This past week Three Brothers Bakery invited me to try their new line of create-your-own coffee drinks, which they encourage patrons to pair with a complementary baked good.
Now, lord knows I never need an excuse to eat cake or cookies, especially those produced by Three Brothers Bakery. Coffee, however, is tricky for Bridey, who only drank tea during all-nighters in college (what she drank while not studying, ahem, is a different story) and didn't have her first cup of coffee until she was 30 years old.
Stately Gingerbread Man and Luscious Hamantaschen.
Not only am I still fairly sensitive to caffeine, but I also find the typical bitter flavor of run-of-the-mill coffee not very palatable. However, two important factors enabled me to highly enjoy the various iterations of hot and cold coffee at Three Brothers.
First, the Bakery employs the equivalent of a coffee sommelier, Jack, a most impressive java autodidact who oversees the roasting process as well as carefully evaluates the sourcing of the beans. Thus, this ain't your office's lame-ass brew that you and your coworkers' refer to fondly as "Satan's bathwater."
Second, the addition of syrups. Never underestimate how much some liquid flavored sugar can enhance a caffeinated beverage and an accompanying baked treat.
And because some don't like it hot, there are lovely iced versions.
See, for example, the infusion of caramel in a hot cup of joe, which provides a sweet balance to the savory top notes of a buttery hamantaschen. Or, pair an iced coffee inflected with vanilla syrup to even out the pungent spice of one of Three Brothers' gingerbread men.
Mexican Wedding Cookie and Almond Stick
I also recommend matching the intense the marzipan flavor of a crunchy, chocolate-drizzled almond stick with a soothing cafe au lait laced with hazelnut for a most pleasant legume battle.
Permutations and combinations galore.
But don't rely on my creations. Invent your own and sample all those terrific items proffered by Three Brothers that I didn't mention...until now. #cinnamonrolls #icedcookies #poppyseedloaf #somuchmore