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Guest Post: Getting Saucy With Brown Sauce in Coffee

July 26, 2012

This post was written by Cal Chayce, a friend and fellow weird person who suggested I try this particular recipe several times before he took matters into his own hands and did it himself. Let’s tune in and see how it went:

I feel it’s appropriate that I preface this post with the disclosure that I’m no saucy-boy-come-lately. For as far back as I can remember I’ve put HP Sauce on all sorts of things that aren’t normally considered saucable, such as McDonald’s fries, and potato chip sandwiches. I even put that shit on my Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. So I was intrigued, upon watching the 2003 Irish film, Intermission, to witness the characters in the film pouring HP Sauce into their coffee.

At first, everyone is surprised to see someone doing it, then they would try it themselves, and eventually it really caught on. I had no idea whether the film’s writer had discovered this recipe himself and wished to inform the masses via celluloidal means, or, if it actually was a daft thing to do, and he was playing a joke on the audience, many of whom (okay, me) would try it themselves.

I set out to find the answer.

And then I became distracted and forgot about it for several years.

Until, whilst casually browsing the Gazet van Antwerpen at a lovely little café along the banks of the Reie in picturesque Bruges one recent afternoon, I happened upon a slight piece concerning a website called, well, this one. I clearly recall thinking: Oh, I saw a film once about people putting something weird in coffee, followed closely thereafter by: I wonder what that film was and what weird thing may it have been?

I set out to find the answer.

You’ve probably already guessed what it was, and what the weird thing was, so I decided to try it myself, being careful not to get distracted before I could follow through with my mission.

This is how I went about it:

I got some coffee and sauce.

Then I made the coffee, poured it in a cup that I keep mainly for that purpose, though I occasionally use it for orange juice when all the glasses are dirty and I couldn’t be bothered washing one, and put the sauce in the coffee-filled cup; exactly half as much as you’d use for a medium-sized serving of McDonald’s fries.

(I had first tried mixing the sauce pre-brew. That didn’t work.)

It tends to get a little filmy (not to be confused with celluloidal), I discovered, when you let it sit too long while writing guest blog entries.

This extra time is decidedly unrecommended, as it also allows greater opportunity for free-floating errant dog hairs to wander into the cup that you must try to remove from your teeth later.

This can be an annoying task, particularly with the knowledge that it wasn’t due to first indulging in cunnilingus (with a woman, not a dog)…

…and that you haven’t got to partake in that particular indulgence for several months, and you can’t help but wonder, due to your advancing age and proportionally declining appearance, if you’ll ever have the opportunity again and, really, what’s the point of going on?

And the result was fabulous! It turns out the film’s writer was not punking his audience, and that HP Sauce in coffee is, indeed, quite delicious. I shall henceforth enjoy my coffee in this manner as often as I remember to do so. I’ve set up a reminder on my iTracker so that every morn, just as the coffee has finished brewing, it prompts me to insert the sauce.

Some of the more disturbed viewers of this site may be pleased to notice the residue upon emptying the cup does not look at all unlike a toilet bowl the morning after a rather well-attended Taco Bell party.

How to Correctly Add Milk to Coffee

April 29, 2012

Great tip from How To Basic on Youtube.

(via Jeff Preston)

Liquid Smoke in Coffee

March 15, 2012

If you were asked to name your favourite smells, after getting through vanilla, mom’s cooking, and teen spirit, you’d probably come to campfire. It’s a smell that conjures feelings of warmth on your face, crackling in your ears, burned wieners on your tongue.

Right now, my coffee smells like campfire.

Liquid smoke is meant for braising meats and adding to recipes, but it seems like a natural fit with coffee’s natural smokiness. Indeed, it doesn’t affect the taste of the coffee much. The smell, though, brings me right back to cool nights in the middle of the woods.

If I plugged my nose, this could be mistaken for bacon (*). It’s got that subtle hickory flavour that I’ve been looking for. Bacon coffee probably won’t get much better than this non-bacon flavoured coffee. (Though it won’t stop me from trying; stay tuned).

Since this coffee isn’t very visually striking, I looked for pictures to stick up here, and found this:

It may look like an alien tripod robot sent to turn our families into ashes, but is in fact a very impractical coffee jug to make and store coffee while camping.

You could drink campfire flavoured coffee prepared on a campfire. Dawg.

* New name for my upcoming death metal band: Mistaken for Bacon.

Putting Coffee in Weird Things: Coffee-Bacon Gravy Eggs Benedict

February 20, 2012

A while ago, I posited that Café Benedict (coffee with Hollandaise sauce in it) would, in theory, be the ultimate hangover drink. In practice, it was disappointing to say the least.

Then, a few days ago, a friend of mine (hi Nick) sent me a recipe for coffee-infused ham gravy. I had to give that a try, but given this blog’s ongoing quest to combine bacon with coffee, bacon seemed a better choice than ham. And what could I do with the coffee-bacon gravy? Pouring it on eggs and more bacon seemed only logical. It’s sorta the opposite of Café Benedict.

As with most endeavours, the first step is bacon. Lots of bacon.

Set the bacon aside. Then pour the coffee into the bacon grease; just a bit more coffee than there is grease. I used a dark roast brewed extra strong, but a milder coffee probably would have been better.

Add some flour to thicken and make it look like gravy. Use a sifter to avoid chunks.

