Serving Civet Cat Coffee

Civet Cat Coffee

Civet Cat Coffee

When I was in Vietnam a few weeks ago, I had asked the tour guide ‘where to buy the best Vietnamese coffee from?’. He told me the best Vietnamese coffee to buy was the ‘weasel coffee’ which I had never heard of. Before visiting Vietnam, I had tried the Vietnamese iced coffee and liked the taste. I like the strong brew over ice and served with condensed milk.

He went on to telling me that the best coffee to buy was coffee that went through the digestive tract of a weasel. He meant ‘civet cat’ which has a liking for cherry coffee berries. The cat would consume these coffee berries and poo out the seeds (or beans). People would gather up the beans from the cat’s poop, clean the beans then roast them.

The end result is a highly prized, highly sought after coffee that is strong, smooth and unique. Our tour guide took us to the central post office in Ho Chi Minh City and introduced us to the owner of a little store on the right side of the post office. She had a shelf full of coffee containers and the one she recommended was in a wood barrel. There was even a picture of a civet cat over the cherry coffee berries. The price was rather steep but both the tour guide and the shop owner was raving about how good the coffee was. It was priced at 600,000 dong (about US$30) so we picked one up.

When we got home, I tried making a cup of coffee following the instructions of our tour guide in Vietnam. Three teaspoons with 8 oz of hot water in a french press. Let it steep for 30-40 seconds and mix condensed milk in it. I can tell you it was strong but very smooth. There’s nothing like it.

If you’re in the market for some civet cat coffee, let me recommend the Bean Stop in Eau Claire market. I heard a cup will set you back for $25 and 50g of the grinds will run you about $60. If that sounds high to you, don’t get tempted with eBay prices because there are a lot of counterfeit coffees out there.

The Bean Stop on Urbanspoon

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Timmy’s Chili Knockoff

Tim Horton's Chili (Knockoff)

Tim Horton’s Chili (Knockoff)

Now that the ‘Rollup the Rim to Win’ contest is over, it’s time to get my coffee elsewhere. I was getting tired of lining up at those ridiculous lines every morning for a chance to win a new Rav or one of those cool BBQ’s. But this year, nada. I managed to win the odd latte or free donut but that’s about it. I think this year, Tim produced more cups that read ‘Play Again’ because every time I rolled up the rim, I kept reading this phrase over and over again.

Just to get even with Mr. Tim Horton, I scoured the internet for a Tim Horton’s Chili Recipe knock-off and plan to make my own instead of shelling out more money to Tim. In my opinion, I think the Tim Horton corporation has enough of my money.

 

The trick to Tim Horton’s chili is not to use tomato sauce, but tomato soup. Instead of pouring a can of Heinz tomato sauce into the mixture, pour two cans of Campbell’s tomato soup but don’t add water to dilute it.

Here’s the recipe for his chili, compliments of Food.com.

Best Bakery in Bowness

Apple Ring

Apple Ring

We are coming to an end of era, 22 years to be exact. The owners of Dell’s Cafe in Bowness are selling their cafe and retiring. Their friends say “Finally, it is well deserved.”, but their customers disagree because they have served the community with great food for so long. It will be hard to say good bye and so long. People who know them personally have been dropping by at Dell’s Cafe to have their last favourite meal before they close shop on May 11th. Some of their favourites include the dry ribs, the chicken chow mein or the burgers and fries. Everything is good!

Next to Dell’s is the Sweet Home Bakery that I enjoy very much. I think I have written a post before but here it goes again. The one and only bakery I know in YYC that bakes an apple ring is here. If you haven’t had one then I urge you to go down early and get one. It’s in very limited supply because they go as fast as they can make it.

The apple ring sells for $9.95 and is large enough to share. When we have it, we eat it for breakfast and dessert and it lasts over a week for the two of us. With ice cream, it’s decadent. But on its own, it’s delicious with coffee or tea. It is like an apple pie but without the pastry shell. It is like an apple streudel but without the sprinkled sugar on it. It’s almost a sweet roll with apple pieces.

Take Sarcee Trail north, pass the turn-off to Banff then at the three-way stop, turn left. Follow the road until you’re in Bowness. Take a left turn at the gas station and a quick right into the parking lot. The bakery is right next to Dell Cafe.

Sweet Home Bakery on Urbanspoon

Make Waves in Calgary

Waves - 17th Ave and 5th Street

Waves – 17th Ave and 5th Street

The Lilac Festival 2012 was the place to be a few weeks ago. After cruising up and down 4th Street, it was time to sit down and rest those tired feet. We decided to walk west on 17th Avenue and stumbled onto a coffee house at the corner of 17th Avenue and 5th Street. The place is called ‘Waves’ and they make some yummy stuff such as a Matcha Latte. This green concoction is made of matcha green tea powder, hot water and milk. It’s made like a capuccino and it is deliciously hot. They mix enough matcha green tea powder in it that makes the drink a little tart like tea should be. The milk in it makes it smooth and delicate. It’s a must try if you’re in the area.

They have lots of soft lazy chairs to lounge in while you sip your drink. For more privacy, go upstairs and sit by the fireplace. There’s also a boardroom for rent if your group is too large for the sitting area.

Waves Coffee House on Urbanspoon