Category Archives: Coffee Drinks

Draft Lattes are Officially a Thing

We’ve discussed coffee brewed to taste like beer, but what do you think about coffee kept on tap and poured like a draft beer?

La Colombe Coffee Roasters in Philadelphia is trying out just that. They’ve put cold lattes on draft from nitro kegs, promising a “naturally sweet milkshake” with a “creamy mouthfeel.” They have named their experiment “draft lattes.”

Draft Latte

Courtesy of La Colombe Roasters

Co-founder Todd Carmichael has been in the process of developing the draft latte for some time. He believes he has perfected his formula, but of course he is not saying exactly what this process is. Carmichael himself describes it as “cold-pressed coffee” combined with frothed cold milk.

“The Draft Latte combines the simplest coffee beverage ingredients and creates a revolutionary drink,” Carmichael said when he officially announced his product. “It’s the process we use to pull the drink from the keg that creates a textured milk that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

All of the La Colombe cafes will have the draft latte added to their menus by July. So far, the cafes are only in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

How long before Starbucks taps into this method for their own spin on draft lattes? Or perhaps we’ll start to see this in bars as well, where patrons can order both draft beer and coffee on draft?

Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew Coffee

Now that the weather is getting warmer, you’ll most likely hear a lot about iced coffee and cold brew coffee. They sound similar, and while they are both cold coffee drinks, they are not brewed the same way and have different tastes. Both can be done at home with little to no fuss, and both can taste absolutely delicious. Here are the differences, and here is what you need to know about them.

icedcoffeeIced Coffee

Iced coffee is coffee brewed hot, like in your regular coffee maker, and then poured over ice. There are various ways to accomplish an iced coffee. Some pour a pot of coffee into a glass of ice. Some brew directly into a glass of ice. Others have tried a drip method that slowly drips the hot coffee onto ice, droplet by droplet.

The most recommended method is called the “Japanese iced brew”, and it’s a pour-over brewing process that drips directly into ice. To prevent dilution, it’s usually recommended that one use more coffee grounds than usual. Making ice cubes from coffee, chocolate, or even simple syrup will also help prevent any dilution. Continue reading

Is there a Difference between ‘Drip’ Coffee and Pour-Over?

There’s been a lot of talk in coffee circles about “drip coffee” and pour-over methods for brewing coffee, which has led to a lot of confusion. Does drip coffee mean it’s from your typical coffeemaker? Is it a special type of brewing? Is the pour-over method a type of drip brew?

The answer to all of these questions is yes.

The drip-brew process for coffee refers to pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and letting the coffee-absorbed water drip from the filter into a mug or carafe. Coffeemakers simply automate this process, letting consumers press a button and walk away without needing to manually boil the water first before pouring it over.

Drip-brew can refer to either coffeemaker-brewed coffee or coffee brewed via pour-over method, but typically, when someone mentions the pour-over method, they mean a manual pour-over brew. Continue reading

What is a Flat White?

You’ve undoubtedly seen Starbucks’ advertisements for their newest espresso drink: the Flat White. If you look at their chalkboard drawing to explain a Flat White, more questions are easily raised.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Courtesy of Starbucks

It’s espresso and milk? How is that any different from a latté? Or a cappuccino? Well now that I think about it, what is the difference between a latté and a cappuccino?

All three of these espresso drinks have a bit in common. All are broken into three portions, all involve espresso, and all contain steamed milk. How can they be so different?

Part of the differences between the three drinks lies within the portions of the milk used. All three contain steamed milk, but only cappuccinos and lattés use foamed milk. The difference between those two is how much foamed milk is used. In a latté, it’s one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk with a light dusting of foamed milk on top. In a cappuccino, the drink is divided into even thirds: one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foamed milk.
Continue reading

More Irish Coffee Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day usually gets the green beer flowing, but why not drink what the Irish actually drink? They may not actually drink Irish Coffee first thing in the morning, and you know what? You shouldn’t either. But these Irish Coffee drinks are a great way to unwind at the end of the day, and they’re fairly simple to make.

All of these drinks are specials created by Ireland natives. Can’t get more Irish than that without actually visiting each one in Georgia or visiting Ireland itself.

rira

Meehan’s Irish Coffee

Lavazza coffee with a dash of Jameson Irish Whiskey (but you can use any coffee, as long as it is a dark roast)

Condesa Irish Coffee

Coffee, Cu Chulainn whiskey, vanilla bean, whipped cream (Condesa makes it fresh, but we think you’ll be forgiven if you don’t whip your own cream), and grated nutmeg

The Marlay House Irish Coffee

Dancing Goats coffee (or really any dark roast coffee), Jameson Irish Whiskey, cane sugar, and fresh whipped cream

Ri Ra Irish Coffee

Coffee, John Powers Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and stiffened cream

Bite Bistro

Coffee with a dash of whiskey and Irish Manor Irish Cream

food-irish-coffee-jpeg-0604Looking for other tasty Irish Coffee recipes? Check out the recipes we posted last St. Patrick’s Day!

Is Americano a Fancy Term for Weak Coffee?

The delightful I Love Coffee blog discovered that Japan’s auto-coffee machines in restaurants distinctly label an Americano as “weak coffee.”

Courtesy of I Love Coffee blog

Courtesy of I Love Coffee blog

Most Europeans dislike our coffee for being weak as it is, but even the Japanese think that an Americano, a coffee drink, is synonymous for weak coffee? Is that true? Should we accept it as true?

