The Cottage Smallholder

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Mike Murphy’s Spicy Mexican Coffee Syrup recipe

chillies and coffeeI must admit that if I’d heard the ingredients of Mike’s favourite childhood café Saturday morning breakfast, I don’t think that I would have tried his spicy Mexican syrup in my first mug of Sunday Saffron Walden coffee. Luckily chill con carne omelette hadn’t been mentioned at that point.

Mike has a small chic espresso making machine that makes coffee to kill for. He usually makes an espresso in a mug for me, tops it up with water, sugar and milk. Yesterday he gave me a sideline glance.
“You usually have sugar, don’t you? Would you like to try my spicy Mexican syrup instead. It will perk you up. Get everything going.”

How could I resist.

He left the mug on the side for me. Black and fragrant. Generally I don’t do black coffee but yesterday thought, “Why not give it a go.” I took the teeniest sip. It was superb. Not too spicy but rich, interesting . Very different and special.

Mike Murphy’s Spicy Mexican Syrup recipe

“All I do is put 2 cups water, 1 cup castor sugar and half cup soft dark brown sugar in a pan, bring to the boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Gently simmer until reduced by half. Then add 1 fresh chilli (slit and de-seeded), 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp crushed peppercorns and 1 cinnamon stick. Return to boil and then pour all into a sterilized bottle and store in a dark place for a couple weeks before using.”

Editor’s note: I would recommend roasting the spices briefly (in a frying pan or under the grilli) to enhance the flavours.

Mike added”I must confess that the only twist I give this recipe is to drink it with the Gypsy Kings blaring in the background wearing nothing but my Mexican Sombrero.”

This recipe is from a book called “Cooking with Coffee” by Lucas Rosenblatt, Judith Meyer and Edith Beckmann . Mike writes “I did particulary enjoy the intro which tells the story of coffee. Apparently it all started with a Ethiopian goatherder named Chalid who played a mean flute. :o) one night his goats didn’t come home from their day of grazing. He eventually found them all partying around this red-berried bush, coked out of their gords. :o) The world’s best selling drug was discovered and the rest is history.”

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  1. I’d love for a coffee with Mike right now. Does he still ride his skateboard to the corner store in his pyjamas to get the Sunday papaer? And ask him to play soemthing on the guitar for me… I do miss his company. (old mate from Australia)

  2. real coffee

    I heard about different coffee recipes but I think that there won’t be better drink that usual coffee. 🙂

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Ronda,

    Mike’s spicy syrup is wonderful. Great that the recipe worked for you.

    Thanks for leaving a comment and some feedback, much appreciated.

  4. I wanted to let you know that you had a new reader from Canada. Discovered your website while doing digging up recipes for rosehips (found just what I was looking for – thank you). I made some of this lovely syrup earlier this week and since I toasted my spices and boiled them with the syrup got to taste it yesterday. So very very good. Thanks again to you and Mike.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pat,
    This is well worth making if you like coffee with a kick 

    Hi Amanda,

    Mike is good company. I enjoy working on a Sunday if I am at Mike’s house, and that says it all.

    He is so enthusiastic about food. It is a constant buzz. Very refreshing.


  6. What a hoot! I’ve never met Mike BUT I know we’d love him – Sombrero and all!

    Thank you for posting the recipe. It reminds me of long ago stories about chocolate in South America.

  7. Sounds interesting…. Thanks again!!

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