Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Coffee and Oranges - The Breakfast of Champions

There can be nothing more enjoyable of a lazy weekend morning than giving yourself a leisurely breakfast. Some like the good old fashioned English breakfast, some like the taste of a buttery croissant and a bowl of chocolat chaud and other - more sadistic fellows than I - like to lop the top off a boiled egg and drown toasted soilders in its viscous yolk. For me there is something yet simpler, requiring none of the fuss of the former three! This would be strong black coffee and ripe Navel Oranges.

Migraine sufferer look away in envy for this is possibly the worst of all breakfasts for you as it is said that these two foodstuffs trigger off that form of splitting headache! But for all of us more fortunate chaps and chappesses coffee and oranges are a welcome treat on a cold winters morning.

No one can deny the lovely savour of a freshly brewed pot of strong black coffee (my personal favourite is Lavazza's Rosso label or for those who like it stronger their Crema e Gusto (priced around £2.50-3)). I also prefer the taste of Cafetiere Coffee to that from a Machine but feel free to make your own choice!

When making your coffee make sure that you do not add water when it has just reached boiling point otherwise you will scorch the grounds and add a very bitter note to the backtaste. Some people swear by certain flavour enhancers such as a pinch of salt, powdered mustard or lemon zest - personally I think they are a waste of time, but once again use your discrection. Wait 30 seconds and then pour the water into the pot, lid it and wait for 2-3 minutes to let the flavours infuse. Again their is much debate as to how long you should leave it but it shouldn't matter too much if you leave it is a little less or longer. Depress the plunger and you are ready to serve. If it is to be drunk with oranges then it must be black - sweetened or unsweetened as to your taste.

To get the most out of your oranges look for those with a thiner skin and which feel firm to the touch, prefereably Naval which are my favourite as they are often a little sweeter and more fragrant than their equally common Valencia counterpart. There is nothing quite like that zesty smell you get when you peel and orange and it mingles very nicely with the coffee aromas as you are preparing.

In order to get maximum flavour my recommendation is to peel the whole orange, remove the naval and slice it into discs and resting it for a minute or two so the cut surface can reabsorb the lost juices!

To finish, plate and mug up, run yourself a hot bath and languish leisurely as you indulge in what I like to think is the real Breakfast of Champions!

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