Bell Blend Chocolate Toffee

2 cups butter

2 cups sugar

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Bell Blend coffee

2 cups milk chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

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Boil butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until it turns into a dark amber color.

Pour onto a baking sheet, and immediately sprinkle ground Bell Blend over the toffee while it cools so that it will stick.

While it cools, melt the milk chocolate chips in a double boiler.

In a separate pan, melt the white chocolate chips.

Once the toffee is dried, pour the melted milk chocolate over the top of the toffee.

Scatter the melted white chocolate on top of the milk chocolate.

Set it in the freezer to harden.

8 O’Clock Coffee

My father grew up on a farm in a tiny town of Northern Alabama.  Every one in his family for generations were farmers so their lifestyle was full of community.  All Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents… you name it, they farmed.

A few years ago I was sitting in the kitchen of my parent’s home.  My dad and I were talking with each other and catching up on the latest news in life.  He walked to the pantry and pulled out a small bag of 8 o’clock coffee.  He looked at the already opened bag of coffee and his eyes welled up with tears*he’s always been an extremely emotional man.*

I rolled my eyes, “what’s wrong dad?” I asked, knowing he was about to tell me a story I had already heard a million times.  Instead… He told me a new one.

He looked up at me, shook the bag of coffee and said “Every night when I was a boy, all the farmers would come over for a cup of 8 o’clock coffee.  They would wind down after a long day in the fields and talk.  This coffee makes me miss the days when that was the normal.  8 o’clock coffee was the coffee to gather with. It created community Lou Lou.”

He said his small short story, shook his head, and walked to the coffee maker to put on a fresh pot.

This story never seems to leave me.  It is constantly in the back of my mind.  There really is something magical about coffee.  It is the only source that drags my 5’11 self out of the bed each morning, the pick me up at 3 pm, and the desired drink to go with dessert after dinner.

So, my husband and I came up with a plan to start roasting our own.  It was a little test at first.  We didn’t think it would be something we loved so much, but it completely captured us.

We order our raw beans from a company called Sweet Maria’s and the beans are imported from Columbia, with notes of honey and dark chocolate.  Cody tirelessly roasts the coffee to a medium roast and we now sell it for $10 a pound! I marvel at how this all came about.

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We call our coffee the Bell Blend.  So original right? 🙂

One day we hope to create a space in our city for coffee to be sipped and community to be formed.  A place where any person can be family, sitting around a table, sipping coffee… Bell Blend Coffee.

For now, instead of our own space, we gather around the living room of our tiny apartment, and sip coffee with any friend who wants some, even at 8 o’clock.

*If you are interested in buying some Bell Blend from us, click on the sub link under the coffee shop tab titled “Support our shop”.  The tab will send you directly to our square up website to purchase your very own bag!