As this blog will testify I love coffee and I love nothing better than being able to participate in café society, drinking a good cup of coffee and enjoying the company of friends and colleagues. It is also nice to be able to offer good coffee in my own home to said friends and to enjoy myself with a good book or just to start the day. A good friend came to visit the other day, not seen in forever and brought me a house gift…a Philips Senseo Coffee Maker. This uses coffee pods of which she had brought a selection, knowing I would want to try it out as soon as possible. It’s a really neat machine, in black, looks good in my small kitchen and the coffee is great. My mate also brought me the link to order more, which I will be doing very shortly. Lots of variety to try including; Rio de Janeiro, Senseo strong, Mocha and decaf for some family members who prefer that!
Why would someone choose decaf is beyond me, especially as research says a certain amount of caffeine has health benefits. Now of course you have to be sensible as there are dangers to but in my opinion it is certainly better to drink coffee than these crazy energy drinks, they contain so much sugar and often can be well over normal caffeine intake for a day ( about 3 cups ) teenagers to my mind are using them far too much. Caffeine is addictive so an awareness of this is important but with all the sport advertising and sponsorship it is easy to see why the drinks easy to buy, taste good and give you a buzz are popular with teenagers. I have also seen so-called adults mixing them with alcohol and then wondering why their hangovers are so bad….the cure for which is more energy drinks. Crazy to my mind…guess you getting the idea I don’t like energy drinks…very true I don’t; seen firsthand the results of this and not a pretty sight. I will stick to coffee.
My Magnificent Machine!
Turkish Coffee Pots
Turkish coffee is a experience not only to drink but in the making. Making the coffee is a time honoured tradition dating back to the 15th century. Turkish coffee is an integrated part of the culture with connections to all that is essentially Turkish. The aroma, the smoothness, the sweetness the simple but importent steps to making it all coontribute to its importance. The wait while it is made is a time to ponder and reflect, whilst drinking you focus on the flavour and find a calm within your self. after drinking it you are ready to recommence your daily activities, refreshed and relaxed.
Today you still find coffee being prepared in the traditional way although you can now buy ready packets to which you just add water – no way would you find me drinking one of them. I like the tradition, the culture the respect for the brewing. It is tradition for the eldest daughter within a house to prepare and serve Turkish coffee, letting visitors know she has wifely skills, to some extent that is still followed. When asking to get engaged a boyfriend and his parents would visit the girls home and there be offered Turkish coffee made by the prospective fiance. Fancy making it yourself? This Youtube site will show you how. I have enjoyed coffee in various places but I have to admit sat beside the Bosphruz in Istanbul, at one of the many little coffee house will be forever in my mind.
In addtion to enjoying a drink of Turkish coffee the fgrounds that make up a 1/3 of the cup are not wasted. Oh no they can read, yes your fortune can be told or FAL as it is known in Turkey. A very relaxing hour can be spent sipping the Turkish coffee, taking in the world and then having your fortune read…excellent way to spend your time!
Different types of coffee
A drink made by brewing coffee beans in water is the coffee we know. There are many ways to brew which includes :
- Filter/Drip – This is a method in which hot water passes slowly over coffee beans. In the process the water absorbs the aroma and oils and filter coffee is made. It has unique flavour.
- French press – French drink coffee in a different way. Instead of passing hot water they pass hot water and dissolve the coffee beans.The coffee beans used are coarser. It gives a different aroma when milk is mixed with coffee.
- Percolator – It is a variation of filter coffee, only difference being that hot water is passed through a percolator using gravity to brew the coffee.
- Espresso – Espresso coffee is brewed using the espresso machine which passes compressed steam through finely ground coffee beans. Froth is formed at the top known as creme. This variant forms the base for many popular coffee drinks like latte, mocha, Americano and Cappuccino.
- Cold brew – This is the new addition to the brewing of coffee. The coffee is brewed at room or lesser temperature to get a cold version of coffee. Its taste is different due to difference in temperature.
- Flavoured coffee – Adding to the variations is the flavoured coffee. Introduced by Starbucks and followed by most coffee serving companies it has become very popular. Major flavours include chocolate and vanilla.
These methods bring difference of taste to the brewed drink. In spite of major style changes there is nothing like coffee to relax your brain and muscles.
