Coffee

8 Energy-Boosting Alternatives To Caffeine

When your coffee addiction is getting out of control.

July 17, 2017

I Tried To Become A Morning Person And This Is What Happened…

Can someone who hates mornings learn to love them?

December 7, 2016

7 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Use Coffee In Your Beauty Routine

Is there anything coffee can’t do?

September 29, 2016

9 People Reveal The One Thing That Turns Them The Hell On

It’s about to get freaky up in here.

July 6, 2016

I Ditched Dieting And Started Eating Cake For Breakfast – And I’ve Never

My name is Peta and I do not have a problem – promise.

July 6, 2016

Here’s How To Sleep Like A Teenager Again

When was the last time you got a decent night’s sleep? 

June 29, 2016

11 Totally Secret Starbucks Drinks You Need To Try

You know you want a Caramel Snickerdoodle Macchiato. 

June 29, 2016

Woman Sues Starbucks For $5 Million For Adding Too Much Ice

Talk about wanting some cold, hard cash. 

May 4, 2016

7 Hacks For Getting Away With Wearing Activewear In Any Sitch

Anybody who tells you it’s just for the gym is kidding themselves.

March 7, 2016

Nespresso Just Took Coffee To A Whole New Level

Prepare to salivate, a lot…

November 14, 2015

Oliver Brown Chocolate Iced Coffee Recipe

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?

RELATED: Grilled Banana And Walnut Waffles Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. In a blender, blend all in ingredients together until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Meanwhile, grate chocolate to create chocolate flakes.
  3. Serve iced coffee in a  chilled glass and top with Belgian chocolate flakes.
June 11, 2015

TGIF: Coffee Martini Recipe

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!

RELATED: Passionfruit, Chilli And Basil Caipiroska Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

125ml (1/2 cup) freshly brewed espresso coffee, cooled

90ml Tia Maria liqueur

60ml (1/4 cup) vodka

Ice cubes, to serve

Method

  1. Place the coffee, Tia Maria, vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine.
  2. Strain the coffee mixture and divide between chilled serving glasses.

Recipe via Taste

June 5, 2015

Is Coffee The New Teatox?

Coffee addicts rejoice – this is your year! 2015 has been hailed the year of the coffee cleanse, thanks to a new ‘superfood’ ingredient: Green coffee extract. Boasting benefits from weight loss to increased energy levels, we ask: what is this new superfood and should you try it?

RELATED: The Surprise Benefits Your Morning Coffee Gives You

What is green coffee extract?

Before you start doubling your daily coffee intake, take note: Regular coffee and green coffee bean extract are not the same.

Green coffee bean extract is made from unroasted coffee beans. It is believed that the roasting process – done to the beans that make your morning latte – reduces the amount of chlorogenic acid, the active ingredient that is associated with a tonne of health benefits.

Chlorogenic acid has been touted by advocates as the ultimate weight loss tool. It is believed this natural chemical compound might inhibit the body’s uptake of glucose in the intestine and blood, regulating the metabolism and even resulting in weight loss.

What’s more, a handful of Australian companies have started to use green coffee bean in their products, finally bringing it to our shores.

Meet the next generation of coffee

If your daily latte doesn’t aid in weight loss, increase metabolic rate or come packed with superfoods, it’s not working hard enough, according to new Australian company Coffee Not Coffee. The young brand has amassed a cult Instagram following and has appeared in Harpers Bazaar Germany, not to mention on the accounts of the global blogger set.

Their hero range of coffee includes chlorogenic acid and claims to suppress appetite, boost antioxidant intake and decrease blood glucose and insulin levels. Just to name a few.

They’re not the only ones to champion the power of green coffee beans. Starbucks USA offer a range of Starbucks Refreshers, canned drinks and sachets containing the new superfood. Green coffee bean can also be found in supplement form and taken as a daily pill.

Coffee, Superfood, Diet, Weightloss, teatox

Does it live up to the hype?

“Some of the claims being made about chlorogenic acid seem too good to be true,” says accredited practicing dietitian Gloria Cabrera. “It’s important not to believe everything we hear and do a bit of research before buying expensive supplements.”

