Archive for the ‘ Espresso ’ Category

Espresso Cups

If you are going to serve a fine cup of espresso, you should serve it with style with beautiful, elegant espresso cups. You can find a great selection of cups including ones that are double-layered to hold in the heat to keep your espresso hotter longer. You can find these double-layered cups in glass as well as ceramic, and in a great range of designs and patterns. You can even match your espresso cups to your coffee cups but most prefer to have them make a unique statement.

Espresso cups, also referred to as “demitasse” cups, only hold about 2 or 3 ounces of fluid. Cappuccino cups are over twice that size, since Cappuccino is actually espresso mixed with a topping of foamy hot milk, which necessitates a
larger size mug.

Both Cappuccino and espresso cups can be found in glass, with a variety of designs available for everyone’s taste. The classic glass espresso cup is a elegant glass cup with chrome handles and trimming. These cups often have little “feet” at the bottom, or are flat-bottomed so they. can be served on a table. A fashionable design now is a glass, egg-shaped espresso cup without handles. You can even buy little mug-shaped espresso cups with matching saucers. And you can get those in clear glass, tinted glass or blue glass espresso cups.

Traditional ceramic espresso cups are also widely available, whether in classic white with gold trim, or in more bold designs. Italian-style espresso cups have solid colors on the outside and egg white interior, or you can find espresso cups with Italian scenes painted on the outside. Or novelty espresso cups can even be found that are designed by well-known artists.

Dainty designs might seem odd for an espresso but that can give your espresso set a light summertime feel. Or you might like the classic blue and white ceramic Willow Ware design or Wedgwood china to add an air of sophistication to your kitchen. But if you opt for ceramic espresso cups, save yourself some work and make certain that your ceramic espresso cups are dishwasher safe so the design work on it stays bright and crisp.

Or you can go with some sharp looking stainless steel espresso cups with chrome handles and matching saucers. Or for that organic flair try some blue stoneware espresso cups with their natural look. They seem to make a good cup of organic espresso and a whole wheat biscotti somehow taste better!

Once you have found the espresso cups that go well with your dishware and match your personality, it is time to have some friends over to enjoy espresso in those new cups. Espresso and dessert make any gathering memorable when served on special plates and cups, so enjoy the wonderful occasion.

Coffee Beans Used To Make Espresso

Vast bins of coffee beans can be overwhelming to the novice espresso drinker. Do you find that the difference between a French roast and an Italian roast makes your head spin? Are you confused about which beans to use for the best espresso?

Let’s start with some basic information. Cappuccinos and lattes are simply variations on espresso. The difference is that they use different volume of steamed milk to espresso. They both use the same kind of dark roasted bean.

Sellers sometimes market a range of beans to give the impression of a large and varied inventory. But realistically there are just two types of beans available commercially: Arabica and Robusta.

Arabica is typically only found at high altitudes, a minimum of 2,400 feet above sea level. It is recognised by its smooth, slightly acidic taste. It is generally grown in eastern Africa and Central and South America. However, Robusta is grown at lower altitudes and has a more forceful, slightly bitter taste. It is generally grown in Southeast Asia, central Africa and Latin America.

Even though coffee roasters have their own techniques for roasting, in the general process the green, raw coffee bean is roasted at temperatures of 480 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, for a short time — usually for seven to 12 minutes. The high heat brings out the flavor balanced with its natural acidity and bitterness of the bean. The longer the roasting time, the more bitter and the less acidic the beans become.

Even though every roaster has their own “right” way if roasting the beans and sometimes has secret blends of beans, realistically there is no one right way to roast beans for espresso. In fact, espresso is usually made with a blend of beans of different colors and consistencies. It is normal for different geographical areas to favor their own blend. For example, in the west coast of the US, they prefer a very dark roast. But when companies like Starbucks started opening cafes in New England, they quickly learned that traditional North easterners enjoyed a lighter roast.

If you don’t have a coffee roaster nearby, you can mail order from a roaster like Naviera Coffee Mills in Tampa, Florida or if you are desperate, your local grocery may carry some beans that are somewhat fresh.

If you buy from your local grocery, pay close attention to the expiration date on the package. And if you buy from a coffee roaster, the best way to assure freshness is to get the most popular, fastest-selling bean. The faster the beans turn over, the more often they will need to be roasted, increasing your chances of enjoying the most freshly roasted beans. Ideal freshness results from grinding freshly roasted beans just before brewing.

Like a fine wine, the debate over what constitutes the best bean for your espresso will be endless, but in the end it is only a matter of taste. Try some different blends and brands and find the combination that gives you the most pleasure. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination!