But First, Coffee – Santa Cruz Salted Caramel Swirl

Every Monday, I start the workweek with an edition of But First, Coffee. It features some of my favorite cold brew coffee recipes, which you can find in my e-book, Coffee: The New Cocktail.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this week, I should’ve featured the Dubliner. But I already did that. Poor planning on my part. But, you can click on the link there to read that post.

Instead, I’m featuring another concoction that reminds me of my beloved Bay Area. Like the San Jose Signature, this is a drink that evokes memories of a specific place. It’s the Santa Cruz Salted Caramel Swirl.

Santa Cruz is known for many things. The Boardwalk. Tie-dyed hippies. Art galleries. Skateboards. Surfing. The Mystery Spot. And, of course, beautiful beaches. But it’s also known for delicious treats.

When I was growing up, it wasn’t a trip to Santa Cruz if you didn’t stop and buy a bag of salt water taffy from Marini’s at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. (The peanut butter flavor is my favorite.) I’d always save some for the ride home, so I could enjoy that feeling of being at the beach as long as possible.

At first, I was slow to the salted caramel craze. It just didn’t interest me. Then I decided it might be pretty good in cold brew coffee. So I experimented and put a few things together. And what I ended up with had a smooth and somewhat salty flavor that instantly brought me back to Santa Cruz. It’s equal parts Salted Caramel and French Vanilla syrups, plus heavy cream.

Not quite the same as a ride on the carousel, or an afternoon dozing on the beach, but a nice way to escape and bring the beach home, if only for a while.

Do you like cold brew coffee?