Daily Archives: December 25, 2013
We talk a lot about coffee experimentation here at SCG. The great thing about being a coffee lover is that there is always something new to learn. Heck, we will try any espresso drink and any coffee brewing method at least once and we love to share our knowledge.
Recently, we met a couple who have taken our raison d'être 'How do you make great coffee at home?' to new heights of exploration. They have even started to roast their own coffee beans at home! When passion and inquisitive minds collide … meet the bloggers behind Purista.
David and Mae have a beautiful coffee review blog. In researching their coffee reviews they found 'one green coffee can become any multitude of different roasts.' Many coffee lovers would simply compare these final roasts but David and Mae were intrigued by the whole process. 'In order to more fully explore coffee, and to provide ourselves with even more education and understanding, we decided to begin roasting coffee at home. We are still in the early stages of our roasting setup, and are learning new things with every roast.'
David and Mae's Recipe for Success
'We recently adopted a back-to-basics mentality with our roasting. Per the suggestion of a member of the Sweet Maria’s coffee roasting community, we now roast in the following manner:
- Turn on the roaster
- Add just enough coffee to stop the rotation of the mass of coffee
- Watch. Smell. Listen.
This has already proven so much better than how we were doing it before. Our roasts are now closer to seven minutes, rather than the four minutes we were getting before for the same roast level. This translates to a more developed profile -- more complex aromas, flavors, finish.'
Signature Drink: Pomegranate Molasses Affogato
Here is the background and step by step recipe with pictures from David and Mae for this luscious and festive holiday treat. The volume yields 4 drinks total.
'We wanted to create a signature drink that embodies the season, but keeps our Purista ideals in tact. What we mean by that is that we want the coffee to be the focal point and any additions secondary and complementary. Since we're also proponents for taking the time to make something well, the recipe involves a bit of work.
- 1 pint Vanilla ice cream; chocolate ice cream would be a solid choice as well
- 4 double shots Espresso
- 8 oz 100% Pomegranate juice (POM makes a bottle just the right size)
- 1 tbsp Agave sweetener (you can use cane sugar or honey instead)
We'll walk you through the pomegranate molasses reduction before the assembly of the drinks. This takes some time, and attentiveness, but you can make it ahead of time and store it in a container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice and agave sweetener and reduce on a medium-low heat. The liquid should simmer within about ten minutes. After ten minutes check it about every four minutes. In twenty eight to thirty minutes, the liquid should have reduced by more than half and coat a spoon ever so slightly, like syrup, when stirred. Don't let it get too thick, as it will thicken a bit more as it cools, and for this drink we want it to be about the same consistency as the espresso.
- Remove from heat and let it cool about five minutes before pouring it into a suitable container. If you're doing it ahead of time you can just put it in the refrigerator. If you need to use it relatively soon, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes.
And now it's time for assembly …
- Place 1/2 cup ice cream into 4 small cups or bowls. For reference, our INKER cups are 6 ounces. Place in the freezer until the espresso is prepared.
- Pull a double shot of espresso for each serving.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer and pour a fresh double shot over each serving, followed by a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses.
Note the way that the syrup and espresso seamlessly blend together in texture. Then take note of the tartly sweet play on the coffee’s own acidity accentuated and complemented by the pomegranate. The ice cream is just a carrier vessel, and a balancing component that tames the intense flavors just enough, and shocks the coffee into a submissive temperature. This is our treat of the season, and since we can't have you in our own living room, we send this decadence off to yours. Happy holidays!'
Many thanks to David and Mae. If you would like to share the recipe for your signature drink, send us an email!
We've descaled double boilers, heat exchangers, every superautomatic under the sun and even simple thermoblock-driven machines, but in all of our years giving scale the what-for inside espresso machines, we had not descaled a La Pavoni. So when Sam's Uncle Bob asked us to show him the ropes, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to delve into something completely new!
The first part of the process, of course, was to find a willing participant, and Bunny stepped in to do the job. After working in our retail store for years and performing tune-ups for customers, she knows a thing or two about descaling machines, so we tasked her with researching how to perform it on a manual lever style machine like the La Pavoni. What she learned (and what we then filmed) was deceptively simple! It will take some time, patience, a little elbow grease and, of course, some Dezcal, but it was a very effective method for removing scale within the La Pavoni's boiler and on its heating element.
Watch as she guides us through the process. And if you happen to have a La Pavoni or a lever machine that you descale in a different way, we'd love to learn new techniques! Post your process in the comments and we'll share with the class.
SCG How-To Guides: Descaling La Pavoni Manual Espresso Machines