Get Your Floral Mojo! Celebrate International Coffee Day

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By Jill Brooke


Let’s get our mojo!

It’s International Coffee Day and all of us collectively will be pouring about 1.4 billion cups of coffee today.

Originally from Ethiopia in 700 AD, it became popular after a herd of goats started acting strangely as if they were dancing.  Their owner Kaldi concluded the cause was from eating a red bean and shared his finding with a local monk who happened to need something that could keep awake all night as he prayed. Another version of the story is that the monk refused and threw the beans into the fire – (more likely) – and the pleasing aroma that came from the beans created interest.

Soon the beans, renamed “Mocha,” started making their way around the world and here we are.

Of course, we love floral coffees.

Here’s an idea. Instead of adding cinnamon, add floral-infused syrup. Maybe hibiscus or lavender. You can also steep dried flower petals in hot milk.


1) First make a simple syrup which is boiling 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar. Let sugar dissolve.

2) In a bowl, add your flowers. For tulips and carnations, use 1 cup of petals. For roses, 2 cups. For lavender, which is so fragrant, use 3 tablespoons.

3) Pour the hot water over the flowers and let sit for 30 minutes.

4)  Now using a coffee filter or funnel, pour the mixture into a bottle and voila. Easy peasy.

Perhaps you are like me and have a special floral coffee cup.

Do you? Please share.  I almost thought of doing a special piece for you on my collection of floral coffee cups. But some beloved ones are chipped and not great photography shots.

Furthermore, don’t forget about Iced Coffee opportunities. In her fabulous book, “Floral Libations,” Cassie Winslow shared this fab recipe as well.

Reprinted from Floral Libations by Cassie Winslow with permission by Chronicle Books.



This morning treat is a wonderful way to enjoy coffee during the summertime. Knowing that the lavender goodness will tickle your taste buds, you will bounce out of bed and skip to the kitchen to whip up these delightful beverages. I love to make the coffee and lavender mix the evening before so it’s ready to go first thing in the morning.

4 cups  hot, freshly brewed coffee

¼ cup  Lavender Sugar 

Ice cubes

2 cups [480 ml] whole milk

4 sprigs dried organic lavender for garnish

In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together the hot coffee and Lavender Sugar. Place the mix in the fridge for about 6 hours or overnight to chill.

When you are ready to make the cafés au lait, fill 4 glasses with ice. Pour 1 cup of the coffee and lavender mixture into each glass followed by ½ cup of whole milk. Stir until combined. Garnish each glass with a sprig of lavender.



Lavender’s subtle complexity adds dimension to everyday dishes and makes it so much fun to experiment with. It has a wonderful sweetness, and combining it with sugar is a match made in culinary paradise.

3 Tbsp dried lavender

1 cup  cane sugar

In a food processor or spice grinder, grind the lavender for about 2 seconds—yes, it goes by quickly! This will reduce the size of the petals just slightly and open them up a bit to bring out the flavor, without turning them into a powder.

In a small bowl, stir together the lavender and sugar. For optimal flavor, wait about 1 week before use. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 6 months.

Whether hot or cold, coffee just kickstarts the day.

And with leftover coffee, we are not a fan of using them in the garden – since recent studies say it is too acidic and can hurt neighboring plants. However, used coffee grinds are fab to rub onto your meat before cooing for an easy way to get a smoky flavor.

Also, let’s not forget how important it is to have a floral-infused coffee cup! I have a few treasured ones and there’s also a funny insult line by Melissa Johnson’s “Miss Havisham’s Curiosities.” I also love my classic Wedgewood ones.

Hopefully, you will also share your favorite coffee cups with us at

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.


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