Thursday, June 18, 2009

Unmasking The Flavor Infidels

In the comments to the previous post about Cappuccino Brownies, a disturbing trend has revealed itself. (OK, maybe two comments isn't really a trend, but it's a significant sampling of my audience.) Anyway, two of you have objected to adding coffee flavoring to chocolate.

Those two people (I'm lookin' at you Vince and John), have it wrong, wrong, wrong. The actual rule (because I say so), is:

- Adding flavoring (other than inebriants), to coffee is an abomination and not to be tolerated.

- Adding coffee flavoring to other good things is often wonderful and experimentation is to be encouraged.

Hazelnut Coffee = Gak!
Coffee Ice Cream = Yay!
Coffee with French Vanilla = Get out of my house.
Coffee Peanut Brittle = Come sit next to me.

Chocolate covered espresso beans! -- Case Closed!
As a side note, (just because my brain farted up this memory), coffee in a production office and on set is basically a constitutional right. Lots of items on my petty cash may be disallowed, but coffee is damned inalienable right. (True, some accountants won't accept Starbucks' receipts, but that's an understandable prejudice.)

I was on a show a number of years ago and there were five choices of coffee in the office -- each flavored with some nasty substance. So I went out four or five times-a-day and bought $3 cups of coffee from the chi-chi joint across the street. Of course, I turned in the receipts.

When the accountant asked why I couldn't just drink the coffee in the office, I pointed out that none of the coffee we had was coffee-flavored. She told the office P.A.'s to get some plain-old unadulterated coffee. Sure enough, the next morning, there was a can of honest-to-goodness coffee in the kitchen.

Two days later, I turned in another 20-odd-dollars worth of receipts for coffee from across the street. The accountant was...displeased with me...until I pointed out that the P.A.'s had neglected to buy a can opener.


Jeff Hentosz said...

You are, of course, entirely accurate in your assessment and spot-on with your examples (well, except maybe with the coffee ice cream; anything coffee-flavored oughtn't be consumed if much colder than room temperature. Minor quibble).

As I speak for Good Heartland American Values here, the case is not only closed, but nailed shut. Good work, East Coast Elitism.

Chris said...

Damn straight Nathan. My wife insists on drinking her D&D coffee with hazelnut, blueberry, cinnimon, etc. It's just not coffee that way!!!

vince said...

On the whole coffee thing we shall simply have to agree to disagree.

As to the story - funny!

Nathan said...


On this topic, I shall remain steadfast and unyielding.


John the Scientist said...

Vince, Nathan smokes. His tastebuds are trashed anyway. We're right.

Random Michelle K said...

As I said in the previous thread, a small amount of coffee/espresso actually enhances the flavor of chocolate.

I personally don't like things that are coffee flavored, because I DON'T LIKE COFFEE, however, adding a table spoon of espresso powder to chocolate goods does marvelous things to the chocolate.

John the Scientist said...

Well, Michelle, you are probably right. The difference between a medicine and a poison is the dose, after all...

Eric said...

You're only partially correct, of course. Adding coffee to chocolate is excellent, as you say. But while adding booze to coffee is preferred, a bit of hazelnut or French vanilla in your coffee can be most excellent. And many coffee shops offer various flavored coffee drinks--mint chocolate, vanilla, cookies-and-cream, etc.--in hot or frozen blends.

Nom, as they say, nom nom.

Indeed, mocha poses an existential question. Is it coffee to which chocolate has been added, or chocolate to which coffee has been added? The wise philosopher responds by saying "yes" when the barrista asks him if he'd like whipped cream on top.

As for chocolate-covered espresso beans: I agree the case is closed--one takes a coffee bean and adds chocolate, and it tastes wonderful (but I suggest moderation; I once had a friend who didn't realize they weren't mere candies and practically OD'd on them, ending up in cold sweats in a bathroom until the caffeine cleared her system). I assume this is what you meant, that chocolate-covered espresso beans are awesome, and yet they clearly repudiate your first tenet; one takes coffee and adds chocolate. One does not produce some kind of chocolate bubble or hemisphere and then painstakingly insert a coffee bean into the chocolate! "Aha!" I imagine you saying, "one takes melted chocolate and dips the bean, therefore the bean is introduced to the chocolate! PWNZD!" But I submit to you that this is clearly an incorrect assessment, an illusion--one starts with the bean, the bean is essential; one could produce the same product by painting the bean with melted chocolate onto the bean or spraying the bean with liquid chocolate. Dipping the bean is merely a convenient way to layer the bean, the proper starting point, with the chocolate, the yummy "adulterant."

You are clearly in error, and I expect to see a full retraction and apology, my good sir, and a deletion of your misleading post. Small children, old people, Fox News viewers and (occasionally) my cat all look at the internet and might be led astray by your slanders and deceit (in all fairness, my cat would likely be uninterested unless you posted your fraudulent "theory" in the form of a YouTube video featuring small, colorful birds, and he is not capable of engaging in web searches, although Microsoft's "BING!" may be on a user-friendly level for him). The very notion that someone might stumble across your vile lies while innocently seeking pornography makes my stomach churn, and I demand you take corrective action at once!

