Monthly Archives: September 2009

Espresso Cream

No ! that isn’t spelt wrong… it is cream this time and not crema, but you need crema first. Confusing ! I thought so, so let me explain. I was drinking Square Mile Coffee Roasters latest addition “Progresso” I love the way it sounds. It’s like a new espresso drink should be created with that name. In any case, Progresso is advertised as a cremay cup, with lingering sweetness, if brewed properly of course. So, looking into my fridge, I noticed a carton of full cream inside and thought “I’ve never tried espresso with cream before, well there’s always a first time”. The main reason for this of course, is that I thought “how can someone destroy an espresso by putting cream inside” and the very thought cold easily make me scream, BUT on this occasion, my culinary curiosity got the better of me, because I thought cream added to sweet things usually enhances it. So first up, extract a beautiful espresso with a good dose of crema visible on top like below;

Then of course, just pour a little bit of cream on top, but it should be enough to make the drink rise just a little bit – say about 2 teaspoons worth.

In the picture below, this is more evident, as I used an espresso shot glass, which when extracting a single espresso should rise to the line, but there was enough cream to just push it above the line.

This adventure just wasn’t about the taste, but about the art of coffee, because I really wanted to see how the colours would display with a shot of cream poured inside an espresso crema – would the crema disappear, or would it rise to the top like real cream is supposed to, and so there was a bit of the scientific too. Just look at all those colours.

On taste, I was correct, the sweetness in the espresso was enhanced, making it a truly tasty experience. So next time, break with the conventional and try something different. Is this progress with drinking espresso ? I don’t know but just one more time, say PROGRESSO like an Italian would.

Ciao, Espresso Cream Crema……


I’m Drinking …. Summer Espresso

Hmmm ! Courtesy of Square Mile Coffee Roasters (London), who produce a blend for each season. The summer version is made using 80% Finca Las Nubes from Guatemala and 20% La Carol from Colombia. Incidentally, as far as I can remember, the Finca Las Nubes arabica bean was roasted by Square Mile Coffee and used by Gwilm Davies to win the World Barista Championship this year. So this is really a special bean and if I was a crass advertising agent for Square Mile Coffee, I would say “buy your special championship bean from us, used only by champions, so be a champion and buy this bean…now !” But, I’m not, so just buy it anyway, but oops, too late, summer is over. Until next year then, God willing, but honestly visit their website (link on my blogroll to the left) and they may have some more left. In any case, what I like about Square Mile Coffee Roasters (SMCR) is that they actually tell you what their blend consists off – this is unusual trust me, as I’ve asked many a roaster what their special in-store blend consists off and they give me that, like I’m going to tell you my secret smirk. Even more props to SMCR, they give you an indication of what the coffee should taste like if you’ve got the right tools of course and know what you’re doing. So, for the Summer Espresso, it should be…

An amalgamation (i.e. lots of) of taste, however the prominent ones I detected were caramel and the berry juice finish. The berry juice finish is really freaky, because what happens is that you’re drinking the coffee, tasting the nutty and caramel taste and then as you finish each gulp, a berry tastes whirls through to the back of your throat…BERRY FINISH. almost scary, but fun for the taste buds. With milk based espresso drinks, I found the toffee more prominent with “honey sweet”

Anyway, I was so impressed with this blend that not only did I tell SMCR about it, I’ve just ordered 2 more bags before summer runs out and if you know me, you’ll know that I hardly order the same thing twice, especially in one pack. Watch this space for the Autumn blend


Making Affogato

I’m not sure where you are, but in Vienna, it’s been quite hot. Not one for compromising on my afternoon fix of a double espresso, when I’m at home, I thought I’d re-visit another one of my favourite coffee recipes, Espresso Affogato in full, but for those who know, just Affogato. It’s quite popular in Italy, especially in the summer. In short, it’s ice cream and espresso together….simple, isn’t it. First up, get a cup that’s wide enough to handle a double espresso shot. Wide is important here, because with both ice cream and espresso in one cup, you don’t want the mixture spilling out at the top, as would happen if you used a normal espresso cup. Second, prepare your espresso and extract it preferably into a milk jug. Third, scoop one portion of vanilla ice cream into the cup and you are ready to complete your affogato.

Simply pour the double espresso on top of the ice cream scoop in the cup and there you have it, Espresso Affogato.

You won’t have much time to enjoy this, especially if you have used freshly homemade ice cream, like me (recipe here), and it is really hot outside, which it was, when I made this, as the hot espresso will begin to melt away the ice cream, almost creating an espresso style float, whereby the float is warm ice cream rising to the top of the double espresso, creating a vanilla ice cream crema…. hmmmm !

One tip; to make this experience longer, adapt the pre-warmed cup technique for making espresso, for this cold/warm drink, but of course this time, you will pre-freeze the cup. So, place the cup you intend to use into the freezer or fridge for at least 30 minutes before you make the affogato, so that you don’t suffer what I went through. If you really want to be trendy with this, you can also serve it as a dessert on a warm evening in trendy cups with teaspoons to scoop the ice cream out, which some restaurants now do during the summer months, so share this experience as much as you can during the late summer months.


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