Posts Tagged ‘espresso’
Naked coffee, or a naked group handle (sometimes also known as a bottomless portafilter) is a traditional group handle that has had the bottom cut out of it, so that the base of the filter basket containing freshly ground coffee is directly exposed.
Because of this distinct modification, the extraction process can be observed as the coffee liquid passes straight from the bottom of the filter basket into a cup.
So you love great espresso?
We do too – that’s the whole reason for Crema Magazine’s existence. So is it all about spending $2,000 + on a fancy espresso machine? Well it may be, but before you go shelling out all that money on a fancy espresso machine, think about your grinder. In fact, one of Australia’s leading espresso authorities maintains that you should spend almost as much on a grinder as you do on your espresso machine – it’s that important.
Why is this most important piece of equipment so often overlooked and its importance underestimated? Well, it’s just not sexy, is it!
When we started up, and we’re just about to celebrate our tenth anniversary, we floated the [then slightly sacrilegious] notion that Melbourne might not, after all, be Australia’s coffee capital – in fact the things that were happening in the Sydney coffee scene were rather leaving Melbourne in the shade. Since then, however, coffee in Australia has taken many leaps forward and we’ve enjoyed riding the wave as coffee in Melbourne, in particular, has surged forward.
We have recently concluded a coffee-hopping trip [including the erstwhile capital of modern world espresso - Seattle] and we now firmly believe that Melbourne takes its place – not just as Australia’s but pretty much the world’s, coffee capital – and as you’ve probably guessed, we don’t make that sort of statement lightly!
However, coffee has got to such a stage in Melbourne, that there may not be much further you can go with espresso. The ‘third wave’ in coffee has seen more emphasis on brewing with different methods – syphon, pour-over, chemex, french press and clover – to the extent that some roasts are optimised for these brewing methods & may actually not be quite so good for espresso… a quandary that probably no other city in Australia may be experiencing.
CafeSmart will take place on Friday 5th August, during National Homeless Persons’ Week (1-7 August 2011), and will bring together cafés and their customers, to create change for some of our most disadvantaged Australians. Part proceeds, from each cup purchased on the day, will be put towards charities that tackle homelessness in Australia. The initiative is StreetSmart’s most recent project called CafeSmart whereby participating cafes have generously pledged to donate $1.00 per coffee sold to fund local grassroots projects.
Cafe Customers – is your favourite local cafe participating? If not, ask them why they haven’t signed up yet? For a list of participating cafes visit the StreetSmart website www.streetsmartaustralia.org/findcafe
Cafe Owners – Why sign up your cafe? For lots of good reasons, (more…)
By Jennie Alexander
Actors, and artists, writers and publishers, dancers and designers are just some of the seething mass of humanity that makes up the Biggest Apple… New York City. Some are born and bred there but most come with a dream: success, a bright and beautiful future and creative expression found nowhere else on the planet. They work, they study, they play… and they do it en masse in the midst of their beloved city. New Yorkers are out and about. They’re creative, they’re gregarious and they engage.
Life is lived on the streets, in the bars, at the parks or just about anywhere that’s open for business. New York’s cafes provide a space integral to the city’s inhabitants. With so many of today’s people working from laptops or freelancing, the city’s cafes are not only a social space, but have metamorphosed into portable offices and meeting rooms, embracing the idea with Wifi, networking events and offering free publicity to their customers’ burgeoning small businesses. (more…)
On the corner of George and Gertrude streets (part of the Gertrude Street boutique/shopping strip) is a smallish café which is part of the Seven Seeds stable [run by Melbourne coffee don Mark Dundon] curiously named De Clieu. Not so curious perhaps when you look into the taxonomy of Mark’s other café names [Seven Seeds, Brother Baba Budan] and see that they derive from the colourful history of coffee and its discovery.
