It’s not as simple as you might think. Republished from Whimn.com.au.
Is there anything coffee can’t do?
Looks like… water?!
Talk about wanting some cold, hard cash.
Anybody who tells you it’s just for the gym is kidding themselves.
There’s never a bad time to indulge in a chocolate iced coffee, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dessert! Courtesy of the chocolatiers over at Oliver Brown, we’re bringing you a creamy Belgian sensation equipped with good quality chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream. What more could you want from an iced coffee?
2 shots of espresso coffee or equivalent
1 scoop vanilla bean ice cream
4 cubes ice
100ml of milk
White, milk, or dark Belgian chocolate drops for a sweeter flavour
- In a blender, blend all in ingredients together until desired consistency is reached.
- Meanwhile, grate chocolate to create chocolate flakes.
- Serve iced coffee in a chilled glass and top with Belgian chocolate flakes.
Winter and coffee goes together like summer and the beach, so ditch your vodka cocktail and bring in the weekend with this coffee martini. If you don’t have an espresso machine, create your own by making a small batch of instant coffee – while you may not get the crema, you’ll still get the flavour!
125ml (1/2 cup) freshly brewed espresso coffee, cooled
90ml Tia Maria liqueur
60ml (1/4 cup) vodka
Ice cubes, to serve
- Place the coffee, Tia Maria, vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine.
- Strain the coffee mixture and divide between chilled serving glasses.
Recipe via Taste
When people think of addicts they don’t picture a person sitting in a cafe drinking coffee. Instead, they imagine the strung-out druggie looking for the next high. Yet I’ll put my hand up and admit I’m definitely an addict. My drug of choice is coffee. That luscious aroma gets me every time. When I say it like that it sounds pretty pitiful, doesn’t it? However, that’s the reality for plenty of coffee consumers.
Now, I know I’m not alone and there are plenty of us out there. So how do you know if you’re an addict or a consumer? Well that’s pretty easy. Take a mental note of how many of these questions you answer YES to and read on for the results.
Are you a coffee addict?
1. Do you wake up in the morning and “need” a coffee?
2. Are you cranky and impatient when you haven’t had your morning fix?
3. Do you regularly top up your beloved travel mug before commuting?
4. Do you get frequent headaches or feel tired/lack energy?
5. Does coffee make you feel “normal”?
6. Do you think you’ve developed some sort of tolerance toward coffee?
7. Do you drink or eat caffeine substitutes regularly? eg: tea, cola drinks, iced coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, etc.
8. Do you drink more coffee than plain water each day?
9. Do you fear or think you’d experience withdrawals if you don’t have at least one coffee per day?
10. Do you drink more than 3-4 small cups of coffees per day? (500mg of caffeine)
If you answered YES to most of these questions, you’re likely an addict. The only way to know for sure is to eliminate coffee and caffeine substitutes from your diet – IF you dare! Just like any other drug dependence ceasing consumption of coffee or caffeine will come with side-effects and withdrawal symptoms. These include experiencing the jitters or shakes, headaches, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, flu-like symptoms and nausea.
These symptoms are common for other types of substance withdrawals, including alcohol and illicit drugs. From this perspective, coffee isn’t the harmless beverage many of us consume cup-after-cup each day. It is, in fact, a legalized drug which could be doing more harm than good. This includes the following in order of how coffee can adversely effect us:
- Restlessness and nervousness
- Increased heartbeat
- Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
- Cardiac arrest
There have been cases of overdose, plus some people who have consumed far too much caffeine have died as a result.
Benefits of reducing coffee consumption
As you can gather it’s in your best interest to reduce your coffee consumption to a level where your health will benefit. That’s around 300-500mg per day or 4 small cups (or about 2 mugs). Half that is advised for pregnant women. Lucky for us addicts, coffee is good for us but not the socially accepted copious amounts many of us have grown accustomed to.
When we reduce the consumption to a safe and healthy level coffee will continue to be the largest quantity of antioxidant many of us consume. It also contains nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, niacin and choline. If you add milk there’s added benefits of vitamin D and calcium.
