This post was created in partnership with Ninja Coffee Bar® System. I received complimentary products and compensation to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.
Oh coffee. Friends, coffee is my favorite. My absolute favorite thing and part of the reason I can get myself out of bed in the morning. I usually brush my teeth and stumble into the kitchen first thing and sit patiently waiting for that first hot mug of coffee to be ready.
I wanted to share a few ideas for my fellow coffee drinkers out there (and hot chocolate fans) including a super simple coffee bar station and DIY Peppermint Mocha recipe that are especially perfect for the holiday season.
I love to entertain and what I have recently started doing is setting up a drink station when I entertain so guests can help themselves. This has really worked out so well and I couldn’t believe how popular a little coffee bar was over Thanksgiving. We had family over and I had wine and cider for dinner and then once the dessert plates came out, I had a coffee station set up for guests to help themselves. Like a mini coffee shop right in the corner of the dining room. Most of our family sat contentedly playing games and chatting long after the meal, sipping coffee and nibbling on dessert. There is something about a warm drink that is so comforting and decadent to me. A perfect end to a meal.
I recently received a Ninja Coffee Bar® System and this little appliance has made a gourmet coffee bar so simple! I can brew six different sizes of coffee, including pots, half pots and single serve cups, froth milk for iced or hot drinks and even customize the brew for a richer flavor.
I used to brew single cups of coffee with my old machine but honestly who am I kidding here- so I love the half pot option. I can get 2-3 cups from that which is basically what every morning looks like for me anyway. When I do use the pot or half pot option my favorite little feature on this machine is this:
Oh my gosh this is so smart! As you are brewing a pot if you don’t want to wait for the entire pot to finish, you can slide the little drip stop lever over and it stops brewing so you can pour your first delicious cup and then slide it back once the pot is back in place and it finishes brewing. Yeah!
The other little feature that is really love on this machine is when brewing single serve cups, you can either pull down this little shelf for your coffee mug or you can leave it up for tall tumblers! Insert fist pump y’all because my old coffee machine does not fit half my to go cups and I would need to brew into a mug and then pour into the to go cup.
Now beyond the regular coffee you can brew (in regular or rich brew intensity), you can also do specialty coffee brews for espresso type drinks. The machine comes with a scoop (pictured on the right side of the machine above) to properly measure your coffee for the drink you want.
In addition to that, you can also froth milk for espresso drinks or hot chocolate or steamed milk. A little frothing arm pulls out from the back of the machine and you twist the frothing device on and then simply push down and the machine will froth away. Unclip the frother when you are done and a very quick rinse in the sink gets it clean.
Now to get down to business. How to make your own Peppermint Mocha. I love these things but the ones from the coffee bars tend to be too rich and too sweet for me. The beauty of making them at home is not only customizing exactly to your taste but saving money and time at the drive thru.
This is crazy simple to make- starting with Peppermint Simple Syrup. You can certainly buy Peppermint syrup- but to make it takes just minutes and makes a fun gift!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon Peppermint extract
- Mix water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- Boil just until syrup is dissolved and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and carefully add peppermint extract.
- Stir well and allow to cool.
- Store in a mason jar for several weeks.
Now to make your own Peppermint mocha:
- Brew strong coffee or use your Ninja Coffee Bar® to brew the specialty coffee function.
- Heat 2/3 cup milk- froth if you can.
- Add 2 teaspoons each unsweetened cocoa and peppermint syrup to warm milk
- Mix everything together and top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings or for more peppermint-y goodness, a peppermint stir stick.
As I mentioned that gives you a milder version of the Peppermint Mocha. For stronger mocha and mint flavor, increase to 2 tablespoons.
Let me know if you give this recipe a shot or if you give the Ninja Coffee Bar® a shot!
Contest is now closed. Winner is Becky from Ohio.
And if you’d like to win one of these lovely little brewers, simply fill in your name and address above. The information is used solely to quickly ship the winner their prize and not so I can sign up for junk mail or show up on your doorstep for dinner.
- Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as a part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central and must reside in the United States.”
- Ninja Coffee Bar® System giveaway is the same product as the review product
- Contest ends 12/18/16 at 5pm PST
- Winner will be randomly selected via random.org