It is not news that I am addicted to coffee- but I am certainly not one of those purists who find one brand of coffee they like and just stick to it. I like shopping around, and exploring different flavours. I also love trying mixing my own blends. I’m sure I have unique taste buds and maybe some day, I will find the best coffee blend in the whole world, right?
Anyway, there are certain coffees I love drinking when I am just in the mood for guilty pleasure. My guilty pleasures are derived entirely from food- it does not matter if it is actually expensive, or from Brazil. My favourite guilty pleasure is also a little bit of a cheap trick- when I’m in the mood, I just drop a dollop of Nutella in my morning coffee to give it a unique taste. If you feel fancy, you can call it a Mocha Hazelnut Espresso or Frappe. You’re welcome.
My second favourite guilty pleasure is fresh cinnamon. I only use cinnamon in my coffee when I have more time and I can slow brew my coffee. I just add some cinnamon when I’m brewing the coffee (as much as suits your taste). It gives it an incredibly earthy flavour- perfect for the heat or the cold!
What are your guilty pleasure coffees? Do share the recipe!
As a coffee fanatic, I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets by saying I love the artisan coffees and the special blends and the coffees that come from great coffee houses. However, one has to have coffee at home to use in one’s coffee maker, and paying an outrageous sum for the grind is, well, a grind all its own. So there are definitely store-bought brands of coffee I like, and one of my favorite from the grocers’ aisle is actually a mass-produced commercialized brand: Folgers.
Folgers is a very popular brand, and they actually produce some pretty good coffee; it’s more or less upper mid-shelf, not high-end, but with a Flavors line featuring vanilla, hazelnut, mocha and others, as well as cappuccino, there’s plenty to choose from with Folgers. Me, I prefer their simple dark roast. Not a morning blend; not anything special caff or overly fancy. Their dark roast is a great product for a store-bought selection.
Of course, if I had my druthers, my mornings would be spent drinking the finest coffee that one could ever produce. But not only is this habit expensive, it’s also very time consuming to constantly seek out world-class coffee. Sometimes, upper mid-shelf will do, and for those occasions, there’s nothing at all wrong with a little Folgers in your cup.
While I love the whole experience of going out for coffee, the chance to sit in the sun and let someone else do the work to bring me that perfect hit of espresso, on any given day I’m at home working – so, my home coffee needs to be as good as I can get it.
I’ve tried home espresso machines and used hotel stays to road test Nespresso, and while they often provide a good cup, I still believe it’s hard to get that high pressure on a home machine that sets the standard. There are arguments that say the machine is important and some that say it’s all in the beans – I’m a 50/50 kind of person, both have merits and have to be the best you can get. For a home machine I’ve now gone back to the basics, for me I love the theatre of my Moka stovetop espresso – old Italian style coffee, I have several of these in different styles and sizes, my favourite is an old classic I picked up in Italy, I like to imagine the old Nonnas who may have used it before. To go with this, if I have the time, I have a beautiful wooden grinder, there is something quite relaxing in sitting there and grinding the coffee myself.
Of course the beans are the star – I tend to rotate my beans to keep my taste buds interested, and we’re lucky in Auckland to have such a great range of roasters, my current favourite is Gravity Coffee’s Espresso Love blend.
So there’s a new approach to art and coffee in the mingling of forces in New York that will really appeal to people that are interested in lovely coffee and lovely art. There’s a few well known places now and they are getting big shout outs online in this article I was reading the other day and its making me want to take an easy loan from Ferratum and take off to New York from NZ One of the places is:
Gasoline Alley Coffee:
It’s a nice place that has gotten a really good review in a neighbourhood that has been quickly gentrified as usual in urban centers: “where NoHo used to be populated with car mechanics and gas stations, it is now filled with charming coffee shops like Gasoline Alley. This industrial-chic coffee shop offers a bright and inviting space with big windows that open up in the summer, providing the petite shop with an open, airy feel.” It looks as though it would be a really nice place to drink good coffee in the heart of New York when visiting after a day of shopping or going out and walking around the city. If anyone else has any other good shoutouts please don’t be afraid to contact me I’ll make a review of the place. Cheers.