup is more than enough.
    6. Now for the kicker…add in some sea salt and/or Kosher salt. It may sound odd to some of your, but the mix of salt and caramel is an absolute home-run. The balance of the salt and the sweet is the perfect balancing act. It’s kind of like Sweet and Sour chicken or even adding lemon to soda. Please, don’t go crazy, but get the best salt you can…it makes all the difference in the world.
    7. To be really decadent, top this all of with some whipped cream, a touch of cocoa powder, some chocolate syrup, and a sprinkle of salt. It’s just the “icing” on the cake, and who can really argue with whipped cream and more chocolate? Plus the texture of the salt and cocoa powder really works so well with the smooth richness of the whipped cream and milk foam.

    That’s pretty much my new go-to coffee drink this Fall. I would love to hear if you have had anything similar and what you thought about it? Sure, it may be a little much, but we don’t use too much of each ingredient. You can play with all the ingredients and use as much or as little as you’d like. I think it’s a great combination and the perfect way to spice up your coffee and ease the transition into these shorter, colder days and longer nights. Happy Fall and Happy Halloween!!

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    Bill is a guy trying to be dad and husband while running an online media company at home with his wife. Piece of cake.