Additionally it’s an excellent preventative for liver, colon, prostate, ovarian and oral cancers, stroke, basal cell carcinoma and heart disease. It’s also been linked to prevention of Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases plus Type 2 diabetes. There’s even been evidence of it reducing retinal degeneration.
One tip for reducing your intake is by substitute excessive consumption with decaffeinated coffee instead. If you prefer a mug to a small cup have your 2 real coffees in the morning and substitute the rest. It won’t taste the same but after a while you’ll feel the health benefits and be very glad you made the switch.
We know you love your morning coffee and that you really don’t need an excuse to drink it, but it’s great to give good news where it’s due, isn’t it? Just to justify that large double shot soy latte that you pick up every morning, caffeine has a huge range of benefits that you may not have even known you were sipping on.
It wakes you up
Which we already knew, hence the coffee in hand when you walk into the office every morning. Caffeine blocks the receptors in the brain that tells you you’re tired and keeps you more alert when sleepy. It’s great for those early mornings at work and those late night reports to keep your brain going when you are struggling.
It helps burn fat
The answer to our prayers: Caffeine is a proven fat burner! It increases the amount of fat burned by the body and it increases the metabolism, which helps you to keep the weight off – as long as you don’t add those sugars into your beverage of choice. This really has to be up there as one of the best benefits of caffeine.
It makes you a better athlete
Caffeine may help you on the track or in the gym, especially if you will be participating in an endurance event. You see, caffeine increases the amount of fatty acids being released into the blood stream. The muscles then burn these and use them for fuel, storing carbohydrates for later on, when that marathon gets tough.
It helps protect your liver
Good news for those who indulge in a coffee break and happy hour! Caffeine may help to protect the liver from alcohol consumption and other related diseases such as liver cirrhosis and fatty liver. Well, that obviously calls for cocktails at 5pm and coffee the next morning!
Caffeine lowers your risk of certain diseases
Diseases like Parkinson’s, skin cancer (for women), type 2 diabetes, dementia and strokes are reported to have lowered risks if you regularly consume caffeine.
Image via hearnkirkwood.com
If quinoa, acai, and goji berries have become a staple in your pantry, you might be ready for yet another exotic sounding food: wattleseeds.
RELATED: So What Exactly Are Chia Seeds?
Wattleseeds come from acacia trees, also called wattles, which are native to Australia. Aboriginal people used these seeds to make flour for bread, however nowadays wattleseeds have found their way into organic supermarkets and hipster cafes where you can buy wattleseed coffee.
But are wattleseeds a good alternative to coffee? Well, that depends on your love for coffee and addiction to caffeine. Wattleseeds do indeed have a nutty coffee aroma when roasted. Once ground, you can use them like just like ground coffee beans and enjoy your ‘fake’ caffeine-free coffee with or without milk.
The great thing about these seeds is that they contain potassium, calcium, iron and zinc and are therefore highly nutritious. The flavour of wattleseed coffee is slightly more earthy and nutty than normal coffee, but it comes pretty close to it and can definitely be a good alternative to your cappuccinos and lattes, just not your strong wake-me-up-espressos.
Besides coffee, wattleseeds can be used in baking and even as a spice to flavour sauces and to make marinades. They compliment any recipe that contains chocolate very well, so why not add a bit of ground and roasted wattleseeds to your next chocolate cake and enjoy a piece with some wattleseed coffee?
Would you try it?
Image via Australian Food
If you’re anything like me, you’re spending a small fortune on takeaway coffees at your local café. This is even despite you having a gleaming coffee machine at home – oh the shame!
In fact, I like to joke I’ve been keeping said café owners in business – I’m sure they’re driving Ferraris off the back of my insatiable caffeine appetite alone. For, if you add up the annual cost of your takeaway coffee consumption, it’s a scary number indeed – enough for an overseas holiday, as in my case. Eek! Then there’s the little extras you might add on top, such as a takeaway croissant from your fave café, and the costs just keep adding up.
