Walk into your local boutique coffee shop and you will be met with lists and lists of specialty drinks. What do they mean? What do they contain? Their French or Italian names usually add to the confusion. Here is a menu of those seemingly endless variations on espresso specialty drinks:
Viennois: espresso + hot milk + whipped cream – equal parts with coffee
Prepare some concentrated coffee, sugar it and, once cold, pour it in a carafe with some ice cubes. Add the mint leaves and some cloves.
Use the classic procedure of the coffee preparation with Mocha., replacing part of the coffee powder with the chocolate powder. Press the powder and proceed with the usual coffee preparation.
Pour coffee in a shaker, with some cubes of ice, the mint syrup and the liquor glasses. Shake and serve in glasses decorating with mint leaves.
Pour the ingredients into a carafe and the lemon juice. Mix carefully. Add some ice cubes and serve in glasses.
Doses for 4 people: 3 cups of short espresso coffee, 4 spoons of cognac, 2 spoons of cointreau, 2 cloves, 1 stick of cinnamon, 4 pieces of orange rind, 4 pieces of lemon rind.
Put in a pot the cognac, cointreau, cloves, the cinnamon stick, and the rinds of lemon and orange. Heat with slow fire and, before boiling, flame. Filter the liquid and add coffee stirring carefully.
Beat up the yolks with sugar and brandy, add hot milk and coffee. Serve hot in some punch glasses.
Mix coffee with sugar, minced orange rind and cognac. Pour into cups, garnish with some whipped cream and an orange rind.
Put all the ingredients in a mixer and pour the liquid in four refrigerated glasses. Serve with two short straws in each glass.
Ingredients: 1/4 of cold espresso coffee, 1/4 of Finland vodka, 1/4 of white genepy, 1/4 of Grand Marnier.
Put the ingredients in a shaker with some ice and serve in a cold cocktail glass.
Ingredients: 1/4 of Anisette, 1/2 Get Freres green peppermint, 1/4 cold espresso coffee.
Prepare it directly in the tumbler glass with some ice cubes, completing with mineral water and garnishing with a lemon slice.
Pour in a glass vase 250 gr. of alcohol for liquors, 250 gr. of water, 100 gr. of ground coffee. Close hermetically the vase and let rest for 8 days and filter it. Add to the obtained liquid a syrup composed by 300 gr. of sugar, 250 gr. of water and a vanilla stick. After 25 days the liquor can be consumed. Some people like it warm or with the addition of anise.
A simpler and faster procedure is to melt in 6 or more cups of coffee (depending on the quantity to obtain), the same volume of sugar and add (cold) the same volume of alcohol for liquors. Preserve in a bottle.
Espresso is a rich, hot beverage with depth and many, varied applications. Many recipes for brownies, cakes, souffles, cookies and even molés, call for espresso. In its liquid and ground forms, espresso is commonly added to deepen and highlight chocolate’s flavor. This demonstrates espresso’s suitability as a pairing partner for many dessert dishes.
The following is sourced from an American Publication, however it is very important that the following is taken into account. First off a normal Espresso in Europe is never more then a half full espresso cup, a ristoretto is half of that again. Bearing this in mind you need to adjust your total extraction time from starting the pump to between 10-15 sec in total. If you ran the extraction process up to 25 sec then either you will have a very weak and watery espresso or you will need to choke the brewing process to the point where its only dripping from the brew unit and end up with something bitter and un-drinkable.
DOUBLE SHOT: Equals 2 to 2.5 fluid ounces of water pulled through approximately 14 grams of ground coffee in about 20 to 25 seconds.
SINGLE SHOT: Equals 1 to 1.5 fluid ounces of water pulled through approximately 7 grams of ground coffee in about 20 to 25 seconds.
Start timing your “extraction” (the shot you are making) when you hit the brew button, and always tamp (pack the coffee into the portafilter basket) with about 30lbs. of pressure.
1. Think of it as a scientific experiment! Don’t vary more than one variable at a time. If you are going to change your grind setting keep the tamp pressure and coffee amounts consistent. Then you will know that it is the grind that is effecting the change in extraction time.
