But First, Coffee – The Donna Special

What’s a writer without coffee?


If you know me, you know I’m a coffee fiend. And I’m especially fond of cold brew. So much so that I wrote an e-book about it, Coffee: The New Cocktail. That gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own cold brew coffee at home with no fancy equipment. And it has 20 recipes, plus tips & info.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share some of my caffeinated adventures with you in a semi-regular feature called But First, Coffee. And I want to start with the drink that started it all for me.

See, I try to follow a low-carb, high-fat diet. (It works for me.) That can be challenging when there are so many yummy, sugary coffee treats out there. And I love to get out of the house after spending a few hours working on a writing or editing project, all while being interrupted by barking dogs and frightened delivery people. A trip to my local cafe is a great diversion. But, I think I mentioned, I’m a writer, so I try not to spend a small fortune on coffee.

But, dang it. That’s my vice.

So, I decided I’d learn to make my own at home, and recreate my favorite cold brew from Starbucks. That would be a trenta¬†cold brew with 4 pumps sugar free vanilla, 3 pumps sugar free cinnamon dolce, and light heavy cream.

A few of my favorite things …


No, that’s not a typo. It means just a little, like a tablespoon or two. Some baristas see heavy cream and dump in half a cup. I like a little more coffee with my cream, thanks.

But I started feeling sorry for the poor barista who had to read off, “Trenta cold brew with 4 sugar free vanilla, 3 pumps sugar free cinnamon dolce, and light heavy cream.” I mean, let’s face it, that’s a mouthful. So, since I was living in a small town at the time and I knew all the employees, I told them to start calling it The Donna Special.

And naturally, it was the first drink I recreated for Coffee: The New Cocktail. My tastes change with my mood, but this is still my all-time favorite.

Are you a cold brew fan?

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