Sunday, February 23, 2014
I have to say that the espressos and espresso drinks were far better than the regular drip coffee served at the hotel for breakfast, which for a 5 star hotel, was dismal in quality. In Brazil you will find a dominant use of espresso machines and espresso based drinks all over the place. Even fast food and convenient stores had full blown manual espresso machines with the grinder for the portafilters right next to it. This compares drastically to the US and North America in general, where cheap brewed coffee is more dominant in these types of locations. In short, I enjoyed my espresso drinks at the different locations I tried them. Maybe they were not as sweet and complex as espresso drinks can be, but they did the job for me. And the atmosphere, well, thats something unique in Brazil. No matter where you end up walking for a fix, there will always be a good barista/server serving your espresso with a smile.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
When it comes to making cold brew coffee, I really don't see the need to reinvent the wheel. I have watched many people prepare it and even though we were never big fans of cold brew, this past summer we started using it at the coffee shop. Cold brew coffee is ideal for cold espresso drinks, where you need strong flavors and boldness to blend well with the additional water, ice, flavoring or milk. Think of cold brew as a coffee "concentrate" to mix with additional liquids. Alex T., our head barista uses it at home with hot water to make himself an americano when he needs a fix. So you can use as a base for a hot coffee cup as well. We now keep a jar of cold brew in the fridge all the time. We prefer to use our Colombia Los Naranjos and Honduras coffee for cold brew.
You can watch Leesha on Youtube who does a fantastic job of explaining how to prepare cold brew. I have come to use her measurements (coffee vs water mix) with great results. Enjoy!!