Laurie’s daughter Cher has been visiting us from Maine. She stayed in our new suite which overlooks the stream and is just below the jungle suite. Her back porch is right on top of the jungle where our trail goes out to the waterfall swimming hole. She said that sometimes the jungle sounds were so loud (in the evening) that when she called her friends and family back in Maine they would ask her what the sound was, and later could always tell immediately where she was calling from. It isn’t just the coqui’s, of which we have eleven varieties all with distinctive notes to their calls, but also the katydids which harmonize the cacophony. We also enjoy the calls of the night. My favorite is the Puerto Rican screech owl (a pair lives in the tree a short distance away). The screech owl call sounds like a raucous chattering monkey.
Cher said that besides lounging in the new suite and going to the beach with her mom her other favorite activity was going shopping with her and stopping at Starbucks for a frappuccino. Cher decided that she wanted to make one here so she could combine her two favorite things, enjoying a frappuccino and lounging on the back porch with the jungle view. So the first thing she tried is brewing some fine Puerto Rican coffee, adding ice, and mixing it in the blender. It turned out nasty tasting so Cher asked Laurie to help come up with something that tasted like Starbuck's secret formula. The first thing Laurie tried was some internet searches. She had no luck with that as the recipes didn't achieve the flavor she was looking for.
Laurie said, "So then I got thinking that those small kioskos in the malls must use ingredients which keep and are easy to deliver and are simple to make. So I knew it couldn't be fresh milk." Laurie knew she had to start with strong coffee flavor as the coffee shops had that in abudance. It didn't take her long to come up with the most delicious frappuccinos.
Brew fresh coffee or use instant. If you use instant be sure it is an instant made for the Puerto Rican market (most cities have Nestle Puerto Rican style or get someone in Puerto Rico to mail you a couple jars). The Puerto Rican instant coffee is so much better that it makes all the difference. It can even be decaf with very little difference in the flavor. Use 3 3/4 cups cold water and about six slightly heaping teaspoons of Puerto Rico freeze dried instant coffee (or the same amount of chilled fresh-brewed espresso, double strength). Then add one can of sweetened condensed milk. This is the secret ingredient. Put plenty of ice in the blender, pour in some of your liquid and frappe away.
This summer we have been enjoying a tall glass almost every afternoon.