The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins with the discovery of America. Until 1492, the Old World knew nothing at all about the delicious and stimulating flavor that was to become the favorite of millions.

The Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella got its first look at the principal ingredient of chocolate when Columbus returned in triumph from America and laid before the Spanish throne a treasure trove of many strange and wonderful things. Click here

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Bean to Chocolate  |   What is Conching?  |   Automation Does the Job  |   A Sanitary Atmosphere
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Enjoy Gourmet Flavored Coffee On A Budget

Ah, the delightful aroma of brewing coffee fills the morning air and as you eagerly await your first cup of your favorite flavored java. Flavored coffees beans, ground gourmet coffee, flavored syrups, flavored creamers and coffee whiteners and instant coffees are expensive but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy fancy flavored coffee even on a budget. It's super easy to make your own flavored coffee with baking extracts, flavorings and spices. Yes, that's right, baking extracts, flavorings and spices. Extracts, flavoring and spices aren't just for baking cakes and cookies they can also be used to enhance the flavor of a wide variety of sweet or savory dishes and beverages too.

There are a number of different flavors available through gourmet specialty food sources. Imagine tantalizing your taste buds with a different flavor of coffee every day of the week! Almond coffee on Monday, Butter Pecan coffee on Tuesday, how about Chocolate Cherry on Wednesday, Thursday it's Hazelnut coffee, Irish Cream coffee on Friday, Vanilla nut coffee on Saturday and on Sunday you could indulge in Cinnamon coffee. Or maybe you are hooked on one flavor. Here is how to quickly and easily make a pot of your favorite flavored coffee. Set up your your coffee maker as usual then simply add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of your preferred extract or flavor to the coffee grounds in the filter basket before you brew the coffee. Adding an extract or flavor to the coffee not only enhances the flavor and aroma but seems to mellow it a bit as well.

To add some spice to your coffee add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the grounds before brewing. Or try a pinch or two of other common baking spices like cloves, nutmeg or allspice that you have on hand. Adjust the amount of flavoring to suit your own taste.

What if you want one flavor and someone else wants a different flavor? Not a problem, and you won't need to make two pots of coffee either. You can add a few drops of extract to each cup of already brewed plain coffee that way everyone can have the flavor they want. Gourmet flavored syrups are pricey as well as sweet so if you prefer your coffee un-sweetened you won't like these much. When you add flavor, extracts and spices to your coffee it doesn't effect the sweetness so you control can how sweet your coffee will be for the perfect cup of joe.

Flavored coffees beans are extra work because you need to grind the coffee yourself, these and ground flavored coffees are both costly, your choices could be limited by available flavors and your budget. International type instant coffees contain sugar and artificial coffee whiteners, flavored creamers and coffee whiteners are loaded with calories, saturated fats and preservatives. These are not very suitable for diabetics or people who are watching their fat or calorie intake. Go ahead and go crazy. Experiment with different flavor combinations, by making your own gourmet specialty coffees you can afford to have as many varieties as you want. The flavor combinations are only limited by your imagination.

Since extracts, flavoring and spices don't add any extra calories to your coffee you can indulge guilt free.

Melody Thacker creates informative web sites and markets Watkins products part time. Learn more uses for extracts, flavorings and spices at Have You Been Searching For Watkins Products? and find more tips on frugal homemaking at The Homemaker Helpers


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