The Spanish word for "cut", the Cortado is one of the most exclusive espresso drinks you can order. Why a majority of coffee shops don't have it on the menu is a mystery. Simply put, a Cortado is an espresso that has been “cut” by an equal amount of steamed milk. Two ounces of espresso topped with two ounces of warm milk served in a glass or metal cup with no sugar or flavors.
Coming to the United States from Spain, via Portugal, it arrived in San Francisco and quickly spread throughout the country. You may have heard of its cousin, the Gibraltar, which got its name because it is served in a Gibraltar glass mug, which is 1/2 of an ounce more milk.
The Cortado's is for those who enjoy an espresso forward taste and like to enjoy sipping on their coffee. It's a perfect balance between espresso and milk that has a silky texture and flavorful finish. If it's not on the menu, you should be able to order one and don't expect latte art. Next time you visit your local coffee house, ask for one and enjoy the morning differently.
Oak milk is a smooth and thicker alternative that has slowly emerged throughout American coffee houses in the past few years. Originally made by Oatly since the '90s, oat milk was mainly found in Sweden and needed the opportunity to expand globally. With the world drinking more coffee, the need for milk alternatives, and the acceptance of a healthier lifestyle, oat milk became a great solution. Especially since it's free of most allergens.
What is oak milk best with? That depends on you. Because of its thick and smooth texture, people tend to drink oat milk with flavored espresso drinks. The slightly sweet taste of oat milk isn't overpowering and the creaminess pairs well with chocolate, matcha, and chai. The key is to buy brands that don't use a lot of additives or added sugar.
How does oat milk compare to almond and soy milk? Soy is the closest by how sweet, creamy and thick it is. Soy milk tends to have less sugar and calories yet has much more protein than oak milk. Almond milk carries a similar level of protein and has a nutty taste to it. Think of proteins as a gauge on how easy it is to heat up. Oat Milk will heat up faster than regular milk, so be careful, and let it sit for at least 30-35 seconds before pouring to allow the flavor and texture to be just right.
Next time you are ordering your favorite espresso drink, try oat milk instead of almond or soy, I was surprised and delighted on how my mocha tasted.
French press coffee is in a league of its own. The perfect cup t like no other and those who drink it daily love it. The french press method has been used for centuries and is one of the simplest ways of brewing coffee. How can you experience this yourself? The right method and 4 minutes of brewing time. Here is how.
Bring the water to a boil and then let it sit for about 30 seconds so the water can be at the right temperature, which is 200 degrees. While the water is heating up, grind your coffee using a coarse setting. You want the consistency to be similar to sea salt. If it's a bit coarser, that's okay. We won't tell.
Then preheat your french press by pouring hot water so that it touches the sides and use the plunger to push the water down, and then discard the water. Next, pour your coffee into the press and shake the grounds so that they are as even as possible. Set your timer to 4 minutes (remember you can use your phone because I know you have one). Then using a circular motion, pour twice as much water as you have coffee grounds in the press and slowly stir with a wooden spoon or using the handle, letting the coffee bloom and wait for 30 seconds.
After 30 seconds, pour the remainder of the water until it reaches the bottom of the metal bar of the press and start the 4-minute timer. When the timer goes off, slowly press the plunger to the bottom and your coffee is ready to be served. You've survived the most intense 4 minutes of your coffee brewing life, and your reward is a great cup of fresh coffee. Enjoy.
Covid-19 changed everything. How we work, travel, socialize, and go about our lives. As we move forward, we will encounter a new world that will be different than what we are accustomed to for some time. Going to a café, enjoying your favorite espresso drink and relaxing for hours isn’t an option for a lot of businesses right now, and possibly for some time. Coffee shops, big and small, are suffering and have adapted how they serve their customer. This includes closing locations that won’t help their business weather the storm.
Starbucks announced that they are closing almost 400 stores and focusing more on drive-up and take away locations. Where are some of these locations you might ask? Think about malls. It is estimated that around 25,000 shops inside malls could close around the United States because their business can’t survive being closed this long. When malls open up, which may be next week or next month depending on where you live, the traffic will be drastically reduced. Coffee shops have to adjust to consumer behavior and offer pick up and take away. Don’t think this is all doom and gloom. Starbucks does plan on opening up more than 200 locations that offer, you guessed it, pick up, and to go.
All that said, the cafés of the future, at least for the next few years, will surely resemble those in Japan, Korea, and Italy. Café’s that are small with limited indoor and outdoor seating and a majority of their business comes from orders that are picked up and taken away. You will also see an expansion of coffee shops offering their beans to take home. I will miss going to those large coffee shops, watching people for hours, or enjoying my favorite book. I am confident that we will return to those days in the US soon, but for now, I live off of the photos and stories my friends around the world who are living their lives, while here in the US we still need time to figure it out and get it right.
Summer is hot and who wouldn’t love a nice dessert to enjoy in the afternoon? Hello affogato. Italian for “drowned”, affogato is a coffee style dessert normally served with a delicious scoop of vanilla bean gelato (ice cream is acceptable) and a shot of flavorful espresso. Talk about bittersweet. Widely available in European cafés and restaurants, you may have too search for this dessert on the menu or ask for it. It may sound strange at first, then you taste it and your start to wonder why you never tried this before.
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