getting dirty

Watching this brew boil can’t you just smell the richness? Dark and earthy tones filling our kitchen using only the most conservative amount of ground beans. But wait, I can hear you say, Nine Cent Girl doesn’t drink coffee. To which I would reply, oh yes, on occasion I have. Most memorably, in Paris at Les Deux Magots and in London’s Cubana. Both times I could not resist. Both times were divine. But on average, I stick to black tea, and when I can, a cup of homemade chai. That is until, quite by accident, I stumbled onto a chai made dirty with, yes, you guessed it, a shot of espresso. An accident made into practice now. So, when we have absolutely nothing planned for a lazy Sunday beyond making our brunch last until tea time, we get dirty in the afternoon.


Using nothing too pricey or extra-complicated we employ a stove top espresso maker, else-wise called a Moka Pot. Ours makes 3 shots. We use an espresso blend from our local source, Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea company, and are happy with every precious drop. We grind at home, as finely as possible, keeping the freshness to a premium. We fill the bottom of the pot with water, fill the metal filter with the ground beans, without packing, screw the top on, and place on the stove-top over a medium flame, watching carefully as the water boils and bubbles up because when it’s done it’s done. So that’s the dirty part. Easy, right?

For those who missed my previous Chai blog, I will repost the recipe below, (I suggest you read the post in its entirety, especially if you are a newbie to the benefits of chai tea, which hails back through centuries of very healthy people, who know plenty about the medicinal use of spices).

Everyday Chai
4 cups water                                1 tsp grated ginger
1-inch piece cinnamon               sugar to taste
2 cloves                                        2 Tbsp black tea of your choice
2 green cardamon pods            3/4 cup milk
1 brown cardamon pod
Mix all the ingredients (except the milk) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the milk and bring it to a boil again. Strain the tea and enjoy! (Bal Arneson, “Spice Goddess,”
Here comes the alchemy, the magic, the piece de resistance, the blending of east and west, the jolt of adrenaline in your serenity, the taste in your buds, the reason you drink caffeine, blended, melded, a synthesis in your cup. Yes, pour that shot right in. And get ready to complete some To-Dos right off your weekend list, because the afternoon is ripe for doing it all, now, especially now that you have gotten down and dirty. Drive into town for groceries. Done. Three loads of laundry. A breeze. Pull together an impromptu dinner party. Easy as pie. A dirty explosion headed your way in one big mug.
You’ll thank me upon your first sip, as I continue to thank the barista who quite by accident first served me up this devilishly defiant delight.

10 thoughts on “getting dirty

  1. I hate tea passionately. Even the smell of it makes me feel sick. Apparently I’ve always felt the same. As a baby when Mother had a cup of tea I would actually be sick at the smell. Until I was twenty all I drank was water. Then I discovered coffee on a holiday in Paris. These days I have a fancy bean to cup machine in the kitchen, just have to have my coffee fix 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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