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A Secret Coffee Recipe From The 1980s Is Back And ...

A Secret Coffee Recipe From The 1980s Is Back And Still Delicious

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A secret coffee recipe from the 1980s, hidden from the world, scrawled on a paper napkin, has been unearthed. What is it? It’s called Death Cream, and coffee luminary Peter Giuliano (formerly of Counter Culture Coffee, today the Director of Symposium for the Specialty Coffee Association of America) revealed this magic concoction of milk, sugar, and coffee via Facebook:

Back in the late eighties, the BIG THING among baristas at the coffee bar where I worked was called “Death Cream”. It contained: espresso, coffee, sugar, and vanilla beans scraped and steeped in hot half & half. It was therefore basically liquid coffee ice cream made with awesome ingredients. We served it iced in small juice glasses with much enthusiasm. We were not allowed to call it “Death Cream” by the owner of the place. Also, we were not allowed to make Death Cream because the ingredients were crazy expensive (vanilla beans!) and most was consumed by us teenage baristas. But we made it in secret: illicit Death Cream. The recipe was memorialized by barista Craig Haskett on a napkin, which was hidden in the back. That napkin only came out on special occasions. For some reason that recipe stipulated sugar cubes instead of regular sugar.

I made a version with cold-brewed Banko Gotiti Natural Ethiopian from Counter Culture Coffee, and amazing Tahitian vanilla beans (wonderfully floral- we all should interact with vanilla beans more often). Haters gonna hate but this stuff is delicious. I feel sick.

When we asked Mr. Giuliano to share his secret coffee recipe with the world, he shared both the 1980s classic version and an updated 21st century version.

Behold! Death Creams!

Today’s Death Cream

Cold brewed Banko Gotiti:

165 grams coarsely ground coffee

1.3 liters room temperature water

Let sit overnight, tightly covered, with plastic wrap laid on the top of the steeping coffee to prevent oxidation.

Vanilla Cream:

32 ounces organic half and half (Straus creamery!)

3 Tahitian vanilla beans

¾ cup sugar

Pour half and half into a heavy saucepan. Slice vanilla beans lengthwise. Scrape out the little seeds with a spoon, and stir into the half and half. Throw in the skins too. Stir constantly over medium heat until it begins to steam. Transfer to a glass container and let sit overnight.

In the morning, strain the coffee (I used a Kone from Able Brewing) and combine with the cold vanilla cream and about a cup of milk. Correct sweetness to taste, bottle, chill. Serve cold over ice in little juice cups with maximum enthusiasm.

The Original Death Cream

Coffee:

12 Double Espressos

16 ounces brewed coffee

Combine in a pitcher and chill

Vanilla Cream:

32 ounces half and half

3 Madagascar Vanilla beans

8 ounces sugar cubes

16 ounces milk

Scrape the vanilla beans into the half and half and milk in a large steel pitcher. Heat on the steam wand until hot and steaming. Let chill in the refrigerator. When everything is cool, serve over ice in a juice glass on a plate with a doily (I’m serious, we actually did this) with maximum enthusiasm.


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