First – once upon a time I had a Twitter account, but couldn’t really see the point in it, and thus it got all dusty and unused for a couple years. But I just discovered its purpose! To be constantly entertained by hilarious celebrities (including the ones who aren’t trying to be hilarious). Right? Right?
In any case, I’m charmed by it and if any of you bloggers use Twitter, I’d love to follow you as they say – feel free to leave your handle in the comments.
So as you may or may not know, I have a tumultuous relationship with caffeine. I love it – it hates me. The taste (and oh, the smell!) of a freshly French-pressed black coffee is one of life’s best treasures, but every now and then it turns me into Jittery Monster Allysia, not to be messed around with. Green tea, another love, does the same. So does decaf.
It’s been months since I’ve been caffeinated, and it took my body a month of re-calibration (read: a month of being tired every morning) to finally feel normal without it. And as tragic as life is without precious coffee, I’ve moved on. As it stands, my favorite caffeine-free sippers are as follows:
1. Rooibos (every now and then I’ll get a rooibos latte at a coffee shop). I prefer red to green, and I like it plain, though it’s great jazzed up with other herbs and fruits too.
2. Teeccino. Their French-style blend is my favorite coffee-like drink, made from roasted barley and chicory and other good things – it tastes better than it sounds. Not a coffee replica to be sure, but it’s dark, bitter and astringent so it calls coffee to mind. Plus it’s great with a splash of milk.
3. Kukicha. I was introduced to this in the Macrobiotics portion of my schooling, and it’s easily my favorite daily drink. It’s made from the twigs of tea plants, and it’s caffeine-free since all of the caffeine in tea is from the leaves. The taste reminds me of a cross between oolong and black tea.
3. Gojiccino. A magical treat! So magical! So complex! Exclamation marks! So magical, in fact, that we have to talk about it more in-depth.
There’s this company in Ontario that makes a product called Gojiccino, which I accidentally discovered at a restaurant called Fresh. You use it as you would an espresso shot in a latte-type drink – a shot or two in some steamed milk. It kind of blew my mind. Naturally sweet but not sugary, it’s toasty and bitter, with strong caramel tones, and a magical somethin-somethin that I just can’t place, that piece of complexity that makes the drink intriguing and addictive.
And then I had to go home and make it myself. The concept is simple enough – toast some goji berries, blend them into a thick liquid with a little hot water, strain, and voila. It’s not quite as awesome as their product, but that’s because they use magic. So for those of you who don’t have this drink available near you, rest assured you can do up a delicious home version before it becomes available across North America (here’s hoping!).
No recipe this time, just a general method. Toast some goji berries on a dry skillet for 15 minutes or so, until they’re soft and dark (even burnt in places).
When it’s blended, strain the mixture so it’s smooth (I use a nut milk strainer bag, but a fine mesh sieve should work in theory, it would just be more time-consuming).
That’s it! Heat up some milk and add a spoonful of the goji mixture to it. Enjoy immensely. And support a great Canadian company! It should be noted that I’m not affiliated with them in any way – this post comes from a pure love of gojiccino.