Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Perfect Shot?

Chances are you love coffee. Unfortunately, you will sometimes get a badly prepared cup of coffee at restaurants and gas stations. Even nice bistros with great food and wine skimp out on the coffee! Cafes are touchy. I have to sniff around for a while before I'm convinced it's worth going in. Sometimes, I find a cafĂ© with pictures of beautiful cappuccinos with “rosetta” designs in the foam: that’s a start! It's hard to be sure without pictures unless you personally know a barista, and know for a fact that he or she kicks ass!

Hollandaise sauce is eggs and butter. Well a cappuccino is coffee and milk! I bet you mucho dinero that if I took a bunch of eggs and some butter and put them together without knowing what I was doing I would end up with something distinctly not hollandaise sauce. It’s the same when making a cappuccino, for the untrained. I enjoy drinking lattes and cappuccinos, but I also love making people the most delicious creations with coffee.

Everything in the coffee world is timing and ratios. Subtleties keep people searching for the perfect cup. The elusive “perfect shot” of espresso should taste like this: melted chocolate pouring as molasses, caramel velvet cream, and a luscious butter finish. All of this is possible, my friends! I can see it, smell it and watch the color as it pulls. I can taste it with my nose! When the blanket of flavor coats my tongue its viscosity is present and warming. Disappointment after disappointment is what keeps me going all day I suppose. When the planets line up, meaning you get the right day, the right weather, a quality roast, a clean machine, proper tamp, good water temperature, a hot group head, (not too hot, just right!), there you have it: your perfect shot of espresso! How often does that happen you might wonder? Infrequently, of course, but one can only hope....

The rich diversities of coffee tastes and aromas, from Bolivia to Papua New Guinea to Ethiopia and beyond make for a world of possible combinations for an espresso blend. We try to keep our secrets in this little world of coffee, but I will tell you that ours is a blend of organic, Fair Trade coffees formulated for rich deep flavors, an intoxicating aroma, and a full body. This blend will also make a great everyday coffee for French press or other means of preparation as well.


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