Want to come on a virtual tour of the #coffee roasting facility with me? What do you want to see? This is a sneak peek of part of the packaging machine which weighs the coffee beans, expands the coffee bag, drops in the correct quantity of coffee beans, settles the beans, heat seals the bag and sends it up the line!
How to do some basic latte art at home.
Start with fresh espresso and cold milk in a cold milk jug and the steam wand only just breaking the surface of the milk until you reach 35 degrees Celsius, then plunge the steam wand down into the milk jug to continue the heating process to 65c. Perfect for flat white, cappuccino, latte and piccolo. Take the fresh espresso base, tilt the cup a little bit - tap any bubbles out of your milk and give it a swirl. Pour your milk from a height to break through the crema and when when you're cup is half full, lower the jug to paint your milk pattern into the milk. Using full cream milk will improve the results of your textured milk when compared to light milk.
Almond milk has increased in popularity in the last few years. In 2015, cafes in Australia would have been making white coffees in a ratio of something like;
70% full cream Cows milk
10% Light milk
10% Soy Milk
5% Skim milk
5% Almond milk.
In 2018, that has changed, with Almond Milk stealing share from both Soy milk and light milk as well as converting some cow milk drinkers;
65% full cream Cows milk
10% Light milk
5% Soy Milk
5% Skim milk
15% Almond milk.
So while it’s not dramatic by numbers when compared to the alternatives, Almond Milk usage has more than doubled.
The benefit of almond milk compared to soy milk when being used in coffee is that it can be heated slightly higher. Actually, it can be heated to the same 65c that is ideal for cows milk, whereas Soy Milk should not be heated beyond 55c.
Just like steaming cows milk for the office or at home, start with a cold jug and cold milk - it allows for the milk to be exposed to the steam wand for longer time, which means a creamier texture as the bubbles are split more.
In stretching your almond milk, allow a whirlpool effect to form and feel for the temperature with your hand on the outside of the jug, or use a thermometer if your not too confident. Where Soy milk can seperate in the later stages of milk steaming, almond milk doesn’t have that same problem.
You will however have a bit more trouble in creating latte art using Almond Milk, since there is a high percentage of water in Almond Milk, it won’t tie in with the coffee as effectively as cows milk. You should still be able to create a nice rosetta or tulip pattern though, with a little practice.
If you like to savour your coffee, as the temperature drops, or your coffee has been sitting for a while, the different PH levels of almond milk and the chemical reactions with the coffee, your almond milk will seperate from the coffee, which can look a little strange. Give it a stir and everything will be back to normal.
How to steam milk - Use this simple trick to perfect your coffee milk steaming [ life hack - HD Video ]
A training aid that I use to perfect my milk steaming. the thing with Milk Steaming is you want to produce a nice velvety milk rather than a milk that has bubbles and ends up being watery. If you were to practice with milk, obviously that's a lot of milk that you are going to go through. A trick is however is to use regular water and simply add one or two drops of DISH SOAP. Practice creating great steamed milk in your spare time and benefit.
I want to talk to you today about a technique I use to perfect my coffee steaming process, the thing is with milk steaming is that if you don't steam it correctly, it will come out watery and bubbly and flavour is quite thin. When you steam it correctly, you will get a nice thick creamy texture which is important when you are making a flat white, cappuccino, latte or even a piccolo. Practice, practice, practice - it does pay off. The problem however is that your going to go through a lot of milk practising. What I have found to be an excellent training aid is to use regular dish soap instead of milk. So, this is how I do it. Just grab some plain tap water and add one or two drops of regular dish soap.
the benefit here is that the dish soap will behave like milk will in texturing. You want to produce a nice creamy velvety texture to our milk. To do that we are going to plunge the ilk jug into the steam wand and we want to think of the process as being each time the bubble passes the steam want it is split in two, again and again and again - that's what produces that nice micro foam.
Give the steam wand a bit of a purge, start off with the steam wand buried right on the bottom and then just a bot off the bottom. so its only a centimetre or two off the bottom of the milk jug. Then, drop the jug off the steam wand so its just breaking the surface.
Keep on doing that until it gets to about 35 degrees Celsius, which is close enough to body temperature. we dont have to use a thermometer, but it helps. But I can feel, 35c is body temperature, and once it starts to get warm, I know I've gone beyond that. That's the point where I'll bury the steam wand into the milk just to continue the heating process. It's no longer splitting the milk and then turn the steam wand off.
