Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I LOVE iced coffee, even if it has to be decaf!

I am allergic to caffiene.  Yup.  I would say it sucks, but breaking out in head to toe hives and itching like crazy, sucks even more.  Thank goodness there's decaf!

I used to dislike coffee so much, I couldn't even stand the smell of it brewing!  However, working in Scotland, Oklahoma and Canadian coffee shops, that had to quickly was an easy job to get when you're younger or in school, so I had to learn to at least stand the smell. (I still swear that one of the worst smells when recovering from a hangover, is coffee and NOT bacon!)

Over the last few years, I have come to introduce coffee to myself, as Graham is a HUGELY particular cappuccino drinker.  He likes his VERY dry, with the thickest, most fluffy white foam ever, such little milk, and decaf as well.  I usually drrink a latte with whatever flavour I can get that will drown out the coffee, or if in Crete, I will get the most milky, delicious frappe's you will EVER see/taste.  And I don't mean frappe's as in blended ones, but hand shaken, over ice, with crunchy demerara sugar at the bottom!

I haven't drank much coffee lately, until we went to Thailand.  I was so jet lagged, and although decaf, I still like coffee drinks to "wake me up" sometimes- silly I know, as there isn't any caffiene, but it's a mind over matter thing!  Well, Thailand had these little stands, almost like lemonade stands all over the place, which served iced coffee.  As English isn't a language commonly spoken there, especially with street vendors, I had no idea what I would order, how strong it would be and if there would be any chance of it being decaf....

I had one, in the middle of a 40 degree day, while touring a gorgeous temple and I was HOOKED!  I mean HOOKED!  I had never had anything so strong tasting, but so lightly milky, and only moderately sweet!  Usually all the things that I didn't like about coffee.  It was shaken, poured over so much ice and the most amazing drink I have ever had!  Problem being, 30 minutes later, I started to itch worse than I have ever itched before.  Shortly after that, I had bumps all over my arms, legs and inside my mouth.  You'd think I would have stopped drinking it, but it was SO good and I was already covered in hives, so why not have another???  SO I DID.

Two weeks in Thailand and MANY iced coffees later, I learned to take anti-histamines (had to anyways, and the chilis were causing MAJOR hives and canker sores- allergic, but everytime I would say no, just the juice/seeds from the last dish they made in a pestle and mortar or wok would get into my dish and I'd have hives...the price your body pays for foreign food and being exposed to issues in another country you can't really avoid).  It didn't always help, but it made it more tolerable, and I would usually drink a lot of water after, so it was worth it.

One of my favourite memories of Thailand, was revisiting the lady who made us our first iced coffees and trying to get her to show us how to make them at home- all without her understanding any English!

I wrote down the recipe in the little journal I carried, and I make it DECAF at home, trying to limit myself, as finding the nescafe mix here is REALLY hard, and we only flew 50 home with us!  It seems complicated, but once you have the ingredients and make it once a week or more, it gets so quick and easy!  My sister-in-law Stephanie, loved enjoying one when we had everyone over for wedding brunch, and it was nice to share a new joy with friends and family!


Come on over, and I'll make you one!  I will NOT however, send any supplies home with you :)


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