Let it simmer for a few minutes. Stir it often with a whisk; mine got chunky even after sifting, so you might have to whisk that gravy vigorously. Yeah. Yeah, real vigorously. Now that’s gravy. Oh yeah.

Tenderly spoon that gravy onto whatever you’d like. I treated it like Hollandaise, pouring it over an egg, slices of bacon, and an English muffin.


The gravy on its own was pretty bitter (probably due to the strong coffee) but not entirely unpleasant. Poured on top of everything else and with a little extra salt and pepper, it was quite good. A rich, earthy, smokey, meaty sort of meal. I was full for hours after eating this. I accosted a young woman (hi Danaë) and asked for a second opinion, and she liked it even more than I did. My gravy brings all the girls to the yard.

I’ll label this a success, but next time: 1) Milder coffee; 2) Maybe a touch of sugar to sweeten the gravy; 3) Think of a cool name for it.

The quest for bacon coffee is still ongoing. I’ve got a few leads and orders in the mail that may lead to breakthroughs. Stay tuned.

Obligatory aftermath shot:

Edit Feb 23: As some kind commenters pointed out, gravy made with pork drippings and coffee is known as red-eye gravy, especially in the southern U.S.

Haggis Coffee

September 24, 2011

I found haggis in a can. A few weeks ago, while visiting Niagara-on-the-Lake, a little Scottish store had it in the back. Being an unusual food enthusiast, I had no choice to try out this food that is not only rare to find in Canada, but even more rare to find in a can.

Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, made of a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, mixed with oats and spices. It’s known for being simmered in a sheep’s stomach, but I didn’t have one handy, so I had to settle for tupperware and a microwave.

You can read about my experience with the haggis itself over on my other blog: Food Review: Haggis in a Can. But this is a coffee blog, so you can probably see where this is going.

I put the microwaved haggis into a cup, then added coffee and sealed it. I let it soak for over 48 hours, to make sure the spicy meaty taste had time to infuse into the coffee.

When I took it out of the fridge and opened it, the smell was not entirely pleasant. I still had to give it a chance, though. I set up an apparatus to filter out the chunks, leaving only pure black haggis-flavoured coffee. Or at least that was the plan.

I ran into a problem. The meat had made the coffee oily and thick; so much so that it refused to drip through my coffee filter. I had to carefully squeeze the filter, coaxing it out the bottom a squirt at a time, not unlike milking a cow. I did this twice, to make sure no chunks remained. It was a slow process, and yielded only a tiny amount of thickened coffee.

Ah well, it’s enough to get a sense of the taste. Bottoms up.

Oh, no. This is not good. Salt is the first taste that hits my mouth, but then the unmistakable taste of mashed up sheep heart, liver, and lungs hits me. It’s a dark, bitter, lingering taste, made even more unpalatable by the coffee.

Oh Christ. This is like drinking the vomit of someone who just won a gravy-chugging contest.

I got some on my fingers and the smell won’t go away. Oh God. I keep washing them. I keep washing my mouth out. It’s still there. Will this be with me forever?

Oh Jesus.

Do not want.

At least I also got this in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

It’s much better. All the taste of Scotland, without feeling like you need to induce vomiting just so there is a more pleasant taste in your mouth.

Oh yeah, obligatory sink shot:


Caffeine Schmaffeine

August 18, 2011

This blog has been sluggish lately. Updating once a month is better than nothing, but it could use a pick-me-up for more frequent posts. I have discovered something that’ll give the blog just the jolt it needs: a lack of caffeine.

See, I’ve been doing a full time job lately, and that takes up time. Specifically, it takes up mornings, which is when I tend to drink coffee. I can’t exactly be pouring gravy into the office coffee machine, so work really puts a limit on my experimentation. I can’t pick up slack during my evenings either, because the caffeine would keep me up all night and make those gravy-free mornings even more miserable.

But wait, what about caffeine-free coffee?

I’ve never drank coffee for the caffeine. Other than keeping me from sleeping, I don’t feel any effects of the stuff; my body seems immune to perkiness enhancement. I might as well remove the caffeine and add the possibility of late-night experimentation.

It limits which kinds of coffee I can have, but have you seen this blog? It’s more about what goes into the coffee than the coffee itself. I think I’ll find enough variety.

Hey, what about you? Do you drink coffee for the caffeine, the flavour, or both?

Pseudo-Vietnamese Coffee

July 2, 2011

After having a delicious dinner at a little mom-and-pop Vietnamese restaurant, a friend of mine ordered some Vietnamese coffee. I took a single sip and I was sold on the concept: strong, fine-ground coffee brewed in an individual French drip filter, right into a mug with condensed milk at the bottom. I vowed to make it at home first chance I got.

Of course, I don’t have a French drip filter, nor the type of coffee they used. I made do by grinding my grocery store brand coffee extra fine, using a lot of it in a French press (hey, it’s still French), then slowly stirring it into a mug with condensed milk.

The main thing here is the sweetened condensed milk. It’s different than dumping a crapload of cream and sugar in the coffee; more caramelly, and thicker in texture. Even with regular coffee, it’s a new way to cream and sweeten it in a tasty new way.

I like to put a lot of condensed milk so it’s sweet as candy in a base of bitter coffee, but (obviously) I like bold flavours. It may not be true Vietnamese coffee, but I highly recommend giving the stuff a try.

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