Now with my babbling, i didn't get it as good as I'd like, you can see there is still some bubbles in there and with regular milk, a couple of taps would tap that out. <tap tap> ha! Interesting, but anyway. You can see there, it is a nice thick creamy texture.
Of course there is the wrong way to do it.. and I'll show you that now. So if I add water, and a couple of drops of dish soap rather than using milk. Come back over to the machine. Now you can see like they do it in the movies, lots of noise, lots of up and down action. It looks impressive - looks like you're making a coffee but what will happen is you end up with a bubbly mess - its thin and watery. I've exaggerated it a lot here, but you can see its not quite the consistency you're after. So when you pour that, you're going to get bubbles. So if you compare the two; one has thin watery texture, the other one is a much more smooth, velvety creamy texture.
So that's my technique, my little training aid - just regular dish soap with water and go to work and practice, practice, practice. that's going to to be the difference between a nice creamy velvety milk and a thin and watery milk.
For me, coffee is one part science, one part romance, one part aroma, and one part flavour.
When I say romance, I’m talking more about the ritual that preparing my coffee has become. I could do it on autopilot, because I’ve made so many coffees, but to be honest it is what makes my day MY day.
Lately I have been turning more towards siphon coffee which is a cleaner and crisper version of coffee, when compared to espresso prepared as a long black. The grinding doesn’t need to be as precise and the process is a lot quieter which for some reason brings me closer to the process.
If you want to give it a try, you don’t need to invest in a Coffee siphon, you can achieve similar results using a French press or coffee plunger.
its official. I love Sunday’s!
Sunday can only be made better with coffee, sitting in a comfy chair, warm coffee in hand, warming not only my skin, but my soul. It’s the romance of the ritual for me - taking the time to reflect on the week past and the adventure of the week ahead.
In this busy world, it’s a moment of me time.
The classic Italian Espresso Bar - Milan, over 100 years ago. The typical transaction would have gone something like;
Customer: “un caffe" (at this point put one coin on the counter)
If you’re like me you enjoy the sweetness of sugar in your coffee and trying a coffee without sugar is confronting!
It’s just the way you’ve always ordered coffee, “two sugars and milk”. Before coffee became great, it was the only way you could drink coffee, and that’s what everybody ordered.
But times have changed and the quality of coffee for most people has improved dramatically. We now have access to fresh roasted coffee beans and proper coffee machines in almost every suburban cafe and a lot of homes and offices.
One way to enjoy a naturally sweet coffee is with the technique that the italians call Ristretto, that means to cut the coffee extraction process in half which results in the sweetest part of the coffee landing in your cup, and the second half of the coffee is discarded.
The next time you order a coffee give it a try, order a Ristretto if you usually enjoy an espresso, or a flat white made from a Doubleshot Ristretto If you usually enjoy milk based coffees.
Ordering ristretto will halve the amount of coffee in your cup since you are discarding the second half of the extraction, however, that first half of the extraction is the sweetest part of the coffee. So where you may have previously ordered a single shot, now you will be ordering a double shot but with the same volume as a single shot.
If you’d like to reduce the amount of sugar in your daily coffee, try ordering a ristretto with one sugar and then cut down to a ristretto with no sugars.
The fact is, A2 milk is more expensive than regular milk, and when you compare it to supermarket milk which usually sells for only $1 per litre, the difference becomes even more noticeable.
So, there needs to be a benefit, either in taste, quality, or ethically, to make the premium price worthwhile. In using A2 milk in coffee, the benefit comes from the quality of the feed used to produce the milk - A2 milk dairy cows are not exposed to the Silage Season, where the dairy cows are fed fermented grass - this season which is unpredictable to the consumer, which results in another variable that we need to account for. This can be the reason why one day your steamed milk is velvety smooth and creamy, and the next day, with a new bottle of milk, the results a re a bubbly mess with separation in the foam.
If you are chasing a consistently high quality steamed milk, A2 may be the answer. It is also thought that the higher protein count in A2 milk can improve the results too.
If you don't want to select A2 milk, you can instead reach for regular full cream milk (4% fat) instead of light milk (2% fat) - the light milk will almost always result in a fluffy steamed milk which does not have the same mouth feel or texture of full cream milk, or A2 milk.
I scooped up these Italian made porcelain Nuova Point Espresso cups and saucers - unopened, from what could be 1983! These cups have a very thick wall and will have you talking with your hands in no time.