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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Celebrate National Coffee Day

By Debrah Elliot

Every day can be a celebration, and there is certainly a special occasion set for each day of the year. If you are a big coffee lover, it might interest you to know that there is even a day for you. International Coffee Day is an annual event, occurring each year on September 29. Consider the following ways to celebrate coffee.

Begin by brewing yourself a perfect pot of coffee. No matter what type of coffee pot you have, everyone needs two of the same ingredients: great coffee beans and great water. When it comes to coffee, there are a million different kinds, but rather than buying ground coffee, buy beans and grind them up just before using. Be sure to grind the coffee according to the type of coffee maker you have. For example, French press coffee grinds need to be coarser than drip coffee.

If you have tasty tap water, don't hesitate to use it, but make sure it is cold. You also can use filtered water or bottled water, although distilled is not recommended. The correct ratio of coffee to water is about one or two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. Once the brewing process is complete, be sure to drink it as soon as possible. Coffee is at its best within about 20 minutes of brewing. If you plan to keep it longer, remove it from the burner plate on your coffee maker and store it in a thermos. Otherwise you risked having coffee with a burnt flavor.

But that's just your schedule for the morning. When the afternoon arrives, you definitely need to head to the best possible coffee shop and order up something special. In Los Angeles, that would be Island Monarch Coffee. Located in Culver City by West L.A. College, this coffee shop is special for a number of reasons. For one thing, the beans are the highest quality gourmet beans from Colombia and Hawaii only. They also arrive while they are still green and then are roasted after they arrive in L.A. to maximize freshness and flavor. Each cup of coffee is individually brewed, so you know you are getting the freshest coffee in town.

Of course, Island Monarch Coffee offers more than just a delicious cup of coffee. There are plenty of espresso drinks, from a shot of espresso to drinks with milk and coffee, such as a caf mocha or cappuccino. There are also plenty of iced beverages made from the same fresh coffee. If you bring along someone who doesn't like coffee, there are gourmet teas, ice tea and smoothies. All of the water-based drinks include water that has been filtered at least seven times to filter out any impurities and reduce salt. So no matter what you order, it is sure to taste fantastic.

At the end of the day, you definitely will need some type of coffee nightcap. You could enjoy a nice scoop of coffee ice cream drizzled with some chocolate syrup and a sprinkle of crushed chocolate-covered coffee beans. Another option is a slice of tiramisu, which contains lady fingers soaked in espresso and liquor. Still another option would be to enjoy a steaming cup of Irish coffee, which includes Irish whiskey, sugar, the best strong black coffee and a topping of whipped cream. No matter what drinks and treats you choose, you will be sorry to see your day of coffee come to an end.

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