The original De Clieu was a french naval officer who is celebrated for his claim to have introduced coffee to the French colonies of the Western Hemisphere in the 1720s. According to l’Année littéraire of 1774, he arranged to transport a coffee plant (or perhaps several) from the greenhouses of the Jardin Royal des Plantes [which had originally been given to the French King from Holland] to Martinique in 1720.
The story goes that water was rationed on the voyage and De Clieu was so dedicated to his mission that he shared his ration with the seedlings. The story may be apocryphal, but most sources do in fact credit De Clieu with the introduction of coffee to Martinique & thence the Caribbean.
But enough of history – De Clieu is a funky spot where everyone seems to hang out in black jeans [& black jackets, shoes or whatever] but this belies its class – it’s trendy, but it also serves good coffee and very good food.
The menu reveals an elegant simplicity as would be expected from the kitchen of Steven Carr (previously of the Healesville Hotel) and offers a slightly exotic take on otherwise prosaic items – our Pork Neck Roti [sweet roasted pork neck on a spring onion roti, with a fried egg and hoisin-flavoured BBQ sauce] was exquisite.
And the coffee – we had one shot which was excellent and one which was [only] good, which given the general state of espresso coffee, is still very good overall! Definitely recommended.
187 Gertrude Street
(03) 9416 4661
Like any large Australian city, Brisbane has a wide range of cafes from the simple ‘mom & pop’ café to those where the focus is on excellent business lunches and great food. However, Brisbane has a large coffee purist element that is bubbling underground and is beginning to show itself to those who are seriously interested.
And the good news is this: from an espresso coffee point-of-view, the Brisbane espresso ‘scene’ rocks, supported by many enthusiastic young professionals eager to share their coffee knowledge and passion. One quick note: it’s not in necessarily in the CBD itself, but in the inner suburbs that you find the best coffee… suburbs like West End, New Farm, Spring Hill and even the formerly seedy Fortitude Valley! (more…)
Recently opened located in Sydney Harbour’s headland park in Mosman this café blends a stunning location with good coffee and delicious food. With extensive harbour views and a large al fresco dining area this former Army ‘All Ranks Club’ heritage cottage is proving very popular with families and lovers of the outdoors.
Shot was established by Tracey Leitch and her partner Peter Rose, whose previous openings include establishing the iconic Balmoral Sandbar and Awaba Café. “Our menu is a mix of delicious home style food with a few irresistible sweet treats thrown in” notes Rose. Shot has set up a ‘Bark Park’ to accommodate dogs whilst their owners enjoy a mid walk refreshment. Tethered amidst the shade of trees they can enjoy some company and often get spoilt with a doggie bone biscuit sold at Shot.
Pre- or post a Shot espresso there is a chance to explore the stunning harbour vantage point: there are magnificent harbour views, a lookout, walking track from Chowder Bay to Balmoral, fortifications, tunnels and heritage buildings. For those who love all things organic, the growers markets are held at Headland Park every Thursday. Peter and Tracey’s vision for Shot was a café that consistently delivered fresh, tasty, home-style food, and on that count it heartily delivers, with a lot more besides.
Building 3, Headland Park
Middle Head Rd
Tel 02 9969 4400
One moment coffee’s a healthy option; an espresso later, it’s bad for you. Crema Magazine tries to help you separate the fact from the fiction…
Every day, 70 million skinny lattes, cappuccinos, double espressos and plain old black coffees are consumed in the UK. But for each of us who savours that freshly ground taste and feels confident that it’s providing us with antioxidants and improving our concentration, there’s someone else growing increasingly paranoid that their daily cuppa joe might be leaving them dehydrated or addicted to caffeine.
Hardly a month goes by without a contradictory report on the health issues surrounding caffeine, so it’s no wonder the drink that many of us rely on is woefully misunderstood. This confusion was highlighted in a recent survey by the British Coffee Association.
