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“Taking inspiration from the ancient Aztec tradition of adding hot spices to a chocolate drink, Debi and I are today spinning this ancient brew our way, by adding a generous shot of coffee in it to give it an extra ‘kick’ and to widen a bit the palette of flavors. We used drip coffee (you know, the American way) which is less aggressive than espresso, in order not to mask excessively the chocolate flavor. However feel free to take this one for a test ride and play with ingredients amount: try using more hot pepper, or replacing drip coffee for espresso, or even sourcing different kinds of chocolate. I know that if my grandfather was still alive he would absolutely try adding a shot of liquor of some sort... I would guess Grappa, Brandy or Rum.”


  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 ounces 80% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 pinches crushed hot pepper or 1 dry red chili pepper, split with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup Lavazza Gran Selezione coffee


Serves: 2


Using a pairing knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into the milk. (Adding the pod is optional)

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Add the chocolate and the chili pepper; mix constantly until all chocolate is melted.

Remove from heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Strain through a tight mesh sift and serve.