Tag Archives: espresso

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Daiquiri

Given the mas fuerte state of this week’s recipe, we learn what happens when Brandi isn’t brewin’ up booze-infused concoctions on the regular: She schools us! This cocktail is not for the faint of heart — or stomach — so venture only if you have a deep love of rum drinks, straight up.

Ingredients

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well to combine. Serve straight up in a chilled martini glass.

The Reluctant Barista: Jura J9 One Touch TFT Superautomatic

Fast forward…one month later and my budding barista skills are still negligible. Secretly, when the SCG Crew isn’t looking, I use superautomatic espresso machines! Muahahaha! I’m such a rebel. Until my hand-pulled espresso shots improve, I am happy to ‘push button, receive coffee.’ Please meet my new best friend: The Jura Impressa J9 One Touch TFT superautomatic espresso machine that does all the work for me!

Although there is a video guide available for the Jura J9 that covers all of the features, this time I went in cold turkey. I punched buttons just to see what happened. On the top of this stylish silver espresso machine was the power button and a rotary dial. I double-checked the water reservoir on the side and the bean hopper in the back. It took 58 seconds from ‘on’ to ‘ready.’ The color display panel then listed six drink choices, while the rotary dial on top toggled the strength and volume of the drinks.

I did not realize the Jura slogan Never-Move-The-Cup meant that I needed to position the cup under the milk/coffee spout on the left. Lights illuminated where to put the cup, but no, my cup was under the espresso spout in the center when my cappuccino poured forth into the ample drip tray.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That was clearly a case of user error. My only legitimate complaint was the cup clearance, while adjustable up to 5 inches, would not fit my Monday Mug — a Bodum behemoth. Although I have seen SCG Crew members remove the drip tray grate to accommodate taller cups, this drip tray did not have an even surface on the bottom to rest the cup.

I pushed all of the buttons in turn and received: A cappuccino, a latte macchiato, an espresso, plain coffee, along with milk and water options. Very scientifically I stuck my finger in the hot water as it streamed out. Oh yes, it was boiling! Like other superautomatic espresso machines with automatic frothing, the milk did not get as hot or as frothy as I prefer. [Pro-Tip: Warm your cup first to keep your drink hot longer.] And although the machine self-rinses the milk spout, it does not rinse the tube between the included stainless steel thermal milk container and the machine.

The pre-set drinks were all good and can be further customized. I used Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean, which will work well in any superautomatic espresso machine. Much like Goldilocks, none of the creations were to my exact taste so I did some tinkering and eventually landed on a delicious combination of a 6 ounce coffee pour with a 1.5 ounce espresso shot in the same cup — a drink that is known throughout the world under several different names … A Shot in the Dark, Red Eye, Depth Charge, Sludge Cup or by my favorite moniker, Mother Of All Coffee.

Who else besides me, the Reluctant Barista would want a Jura J9 superautomatic coffee robot to make her drink? I imagine anyone who wants to save time (it’s faster than a trip to the espresso drive-thru,) or receive better coffee than their current skill level allows (me!) or who wants a variety of people to be comfortable making consistent and delicious drinks on an easy to use machine (in an office setting or the SCG break room, for instance).

Crew Review: ADE Pocket Scale

Small things are wonderful. In fact, some of our favorite things in the world are tiny in scale and small in stature. Of course, we could be promoting this perspective because we’re goblin sized, but we also have another proof of concept — the tiny but wonderfully useful ADE pocket scale.

Watch as Gail demonstrates the features and functionality of this scale, perfect for measuring out small amounts of coffee for your portafilter basket.

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Power Up Smoothie

Looking for ways to pack more power into your coffee’s punch? How about incorporating fruits and veggies rich in anti-oxidants? Yeah, we said it. Watch as she puts everything from chocolate sauce to kale into the Vitamix … then we drink it — and it’s good!

 

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup chopped kale
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 2 tablespoons walnuts
  4. 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  5. 1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  6. 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  7. 6 ice cubes
  8. 2 shots of espresso
  9. 1 oz Monin Sugar Free Dark Chocolate sauce

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend well until fully incorporated. Enjoy!

Cooking with Kaylie: Mocha Granita

It’s summer (sort of), which is the time of year when coffee lovers search for new and creative ways to get their caffeine fix.Mocha Granita

Iced coffee? A delicious and trusty standby. Mocha smoothie? A great way to drink coffee and chocolate while still sounding like it’s a healthy option. Coffee-infused popsicles? A tasty alternative, but you need a popsicle mold.

So, I was pondering new ways to meet my summertime coffee intake requirements when I came across a recipe for Mocha Granita, which I modified a bit for espresso rather than French press coffee.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Brew 3 shots of espresso
  • In a baking dish, combine hot espresso shots with sugar, cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup hot water
  • Mix until sugar and cocoa powder dissolve
  • Place in the freezer
  • After 30 minutes, mix with a fork
  • Repeat every hour until completely frozen
  • Transfer to a glass and enjoy!

This granita is super rich and almost tastes like a frozen coffee brownie. You can’t go wrong with that! Added bonus: Other than the time factor, this recipe takes very little work.

Crew Review: Nespresso Gran Maestria

The counterpart to the recently reviewed Nespresso Maestria, the Gran Maestria features a new variation of their Aeroccino milk frother (the Aero 4, which offers you the ability to control different types of milk froth and temperatures) and a demitasse cup steamer. Also, it’s built like a B52 bomber!

Watch Gail introduce us to the machine, from box to cup. She talks about its features, how capsule espresso works and then demonstrates making a cappuccino.

 

Crew Review: Nespresso Maestria

For ease, convenience and cleanliness, there’s really no beating a capsule espresso machine. Sure, you’re not going to achieve the God Shot, but if you’re looking for a great cup of coffee that you can easily make at home — one cup at a time — Nespresso‘s series of machines are definitely worth your consideration.

One of their newer machines, the Maestria, combines their typical espresso extraction technology with one great new feature: A steam wand! We really dig this because, historically speaking, milk frothing on a Nespresso machine was handled either by a stand alone frother (different variations of the Aeroccino) or via a cappuccinatore type system — neither of which gave you much control over the milk foam quality nor temperature.

Watch Gail take us from box to cup — showing us how to set up the Maestria and then making a latte using its steam wand.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Bottom’s Up! Mudslide Smoothie

After a couple of weeks of tame, kid-friendly fare, Brandi could hold back no longer! She whipped up a delicious smoothie with the help of her recipe bible, Never Cook Sober.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 oz espresso
  • 1 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • Monin Dark Chocolate sauce (to taste)

Directions

Combine all the ingredients except for the chocolate sauce in a blender. Blend for about 20 – 30 seconds. In your serving glass, drizzle dark chocolate sauce for decoration. Pour in smoothie and get ready to rock!