Moroccan Mint Latté

March 26, 2017

The weather is nice enough that a light sweater doubles up as a coat. On trees, tiny buds have made way to burgeoning blossoms in every color. I feel especially giddy when I pass the rose colored one on my way to the market. Just a little while ago, the trees seemed bleak in their nakedness, each branch looked stark against the grey sky but now they're adorned in flowers whose beauty inevitably evoke contentment. I'm not one who believes that weather should dictate mood but when the sun's rays stroke your cheek and you skim by the violet wildflowers dotting the sidewalk, a cheery smile forms effortlessly. Spring is so here, and not just by calendar. It's really here. I can tell by the perky chirps I wake up to from the flock of birds who like to hang out by my kitchen window. But with all this changing of season, I'm still holding onto cozy.  

Depending on where you live, you might find that to be pathetic. I get it. I've done crazy, endless, bone-chilling, icy winters. After all, I'm from Montreal, I know winter. But, still, there's something about being huddled indoors with your hands wrapped around a warm drink that feels so comforting, I'm holding on a little longer. And it works here in Jerusalem, when the evenings are cool enough for this soothing Moroccan Mint Latté.
I first had this drink at Coffee Bean almost nine years ago, on one of my first visits to L.A. My mother-in-law took me for a stroll at The Grove and though I can't remember much else from that visit, this drink stands out. Maybe because it was the first of many warm gestures from her or purely the combination of mint, warm milk (I took soy), and chocolate that left an impression. Regardless, it gets to the core of cozy. So now that I'm a touch too far away from the convenience of a coffee shop run, I tried recreating it at home. It's obviously not a match. I don't have a fancy machine to froth the milk, nor do I stock the chocolate powder Coffee Bean uses, but it's perfectly delicious with the more simple ingredients. The combination of minty tea and chocolate milk, create a delightful drink that may be close but lighter than hot cocoa and in a better way. It's not intensely chocolate, but somehow the flavors meld so delightfully that you might also be holding on to cozy just a little longer.

Moroccan Mint Latté
yields 1 large cup

ingredients
1 mint tea bag
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon heavy cream
splash of vanilla extract
cocoa powder, for dusting

directions

Bring water to a boil. In a large cup, place the tea bag and pour the boiling water until the cup is 3/4 cup full. Let the tea steep for a few minutes. Meanwhile, warm the milk in a small saucepan on medium heat. Don't let it boil. Mix in the cocoa powder and maple syrup and stir well to combine. Remove from heat and pour into the tea. In a small bowl, beat the cream and vanilla. Pour into the tea, dust with more cocoa and enjoy warm. 


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