Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to make Japanese iced coffee by Peter Giuliano

Summer is almost here which means it is it is hot and no one likes to hold a 200 degree cup of coffee while sweating.  Iced coffee is the answer.  This video by Peter Juliano of Counter Culture Coffee does a great job of explaining how to make great iced coffee.  Watch to the end to see a funny outtake.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nespresso Boutique - South Beach Miami, Florida

I know this is bad...but I could not resist.  Miami's coffee scene is unusual and by unusual I mean non-existent.  I could only find one real specialty coffee place in Miami (Panther Coffee) and God bless them for trying to bring change to a place that is littered with battered espresso machines and a general lack of knowledge surrounding what good coffee really is.  I was walking through the normal people section of South Beach and noticed the Nespresso Boutique Cafe.  I decided to go in with an open mind and see what a 6 dollar coffee would buy me there.

The Good
This place was way cool looking.  Definitely a boutique style.  Think millions of dollars in design and a few dollars leftover for coffee and you have a palace of a coffee shop.
The Bad
They intended to simplify the coffee selection process by breaking out their coffee offering into a rating system from 1 to 10, which was sorted by lightest to darkest (BOOO!).  That's it.  No further knowledge. Even if I pretended the coffee wasn't slammed into little plastic cups that go into landfills it is a hard thing to buy into.  They wanted me to select #10 for my cap, so I obviously picked #6 because a burnt coffee was going to send me over the edge.

This is what came out:

I'm going to be fair.  Though this is not really correct there are some things about it that were redeeming.  The milk was the right temperature.  I couldn't believe it.  I was able to drink this as soon as they brought it.  I'm happy to report they know the right temperature to steam the milk to.  The cup size was also right which was refreshing.  The espresso was non-existent. It was completely lost in the milk until it completely cooled.  After the drink cooled it tasted, well not so great.  I got a sweet piece of chocolate and a nice presentation though.  


Garbage...nice retail location but no reason to ever go.  I hate POD's.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shop Review: Crema - Nashville, TN

As much time as I spend in Nashville, TN it has taken a couple of years to actually make it to Crema.  It isn't really that far but it is out there on its own.  It sits in an urban redeveloping area close to downtown Nashville and the waterfront.  It is a really nice place to throw back some coffee.

I did a little advance scouting before I went and noticed Crema's most ordered drink is something called a Cuban. Typically, when I go to places that seem to have their culinary stuff together I will go with the establishment's recommendation. Well I did.  And I must say, one of the most delicious things I have ever consumed. It was the perfect change of pace for me. I'm inclined to order a drip coffee, macchiato, or even just some espresso (especially when they roast their own). It is nearly shameful to admit, but I get festive sometimes and really want a nicely executed mocha. Unfortunately, I'm the only one I trust to make one because I like it slightly sweet. This cuban was the perfect drink for me, somewhere in between a cappuccino and a well done mocha.

To quote Ron Burgundy, "This drink was the balls." I don't know if he even said that, but he would. Espresso, sweet condensed milk, & steamed milk. Other cool things about the shop -
  • They roast their own beans onsite
  • Its vibe is similar to where it is located, kind of understated and charming
  • Staff is super friendly
  • Great outside seating
  • Some super dope treats for those who like to make their sugar go through the roof

To recap...go'll love it. This is slap yo mama good. Comparisons? Think Octane Coffee West of Nashville. Cool urban vibe and nicely executed coffee. Get some.