Coffee and beyond

In this world where our lives are enslaved by the tick of the clock, coffee is our only saviour. However, over the years, engineers have devised a mechanism to save us a lot more time. The single cup coffee maker is mechanized to brew coffee sufficient only for a single portion. With coffee shops creating a considerable large niche for them in today’s market, this machine has proved extremely beneficial for more than one reason.

Not only does the system reduce the total amount of time taken to prepare a cuppa but it also simplifies the brewing process on the whole. Incidentally, researchers have also found that different people have different tastes and require different levels of strength in their cup of coffee. At 7 A.M, all a regular coffee drinker would wish for is a cup of coffee that comes fast and easy. This machine caters to just that.

There are different models that may bear the same features and may have slightly similar programming options, but definitely differ in some way or the other. According to Rich Brown a prominent blogger on CNET, a person should not spend anything more than $150 to $199 on a single cup coffee maker. When you’re looking for a single cup coffee machine, what you need to keep in mind is your flavour palette. Generally, most coffee machines while having almost undetectable differences in features stand apart from each other on the basis on flavour.

For example, the Bunn MyCafe MCU, with its sturdy construction provides the most flavourful cup of coffee (check 60 HiLine Coffee Variety Capsules). It also allows you to use K-cups and has a “pulse” option to dial up the strength of your coffee according to your liking.
Cusinart SS700
Most coffee machines are designed in consonance with the K-Cups which was the prodigy of Keurigs, whose initial machine, the Keurig Vue V700 is one of the higher end coffee machines that provided extremely convenient programming options to the users. The Cusinart SS700 amalgamated Keurigs brewing mechanism with its durable product design, creating a product that has found a respected and stable position the market of coffee machines.

The only disadvantage however would be the fact that the user would have to refill the tank every time you brew a cup. Apart from this, the single cup coffee maker is a buzz worthy buy.

So if you like hazelnut and he likes espresso, worry no longer. Go through single cup coffee makers review, which will come to your rescue.

Espress Yourself (coffee recipes)

Cafe a la Russe

3/4 cup boiling water
1 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup hot coffee
1/2 cup whipping cream, scalded
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 oz. cognac (1/4 cup)
2 oz. creme de cacao (1/4 cup)
Cinnamon
Nutmeg

Combine water, chocolate and sugar in top of double boiler. Place over hot, not boiling water and simmer, stirring until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolved, about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in coffee, cream, milk, cognac and
creme de cacao. Pour into 4 large preheated mugs and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Serves 4

Mocha Coffee

6 oz. coffee liqueur
2 oz. creme de cacao
24 oz. hot strong coffee
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 tsp cocoa

Combine coffee liqueur with creme de cacao and divide among 6 mugs or heated wine glasses. Add coffee. Top with cream and sprinkle with dash of cocoa. Amaretto, Grand Marnier or any other dessert liqueur may be substitute for
the coffee liqueur and creme de cacao. Serves 6

Cafe Brulot Diabolique

1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
Zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin strips
3 sugar cubes
3 jiggers brandy (1/2 cup plus 1 T.)
3 cups strong black coffee

Combine spices, zest and sugar in hot chafing dish. Pour brandy into ladle and warm briefly. Ignite and pour into dish, ladling mixture until sugar dissolves. Add coffee and serve in demitasses. Serves 8 Continue reading “Espress Yourself (coffee recipes)”

Cafés in Ireland

Ventry Inn
Ventry, Co. Kerry Ireland

Environment: Pub on a slight hill, overlooking the scenic sweep of Ventry Harbour. Traditional pub interior with wrap around benches and long bar. Outside tables with great view. Full menu, including salmon, lasagna and salads.
Wonderful view of the golden miles of Ventry Strand. Just cross the road and walk down the lane to be on the beach yourself.

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Paidi O’Shea’s
Ventry, Co. Kerry. Ireland

Environment: Large, very popular pub on the Slea Head Road – crammed with mementoes of football hero owner and at the top of a boreen leading down to Ventry Strand. Smoked salmon salad and other dishes available.

