Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Happy National Coffee Day! A Quick Guide to Ordering Your Perfect Cup

A Cortado from Hillside Farmacy in Austin, Texas 
Happy National Coffee Day!

  After years of being a tea drinker, my children (and their terrible sleep habits) finally forced me into a lifestyle of coffee consumption.  Now, I actually look forward to my yummy hot cup of bittersweet in the morning!  It's like a little hug in a mug to start my day.

I like all different styles of coffee... it really just depends on the day (and time).  But, with all of the choices, how does a sleep-deprived momma know what to get?  I'll be honest, it has taken me years to really get a good handle on the ins and outs of coffee.  You don't need to go through all that!  So, in honor of today's gloriously caffeinated holiday, here is a quick guide to ordering a beverage that is just right for you.

Quick Guide to Ordering Coffee Beverages:

Espresso vs. Coffee:  What's the difference?  
Essentially, espresso is a type of coffee that has a dramatically different brewing process than your typical American drip coffee.   According to everyone's favorite behemoth coffee chain, Starbucks, "espresso is brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee under extremely high pressure. This results in a highly concentrated shot of coffee with a caramelly sweetness and a distinctive crema (layer of foam) on top. While it looks simple, pulling a quality shot requires considerable skill and practice."
A Guide to Common Espresso-Based Beverages
In order from most milk to least milk:
Latte - 5:1 ratio milk to espresso
Cafe au Lait - warm, steamed milk with coffee instead of espresso
Cafe Noisette - 2:1 espresso and steamed milk
Cappuccino - 1:1:1 espresso, steamed milk and foam
Cafe Mocha - traditionally 2:2:1 espresso, chocolate and steamed milk
Cortado - an espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk. 
Macchiato* - espresso with a dot of foam
Americano - 1:2 espresso and water (no milk)

*If your favorite coffee shop is Starbucks, and you want to order a true Macchiato, order an "Espresso Macchiato."  The "Caramel Macchiatos" on their menu involves lots of milk and sugar and are probably incredibly delicious, but don't really resemble a traditional Macchiato.

Want to Know More About Styles of Brewing Your Perfect Cup?

Here's a handy guide from Creature Coffee, a local favorite from Austin, Texas, on the different styles of brewing - complete with instructions and tips!  

Need More Coffee??? 

Monday, September 21, 2020

What Hasn't Changed

 We are living in times that seem alien to us - we can't go the places we used to go or see all the people we used to see.  Sometimes it seems like we have been transplanted to a different reality.  But really, more in our lives has remained unchanged than we realize.  Here are a few examples in a lovely poem by Typewriter Rodeo

You are still you and although things may seem tough right now, we'll see an end to it.  So stay safe and keep moving forward!

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