Bitter Sweet

In my exploration of the five flavours through drinks, I’ve saved bitter for last. Not just because it is my favourite emotion – I mean flavour! – but because it was the most difficult. Like sweet, bitter has so many of my favourite flavours such as beer, wine, tea and coffee. How could I narrow down a drink with so many offerings? With great difficulty.

After contemplating a citrus sangria, a root beer float with real beer and numerous tea infusions I finally settled on a tried and true bitter combination – mocha. Chocolate and coffee are great companions and both can be bitter. I chose to celebrate their union in stages. A marriage of fresh brewed coffee blended with melted chocolate is topped with a dollop of cream infused with instant coffee and sprinkled with cocoa nibs. The result – a luscious, messy indulgence 🙂

Hot Mocha

A bitter-sweet symphony of coffee and chocolate.

1/2 cup double cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1 cup freshly made coffee
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
cocoa nibs for serving (optional)

Whisk the cream and coffee together by hand until thick.
Place the fresh coffee and chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has melted and combined with the coffee.
Divide evenly between two heat-proof glasses or mugs.
Top with coffee whipped cream.
Sprinkle with cocoa nibs if desired.

The cream can sometimes separate when dropped into the hot mocha. You can allow the mocha to cool slightly before dolloping the cream or you can enjoy it as a buttery, creamy mocha.


  1. Bitter sweet perfect! That’s exactly the drink I need, not just because it looks and sounds delicious but also because that’s how I have felt the last few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vicky, normally I pounce on your recipes but this week I haven’t been topnotch. That admission, I really adore this recipe; and for many reasons. It is elegant yet simple. When I’ve lived and gone to school in Great Britain, I noticed the great effort put into tea by the Brits, yet they put little to no effort and used the worst ingredients for their evening coffees. Furthermore, they did not consider the consequences of caffeinated beverages versus decaf. Of course that was more than many, many moons ago, and things may have changed there. Even then, Seattle, had changed.

    In Australia, would one worry about the caffeine measures or would that be a total American concern? Today as a mediocre hostess I would need to consider caffeine content for my guests in regards to tea as well as coffee. My freezer should have many sorts of beans with caffein content well- marked. At night i would need to have a variety of herbal teas, check the caffeine content please Candace, on hand for after dinner in or an evening out.

    I love this recipe because it is romantic; super for a couple who has been and now come in, easy but the results are sophisticated. It is a chocolate indulgence, but not in the manner of a child’s sundae. It is also not heavy, so will not interfere with any romantic inclinations, after. And should a bit a alertness be needed, for romance, romantic walk, or a drive or a train home, the caffeine in powdered coffee is not overwhelming.

    Vicky, this is perfect.

    So for those of us who are apparent booze hounds, what alcohol, and in what quality do you recommend? Keeping bitter of course.

    Remind me to tell you why I believe Seattle became so coffee oriented sometime. It is not the rain, as most think.
    Apologies for grammatical errors and things. I used my cell, rather than wait on permission for computer use.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you thought about romantic encounters and the mocha not being too heavy 🙂
      I have never know the caffeine count of any of my drinks and not many of us do. It’s definitely not an Australian thing. Most people just say they don’t drink coffee/tea after a certain time. Many Europeans usually end their evenings with a tea or coffee and my new Persian family end the night with cups of saffron tea – very refreshing. I often end the night with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Lately I’ve been getting into dandelion tea which is also bitter and a great digestive 🙂
      Some of my favourite alcohol is in the bitter range. Coffee liquors tend to be sweet. I like aperitifs and digestives such as Jagermeister, Aperol (blood orange) and Cynar (artichoke) – that’s right – artichoke liqueur.

      Hope you are feeling better Candy. I love your comments 🙂 And I’d love to know about Seattle coffee culture!


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