DIY “Fancy” Coffees

Like many writers out there, my best writing sessions are often resemble caffeine fueled hallucinations. When I want to set myself up for a great writing session I usually start with a great cup of coffee. These same recipes are also great for a break during a long work-from-home day.

Break-room Mocha, but make it fancy

A pink coffee mug with a heart drawn in chocolate syrup on milk foam.

Have you ever heard of a “break room mocha”? It’s a cute way of describing the practice of making cheap work-provided coffee taste like a treat using powdered hot chocolate. It can be the perfect pick-me-up during the 2PM post-lunch slump.

When I make a “break room mocha” at home though, I like to kick it up a notch.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 to 1 whole Swiss Miss packet (or 1 Swiss Miss k-cup)
  • 1 “cup” (standard coffee mug or k-cup) of your favorite coffee (I recommend dark roast for this)
  • Milk or non-dairy alternative (I recommend cashew)
  • Chocolate syrup, like Hershey’s.
  • Toppings, such as whipped cream or DIY cold foam (see below)

Step 1:

Put half a packet of Swiss Miss (or the contents of a hot chocolate k-cup) in the bottom of your coffee mug. Mix with about two fingers worth of milk.* Microwave for about 20 seconds if able.

Step 2:

Add your coffee. If using a k-cup, use the middle or regular size option.

Step 3:

Top with your choice of topping, sweet cold foam or whipped cream. Drizzle or doodle with chocolate syrup.

DIY Cold Foam

What you’ll need:

  • Milk, or non-dairy alternative
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sweetener (optional)
  • Frother


Add about a finger to two fingers of milk in a clean mug. Add a tiny amount of vanilla to taste (this may take some experimentation). If using, add a bit of sweetener. I have used liquid stevia and maple syrup with great success.

Froth until doubled in volume. Add to favorite DIY “Fancy” Coffee!

Here’s the frother I use, but any electric frother will do the trick. From what I have tried, oat milk foams better than cashew, but adding cashew as your milk for the mocha gives it more body. I don’t have a report on almond milk at the moment. Nothing works as well as real dairy though. If you don’t drink dairy due to lactose, I would suggest using lactose-free dairy milk, like Lactaid. If you’re non-dairy due to a different sensitivity or personal ethics, I would suggest oat milk for the foam.

If you have a favorite frother or more tips for the non-dairy folks, please leave them in the comments!

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