Very late to the coffee game

was upset to learn last month The Cheesecake Factory discontinued my favorite flavor, Kahlua.

I have not generally been a consistent coffee drinker, but I have this weakness for coffee-flavored desserts and candy. I have been known to consume Werther’s Originals coffee flavored hard candies by the bag in a single day. I used to eat coffee ice cream for a week or two at a time without eating anything else.

I first sampled Kahlua cheesecake a decade ago when I stopped at The Cheesecake Factory on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, and I was hooked. I often went to the location in Overland Park (119th and Metcalf) when I stayed on the south side of town, and even sometimes when I was north of the river, too. I sometimes brought LIz and Lisa red velvet cheesecake while I got Kahlua for myself.

With Kahlua gone, tiramisu is my next choice. I absolutely loved the tiramisu whenever I was able to eat it at Pocorello’s in Baton Rouge.

There was a period a little over three years ago when I regularly went to a large liquor store in Overland Park, mostly to buy Abita beer for my friends (you’re welcome, Lisa) so they could have a taste of Louisiana. I broke down one day and bought a couple of bottles of Kahlua and a bottle of Absolut vanilla, thinking I might try to make White and  Black Russians. I also bought a blender in May 2015, thinking I might start to mix drinks.

To make a long story short, the Kahlua has sat unopened in my refrigerator for over three years, and the blender now resides with Caitlyn on the other side of the state.

Back to my coffee history. My parents devoured the stuff when I was growing up in New Orleans, but I never touched it. I went through my 20s and 30s without drinking hot coffee, but there were times I would get a frappuccino or iced latte at Starbucks.

There was a Dunkin’ Donuts about two miles from my house when I was young, but it closed when I was 10. There was no Dunkin’ in Louisiana for well over a decade, until one opened in a shopping center adjacent to the Superdome.

It wasn’t until I moved to Kansas and started going to Kansas City when I discovered Dunkin’s iced coffee. There are periods when I want to go almost every day, which happened a couple of weeks ago when I was last there.

On Christmas Eve 2016, I drank black coffee straight up driving from Topeka to Russell, something I had never done. My dad always drinks his coffee black, straight up, and it caused him much ridicule in New Orleans, where coffee and chicory with milk (Cafe Au Lait) is the standard. My mother understood, because she never puts anything except Sweet and Low in her coffee and chicory, which makes her an oddball among the natives of the Big Easy.

When I got back to Russell last Tuesday, I still had a jones for iced coffee. I seriously explored buying a coffee maker which could handle iced coffee.

I found it in a Keurig model which came out early this year. I almost pulled the trigger and bought from a couple of online vendors, but last Saturday, I got it at Target in Salina after getting my hair cut.

I didn’t use it for the first time until Tuesday. Folgers Black Silk. A little strong, but a couple of packets of Sweet and Low (saccharin is much better than aspartame, trust me) made it quite smooth without taking away any of its boldness.

Both the iced and hot versions were excellent.

I also noticed Keurig made pods of Kahlua brand coffee. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to order them direct; there were three boxes of 18 each at Walmart in Hays when I went yesterday. I bought them all, then drank one cup hot and one cup iced. I think I have my coffee rotation.

Later last night, I figured out why not try the Kahlua? It’s been sitting there and my parents certainly weren’t going to drink it. They also found no takers at the American Legion club, so it was sitting there on the bottom shelf of the door in the garage refrigerator while thousands of liters of pop went in and out, as did dozens of eggs, several pounds of cheese and a few varieties of cold cuts.

I poured half a shot glass–28 grams–of pumpkin spice Kahlua into 355 grams of hot coffee, added two Sweet and Low packets, and off I went.

Where were you all my life?

Let the record show it took 41 years, 9 months and 5 days for me to drink a distilled spirit. Kahlua, however, doesn’t have nearly the alcohol content that vodka or whiskey has, and of course, it was diluted by the coffee. But I think I’ve got a winner.

I also learned yesterday cooking a steak in a cast iron skillet on a stove is pretty damn good, too. About five or six minutes per side and it comes out perfectly rare, just the way I like it.

 

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on July 19, 2018, in Food. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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