Enter The Coffee Post – a new subscription service which delivers ground coffee or beans to your home each month, from hand-picked Brisbane roasteries. This means no more splurging at your local café; you can now enjoy premium locally roasted coffee in the comfort of your own home. So, fire up you coffee machine, girlfriend!
Of course, you will have to make the coffee yourself, but this is all part of the fun says The Coffee Post co-founder and marketing manager Kate Rodwell (pictured).
“The Coffee Post also provides variety, meaning that each month the roaster changes so you get a new tasting experience. There is nothing like the satisfaction of lovingly hand-making your own perfect cup of coffee.”
While Kate concedes that purchasing bags of roasted beans upfront is a little more expensive, she believes it saves the average coffee drinker who spends more than $4 per coffee, two times a day, more than $200 a month. “It’s a massive saving to the artisan coffee drinker, without having to sacrifice quality or quantity,” she says.
“We also know that freshness is key to a good coffee. The quality of the beans and the way they’re roasted are a huge factor in flavour. The Coffee Post aims to get the beans to the subscriber’s door within three days of roasting, so that they can get a true idea of what the roaster was intending.”
So, how do you make your perfect cup of coffee at home? It’s all in the extraction, baby, or – put simply – how much of the coffee in the brewer ends up in the cup. “Practice makes perfect,” Kate says, “and we understand that not all our subscribers are baristas in their day job so we include brewing tips and tricks, videos, top tips and Q & As with our in-house barista, Chris, and our many amazing roasters.
“Our mantra here is to watch your extraction – that’s the make or break point in the coffee.”
The brainchild of three Brisbane coffee aficionados, The Coffee Post also aims to showcase local roasteries currently enjoying national and international acclaim. Roasters are sourced via word-of mouth, followed by a meet and greet. And with two of the service’s three founders being born-and-bred in Brisbane, The Coffee Post has insider knowledge on the best roasters the city has to offer.
“After following a recommendation from a number of insiders, we head over to meet the roaster first hand, check out their processes, and ask where the beans are sourced from, including things like blends, origins and tasting notes,” Kate enthuses.
“The local and independent speciality roasters have a lot to offer; it’s really clear when they know and love what they do, it shows through in the taste of their coffee.”
And while Melbourne is traditionally known as the coffee capital of Australia, Kate says Brisbane roasters have recently upped their game. “Our roster of local coffee roasters are among the best in the world, and we’re excited to be sharing their blends and origins with hardcore coffee lovers all over Australia,” she says.
“Our March box contains beans from Black Sheep Coffee (pictured), which was recently selected by super chef Gordon Ramsay as the coffee supplier for all of his restaurants – so you’re sipping in exceptional company.”
Based in Fortitude Valley, the trio launched their service in October last year, and have already signed up customers across the country, including from as far away as Hobart and the Northern Territory. Once a coffee lover signs up, The Coffee Post will, each month, deliver aficionado subscribers a hand-packed box of two X 250g bags of roasted whole beans/ground, loyalty offers, including vouchers, from the roaster of the month, collectible roaster cards and the aforementioned barista tips and tricks.
Costs start at $29.95 per month, or $34.95 for the pre-ground bean box. Interstate subscribers receive discount codes to allow them to reorder their favourite blend directly from the roaster. And a coffee subscription certainly makes for a great and unique wedding, birthday and Christmas gift, Kate says.
What’s more, there’s no lock-in contracts, you can sign up for however long you like, and unsubscribe at any time. “There’s some exceptional baristas and roasters in this little big city, and finally we’re getting the word out,” Kate says. “We’re confident the quality of the beans and the variety of different blends and origins people will receive every month will keep them hooked.
“We want to promote people to visit the roasteries and cafes of these amazing roasters too. Our ideal is that you find the coffee of your dreams, right near your home. Subscribers are also supporting local Brisbane roasters who source their beans from sustainable and ethical farms all over the world.”
