Monthly Archives: November 2012

Caffeine Trivia 11.30.12

CAPPUCCINO METHOD: Espresso is the foundation of cappuccino; it is the coffee upon which a luxuriant structure of frothed and foamed milk is ladled and poured. A good espresso is less obvious under its head of frothed milk, but the quality of the coffee underneath is still an important factor. The milk, ideally semi-skimmed, is poured into a jug, into which a steam spout is placed. The steam control should not be turned on until the nozzle of the steam spout is under the surface of the milk. Once the steam is gurgling and bubbling under the milk, the jug should be moved around, or the milk will spoil. The aim is to aerate the milk and give it the consistency of whipped cream without burning it. It is essential that the cups are warm when the milk is poured in or the froth will deflate. They are normally stored upsidedown on top of the espresso machine. The combination of frothed and steamed milk is then poured and ladled onto the coffee in the cup, gently as though folding it in. The small amount of remaining milk is also poured in to realize the perfect cappuccino.

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Caffeine Trivia 11.29.12

ESPRESSO METHOD: Espresso machines force hot water through very finely ground and compacted coffee into the cups below. Good espresso is expensive to make because in order to extract the greatest amount of flavour from the coffee, a high level of pressure is required and thus a high specification machine. Yet when making espresso, it is important not to over-extract the coffee, which means the machine should be switched off sooner, rather than later. While the coffee is still coming out as a golden brown liquid, it is perfect. This liquid is the crema, that lies on top of the black coffee underneath. The crema will dissipate a few minutes after the coffee is made, but in those few minutes it will tell you everything about the quality of the espresso. Too light, or too thick or too thin: all mean that the espresso is sub standard.

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Caffeine Trivia 11.22.12

A little trivia behind the Starbucks name by Starbucks founder, Gordon Bowker.According to Bowker, the name Starbucks was inspired by an old mining camp in the Cascades, called Starbo. The name Starbo led Bowker to think of the first mate in Moby Dick (of course), who was named Starbuck. And Viola! Starbucks was born. Bowker goes on to say that the coffeehouse giant was almost christened Cargo House.Tomorrow – what about the different sizes – what are they?   Personal note…can’t even imagine going to Cargo House!

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