The Coffee Chart

As many of you have heard, my writing process has a great deal to do with caffeine consumption. Just as I swap out music from book to book, I also have a different signature drink for each manuscript– my go to beverage, so to speak.

For your amusement, here’s the (updated) coffee chart for the last four books:

The Ashford Affair (winter/spring 2012): grande caramel mocha with whip.

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (summer 2012): grande caramel macchiato. (Miss Gwen scorned whipped cream as excessively fluffy.)

That Summer (winter 2012/spring 2013): grande skim cinnamon dolce steamer with whip. (Since I wasn’t allowed caffeine, I tried to make up for it with a super dose of sugar.)

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (autumn 2013): venti decaf peppermint mocha with whip. (I still wasn’t risking caffeine, but decaf was a step closer! And Sally Fitzhugh strikes me as a peppermint mocha sort of girl, don’t you think?)

Right now, I’m working away on the next stand alone novel, aka the 1927 Book. I haven’t come to a drink landing yet, but so far this is looking like a decaf skim venti hazelnut latte kind of book. Because if I can’t go caffeinated, at least I can go up a size?

What are your favorite coffee beverages?


  1. Christine on April 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

    In the winter, I’m definitely a peppermint mocha girl, but I’m also a big fan of the cinnamon dolce latte. Hazelnut macchiato is also good. Really I’ll drink anything that starts as an espresso. I got myself an espresso pot and milk frother for Christmas so I loooooove making them at home.

  2. Chartreuse on April 26, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Miss Gwen and whipped cream: It sounds as if you might need to remind Miss Gwen who is in charge 😉

  3. Michelle Springer on April 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I’m not a coffee drinker, so all my beverages are either tea or hot chocolate. Chai Lattes always remind me of a trip to London with my Mom and sister, so I always smile when I drink one.

  4. Gina on April 26, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Plain old iced coffee is just perfect for me in the summers.

  5. Lynne on April 27, 2014 at 12:01 am

    You really assign a drink to each book, Lauren? The folks at Starbucks must absolutely love you! I love a Caramel Macchiato now and then, but a good cup of plain coffee with some Bailey’s Irish Creamer (no alchohol in it) added is just perfect in the morning. Or with any book…

  6. Suzanne on April 27, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Errr!!! I am showing my Aussieness here, but American coffee does nothing for me. It must be good unadulterated Italian coffee for me. We have a small number of Starbucks here but they never really got a foothold. They make lolly water not real coffee. Terrible things they do to it. My favourite coffee is a cappuccino in winter or an iced coffee in summer; no nasty additions permitted. We have a huge Italian population here in Australia and they have spoiled us. Now only top quality Italian coffee will do for us.

    • Suzanne on April 27, 2014 at 1:43 am

      I thought I should soften my comment a bit by adding that I am really fond of American food. I love hamburgers and they are made in our fish and chip shops here. Yum! I am also quite passionate about southern food; fried chicken, jambalaya and corn griddle cakes. Delicious!!

      • Betty S. on April 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        Suzanne, have you tried Southern grits, with lots of butter? Cheese grits are great too!

        • Suzanne on April 28, 2014 at 12:14 am

          No Betty, I have heard of them but never encountered them. What are they made with?

          • Betty S. on April 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

            Grits are ground corn, originally from Native Americans. Today they are sold in a dry hominy form that you prepare by boiling in water and adding salt and butter to taste. They can be served as a porridge or with a full breakfast of eggs and bacon. They are seldom found north of the Mason/Dixon line, but are a Southern mainstay.

      • Suzanne on May 3, 2014 at 7:14 am

        Betty, that sounds a lot like what we call creamed corn, which I am very fond of on toast.

    • Jessica C on April 27, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Another Australian here (and a Melbournian to boot) and definitely agree. Spent a semester at an American college and couldn’t drink the dorm coffee – terrible! An ordinary latte (or dark roast made in a French press at home) is standard. Very occasionally I’ll get hazelnut or Irish cream syrup if I’m at a Starbucks (very rare though, given all the other places to get a good cup of coffee in Melbourne). Tea, though? Totally different matter. I have a box full of different varieties.

      LOVE American food though. Put on about 5kgs over a semester exchange.

      • Suzanne on April 28, 2014 at 12:21 am

        Jessica, it is so lovely to meet a fellow Melbournian here!!! I’m afraid I am every bit as fussy with tea as with coffee. I like good, strong Indian best, what my mother calls builder’s tea. Twinings English Breakfast is my favourite. The Sri Lankian Dilmar brand is very good too, as is the Malaysian Boh, but unfortunately I have never found it outside of Malaysia.

    • Lynne on April 28, 2014 at 12:04 am

      Okay…we cannot be friends any longer. You’ve insulted our coffee! Of course, I’m teasing you. I drank coffee in England years ago and I bet that’s how you like your coffee. We used to say you could cut it with a knife…do Australians like theirs very, Very strong? Starbucks makes so-so coffee…I rarely drink it. My favorite is Guatamalan Dark Roast – we have a vendor here in town that gets it directly. And since I’m half Italian, Suzanne, you’ve reedeemed yourself – and my grandma would agree with you:).

      • Suzanne on April 28, 2014 at 12:17 am

        Actually Lynne, I didn’t like the coffee in England at all. But it wasn’t an issue as their tea is fabulous and I consumed gallons of it!!

        We will have to agree to disagree about coffee. If you ever come to Melbourne I will take you to a café and ply you with Italian coffee and we can bet a fiver on your reaction.

        • Lynne on April 28, 2014 at 11:26 pm

          Sounds like heaven…

  7. Sue G on April 27, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Love the idea of signature drinks!
    I brew a pot of New England Coffee Breakfast blend each morning. When my daughter comes home from college, we try different types of coffee in the Keurig . Toasted almond is my favorite.

  8. jeffrey on April 27, 2014 at 9:30 am

    So that’s my problem. Not enough creativity or imagination in my coffee choices. To wit: Robust fully-leaded black coffee for all occasions. Working in aircraft flight control, our employees brew a pot with twice the coffee grounds and call it “Shrek Double-Strength.”

    • Suzanne on April 28, 2014 at 12:23 am

      Shrek double strength? I llove it!!! I will have to tell my brother about that, he likes his coffee about that strong too.

  9. Betty S. on April 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I cannot abide coffee of any kind. My mother drank a cup of coffee at every meal, and I couldn’t wait to try it when I was old enough because it smelled so wonderful. Had my first cup at college when I was 17, and was so terribly disappointed. I kept trying it on many different occasions at Officer’s Wives’ coffees (pretty much mandatory)and while stationed on the Island of Cyprus with all of our embassy functions – anyone had Turkish coffee? That did it for me!

    I am an avid tea drinker, which is why I would fit perfectly in England. My favorites are English Breakfast Tea, Irish Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey, and orange spice tea.

    I know, too much information, but I got carried away with this one.

    • Suzanne on April 28, 2014 at 12:29 am

      That’s really interesting Betty. I didn’t like coffee either when I was little. The only coffee we had back then was instant and it was vile. Then when I was 13 we went to Europe and the coffee in Italy was a revelation. It was beautiful. Thank goodness it only took a few years to migrate here after that. Now we can get it everywhere.

  10. Rachel Brown on April 27, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    White chocolate mochas are so great! But I love a good cinnamon dolce latte or a caramel apple spice too!

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