Is our café society culture and subsequent caffeine dependency “sucking the life” out of us? How much coffee is too much? I’m terribly sorry to put you off your morning espresso with these contentious questions, but the issue of caffeine addiction is a reoccurring one – such as recent talk from TV’s Dr. Oz about how too much caffeine can make us hyperstimulated.
“Is your caffeine overload sucking the life out of you?!” he bellowed, all grave concern.
As a mum and journalist, I can’t imagine a world without coffee, indeed I think it gives me life, rather than detracting from my health like some sort of hidden, menacing black hole. But a recent bout of gastro, whereby I had no choice but to give up coffee for four whole days while I recovered, had me questioning whether I was overdoing it on the caffeine front. Was I actually addicted?
Here’s the skinny on coffee and caffeine, my fellow rocket fuel lovers:
How does caffeine work?
Caffeine is a stimulant drug that makes you feel more energized because it acts on the brain and nervous system. You know that happy, buzzed feeling that helps you feel more alert, refreshed and able to meet that deadline? Love it – thank you, beloved coffee.
What foods contain caffeine?
It occurs naturally in foods such as coffee, tea and cocoa and has a long history of safe use as a mild stimulant. Other surprising and “hidden” sources of caffeine include cola-type soft drinks; energy drinks, shots and bars; pain relievers and some over-the-counter medications like cough syrup and slimming tablets; chocolate; ice-cream and even decaf coffee, which still can have up to 32mg of caffeine.
How much coffee is safe?
Generally speaking, 400 mg per day or less is said to be an acceptable dose of caffeine. A general guide is instant coffee contains 60-100mg, drip or percolated coffee contains 100-150 mg and espressos or latte contain 90-200mg.
Is caffeine harmful to anyone?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, athletes and children should limit their intake of caffeine. Or, if you know you’re super-sensitive to caffeine, easy tiger. Your susceptibility to caffeine depends on your body mass, state of health, metabolism, and whether or not your body is used to getting regular doses of caffeine.
What does caffeine addiction look like?
I once worked with a very senior journalist who drank up to 16 coffees a day. He was always very irritable and moody, with trembling hands. In short, not someone you wanted to spend a lot of time with. In large doses, caffeine can also make you feel anxious and cause you to have difficulty sleeping. Some other signs and symptoms of excessive amounts of caffeine include: a rise in body temperature, frequent urination and dehydration, dizziness and headaches and more. Withdrawal symptoms can include tiredness, crankiness, a persistent headache, and sweating and muscle pain. Medical experts say the easiest way to break caffeine dependence is to cut down gradually, giving your nervous system time to adapt to functioning without the drug.
The good news about caffeine
Don’t despair, coffee lover, it ain’t all bad – coffee can be beneficial to your health and help combat diabetes. In addition to its high antioxidant levels, coffee also contains magnesium and chromium, which help the body use insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body loses its ability to use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. Drinking more than one cup of coffee per day has also been found to lower the risk of stroke by up to 25 per cent. One recent study found coffee can help keep the blood-brain barrier intact, which protects the brain from unwanted materials and damaging elements, while another study found coffee may even improve short-term memory. In short: enjoy your coffee, but don’t overdo it. Bottom’s up!
Nespresso’s head of coffee, Karsten Ranitzsch, has given us his top 5 tips for at-home baristas and a special recipe for Caramelito Affogato.
1. Get frothy: The density of froth changes depending on the type of milk used. Milk with a high fat content makes a richer and denser froth, whereas milk with a low fat content will make a lighter, more aerated froth.
2. Learn the language: Impress your guests with your coffee knowledge. A Caffé Latte in Italian simply means ‘coffee and milk’, while the word Macchiato literally translates as ‘stained’, meaning to make the coffee with a stain of milk.
3. Create new tasting experiences: Try adding coffee to sweet and savoury recipes, whether it’s a simple Affogato for dessert or as part of a savoury dish. Check out www.nespresso.com/coffee-and-milk for more recipes.
