March 04, 2013

When good coffee inspired me...

Sometimes, in this fast-moving world, full of artificial flavors, profit-based goals, and counterfeit reality, all we we need is just to slow down for a second, take a few deep but mindful breaths and start searching for something real. Something meaningful. Something genuinely pure and sheer. Clear sunshine, perfectly ripe fruit on a branch, juicy tomato, luscious strawberry, deep dark chocolate bit, or a cup of beautifully fragrant coffee.

Good coffee. Cause good coffee heals. Good coffee can make wonders.

Especially when it comes from loving hands. From people who care about their product, appreciate it and try to make it as great as possible. People who are always learning. From life and from their mistakes. Sometimes they fall down, but this doesn't break them. They find the strength to rise up again and to make  the world more flavorful. More decent. More coffee-infused.

"Taste Map" micro roastery

And you know what? I know these kind of people and I'm extremely happy to have them here in Lithuania. It's just two of them - two adorable coffee enthusiasts - living the life of coffee each and everyday. IevaDomas and their micro-roastery "Taste Map". There they roast, they taste, and caress their coffee like a baby. They roast, they give you to taste and makes you fall in love with every flavor penetrating deep into your body. Flavor you never knew existed. Flavor of real coffee. Responsible coffee. Coffee at its best moment.

Even though "Taste Map" is only a few months old, Ieva and Domas are not new in this business. They've been working with coffee for more than 5 years now, beginning with various barista duties that later on turned into participation in the world barista championship. 37th place for a country that doesn't have a genuine coffee tradition is quite an achievement, don't you think so? Either way, this championship changed everything. After visiting Columbia's coffee plantations and taking a closer look at the hard work locals have to undergo, at their suffering and injustice they are being put at by large corporations, these two compulsive coffee lovers decided to do something more than just stand behind the counter at the ordinary coffee shop. At the place where just a few by-passers realize how to treat their coffee right. Just the way it deserves to be treated.

So, they started buying green coffee at fair price, roasting it to perfection and then selling to a customer who cares about the product. Who doesn't hold on to big names or shiny labels, but who respects the bean and  does not want to settle for something only average. A customer who expects his coffee to be right in all senses.

It's true, they are not big yet (!). But honestly, they don't want to be neither big, nor extremely prosperous. Mass productions more often than not leads to various slips or laps, whereas the "Taste Map" is based on pursuit for a viceless quality. A pure and good coffee, that's been fully enhanced with beautiful flavor and  absolute authenticity. In other words, true coffee with all it has best.

"Taste Map" micro roastery

"Taste Map" micro roastery

"Taste Map" micro roastery

"Taste Map" micro roastery

"Taste Map" micro roastery

"Taste Map" micro roastery

Oh, my! I got so inspired by these two that even today I'm not fully recovered from positiveness they've been sparkling at me when we were talking. While sharing their story they also treated me with luxurious coffee (quite generously, I would say) - Guatemala Finca La Bolsa Maragogipe Micro-lot  whose yield in 2012 was only 15 bags worldwide. Pretty impressive, isn't it? Its's a unique but powerful coffee with exquisitely sweet and sourish notes.

I also brought home a package of Guatemala Cuilco Huehuetenango - extremely well balanced with quite impressive chocolate aftertaste. The very first second I sampled it, the magnificent aroma instantly inspired me. Enchanted. It infused me with a tremendous eager to bake while trying to incorporate these outstandingly brilliant coffee notes into something sweet and crispy.

And since I've been thinking about making biscotti for past few weeks, so biscotti it was. Coffee Biscotti slightly sharpened with a few chocolate drops.

Probably it would've been enough if not my granola reserves coming to a definite end. So, without much thinking, I decided to transfer that very same coffee & chocolate combination into crispy breakfast treat which, I could say, turned out pretty amazing - delicately sweet, but full of flavor and soft coffee tweaks. Besides, if you mix this granola with milk, you'll feel a flashback of soft cappuccino coming out from your bowl. Believe me, you will!

