DIY: Cafe Mocha {Sustainable Living Challenge}

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It is the last week of our sustainable living challenge. This week is all about Do-It-Yourself!

Today I am speaking to the coffee addicts out there. Coffee can be a real hang up to sustainable living for people, such as myself, who are total suckers for warm, caffeinated, sweetened beverages.

The challenge for the day is to skip the coffee chain and make your own morning delight, whether sweetened or not.

There are two secrets to success: be prepared and brew quality coffee. The easiest way to be prepared is to find recipes you can make ahead (see below) and reheat quickly. To brew quality coffee, try these simple steps:

  • Buy quality, fairly traded coffee beans.
  • Grind the beans at home.
  • Press your own coffee.

This alone improves the flavor and the experience of coffee consumption! No early morning drive thru, no wasted cash, no preservatives…maybe even fewer calories.

I have experimented with this recipe and a few of my own. But one of the easiest recipes for a homemade specialty coffee is below. It can be made ahead and reheated quickly. It’s also made entirely from ingredients you know…leaving all of those artificial sweeteners and added preservatives out.

Cafe Mocha
Recipe type: Coffee
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
This is a quick and easy homemade coffee for busy mornings.
  • 1 cup fresh espresso
  • 1½ cups 2% milk, or milk substitute of your choice
  • 2 T. cocoa powder
  • 2 T. sugar, or sugar substitute of your choice
  • Whipped topping (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients in small pot.
  2. Heat over low heat, whisking continually.
  3. Pour into mugs. Serve plain or with whipped topping.
To make ahead: Pour into canning jar, allow to cool, and store in refrigerator. When needed, shake and pour desired amount into pan to heat.


My favorite specialty drink is the Caramel Macciatto…cold. The swirls of caramel mixed with the strong coffee flavors are my equivalent to eating cookies for breakfast…I can’t get enough! I continue to experiment with homemade versions, but have yet to find one that satisfies. In the meantime, I try up new variations and enjoy this sweet treat. What are your guilty coffee drink pleasures?

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2 Responses to DIY: Cafe Mocha {Sustainable Living Challenge}

  1. I used to be such a coffee addict, but I’ve since switched to organic green and herbal teas. I have to admit I do buy hot or iced chai once a month along with a huge brownie – it’s a treat my husband and I indulge in. Your recipe sounds very tempting… 😉

    • brookeO says:

      I’m a tea drinker too…and I love chai. I’m generally just addicted to caffeine, but I’m willing to allow myself one bad habit. This recipe is definitely a splurge, but worth the indulgence every once in a while!

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