4. Serve wisely: The design, size and shape of your coffee cup can improve the coffee-drinking experience, as the shape has an impact on the structure and consistency of the crema. For espresso, serve in a small cup made of porcelain or glass and for coffee with milk, use a taller glass.
5. A perfect match: When pairing coffee with snacks, coffee should enhance the flavour not overpower it. The trick is to look for complementary flavour notes, so pair strong coffee with intense, rich treats such as dark chocolate and mild blends with delicate snacks like puff pastry.
Salted caramel cream
110g caster sugar
95g fresh cream
70g unsalted butter
1 capsule of Caramelito Variations (coffee grounds)
40g caster sugar
40g ground almonds
25g plain flour
10g cocoa powder
Salt (just a pinch)
35g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Vanilla ice cream
1 capsule of Caramelito Variations (40mL)
- To make the caramel cream, scald cream and set aside.
- Dry caramelise sugar and dissolve thoroughly until golden brown.
- Add caramel to cream and simmer for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in butter and cool.
- Mix crumble ingredients in a bowl, including the coffee grounds from one Caramelito Variations capsule.
- Bake for 20 minutes in 330 degrees F (165 degrees C) oven.
- Pour salted caramel cream into a glass and then place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
- To finish, pour hot Nespresso Variations Caramelito coffee on top of ice cream and sprinkle with crumble.
Tip: For a simple, everyday affogato, place a generous scoop of ice cream into individual glasses and pour your favourite Grand Cru coffee over the top. For an indulgent treatafter dinner, use Decaffeinato Intenso.
Recipe by Darren Purchese, chef and owner of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio in Melbourne
Feel like a sweet treat and a bit of a pick-me-up as well that you can make yourself at home. We’ve got just dessert:
600ml thickened cream
80g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
4 gold strength gelatin leaves
200g caster sugar
100ml espresso-strength Gloria Jean’s Coffees Sereno Blend coffee
Coffee almond shards
200g caster sugar
80g almonds, coarsely chopped
½ tsp very finely ground Gloria Jean’s Coffees Sereno Blend coffee
- Place milk, cream, sugar and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from heat and stand for 15 minutes to infuse. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 3 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, gently reheat the cream mixture over low heat. Squeeze gelatine to remove excess liquid, then add leaves to cream and stir until dissolved. Cool slightly, then strain and pour into six 150ml serving glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight until set.
- Meanwhile, for coffee syrup, bring sugar and 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush and cook over medium heat until a caramel coloured (5-10 minutes). Add coffee (being careful as hot caramel may spit) and stir over low heat until syrupy (1-2 minutes), then set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, for coffee almond shards, bring sugar and 100ml water to the boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, cooking over medium heat until caramel coloured (5-10 minutes). Stir through almonds and coffee, pour onto a sheet of baking paper and set aside to cool (10-20 minutes). Break into shards and set aside.
- To serve – pour some syrup over the panna cottas and serve with the coffee almond shards. Serve extra syrup in a small jug.
Gloria Jean’s Coffees has a range of whole bean coffee available for purchase through any one of their coffee houses nationally or via http://www.gloriajeanscoffees.com.au/
A favourite of the fasting season, which forbids meat and dairy, this creamy almond milk latte is a delicious sample of Ethiopia’s coffee culture.
1 cup of almonds
4 cups of water
1 shot of Ethiopian espresso, freshly ground, tamped and pulled
- Soak: Wash 1 cup of almonds and 2 dried dates, and place them in a clear glass jar with 2 cups of water to soak overnight.
- Puree: Drain the almonds and then add them to a food processor with 11/2 cups of water. Puree the almonds until the mixture is fine and white – about 1 minute.
- Squeeze: Place cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the pureed almond mixture onto the cloth. With clean hands bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and squeeze the almond milk from the mixture.
- Heat: Place 3/4 cup of almond milk in a silver pitcher and steam until it is too hot to handle. Texture the milk by rolling it across the pitcher and tap the pitcher down solidly on a surface before pouring.
