Time to test your barista art chops. Here's what I poured this morning. Just some random blobs of textured milk in my espresso. The challenge is - what to make it? With a tiny bit of reserved foam in the steaming cup and a dial thermometer to help, your task is to make it into "something". After you've had some time to think and hopefully comment, I'll show you what I ended up with!
Warning - unrepentant bragging ahead. A brazen display of self-back patting. You've been warned!
And what is the bragging about? Well, during our self-imposed evacuation from our burning surroundings, in the verdant glades of San Francisco, my lovely wife, dog and meself staggered into a fancy shmancy coffee boutique and ordered a couple of cappuccinos. And a lovely pair they were, with some very credible foam art atop of them.
I drank mine. I pondered. And then I got up and engaged the friendly barista in conversation. I asked "What do you set your machine's temperature at? I'm thinking perhaps 200 degrees? Or a touch less?"
She didn't know. And asked her coffee-brewer in crime. And he answered "Between 197 and 199 degrees".
Ah ha, I said to myself. And maybe to him as well. Just as I suspected. Even through the milk, I could detect a sharp note, kind of like the citrus of a Sauvignon Blanc (assuming it's erring on the citrus side) but the coffee version. And that's something that comes through with cooler temperatures.
Heady with success, I then shot my second bolt. "The flavor profile really says to me - medium roast, not dark. Is it?"
And ... yuppers again. They roast light to medium for their pour overs and only up to medium for their espresso.
AH HA! Am I a top flight coffee nerd or WHAT?! I then debated enquiring as to whether the beans were Central American (pretty sure they were) but decided to not be greedy (and not to tempt the gods too much) and so left well enough alone with two for two.
I may not know much, but I know my coffee!
My good pal Bill Abbott was all frazzled this morning from a language barrier at Starbucks. Bill wanting "large" and them wanting to hear some fancy made-up, sorta Italianish words instead.
Bill should simplify his life and do as I do. Simply tell the coffee gal that you would like them to use 22 grams of dark roast, African if they've got it, slightly finer than standard espresso grind so that the pull gives them an ounce and a half just before the stream starts to blonde. Then, depending on one's mood, direct them to add either nothing or up to two ounces of 205 degree clean water to the ceramic cup into which the espresso has been pulled.
So quick and easy and you'll get exactly what the body needs.
I'd have shown you a full cup but typing took too long and the espresso was too good. Note the dark residue. That's because the crema was more like dark chocolate. Arabian Mocha Sanani, roasted within the last week. Originally planned to add an ounce of water but it looked so great I just made it as a straight espresso. By the way, that cup hold 3 ounces when filled to the tippy top. It's my fav because I can do espresso (like just now) or a concentrated Americano with it and not feel that I'm wasting cup space.