2. Coffee Amounts: Generally fill the porta filter basket, so that it is loosely full, slightly under the basket rim.
3. Tamp Pressure: If you are not sure what 30lbs. of pressure feels like, get out the bathroom scale. Place a paper towel over the scale, unless your feet are really clean, (yuck!), and place the porta filter handle with basket in it on the scale and press down with your tamper until the scale reads 30lbs.
4. It’s all about what you want! Everyone’s taste is a bit different. These are just guidelines. Every coffee is a bit different, so the required grind and pull will vary slightly.
With your own grinder:
1. If you get 2 to 2.5 ounces in 10 or 15 sec’s, your shot is fast. Try making your grind setting finer. Remember this is an experiment! Only change your grind setting, keep the coffee amount and tamp consistent.
2. If you get 2 to 2.5 ounces in 35 sec’s, your shot is slow. Try a coarser grind. Remember consistent coffee amount and tamp.
Without your own grinder:
If you do not have your own grinder, then obviously you can’t vary your grind setting. So, the next best thing is to vary tamp pressure. If the shot is too quick, tamp harder. If the shot is too slow, tamp lighter.
For an in depth look into the art and ritual of making espresso, see our article The Ritual of Making Espresso.
12 Steps to Latte Art
Considered by coffee enthusiasts around the world as the crowning touch, latte art is steadily emerging as the ultimate ending to a perfectly prepared espresso drink. For many years, barista competitions were limited to simply skills and techniques, but as we learned from professional baristas Chris Deferio and Heather Perry, latte art tournaments like the Millrock Latte Art Competition are becoming extremely competitive.
“Millrock itself is getting to be more and more prestigious,” Deferio said regarding the well-known competition. “It’s gaining in notoriety and is becoming a norm in the lexicon of the coffee professional.”
This year’s Millrock Latte Art Competition once again tested the best baristas in the United States not only on the visual aspects of their drinks, but also on the taste and aroma. A café latte finished with a free pour, as it is called in the world of latte art, is visually stunning and captures something incredibly special, according to the publicists of the competition.
Tools of the Trade
To start working on this finishing touch, you’ll need the following items:
20oz Frothing Pitcher
A large latte mug, like the Whole Latte Love™ latte mug
Twelve Steps to Steaming and Pouring like a Professional Barista
To achieve the velvety textured milk that David Schomer discusses in his instructional video Caffé Latte Art, start with fresh, cold milk. Experts suggest using whole milk or milk with a higher fat content to create a denser micro-foam. The combination of cold milk and a cold steaming pitcher enables you to heat the milk for a longer period of time – lengthening your opportunity to create the perfect steamed milk for beautiful latte art.
Begin by pouring a bit less cold milk into the steaming pitcher than will fill your latte cup. Keep in mind that the finished product will increase in volume by 15 to 20%.
Begin steaming the milk with the wand at the bottom of the pitcher.
Once the milk has reached 100º F, begin to raise the wand toward the surface.
Continue steaming, keeping the tip of the steam wand just below the surface of the milk. Note: never break the surface once the initial steaming has begun.
While steaming, angle your pitcher and position it to spin the milk clockwise. Continue steaming steadily until the milk reaches 150-160ºF.
Turn off the steam wand, but do not remove it from the milk until the air has stopped flowing. This will prevent any unwanted large air bubbles from appearing.
Hopefully you have created a dense micro-foam with no bubbles, but if they have formed, swirl the milk vigorously or knock the pitcher on the counter several times in an attempt to eliminate them.
Now brew a fresh crema-topped shot of espresso directly into a pre-heated cup.
Steadily, begin pouring the steamed milk into your espresso cup – maintain a consistent speed and remember to pour gently. This pouring technique is commonly referred to as a free pour.
To create the famed Rosetta or fern-like pattern, angle the cup toward you while pouring the milk toward the bottom of the cup. Once the cup is 1/2 to 2/3 filled, begin swaying the pitcher back and forth using your wrist. A fern-like pattern of foam will appear on top of your crema.
Once the milk nears the top of the cup, draw the milk straight back through the center of the fern pattern to create a stem.