- Pour: This is the time to show off your coffee art skills. Pour the steamed almond milk over the shot of Ethiopian espresso. The almond milk will blend smoothly with the espresso cream.
Almond milk will keep for up to one week in the fridge.
Imagine waking up on a Sunday morning to perfect café-style coffee in the comfort of your own home. Sounds ideal – but unfortunately not everyone can make coffee like a pro. Coffee expert, philanthropist and managing director at Aroma Coffee, Gavin Gam, can share a few tricks of the trade to make this dream a reality.
First things first, you need the right beans. Gavin says the best quality coffee beans are the ones that can be traced directly to the farmer.
“Great coffee begins with ethically sourced, sustainable coffee beans that are grown from love and passion. Making coffee is not just about money, it’s about giving back, paying a little extra and making sure that the people who are producing the coffee beans are living a sustainable life. If there’s love from origin you can taste it, that’s the most important thing,” he says.
“We source Aroma’s award-winning roast, No. 1 Ruby Street, from farmers in Ethiopia who we’ve spent many years developing relationships with. They know us and they know we’re not just there to make a profit. They know we care about them and their community.”
The next step is to make sure that the coffee is freshly roasted – but not too fresh! Your coffee will be at its best a week after roasting and will keep for up to two months. Coffee that was roasted less than 7 days ago hasn’t had time to develop its full flavour, while coffee roasted more than 8 weeks ago will be stale and starting to lose its flavour. Coffee in the supermarket is usually a couple of months old, which is well and truly beyond its peak. The best way to source freshly roasted coffee is to visit your local roastery.
Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: grinding. And sorry time savers but Gavin says there’s no pre-grinding allowed if you want the best out of your beans. It has to be fresh.
“It’s better to buy a cheap grinder than to buy pre-ground coffee. It’s important to grind your coffee beans no more than five minutes before you’re making the coffee to preserve the form and flavour of the beans,” he says.
From here on in most people are familiar with the coffee making process, but Gavin still has a few tricks up his sleeve. No matter what kind of coffee you’re using, be it freshly roasted or instant, you should be using freshly filtered boiled water and let it sit for a minute or two before pouring. Boiling water will scald or burn your coffee and leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.
If you’re a black coffee drinker then you’re all done! But if you’re more of a latte person there’s one last step: the milk.
There are two phases to heating your milk. First, ‘stretching’ or heating. To stretch the milk properly you need to rest the spout of your milk jug up against the steam arm of your coffee machine, tilt the jug on a slight angle, then place your hand on the side of the jug and lower gradually to the point where the tip of the steam wand is just under the surface. You should only heat the milk to about 60 degrees so to avoid it burning. The second phase is creaming or rolling the milk, which involves rotating your jug in a circular motion to create micro lattice bubbles and remove any larger bubbles from the milk.
And that’s it! Pour your perfect cup of coffee, sit back and relax. You’ve earned it.
Coffee, flowers and subtle romantic gestures hold a special place in the hearts of Australian women, a new survey has revealed. It also highlighted the fact that four out of five females actually preferred these ‘everyday’ romantic gestures compared to big, one-off acts of affection.
The results also confirmed that European men still hold the lead in the romance stakes, with 68 per cent of Australian women rating them the most romantic nationality.
With subtle romance the order of the day, Australian men may find themselves looking to their European counterparts for advice. Hailing from Europe and in Australia to share his expert advice on romance and fantasy is Marco, the hero of the new Moccona campaign, “Wake Up To Something Special”.
“Being romantic doesn’t have to mean big acts, what’s more important are smaller, everyday gestures. Showing you know your partner, like how they take their coffee in the morning, and actually making it for them is a small thing, but it’s personal and thoughtful so it makes it more meaningful,” he said.
Coffee may not seem like the most romantic of drinks, especially when compared to a vodka martini, but a fifth of the women surveyed rated their partner bringing them their coffee to drink in bed as highly romantic, as it allowed them to savour the moment.