All in all, that was my sincere tribute to "Taste Map" and its fabulous coffee which made me thrilled and very happy! It still gives me some life lessons.

Coffee Biscotti with Chocolate Bits

 Coffee Biscotti with Chocolate Bits

2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp ground coffee
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground coffee in a large bowl and stir to combine. Mix in the chocolate.
In another bowl, combine the eggs, butter and vanilla extract. Whisk to fully combine. 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix to combine until a rough dough forms. 
Dump the dough onto a work surface and knead a couple of times or until the dough comes together, adding extra flour, if necessary
Divide the dough into half. Form each half into a small loaf and place them onto the cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes reversing the pan halfway through. The loaves will be firm to the touch and just slightly browned
Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 250 F (120 C) degrees. When the loaves are cool enough to touch, transfer them on a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, slice the bars on an angle about 1/2 inch (1,5 cm) thick to form the biscotti. 
Lay them back on the cookie sheet with either cut side down and place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  
The cookies will take on the slightest bit of color and feel firm and dry. 
Let them cool on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container.

Coffee Granola

Coffee and Chocolate Granola

3 cups (270 g) rolled oats
1/3 cup (~50 g) almonds, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp ground coffee
1/3 cup (80ml) strong espresso
1/3 cup (70 g) dark Muscovado sugar (you can use granulated white sugar as well, but ir will not give that nice caramel-molasses flavor as Muscovado does)
2 Tbsp grape-seed oil
1 oz (30 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, and ground coffee.
In a small saucepan, slightly heat the espresso, Muscovado sugar, and oil, just until the sugar is melted.
Mix the liquid with oats, and transfer this whole mixture on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring once in while and making sure oats are not burning.
When granola is nicely crispy, take it out from the oven and, as long as it is still warm, mix in the chocolate. It will melt and beautifully cover the oats.
Let it granola cool fully, and then transfer into an air-tight container.

Coffee Granola

More biscotti?
- Almond, Olive Oil and Orange Biscotti

More granola?
- Granola with Tahini and Molasses
- Olive Oil Granola with Honey, Salted Pistachios and Dried Apricots
- Tropical Granola

More coffee?
- Coffee Frozen Yogurt
- Coffee Meringues


  1. I don't drink coffee but I will take it in a cookie form. :) With a cup of tea...


  2. Hi! I’m new follower of your blog and would like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!


    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  3. That's too good, mate. I just imagined how would it taste like. I will definitely try this at home someday.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Finn Felton
    Kopi Luwak

    1. You're welcome ;)
      Hope you'll like it!

    2. hey migle. I have to ask you one thing. I was about to follow one of your recipes, which is called "coffee and chocolate granola". But there's one problem. I couldn't find grape seed oil and I can't manage that particular sugar, "Dark Muscovado". I couldn't find it nowhere. I would have tried normal white sugar but then I thought, without having proper ingredients would it be worth trying? What should I do, I'm confused.

    3. Hey, Kopi!

      I usually say about all the possible substitution in the recipe, but this time I somehow totally forgot... sorry for that!

      Instead of grape seed oil you can definitely use any other flavorless oil (sunflower would work just fine!). Whereas, when it comes to Muscovado sugar, I really liked it here, cause it gives that nice caramel-molasses tone. But if you cannot find it, you can take the regular white granulated sugar and you might not even feel any difference at all.
      After all, this recipe is all about coffee, and sugar is needed only for sweetness.
      If you have honey, feel free to make it a substitution for sugar ( 1 part sugar equals 1 part honey ) - it will enhance coffee just as nice as Muscovado does ;)

  4. Migle, thanks very much for stopping by and linking in with Food on friday. I am blown away by all the different breakfast dishes - over 170 now!

  5. Nuostabi ideja ideti kavos i granola!

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