One of the landmark studies on green coffee beans was recently retracted after researchers acknowledged that they couldn’t validate the headline claims. The study stated that participants who took a green coffee bean supplement lost 16 per cent of their body fat, and was even endorsed by US celebrity health expert Dr Oz, before being revoked.

“Research done on green coffee beans and weight loss have often been on small populations,” Cabrera points out. “The results look promising but more research needs to be done with a larger group of people for a longer time period,” she says.

Should you try it?

While the idea of slimming coffee might sound enticing, dietitian Katherine Baqleh says products that make big weight loss claims should be approached with caution. “It appears to be just another fad setting people up for diet failure,” she says. “There are concerns regarding safety, dosage and adverse side effects. It’s also unclear the type and amount of the extract needed.”

It’s not all doom and gloom though. If you’re a regular coffee drinker and don’t want to give up on your daily mug, Baqleh says there are ways to make healthier coffee choices. “For the lowest energy content, choose an espresso,” she says. “Be careful of milky coffees with sugar, even if they’re skim-based. They’re considered a snack, not just a beverage.”

Gloria Cabrera agrees that if you’re watching your weight, steer clear of milk drinks and opt for no sugar. “People don’t realise about the kilojoules in coffee,” she says. “Choose a large size, add a few sugars and have several daily and you could be consuming the equivalent of a whole meal!”

Cabrera recommends capping your coffee intake to three cups per day and says it’s important to maintain a healthy balanced diet. “Taking green coffee bean extract but consuming an unhealthy diet with little physical activity is unlikely to do much for weight loss.

“It’s essential to focus on the whole approach rather than hoping a magic pill will be the solution.”

We’ll cheers to that.

April 24, 2015

Are You Addicted To Coffee?

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.

RELATED: Understanding Addiction

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)

Results

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:

  1. Restlessness and nervousness
  2. Increased heartbeat
  3. Nausea
  4. Anxiety
  5. Heart palpitations (cardiac arrhythmia)
  6. Insomnia
  7. Sweating
  8. Dizziness
  9. Vomiting
  10. 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.

Image healthambition.com

April 17, 2015

The Surprise Benefits Your Morning Coffee Gives You

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.

RELATED: How To Make The Perfect Brew Via The Coffee Post

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

April 14, 2015

Wattleseeds: An alternative to coffee?

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

April 3, 2015

How To Make The Perfect Brew Via The Coffee Post

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!

RELATED: Is Coffee Sucking The Life Out Of You?

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).

coffee, home-made coffee, The Coffee Post
“Not only is it far more cost effective, it also ensures you have the best possible coffee experience each and every time as our subscribers have the ability to craft their perfect cup,” she says.

“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.”

caffeine, coffee, caffeine addiction
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.”

coffee, home-made coffee, The Coffee Post

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.”

March 29, 2015

Is Coffee Sucking The Life Out Of You?

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!

caffeine, coffee, caffeine addiction

August 21, 2014

Top Tips For At-Home Baristas

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. 

Caramelito Affogato

Serves 4

Ingredients

Salted caramel cream

110g caster sugar

95g fresh cream

70g unsalted butter

Crumble

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

Assembly

Vanilla ice cream

1 capsule of Caramelito Variations (40mL)

Method

  1. To make the caramel cream, scald cream and set aside.
  2. Dry caramelise sugar and dissolve thoroughly until golden brown.
  3. Add caramel to cream and simmer for 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk in butter and cool.
  5. Mix crumble ingredients in a bowl, including the coffee grounds from one Caramelito Variations capsule.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in 330 degrees F (165 degrees C) oven.
  7. Pour salted caramel cream into a glass and then place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
  8. 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

August 20, 2014

Panna Cotta With Coffee Syrup And Almond Toffee

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:

Ingredients

Panna Cotta

200ml milk

600ml thickened cream

80g caster sugar

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

4 gold strength gelatin leaves

Coffee syrup

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

Method 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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/ 

August 7, 2014

Almond Milk Latte Recipe

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.

Ingredients

1 cup of almonds

4 cups of water

2 dates

1 shot of Ethiopian espresso, freshly ground, tamped and pulled

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

July 19, 2014

How to Create the Perfect Cup of Coffee

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.

Coffee beans 

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.”

Roasting 

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.

Grinding 

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.

Water 

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.

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.

July 16, 2014
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