It showed that 61% of participants didn’t realise that each cup of coffee counts towards daily fluid intake; three out of four people had no idea that scientific research has demonstrated that drinking moderate amounts of coffee may help protect against a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s; and a whopping 63% of us have tried to reduce the number of cups we drink each day because we’re worried that coffee might be bad for our health.
It was long thought that caffeinated beverages were diuretics (which speed up the elimination of bodily fluids), but studies reviewed last year found that people who consumed drinks with up to 550mg of caffeine – or the equivalent of al least eight cups of instant coffee – produced no more urine than when drinking fluids free of caffeine. However, above 575mg, the drug was classed as a diuretic.
Patients with heart problems, especially high blood pressure, are often told to avoid caffeine, a known stimulant. But an analysis of ten studies of more than 400,000 people found no increase in heart disease among daily coffee drinkers, whether their coffee came with caffeine or not.
“Contrary to common belief,” concluded cardiologists at the University of California, there is “little evidence that coffee and/or caffeine in typical dosages increases the risk” of heart attack, sudden death or abnormal heart rhythms. In fact, among 27,000 women in Iowa who participated in a study for 15 years, those who drank one to three cups a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24%.
Caffeine induces a small, temporary rise in blood pressure. But in a study of 155,000 nurses, those who drank coffee for a decade were no more likely to develop hypertension than non-coffee drinkers. But a higher risk of hypertension was found from drinking colas.
A study by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology found more than 200mg of caffeine a day doubled the risk of miscarriage. But British Medical Journal research found no difference between women who drank moderate amounts of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. The Food Standards Agency advises an upper limit of 300mg during pregnancy – the equivalent of four cups of coffee a day.
In an international review of 66 studies in 1997, scientists found that coffee-drinking had little, if any, effect on the risk of developing pancreatic or kidney cancer. In fact, another review suggested that compared with people who do not drink coffee, those who do halve the risk of developing liver cancer. And a study of 59,000 women in Sweden found no connection between coffee, tea or caffeine consumption and breast cancer. Some studies have found coffee drinkers have lower rates of colon and rectal cancers.
A 2006 study suggested coffee could reduce the risk of alcohol-related liver disease. The US research found a 22% reduced risk of developing alcoholic cirrhosis for each cup of coffee drunk per day. But tea was not associated with a reduced risk, suggesting an ingredient other than caffeine may be the active factor.
Although caffeine speeds up the metabolism, with 100mg burning an extra 75 to 100 calories a day, no long-term benefit to weight control has been demonstrated. In fact, in a 12-year study of more than 58,000 health professionals, those who increased their caffeine consumption gained more weight than those who didn’t.
Despite the widely held belief that coffee is a toxin which causes cellulite, there is no scientific research to back this up. In fact, one Brazilian study found that skin creams made with caffeine can help combat the appearance of cellulite.
Probably the most important effect of caffeine is its ability to enhance mood and performance. At consumption levels up to 200mg, consumers report an improved sense of well-being, energy and sociability.
Caffeine improves alertness and reaction time. And in the sleep-deprived, it improves memory and the ability to perform complex tasks. The Department for Transport advises drivers to ‘stop for a 15-minute break and drink two cups of coffee every two hours’ to alleviate fatigue. For the active, caffeine enhances endurance in aerobic activities, and performance in anaerobic ones, perhaps because it blunts the perception of pain and aids the ability to burn fat for fuel.
Recent findings add to coffee’s popularity. A review of 13 studies found that people who drank caffeinated coffee had a 30% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. Another review found that people who drank four to six cups a day, with or without caffeine, had a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
How to kick the habit
Palpitations, irritability, insomnia, tremors in your hands and an inability to concentrate are symptoms of too much caffeine, but be prepared for more irritability, nausea, tiredness and headaches upon withdrawal.
Cut down slowly rather than going cold turkey. Drink plenty of (non-caffeinated) fluids to prevent headaches. Take painkillers to help with headaches. Massage, acupuncture, reflexology or any other stress-busting activities are also recommended.