The thing about coffee – why we love it so much

When it comes to coffee, many of us have a love-love relationship with it. steaming pot of coffee Meaning, even when it’s bad, it is still kind of good.  Of course we may prefer a good brew and blend but if all that is available is day-old mystery blend that’s been reheated from the campfire…well…

So what is it about coffee that we find so pleasing?  And when does it happen?  I can’t recall meeting any cowpoke  who adores coffee prior to around the age of 15.  There has been quite a bit of research done to ascertain exactly what the obsession is surrounding this brown liquid.

When most people are introduced to coffee, many often pleasant memories are produced.  The smell of coffee in the morning, during meals, as grandma chats with her friends playing cards.  The memory is different for everyone, but the concept is the same.  Distinct aromas accompanied with good feelings pave the way for the future coffee drinker cattle wrangler.

Often, when coffee is first actually consumed, it is loaded with cream and sugar to soften the bitterness flavor that comes from roasting the beans.  Even the most meticulous roast carries these bitter undertones.  As babies, we are biologically programmed to like ‘sweet’ flavors, in order to crave our mother’s milk.  Soon after, we begin to admire ‘salty’ flavors, as more foods are introduced into our diets (and beef jerky is a staple, afterall).  ‘Sour’ and ‘bitter’ are more of an acquired programming that takes place as our palates become more adventurous.  

A large part of drinking coffee isn’t only about the flavor, but how the olfactory system works in conjunction with taste buds.  As warm steam rises through the sinuses with each sip, a pleasurable response is produced in association with the smell.  

Regardless of why you drink coffee – be it for the flavor, the smell, or the caffeinated boost, know you are not alone in the coffee pleasure zone.  We tip our hats to you, coffee lover.

The Problem with Cowboy Rumchata

Every once in awhile, a cowboy is known to have a little nip in their coffee.  Of course, a straight shot of rum is one way to go, but if you feel like something with a little less venom than a rattlesnake bite, creamy Rumchata is a good option.

Your next question may be, “How exactly do I make Cowboy Rumchata with the supplies that I have in my chuck wagon?”  Well, there are options.  We have tried them out for you.  The good news is, that it can be done with some more-or-less ‘usual’ kitchen suspects.  However; a trip to the local General Store may be in order if you have a hankering for something more modern.

The first round included some key ingredients, that seemed to carry some essential qualities through the rest of the trials (more on that later).  These ingredients are:  

  • cinnamon sticks
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • vanilla extract
  • rice milk
  • white rum

cowboy rumchataThis version was created by heating one cup of rice milk in a saucepan on the stove along with one cinnamon stick.  The milk was brought just to a boil, and removed the heat.  We then added ⅓ of a cup sweetened condensed milk, and one teaspoon of vanilla.  Stir well.  Once the mixture has cooled a bit, add rum to taste.  1/2 of a cup seemed to be our sweet spot in giving a kick and not overpowering the other flavors, but more or less could be in order depending on the day.

melty sugarThe second version we decided to try some things that are a bit less hoity toity, and usually on hand.  Same process with a saucepan, only we used one cup of whole milk, and added ⅛ teaspoon of brown sugar.  Once the brown sugar dissolved, we added a teaspoon of vanilla and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.  These ingredients were easy and on hand, however, even a small bit of rum overtook the entire flavor.  When added to coffee, this may be a good option if you choose to not add any rum at all in order for it to keep the smallest amount of flavor, but even so was very thin bodied.

sweet milky goodnessFor version three, we used 1 cup of whole milk on heat, and added ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk.  When warm and blended we added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 3 dashes of cinnamon and ½ cup of rum.  Our thought was that the sweet milk would add the body that the previous version was lacking.  The mixture itself was more thick, however the cinnamon became a bit lumpy.  We were hopeful, for when added to coffee, the cinnamon did dissipate.  One sip and we were still hopeful.  For about 5 seconds.  While delightful and creamy at the start, the rum kick came on strong at the finish.  Maybe ok for another day, like if the knot in your lasso keeps falling out or you lose your cowboy hat in a strong wind gust, and you feel the need for some self inflicted punishment.  But not today.

no.Version four we determined was going to carry the flavor through to the end.  We went back to using the rice milk thinking that there may be some sort of binding agent for the sweetness achieved through the rice.  So, we heated one cup of rice milk and added ⅛ teaspoon of brown sugar for the sweetness.  When dissolved, we added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 3 dashes of cinnamon.  The result?  A weird separated mixture of clear liquids and shades of brown.  We added rum and poured it in our coffee anyway, because we are not scared of anything.  It’s very safe to say those cups of coffee were not finished.  We do not recommend this method.  At all.

yummTake five.  Cowboy Rumchata Rodeo gold-big-ass-belt-buckle winner.  Start by heating ½ cup whole milk and ½ cup heavy cream along with 2 cinnamon sticks.  Just upon boil, move that shit from heat and add ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk, ahdn½ teaspoon vanilla.  When blened and cooooled, just put ¼ rum with ¾ of the stuff, adn it’s sooooo good.  if you think you can headle it topr wiiht whipped kreem and nutmeg.  Ohmygodyouguys.  You need to have this stuffed in yer cowboy coffee and poured inyour cofee hole rightnow.  

So do it.  Make a giant batch.  Make it yours.  Wrangle your own.

drink it up