Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Espresso in a culinary context

When Michele and I were visiting NYC last month, we went on the search for good espresso bars...and luckily, we stumbled upon Cafe Grumpy, which was very close to our hotel.

A small hidden gem, this cafe welcomed us with sounds of people chattering and foamers screeching when we opened its doors, and we were greeted with rich aromas from coffee beans and scents of freshly delivered Sunday Times.

Crowded with hip, young coffee- buzzed New Yorkers cupping their mugs, although all seats were taken, a kind man pointed to us that the bench outside was unoccupied, (and the space was just enough for 2), so we sat outside and enjoyed espressos in our laps and listened to the rare peaceful composure of the city on a Sunday morning.

Cafe Grumpy was featured in the New York Times, an article named "Espresso's New Wave Hits Town"

It reminds me of why we love artisinal coffee, from the roast, the dose, the tamping, and the latte art. I always savour the heart or leaf made from the steamed milk, because it really does make my latte taste better... it feels like careful attention and love from the barista!

There are four critical components to preparing espresso: it must be freshly roasted, freshly ground, properly dosed, tamped correctly and monitored during extration. If done correctly the resulting espresso will be smoother, more romantic, and more flavourful, the crema will be darker and thicker.

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