The origin of the coffee break is debatable, but most scholars agree that it started in Stoughton, Wisconsin in the late 1800’s. Stoughton is proud of their contribution to office culture, and holds a yearly “Coffee Break Festival”. It was also popularized by Buffalo, New York’s Barcolo Manufacturing Company which was the first company to have an actual mandated coffee break in 1902 (http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/03/coffee-history-the-coffee-break.html). In the middle of the 1900’s, coffee vending machines and basic percolators (those are what we all knew and loved until we got Keurigs) were invented, which made a 10-15 minute quick pause to drink coffee feasible for most companies.
Breaks are beneficial for both employees and employers- productivity and moods improve when people get a 10 minute break away from their desks to get caffeinated. It also helps that coffee is delicious and you can make it in so many simple ways- light and sweet, black, cream with no sugar, sugar with no cream. If your boss loves you, they bring flavored creamers to work. If your team is really productive and excellent, sometimes you get rewarded with a Starbucks run. It really is the simplest things that make people happy.
And if the coffee machine at work is out, well, then this happens:
Today we’re not going to be simple though. Well, we’re going to be kind of simple, but up the ante of your regular coffee break. The recipe I’m going to share with you today are easy to recreate in your home or office.
If you’ve never had real Mexican hot chocolate, I weep for you. It’s spicy and decadent- imagine a melted chocolate bar dissolved into whole milk with a dash of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. We’re not going to make that because that requires time and a brain that’s already had caffeine. For my first cup of the day, my brain is on empty. Also, this is a coffee break, not a coffee sabbatical.
¼ Cup Milk (I’m using 1% but you can go crazy if you want)
1 Tbsp Cocoa Mix (You can also use Swiss Miss, Ovaltine, whatever you have on hand).
Medium to Dark Roast Coffee (Whether it’s Folgers, a fancy Starbucks blend, it’s up to you)
Dash of Cinnamon
Teeny bit of Cayenne Pepper or Habenero Powder (to taste)
Sweetener of your choice (sugar, Splenda, Stevia, again, it’s up to you)
1. Pour a ¼ cup of Milk (you can just add a splash if you don’t have a measuring cup at work) into your coffee mug.
2. Add a tbsp (or about a spoonful) of cocoa to the milk. You can stir a little, but it might not really mix.
3. Add a dash of cinnamon, and the teeniest bit of the cayenne or habenero pepper (you might want to sprinkle it into your hand instead of directly into your cup).
4. Pour about 10-12 ounces of coffee into the mug. Stir!
5. Add sugar or your preferred sweetener. I used three drops of Stevia because I used unsweetened cocoa as my base. If you used an instant cocoa, you might not need any sugar.
6. Add more cinnamon and/or pepper to taste.