“The link between coffee and romance is in the idea of knowing just how your partner likes their coffee, and delivering them their perfect cup to start the day,” Marco said.
When it comes to the epitome of the modern-day fairytale, Australian women who voted in a poll on the Moccona Facebook page said that given the choice, Hugh Jackman and Simon Baker would top their list of Aussie men that they would love to serve their morning Moccona coffee.
Addicted to your favourite coffee shop? Can’t get through your day without a visit to your barista? So were we, until we found out that your daily flat white addiction costs up to $1,400 a year!
About time to learn how to make that perfect barista-style coffee at home, don’t you think? From selecting your favourite beans to choosing the right coffee machine, these 5 tips have been put together from top baristas over the years will leave you feeling like a self-appointed coffee connoisseur in no time at all.
- It all starts with the beans. The most important thing to remember is that, fresh is best. Just like wine, coffee oxidizes, so the more it is exposed to air and oxygen, the more the flavour of the coffee is degraded
- To ensure your beans stay fresh, keep your coffee beans or ground coffee in an airtight container. Avoid storing them in the fridge or freezer as the moisture will ruin the essential oils
- Whether you’re after an Arabica or Robusta coffee bean, or perhaps even a blend of the two, there are many different flavours of coffee and one to suit every taste
- As a general guide, lighter blends are more palatable, and darker beans (like the Robusta variety) have a stronger, more acidic flavour
- There are a lot of different choices available but trial and error is the best approach – your favourite bean might be waiting for you in the supermarket, local café or from your coffee machine provider
- Choose a machine to meet your needs – if you have a small kitchen try a compact machine like the new DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS, or if you have kids (large and small) with a penchant for hot chocolates, consider investing in the PrimaDonna Exclusive Coffee Machine which also comes with an extra hot chocolate function
- DéLonghi is the most popular fully automatic coffee machine provider in Australia and their newest release, the DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS is one of the most kitchen friendly offerings on the market – at just 19.5cm wide, it is the perfect coffee machine for snug city apartments, kitchens and small office environments.
- Simplifying the coffee making process, the DéLonghi PrimaDonns XS can make the most complex order with one touch of a button
The daily grind
- The grind of your coffee will greatly influence the end result as it impacts the amount of contact time between the hot water and the beans
- Grind it too fine and you will have a bitter coffee (the result of too much contact time), whilst grinding it too coarsely will give you a watery blend (i.e. too little contact time)
- For the most consistent blend, grind your own beans or use a burr grinder. The DéLonghi PrimaDonna XS comes with an integrated burr grinder and an incredible 13 settings to guarantee the coffee beans are freshly ground each time, just to your liking
- Good quality grinders will help extract all the essential oils from the coffee beans, giving you a delicious, full bodied crème
- Experiment with the settings to find your ideal grind. Once you have this you are well on your way to a great cup of coffee
If you like a milky coffee – as opposed to an espresso or a long black – there are a number of things you need to be aware of:
- The temperature of the milk should sit somewhere between 60C and 70C, so if you are frothing your own milk keep a thermometer nearby. It’s a good idea to stop once the temperature reaches 60 C as the temperature will continue to rise as the milk rests
- Try not to overheat the milk as it will burn the coffee beans and leave you with a bitter tasting coffee
- If you’re not confident frothing your own milk it could be worth investing in a machine that has an Instant Frothing Device (IFD) and can do the hard work for you – whichever milk you choose
- Contrary to popular belief it is actually easier to froth skim milk than full cream milk
- Double walled glasses are the top choice for coffee lovers as they are comfortable to hold whilst keeping the heat in. DéLonghi has a fantastic range of double walled glasses from espresso cups all the way up to larger offerings, allowing you to choose the size that suits your coffee preference
- Try and match your glass to your drink – anything too big and the coffee will lose heat faster than you can drink it!
Do you make coffee at home or hit your favourite coffee shop for your daily grind?