In the spring I entered a signature drink contest to win a trip to Hawaii with Daylight Mind Coffee Company at the Specialty Coffee Asociation's Global Expo. For a chance to compete you had to write an essay about "What Kona coffee means to me"
Here is what I wrote:
I've never been to Hawaii. Growing up in the Midwest, Hawaii always seemed like such an exotic distant land, a foreign country really. When my aunt Janet would go visit Maui, or "island hop" she would always bring my grandmother back some Kona coffee. It's because of these trips that I was able to experience any kind of specialty coffee as a child. I still remember the mason jar that my grandma would refrigerate the ground coffee beans in. An idea that I would find cringe worthy today, but grandma thought it made the beans last longer. I remember the smell of the open jar filling the kitchen with a rich nutty chocolate aroma just after one of my grandmother's famous dinner parties. The first time I was allowed to partake in after dinner coffee with the adults I was 8 years old, and it was Thanksgiving. In our family Thanksgiving dinner is served as a late lunch so, there was no fear of the coffee keeping me up past my bedtime.
It is this moment, this memory that has brought me to coffee as a profession. In this memory I am home. I am sitting around my grandmother's dining room table with everyone that I love and we are drinking the most delicious drink. There is the greatest comfort in this feeling and I feel that comfort every time I serve a drink, every time I take a sip and every time I smell a coffee that has a strong nutty chocolatey aroma. I want to share that comfort with everyone I meet.
If it were not for this memory of Hawaiian coffee I may have chosen a different path. And, I can't really imagine my life without specialty coffee. So, thank you Hawaiian coffee producers, and my aunt Janet for bringing a little bit of paradise to my small hometown of Danville, Illinois.
I was invited to compete with 14 other people from across the country. I didn't win but I had a lot of fun shaking up shakeratos for the judges and coffee producers from Hawaii. It was a good reminder of the stories that can be told through coffee and what a deep impact other people have in our lives.
The Sheridan Street Shakerato
You will need: Cocktail shaker, ice, two shots of kona coffee espresso, Hawaiian coffee blossom honey, macadamia nut milk.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice, mix in two teaspoons of coffee blossom honey with 1 ounce of macadamia nut milk. Pull you two shots of kona coffee espresso (if you don't have an espresso machine at home you can make some strong coffee in a french press or a Bialleti but only use two ounces) Shake mixture, strain, serve up in a rock's glass.