Recipe: Espresso Martini

Today marks one of the most historic general elections in American history and we hope you’ve taken the time to make your voice heard by voting!

Afterward, you might want to get together with some of your favorite people to either celebrate or drown your sorrows, depending on your political perspective and the election’s outcome. An election party/commiseration wouldn’t be complete without a delicious espresso martini!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces Kahlua
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces brewed espresso
  • 3 fluid ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces Creme de Cacao
  • heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)

Directions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full with ice.
  2. Add ingredients and shake well until very cold.
  3. Strain into a martini glass.
  4. In a plastic bottle with a narrow tip, add some heavy cream.
  5. Starting from the center of the drink, start a spiral and cirle to the outside of the glass.
  6. Then take a stirrer or a toothpick and starting in the center of the drink, drag the stirrer to the edge of the glass.
  7. Return to center of the drink, and repeat procedure in ‘pie segments’ to make a ‘web’ with the heavy cream (or make any design that you’d like).

New! La Pavoni Manual Espresso Machines

Get back to espresso’s roots with these gorgeous and easy-to-use manual espresso machines by La Pavoni!

Featuring a variety of beautiful finishes – from chrome with wood accents to gold-plated brass — La Pavoni’s traditional lever-style espresso extraction is an espresso purist’s (and an esthete’s!) dream. We have expanded our selection of these strikingly designed espresso machines, so you can choose from different boiler capacities, frothing functionality and finishes. Providing the most control over every aspect of espresso shot extraction, La Pavoni’s manual machines are perfect for the espresso perfectionist or budding enthusiast alike.

How To: Hot Cocoa Art

The practice of topping off your hot beverage with beautiful milk foam art shouldn’t be limited to just espresso drinks! We often get asked how to do ‘cocoa art’ in a similar manner to latte art, so here’s how we express our cocoa side:

First, mix your preferred amount of chocolate with a few tablespoons of milk to create a dark mixture with which your foamed milk can be integrated. After you’ve steamed your milk, pour it similarly to how you pour when you make latte art. A simple leaf, for example, starts with pouring the milk in the middle of the mug, then slowly moving outward to the side, eventually working your way slowly back into the middle while shaking the pitcher from side to side. You should have a kind of leaf-like design, pulling back at the last moment to form the stem.

Tech Tip: Grindhouse

Regular maintenance of all your espresso or coffee related apparatus is essential to extending their longevity in your home or office. We talk a lot about how to keep your espresso machine healthy, but grinders need a little love, too!

One easy way to do this is, once a week, adjust your grinder to the coarsest setting possible, then run it for a few minutes to flush out any fine grinds that may be stuck around the blades, etc. This regular maintenance will decrease the likelihood of clogs and ensure evenness in grind. We recommend doing this on all stand-alone grinders and also if you have an espresso machine or coffee maker that features an internal grinder.

Brew Tip: Panarello Wand Steaming

If you have an espresso machine which features a panarello tip on the steam wand (such as a those from Saeco or DeLonghi), learning how to steam milk to your preference can take a few tries. Here are some tips on how to produce different kinds of milk textures using this type of steam wand:

  1. Super Fluffy Foam: If you keep the air intake (hole or slit) above the surface of the milk, you’ll create big foam and bubbles.
  2. Steamed Only: Fully submerge the air intake in the milk to produce steamed milk with no foam.
  3. Microfoam: Keep the air intake level with the milk, drawing in equal amounts of milk and air.
  4. Overflow Watch: If your foamed milk is about to overflow from the pitcher but it’s not up to your preferred temperature, simply submerge the wand completely (up above the air intake) and continue to steam.

Health Watch: Caffeine & Alzheimer’s

We just read this fascinating article about a study from earlier this year that indicates regular coffee consumption can decrease the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s later in life.

Researchers found that caffeine may cut the risk of dementia because of its ability to block the adverse affects of high cholesterol on the body’s systems — one of which may be the break down of the blood/brain barrier that protects our brain tissue from potentially harmful chemicals in our bloodstream. There have been previous studies to indicate that the break down of this barrier may contribute to the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The research centered on rabbits, which were given a high cholesterol diet over a 12 week period, some of which were also given the equivalent of one cup of coffee per day. At the end of the trial, researchers found that the blood/brain barrier in the rabbits that had the coffee supplement was far less deteriorated than the rabbits with no supplement. The results of this research are a very interesting step in determining both new restoration therapies and preventative
care.

So sip your daily joe knowing that it’s not only delicious — it’s brain food!