This week was the first week of September. *screams of joy*
My heart leaps at the slightest sign of autumn. Something about it, everything about it, fills me with vigor and excitement. It is the proverbial Disney World of nature.
I purchase obscene amounts of Fall-scented paraphernalia. Body wash that smells like my spice cabinet? Oh yes… Oversized flannel shirts which I may have stealthily purchased from the men's section make up a major part of my wardrobe. Pumpkin finds its way into ninety-eight percent of what comes out of my oven and I watch You’ve Got Mail at least once a week, maybe twice. I am still waiting for the day when someone brings me a bouquet of sharpened pencils.
A couple weeks ago I spent some time in the mountains. I got up-close and personal with some lovely, tired trees who were just waking up to the foggy morning. Their leaves were heavy with dew and their "morning breath" permeated the air with fresh odiferous mountain air. It was mid-August and far from Autumn but I couldn't help feeling that Fall was trying to make her coming known.
Cool, crisp, mornings make me long for one thing. My very own cup of September, if you will. Cinnamon cafe au lait. It is creamy and spicy with the robust background of strong coffee. It is the "Good Morning" to top all "Good Mornings."
Perhaps a recipe for coffee seems a bit unvarying to you. I get it, but this cup of coffee truly is something special. Cafe au lait means "coffee with milk," but it is so much more.
Our cup of September begins with scalded milk. This just means that we heat the milk just below the boiling point. I add a healthy dose of cinnamon and a bit of sugar to my milk before it hits the stove top.
Meanwhile, our coffee is brewing, French-press style.
I brew my coffee extra strong for this cup so that it will hold up to the milk.
Coffee is poured, milk is frothed, cinnamon is dusted. This is something worth waking up for.
I want every moment to be this moment. This feels like the perfect way to welcome September back into our lives.
Cinnamon Cafe au Lait
for the coffee
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
- pinch of salt*
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
In a French press combine ground coffee and salt. Pour boiling water over the grounds and stir gently. Wait five minutes before pressing.
for the milk
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
In a small saucepan combine milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring often. Cook until the milk is steaming and has reached a simmer; remove from heat. Froth the milk using an electric milk frother.
Divide the brewed coffee between two cups. Top with frothed milk and dust with cinnamon. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*A bit of salt helps to counteract any bitterness in the coffee.