Today we’re going to talk about the most amazing thing I never thought I’d love, famous mint iced coffee. But first, lemme give you an update like I do.
Believe me when I tell you I have never ever in my life felt the need to buy a coaster with my zip code on it. I probably filed it under “tacky” or “WHY?!”
Well, times are changing:
And if you’re judging me so hard right now, DON’T STOP! This past weekend I also got a trucker hat that says, “HB” on it. You know, for Hermosa Beach. To my credit it was the only trucker hat in the history of trucker hats that fit my head. TO MY CREDIT, everyone here wears trucker hats and aviators and I am just trying to be all things to all people, as Paul says. I’m quite confident I interpreted that verse correctly.
What you just witnessed was a miracle. A hat that fits my head.
Our move to Hermosa has been the easiest transition we’ve ever had. And in 5 years of marriage we’ve lived in 5 different homes and three different states.
I didn’t think the transition would be so pure
and so woundless.
Because what we basically knew of Los Angeles was that it’s expensive, the traffic is awful, the taxes are high, the people are hungry for more money – or at least a nose job. So all in all I was sure we’d live in a very tiny place. We’d never get to where we’re going. I’d all of a sudden hate my nose. We’d probably never eat. At least not consistently.
I was only right about one thing. Our place is tiny. And I love it with a force I’ve never loved a home before. I could not have imagined that living in such an impossibly small space would bring me such joy and freedom.
But when I quiet down and listen I can hear Him say,
“Sometimes what I want for you, sweet girl, is less.
We have people over more often than at any of our other homes. Mostly because we eat on our patio and everyone can see us and smell our bounty. So we just wave them on up. And, coming from a family of 5, I never quite learned how to only cook for two anyway. So there’s always lots to go around.
Conversations with these new people are so easy because we all want the same things. More time outside. Less hustle. It’s really hard to get behind the everyday grind when the ocean is minutes away. We want to slow down and be generous.
Love looks confusingly easy here. It looks like the door is always open and the conversation is always graceful and the laughs are always a little deeper. It looks like coming to the table every evening. Even though we’re tired. Even though the day had it’s way with us. It looks like asking a lot of questions at that same table. Being genuine about listening. It looks a lot like remembering – your neighbors name and his dog’s name. What their favorite meal is. When they have a tough meeting scheduled for the day. When they have that scary doctor’s visit.
It’s nearly impossible to hide here. This is both terrifying and liberating.
So we’re learning this place. For some reason the pace feels nostalgic.
Last weekend Beau and I were like, “To the bikes.” We decided to ride to Santa Monica. It took us two hours (we took it slow and stopped and talked and watched the ocean). We found an Italian place that reminded us of Milano. We wandered to a coffee shop named Philz that had a line we couldn’t help but jump into. I ordered what everyone else was ordering, the mojito mint iced coffee.
You know I was going to hate it. I knew I was going to hate it. Because I like exactly two things in my coffee. Coffee and heavy cream. I told my barista that I don’t like sweet things and she was like,
“I got you.”
She delivered my drink to me and before letting me rush off (re: long line) she stopped me and said, “Taste it. I’ll remake it if you don’t like it.” I took a timid sip and my eyes went wide as the liquid trickled down my throat. It was this miraculous combination of refreshing mint and strong coffee. I never would have put the two together and now I can’t quit the habit.
We rode back and watched the sunset. We were quiet as we peddled, both of us scraping out every last bit of gratitude found in our daily cup. We released it to the One who calls us – to the hard places and to the beautiful places.
And we’ve seen a lot of hard places.
So I came home and I made sweet mint iced coffee. The way I like it – with honey syrup instead of white sugar. With fresh mint from my tiny patio garden.
First, we make homemade iced coffee. You will never regret this. Never.
Famous Mint Iced Coffee
Now, we need to make the mint simple syrup. I did some research on a replacement for simple syrup years ago and it turns out you can use raw clover honey. I use honey simple syrup for everything from drinks to dressings. Simple syrup (typically made with fine white sugar) is just equal parts water and equal parts honey (or sugar). Raw clover honey is perfect because clover honey has a more faint honey taste.
I make a big batch of honey syrup every few weeks. It lasts for one month, refrigerated in an airtight container. Take 1 cup water and 1 cup honey and simmer it on the stove, mixing, until it comes to a slow boil and the honey is fully melted and incorporated into the water.
That’s it. Honey simple syrup.
You can make so many different syrups now that you have a batch of honey syrup. You can do mint or lavender or rosemary. It is up to you, love!
But, mint simple syrup. It’s a little bit like making a cup of tea.
You chop the mint and steep it in the hot honey simple syrup. I put a plate over the mint and simple syrup so the mint oils don’t escape.
Strain after all those good mint oils are extracted (about 20-40 minutes).
And now we have a jar of mint honey simple syrup!
Making the famous mint iced coffee is just as easy. You need the iced coffee (everyone always asks where I get my cold brew maker from – here!), heavy cream (optional), ice and the mint simple syrup.
Ignore my messy kitchen in the background – this was a test kitchen day :)
This is best served at 2:00 pm over crushed ice. Every single day. Maybe sometimes twice a day. Especially on Mondays.