December is always the month for coffee catch-ups and it is also the month of the Festive Blend!
I always need a Toffee Nut Latte from Starbucks to remind myself about Christmas. This year, Starbucks launched a new festive beverage. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has launched some new Christmas drinks as well.
Last but not least, Nespresso has also launched 3 dessert-inspired flavours for the season!
Two of my great food loves are coffee and ice cream. During my younger days, I could savour three large scoops of ice-cream at one go – although this is a phase that I have grown out of and hopefully would not revisit again.
One’s warm and bitter, the other is cold and sweet. It’s the perfect juxtaposition you could have at the end of a meal, or on a warm summer afternoon.
I had the opportunity to attend a workshop by Mr Eduardo Vastolo, Barista Trainer from Illy Coffee and he taught us three ways to make ice cream coffee using Haagen-Dazsice-cream.
Here’s my creation – Chocolate Hazelnut and Macadamia Ice Latte!
I recently watched a Chinese romantic comedy “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” starring Daniel Wu, Louis Ku and a Chinese actress Gao Yuan Yuan. The setting of the movie was mostly in Hong Kong Central and there were a few landmarks that I could identify with.
One of which was obviously Caffe Habitu, a name that I have frequently mentioned at my Twitter or Facebook, but not so much on this blog. Caffe Habitu is a cozy lifestyle cafe with Italian influence, and there are several outlets in Hong Kong.
Gao Yuan Yuan was waiting for Louis Ku and he got distracted by another lady at Pacific Coffee – which is indeed beside Caffe Habitu at Hutchison House in Central – and never turned up for the date.
Miss Glitzy was invited by Joe & Dough for a little session on coffee appreciation. Well, the coffee culture in Singapore is growing with so many different coffee chains scattered around the island. How do you know that you are paying for a good cup of coffee for $5?
Miss Glitzy is sharing a few points that she had learned from the session. Trust her, that session was almost life-changing as coffee experience had never been the same again. Here are some points to look out for when you are at the cafe:
1) Clean and tidy equipment
This is crucial because dirty equipment allows coffee residue to build up, resulting in a very rancid and bitter aftertaste.
2) Grind on demand
Flavours of the coffee beans are lost almost immediately after grinding due to oxidisation. Check for the churning sounds of the grinders – if it is just a couple of clicks, the beans might have been grinded and left at the chamber of the grinder for a while (stale ground). Alternatively, you could try to look into the chamber to see it is already filled with stale grounds.
3) Correct extraction of espresso
Coffee extraction is the process where the coffee extract (the espresso) is dripped out from the coffee machine under pressure. While a generally accepted guide for coffee extraction is 20 to 30 seconds, ideal extraction speed differs from blend to blend. The espresso dripping out should have the similar colour as warm honey. Under extracted coffee results in a weak, sour, and dull espresso while over extracted coffee will taste harsh and burnt.
4) Fresh and perfectly textured milk
The frothing process, which incorporates air into the milk, is an important step that determines the taste of your Lattes or Cappuccinos. Well textured milk tastes sweet and should have a velvety, silky look instead of big bubbles that resemble soap foam. In addition, make sure that the barista is using a fresh pitcher of milk instead of reusing stale milk that have been left over by a previous order.
Miss Glitzy even had a chance to learn how to make a cup of cappuccino at Joe & Dough! She attempted to do some latte art on her cappuccino who ended up looking like abstract art instead! All these captured in the third episode of Glitz Channel.
Hope you enjoy this little video and now, go get a good cup of coffee!