The coffee plant has fruited
Almond milk with enough fat to generate micro foam, the cup with the right shape for the milk to move during the pouring and lots of practice.
This morning I was lucky to have some homemade almond milk left over and decided pull a shot of espresso and foam some milk. Usually almond milk doesn’t foam up enough micro foam to allow my amateur skills to be able to do any sort of latter art. This morning, I was able to finally make something that resemble a leaf. Yay!
Thanks to my wife who made a special blend of homemade almond milk.
- Soak a cup of almonds overnight or even better 2 nights with a pitted date
- Drain and put the almonds into a blender with 2 cups of water
- Strain with a cheese cloth and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- Optionally add 1/2 cup of coconut cream to thicken
Kate and I got into an argument Monday morning, I think it was about wearing clothes or maybe I was slow in getting up in the morning.
She wrote me a note
“No Coffee For You Dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I asked her why I don’t get any coffee and she said
K : “Because when you are mad, your favorite things get taken away”
Me: “What about you? When you are mad, what favorite things can I take away?”
(I was expecting a toy or dessert or a doll)
K: “You! you are my favorite, you can’t take yourself away! haaa. You won’t ever leave me.. isn’t that funny dad?”
Me: “That was pretty sweet kate” (kids are pretty damn funny and they really know how to make you feel good huh?)
I was pretty speechless, I kept on laughing and gave her a hug.
Getting the fever for coffee this week, this photo is a latte art pour I made 2 am last night
1) I watchd Black Gold, a movie about coffee farmers and Ethiopia
2) I ran 5 miles round trip to Blue Bottle coffee for an espresso and latte
3) I’m considering buying a $1,899 home dual boiler machine
4) My holiday shopping list is from Coffee Geek’s holiday buying guide
5) My last 4 rolls of photos were Latte Art I’ve been making
6) My favorite youtube videos are latte art sequences, check out this one from the U.K. Barista champion
Recently I’ve been thinking that it would be cool one day if I became a part time barista. The art/craft of making expresso interested me after I listened to 2 podcasts from pf.net and coffeegeek.com. There is a 3rd wave coffee movement to lift up the consumption of coffee to the level of the wine industry. It makes a lot of sense. Why is it that you go into a 5 star restaurant and you get hundreds of wines to choose from but you can’t choose coffee from different regions and the expresso base drinks are prepared by the wait staff who are not formally trained to prepare them.
Last night I got one pound of Rituals Hair Bender esspresso and a 1/2 gallon of Clover milk and went to work. Here are the results. I’m estatic with the last one, it actually looks like a leaf!
30 lbs of pressure using the Reg Barber tamper
fress coffee roasted less than 7 days ago from Rituals
25 second espresso shot
mico-foam milk with latte art as testimonial to the right consistency.n!
I finally hit the perfect cup of cappuccino after the 16 th shot. It was sweet and actually better than Rituals.. All worth it. My visa bill this month is going to hit the roof.
Following these simple instructions makes a much better cup of french
1. the right amount of coffee,
2. the right water temperature,
3. stirred correctly,
4. steeped for the right amount of time,
5. and poured the coffee into a thermos away from the used grounds
The photo is of Reg Barber tampers I saw in Risterit in Denmark.. ooooo.. soo cool. I’ve been hearing about these babies on coffeegeek all week.
Ok, I’ve been obssessed with coffee lately. Listening to coffeegeek and http://www.portafilter.net podcasts talking about professional baristas, bean roasting, barista competitions. The 2006 barista champion actually works in Copenhagen. So I contacted a blogger I found when I was in Copenhagen and got recommendations for great espresso and off I went with my Brompton. I didn’t do any sightseeing, just hunting down espresso.
