Morning Renditions: Westview’s Coffee and Cream

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and what better inspiration for today’s recipe than the brand new series starring Marvel’s Power Couple? Part superhero serial, and part sitcom homage, WandaVision follows Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), living in married bliss in the suburban town of Westview. The last we saw these Avengers, it was on the big screen in an epic, superpowered battle against Thanos. Now, they’re stuck inside a sitcom, complete with period-accurate screen aspect ratios and a laugh track. What’s going on? And how is Vision alive? We won’t pretend to understand it, but this unraveling weekly mystery has us hooked! Some discussion of the show follows, so if you care for spoilers, you might want to skip right ahead to the recipe.
WandaVision trades alien warlords and superpowered terrorists for
household chores and social calls / Image Credit: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The most recent episode begins with opening credits directly inspired by the 80’s shows Growing Pains and Family Ties. The entire town of Westview seems to be caught in a throwback decade, and this week, everything looks like the 1980’s! Some magical reality-bending is afoot, and all that enters the town gets an automatic retro-makeover: A Hazmat-suit turns into a beekeeper uniform, a military drone devolves into a toy helicopter, and casual clothing transforms into a bell-bottom jumpsuit.

This made us think - what would a modern day coffee concoction turn up as if we put it through the retro ringer? How exactly was coffee enjoyed in the 80’s?


Cafe Francais, one of several popular flavoured instant coffee mixes from
General Foods International (of Maxwell House fame)

Before big chains like Starbucks hit the mainstream in the early 90’s, there was a lack of high-quality coffee in western markets due to strict export quotas and the greater ubiquity of Robusta beans. This did not mean there was no romance to coffee in this time period however, as coffee began to be marketed towards younger adults, mostly made up of new families. Most products were still instant and commonly consumed with creamer, but flavours inspired by international styles and decadent desserts had begun to emerge. Names such as Cafe Vienna, Swiss Mocha, and French Vanilla became synonymous with coffee, and this movement to attract more coffee drinkers was instrumental in the increased adoption of the beverage that continued on into the next decade.

In this Morning Renditions, we’re creating a pairing that would be right at home in 80’s Westview: Black Coffee and Creamer. And much like Wanda and Vision, we’re doing a bit of magic to give this classic duet a high-quality twist! One half of the recipe mimics unadulterated black coffee, which we will pull long from a capsule. The other half is a homemade French Vanilla creamer - a popular flavour from the time period. True to the decade is less emphasis on a composed drink. Simply add more creamer to your black coffee as you see fit!

Westview’s Coffee and Cream

Ingredients:

French Vanilla Creamer:

  • 25g Almonds, roughly chopped

  • 200ml Full Cream Milk

  • 200g Condensed Milk (about half a standard 14oz can)

  • 1 Vanilla Bean, sliced in half and seeds scraped out

80’s-style Black Coffee:

  • 100ml of espresso (brewed from 1 capsule, lungo-style)

Preparation:

  1. Toast the almonds in a dry saucepan over low heat. Gently stir around for about 4-5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them!

  2. Add in the full cream milk, condensed milk, and both the vanilla bean and seeds, and whisk them all together, still over low heat.

  3. Once the mixture begins to simmer, turn off the heat.

  4. Strain the mixture into a jar, leaving out the vanilla pods and chopped nuts. Once cooled, you can cover and refrigerate the creamer, which can be kept for up to a week.

  5. Pull one long shot of espresso on your capsule machine. You may have to hold the button down to get our 100ml yield per capsule - mimicking a lungo setting. The resulting liquid should be more similar to a brewed coffee than an espresso.

  6. Simply stir some creamer into your black coffee! How much is entirely up to you, but we enjoy one part creamer to five parts coffee, which for our recipe is about 20ml of the sweet stuff.

  7. Binge-watch back episodes, while enjoying the romance and nostalgia brought about by this classic pairing!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Recipe by Jon Choi @theheadbean

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