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Cafe Excellence Sumatra Coffee Turkey Chili

Sumatra Coffee Turkey Chili

Cafe Excellence Sumatra Coffee Turkey Chili

Lively tastes with exciting spiced flavor combinations is the trend of today and using coffee and chocolate in the preparation of Chili may be considered among these.

Many ethnic dishes of ages past now emerge appearing as something new, merely by introduction, and a public with a greater willingness to experience something unknown and possibly embrace it.


Using both coffee and chocolate in Chili has actually been used for quite a long time, and perhaps even in the early days of Cowboys and Vaquero’s riding the terrains and mountainous regions along the old southwest. And why not add a bit of the day’s brew left over in the silver tin to provide some moisture to the content base while filling food provisions into big round iron pot hanging right over the burning campfire.  


The addition of coffee and chocolate in Chili is not as apparent by distinctive flavor as the complexity it lends to the dish, particularly in combination with a variety of spices. It is only a matter of willingness to experience something unknown and possibly embrace it.




Last week on the Blog we shared a generational feature story of the Valerio Family and their journey from early pioneer purveyors in the coffee business to micro roasters of fine specialty coffees today. You can read the post on Café Excellence here. Well, you might imagine that while writing an article on coffee that the aromas and flavors might just mesmerize you into preparing a cup of hot steamy brew for yourself, it does.


Sipping one of the Café Excellence Chief Bean Officer, Anthony Valerio’s newest blends, Onyx Sumatra Cayo, a micro lot from coffee beans picked at 3700 feet sea level, also inspired preparation of a big pot of chili using a little less than a couple of cups of freshly brewed smooth black beverage combined with an ounce of chopped bittersweet chocolate.



Was it as good as that chili possibly prepared on an open campfire by the cowboys and vaqueros of the old southwest, well, I reckon it was, who knows if their coffee beans too had come from a high sea level over the borders of Mexico, but one thing is certain, we now get coffee excellence in our own local micro roaster.


Since spiced flavors are the trend of today I’ve provided a recipe with a spice combination of medium heat, allowing room for added spice and chili pepper amounts as your heart or taste buds desire, and for the coffee I’m sticking with the Café Excellence, Onyx Sumatra Cayo, after all, it really began with a willingness to experience something unknown.  


And to incorporate something new, Cafe Excellence Sumatra Coffee Turkey Chili.


Cafe Excellence Sumatra Coffee Turkey Chili

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Category: Artisans-Farms-Markets-Chefs, Poultry

Cuisine: American Homestyle

Yield: 10

Cafe Excellence Sumatra Coffee Turkey Chili


  • For the Spice Mixture:
  • 1 generous teaspoon each: coriander, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • For Preparing the Chili:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 jalapeno or habanero chiles, seeded, chopped, or any other hot chili pepper to desired heat
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 six ounce cans tomato paste
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 3/4 cups measured, brewed Cafe Excellence
  • 1 35 ounce can whole tomatoes with liquid, mashed or chopped coarse
  • 1 12 ounce can lager beer
  • 1 14 ounce can beef broth
  • 2 fifteen ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 fifteen ounce cans pinto beans in Tex Mex sauce (Kuners brand may be found in Hispanic sections of supermarkets)
  • grated cheese for topping
  • cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Preparing the Spice Mixture: Stir spices together in a small bowl, set aside
  2. Preparing the Chili: In a large cast iron enameled pot, heat olive oil then tumble in onions, celery, jalapeno and the red, green and yellow peppers. Cook on the lowest temperature, around ten minutes until softened and blended, stir in the chopped garlic, cook another two minutes. Sprinkle in the spice mixture, cook around one or two minutes until the spice mixture begins to scent. Spoon in the tomato paste and stir well with the vegetables and spices, place cinnamon stick and bay leaves into pot. Stir in the ground turkey, raise heat to medium temperature and cook the turkey for ten minutes. Sprinkle in the chopped bittersweet chocolate, stir well until the chocolate melts into the pot ingredients, a few minutes. Pour in the Cafe Excellence Sumatra coffee, stir throughout, simmer for five minutes. Tumble in the whole tomatoes with the liquid, the lager beer, and a can of beef stock. Simmer for twenty minutes. Stir in the kidney beans and pinto beans in sauce, simmer another twenty minutes on lowest heat for flavors to fully blend and thicken
  3. Assembling Chili: When ready to serve chili, remove cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Sprinkle in a few generous pinches of salt, stir, check seasoning, adjust to taste. Ladle chili into bowls, top with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro leaves

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  1. Posted March 14, 2014 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I’m a huge chili fan, but I never knew you could add coffee to it. This sounds so tasty!
    Phil recently posted…Holy falafel Batman! Mamoun’s Falafel in NYC is the shizz!My Profile

    • Posted March 14, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Hey Phil, how about it, you can, and it adds a real nice flavor particularly in combination with a small bit of chocolate. Perhaps a side thought from mole sauce. Chili is a great dish and so versatile in preparation among different areas in the country. It was a lot of fun preparing it with the Sumatra coffee from Cafe Excellence and I think a higher quality coffee added to the complexity making this an interesting experiment too. Thanks for joining in!

  2. Jay
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Loved the imagery of the cowboys sitting around an open campfire pouring the leftover morning coffee into the simmering pot of chili. Who would have thunk it, coffee and chocolate in chili. With the expected drop in temperature this evening I’ll be preparing your recipe for my dirt-bike riding buckaroos.


    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 1:01 am | Permalink

      Hey Jay, thanks so much for joining in, yep, love the imagery, cowboys, not so far off the border, and preparing the chili over the cowhand meal of the day. The coffee and chocolate- just work together. Enjoy, and with your dirt riding buckaroos, southwestern, I do guess. Thanks so much for joining in.

  3. Sooky
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Chili looks great and I’m looking forward to giving it a try. Thanks for sharing another good recipe and interesting story to go along.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.