First on the list was Risteriet (www.risteriet.dk). The store is small but very coffee serious looking. It sold high end espresso machines, books on history of coffee, $70+ tampers, french presses. So I order a cappuccino to start.. it was bitter.. so I thought I’ll give it another chance. Order a latte, no art drawing and the taste was really average. Hmm, dissapointing. But my blogger contact was surprised I didn’t like it, I’ll revisit again for a straight shot of espresso. 3 stars out of 5
Second shop I visited was not on the list, just a place that looked interesting with a big M as the logo. The cappuccino was served in a huge glass, already a big warning sign.. and the coffee was just average, stale tasting with no good foam. 2 stars out of 5
By this time I’m on my forth cup of coffee and I arrived at Estate Coffee (www.estatecoffee.dk). The signs outside is bragging about the 2006 Barista champion works there. But he was not working at the counter. This place is a roaster as well as a cafe. I ordered a cappuccino and it was served with latte art. The coffee and milk was very sweet and smooth. I was reminded very much of Rituals Coffee right in San Francisco. Makes me realize how good we have it in SF with bluebottle and cafe organica and now Rituals. 4 stars out of 5. Why not 5 out of 5? The atmosphere is so so, very quiet, no music.. no coffee culture.
If you know me a little, you know I obsess over food and coffee. *I* didn’t even know how bad it could get. I’m basically ignoring the sights of the city of Copenhagen in search for coffee :-) Ok 2 more cafes to check out tomorrow, then I’ll do the tourist thing, but not before I put another 15 miles on my Brompton.
I been having a hard time finding Italian quality coffee in Paris. Most places that serve coffee in Paris serve very mediocure cafe creme and cappucino. While in Paris, I’ve been listening to the http://coffeegeek.com/ podcast and making myself long for a good cup of capuccino.
Until one day I stumbled on urbietorbi le bar italien. Their capuccino has very nutty and sweet flavors and the coffee actually reminds me of the quality and freshness of Italian coffee! Also their space is very inviting with ultra modern chairs and a comfortable bean bag sofa that let’s me just lie down and be lazy and read my travel books.
My new love in Paris!
I found one forum explaining why coffee in France is subpar. Another blog with some comments about where to find good coffee.
My personal advice about coffee in France (and in Paris in particular) would be to pick coffee-oriented chains like Illy or Segafreddo, or places like Café de Colombie, where you’ll be served only pure arabica coffee. We French have a problem with our coffee supply. Most of what you get in “troquets” (average cafes and brasseries) is brewed from robusta beans, because of our privileged commercial relationships with our former African colonies (Ivory Coast, Cameroun) that grow mostly robusta. This is a unique situation ; most European countries (with a stress on Italy) and America prefer arabica. Now, though some robustas may be drinkable, most of the time they’re terribly bitter, acidic and rich in caffeine. This accounts for the characteristic (and, to me, horrid) taste of the French “petit noir”. And when the espresso machine isn’t properly maintained, the taste is even worse.
I’m going through another crazy phase in my life. I’m getting into coffee again after a hiatus of about a year or so.
I used to be the barista for my friends and family with this little Gaggia Classic . This little puppy really served me well. Even though there was a lot of manually process to grind the beans, tamping down the grind, extracting the espresso. Then heating up the pump to foam the milk to a perfect frothy steam milk. Follow by a cooling down of the pump down to lower temperature for the espresso to come next. It was labor intensive but the result is usually a sweet tasting cup of latte.
Then I upgraded to this full automatic Capresso C1500 which has a built in grinder, automatic espresso dispenser. I did have to hook up an external contraption to get the milk to froth to medium hot shot of steam milk. It not up to par to the manual labor of love. For a while it satisfied the lazy coffee drinker in me who gave up lattes and went for straight espresso or just ‘dripped’ coffee drinks with a layer of cafe creme made by this sweet machine.
Now I find myself falling in love with the idea of labor intensive coffee drinks like the ones from Ritual Coffee (see blogs about it )where a fern is drawn on top of the drink to make you appreciate how beautiful coffee could be. Or I would be ordering a cup of hand drip coffee for an extra $1 over regular drip coffee from Fog Hollow farmers. I like to see them put a filter on the hand brewer, measure the 3 scoops of ‘fresh’ bean powder on the individual cup of coffee.
So I’ve started reading up on how to make a good cup of drip coffee. I’ll have to bite the bullet and spend $160 to get a good grinder (apparently I should grind the beans when the water is almost broiling), then get some good beans from Blue Bottle Cofee, some filter paper from Melitta.