The Stone House
Fahan, Co. Kerry

Environment: Literally a stone house —- the architecture based on the style of the ancient — and much smaller –nearby Gallarus Oratory. Locals delight in recalling how the original roof collapsed. Rethinking, however, reinforced it with iron bars and made it totally solid today. A popular stop on the scenic coastal drive, the pretty interior displays the work of local artists, including a ceramic Cead Mile Failte (one hundred thousand welcomes). Other local pottery appears on the tables. Again, seafood is a feature — lobster, John Dory, wild salmon – hot oysters with chili

The Old Thatch
Ballydonoughue, North Co. Kerry

Environment: Yes, it really is thatched, on a rather isolated road in North Kerry. The ‘local’ of writer Maurice Walsh. The old pub, with its huge hearth, remains as he knew it, but a clever renovation has added a very modern lounge bar in the back. Continue reading “Cafés in Ireland”

A Lesson in Coffee Italian

latte
Invariably, if the coffee you ask for is misspelled on the menu or headboard in the café, what you end up with is a travesty at best. If “cappuccino” lacks a ‘c’, it is tantamount to removing the coffee and leaving the colour. These ‘cappucinos’ will have covered up their error with an avalanche of frothy milk, so you’re none the wiser. The error is caused initially by the ‘expresso’ used to make the ‘cappucino’. If the teaspoon of sugar takes less than three seconds to sink to the bottom before stirring, then you have an ‘expresso’, otherwise it’s an “espresso” The illusion is further enhanced by a liberal powdering of chocolate or cinnamon dust. As with all Italian cuisine, the ingredients are crucial . We’ll talk later about coffee beans.

The first time I returned to Italy, after thirteen years since I had been ‘forced’ to emigrate at the age of nine, I went to Rome with a group of university students. The following morning, in my best, standard Italian, I asked the waiter to bring me an “espresso per favore”. This was his answer, verbatim: “Black or white?” The word (or could it have been my bermuda shorts or the camera around my neck?), however perfectly it was pronounced, caused the waiter to hastily dispatch me back to some undefined American (Canada was not really known in Italy back in 1969) soil. “Espresso” in Italian is special delivery (express) mail. The waiter could have easily given me directions for the post office. What he offered me was at least the choice to have my coffee with or without milk. This was way before the term ‘americano’ referring to coffee came into being. Besides, an americano is normally taken black. The Tim Horton style coffee will be hereafter referred to as ‘canadese’, which allows for the choice of “black or white”. In Rome, as I learned later, the normal term for this type of coffee is “brodo” (broth). Continue reading “A Lesson in Coffee Italian”

Reviews of Toronto Cafes

novaera
Nova Era Bakery

Bloor at Dovercourt & other locations
Coffee: Canadian $1.25 Latte $2.50
Menu: Portuguese soft drinks, pastries and various sandwiches
Popular Item: Portuguese Toast and Natas, custard tarts
Environment: Bright room with long windows on busy corner, lots of faux stone and plastic ivy. Enclosed smoking room.

Café Vecchio Frak

(name is the title of an old song by Domenico Modugno of “Volare” fame.)
690 College at Montrose
Coffee: Latte macchiato $2.50, with huge selection of speciality coffee including the freddos and many liqueur combinations.
Menu: pizzas and panini, croissants, biscotti, Italian desserts, expensive wines.
Environment : Haute Milan style, dark brown, black and beige
and black leather couches, colour-coded art. Continue reading “Reviews of Toronto Cafes”

Brew with ease

Nespresso coffee makersCoffee plays an important role in modern day society. This statement is justified by the fact that coffee is the second most popular drink in the world, water understandably being the most popular. Whether you are a stock broker on Wall Street, a high school teacher or a stay at home mother, statistics say that it is very likely that you start your day with a cup of coffee. This social lubricant, also know to lower the risk of heart attacks and diabetes is one of the most demanded products in the world. It is fairly obvious why coffee chains like Starbucks and Costa Coffee have been so successful.

But why stand in long queues early in the morning? Why pay exorbitant prices when you can make that perfect cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home. Nestle have managed to make your coffee making experience even more comfortable with Nespresso. Nespresso allows you to make perfectly pressured and brewed coffee in just a couple of minutes, avoiding the various time consuming steps required with traditional coffee beans.

The coffee comes in the form of capsules that are directly inserted into the coffee maker. These capsules, made of aluminum foil are sealed tight preventing the coffee from degrading over time. There are 19 distinct flavors each varying in taste and intensity. Some prefer pure origin blends while others may choose the decaffeinated varieties. Variety packs are also available and is a great way for beginners to discover their favorite blend of Nespresso coffee. The capsules come in 25ml and 40ml sizes and are easily available at retail stores and online. Continue reading “Brew with ease”