Nathan said...

Dear Readers,

Please excuse Eric. He's experienced a great trauma recently and is still recovering. We need to make allowances for the fact that recovery is a marathon --- not a sprint. That and his doctors are clearly trying to get his dosages balanced.

Some setbacks are to be expected.

To accuse Eric of being delusional solely on the basis of this one comment would be a disservice, both to him and to the fine medical practitioners of his area.

One day we'll all look back at his lunatic ravings and have a genial chuckle over it all.

Eric said...

Accuse me of being delusional solely on the basis of one comment? Ha! I'll show you! Fox News is fair and balanced! 9/11 was a hoax (the World Trade Center towers are still there, they've just been painted to match their surroundings)! Everybody at Dealey Plaze on 11/22/63 was armed except for Lee Harvey Oswald, who was then framed for shooting John Kennedy several hundred times from all directions! Governor Sarah Palin is a literate and highly-educated model of ideal womanhood! FDR not only knew about Pearl Harbor in advance, he planned it out--with the mayor of Venezuala! Fluoride isn't a commie plot, it's a MASONIC plot! George Washington was really a woman in drag and her teeth were made from the bones of a dolphin she bludgeoned to death with her bare hands and feet! Speaking of feet, all standard rulers are actually 11.356 inches in length! Illegal aliens keep stealing American jobs and should be sent back to the distant galaxy they came from! I was sent here from the future--no, not yours, somebody else's future--to warn you that llamas are stealing all of Earth's water! The Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre is a forgery painted by Pablo Picasso! Pablo Picasso was really George Washington, and she was still a woman (just very old)! All of Shakespeare's writings were really penned by L. Ron Hubbard! There's a really big snake crawling up your leg!

There! Ha! One post, indeed!

Jim Wright said...

Yes, Nathan, I saw that Eric is obviously suffering from some form of dementia brought on by his illness.

Possibly he is suffering from multiple personality disorder (note: as proof, his avatar looks nothing like what I picture him as, just saying).

Hold fast, brother Nathan, hold fast to the ideal of coffee flavored coffee.


Eric said...

Hell, Jim, unfortunately my avatar looks nothing like what I picture myself as. It's fatter and shorter, just for starters. Not to mention less dashing. Matter of fact, maybe Dr. Phil has the right idea and I should just replace the pic with one of some hawt lady.

kimby said...

mmmmmmm Coffee.
I am not much on the french vanilla/coffee variety, but I have been known to add a bit of Crown Royal or CC to my coffee now and then.

I would take coffee flavoured ice cream over the oyster sherbert that they made on Iron Chef America last night... Now THAT was gross!

Nathan said...

Touche' Eric. (Or as my Yiddish forebears used to say, "Tushy").

Carol Elaine said...

Eric is completely and utterly correct.

(Except the whole Fox News/Masonic/Pablo Picasso thing - need to cut back on your chocolate covered espresso beans, hon. Also, I like your avatar. You're cute!)

BTW, CuteFilmNerd drinks his coffee black and caffeinated, but it's got to be a flavored coffee. Hazelnut is preferred, though others will do. Flavored syrups are not acceptable.

Me? I drink decaf coffee more than caffeinated coffee because caffeine sometimes does unpredictable things to me. But I love the taste of coffee with cream and sugar (and often other flavorings).

MWT said...

Looks more to me like Eric's arm is working again. ;)

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that Jeff is wrong, wrong, wrong. Coffee ice cream, coffee yogurt, and coffee milkshakes/smoothies are awesome. So there. :p

neurondoc said...

Coffee ice cream, coffee milkshakes, flavored coffees, mocha, coffee or espresso-flavored brownies all = yum. So does coffee cake.

WendyB_09 said...

See, I KNEW I liked Eric for a reason, he understands the karma of a true mocha!!

I may just have to get a mocha frappacino tomorrow, it's going to be trying to hit triple digits for the first time this summer. and yes, for those of you keeping score, with whipped cream!!


Jeri said...

Eric, your avatar is fatter and shorter? I certainly hope so - I'd always envisioned you as taller than 100px.

Nathan, I agree with your original premise with the exception of mocha.

Dilettante's 72% dark chocolate mocha is an amazing drink - one that I have to battle myself not to buy every time I work in the Seattle office.

Random Michelle K said...

Well, Michelle, you are ... right.


MWT said...

Coffee cake is so not yum. It doesn't taste like coffee at all! I felt horribly cheated the first time I ordered some in a restaurant. T.T

Anne C. said...

I'm with Michelle. The only time coffee is acceptable at all is when a small portion of it is added to chocolate. The rest of the time -- gak!