The theory is that the Americano was birthed from American GIs stationed in Italy during World War II. They found the espresso loved by the Italians to be too bitter for their tastes, so they diluted it with hot water to make it taste more like the American coffee they were used to. To this day, an Americano drink is hot water added to espresso and can be purchased at any coffee house or made at home if you have an espresso machine or the lovely Nescafé Alegria A510.

(Note that an Americano is hot water added to espresso, not the other way around. Espresso added to hot water is called a Long Black.)

But let’s get back to whether an Americano is simply “weak coffee.”

An Americano is 1 parts espresso, 3 parts hot water. Espresso is stronger than regular coffee in both caffeine and flavor. By adding the hot water to the espresso, it thins out the bitter taste of the espresso all while keeping the strong flavor in tact. Since one cup of an Americano will have less espresso than one cup of coffee, it also has less caffeine.

what-is-americano-coffeeIn comparison to traditional drip coffee, which is what is often used in Japan and Europe for coffee coffee (not espresso coffee), an Americano has 50 mg less caffeine per 8 oz drink. Drip coffee is less bitter than an Americano (since it doesn’t use the espresso method for brewing), but it’s also thinner bodied than an Americano for that same reason.

So is an Americano considered “weak coffee” because it has less caffeine? That’s possible. However, the I Love Coffee blog has a different theory, and as the author is from Japan, she is probably right. She thinks that the Japanese make an Americano with drip coffee, which would most definitely taste weak on all counts: flavor, caffeine, and body.

If you’re making your Americano drinks at home with drip coffee or your regular coffee maker, please stop. You are making weak coffee and little else.

More Halloween-ish Coffee Drink Recipes

While you’re handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, taking your child trick-or-treating, or having fun at a Halloween party, here are a few more coffee drink recipes you should keep on hand! One is a recipe for a pumpkin spice latte that actually uses pumpkin. Did you know that the lattes at Starbucks don’t have pumpkin in them? Bypass that nonsense immediately and make your own!

black-cauldron-ck-xThe Black Cauldron

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso
  • 24 ounces oatmeal stout beer

Place 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream in 4 tall glasses. Pour over each 1 tablespoon vodka, 1 tablespoon brewed espresso, and 6 ounces oatmeal stout beer. Serve immediately.

Halloween-Express-Cocktail-1The Halloween Express

Ingredients

  • 3 oz brewed espresso
  • 1 oz rum
  • 1 oz maple syrup
  • 1 oz half and half
  • Cinnamon sugar for rimming (Mix cinnamon with sugar with a 1:4 ratio)

Wipe the rim of your glass with a couple of drops of maple syrup, and then dip the rim of the glass into the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Put the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour the contents over ice into your glass, preferably a cappuccino mug or an Irish coffee mug.

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee or 1/4 cup brewed espresso

In a medium saucepan, heat the pumpkin and spices over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk, sugar, and vanilla, and heat until hot, but do not bring it to a boil.

Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth and slightly frothy. Add the coffee and blend until just combined.

Pour into two large mugs and top with whipped cream and a mixture of nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon if desired.

Processed with VSCOcamItalian Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

  • 3 cups hot milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 ounces double-strength brewed coffee
  • 3 European styled rolled wafers
  • sugar

Steam or froth the hot milk with the pumpkin pie spice and sugar using a Milk-frother on a cappuccino machine or blender until frothy. Pour the mixture into 3 coffee mugs to about 2/3 full.

Brew coffee and pour 2 ounces coffee into each mug. Stick a European styled rolled wafer into each mug.

Want more coffee drink recipes for Halloween? We have a few.

Would You Drink Coffee that Tasted like Beer?

starbucks-is-brewing-a-new-dark-barrel-latte-that-tastes-like-guinness

Starbucks is currently testing a new drink in a few select stores in Ohio and Florida, and it is supposed to taste like…beer.

It’s called a “Dark Barrel Latte,” and it’s an espresso drink topped with whipped cream and a dark caramel drizzle. The beer flavor comes from a “chocolatey stout-flavored sauce” (or really, roasted malt flavor) that is blended in the drink. There is absolutely no alcohol within the drink, but it most certainly tastes like there is or there should be. At least that’s what several social media posters have claimed.

There is even a Frappuccino option, so you can drink your morning beer brew cold, like most people enjoy beer.

While Starbucks claims this is all part of their regular tests for new drinks, many are speculating other theories. For example, some think that Starbucks is trying to bridge the gap between coffee and beer for their stores that sell beer in the evenings. Others believe that Starbucks is trying to tap into the craft-beer sensation sweeping the nation.

No word on if Starbucks will spread the test to other states, but if it takes off, what is next? Beer-flavored K-Cups or coffee pods? How many other coffee houses or coffee roasters will try to capitalize on this and make their own various flavors of beer/coffee? A lite beer coffee? IPA coffee? Coffee ale?

Most importantly, is a coffee that tastes like beer something you’d be interested in? Many have compared the taste of Guinness and similar dark stouts as tasting coffee-like, but is that desirable first thing in the morning?

Sweet, Cool Iced Coffee Ideas from the East

Iced-CoffeeHave you done iced coffee to death all summer long? Bored with simply adding different flavors to your cold-brew coffee? Adding milk or a dollop of whipped cream? There are a few tricks you can do to keep your summer coffee from being boring. Sure you can add sugar and cream, etc. etc., but here are some proven methods from Asia to help spruce up your regular cup of iced coffee.

We recommend trying each one at least once to find out which blend is the tastiest to you.

Japanese Iced Coffee

Many coffee connoisseurs swear this is the best method for brewing the perfect cup of iced coffee. With this method, you replace the amount of water you use to brew with ice. Fill your carafe with 8 ounces of ice instead of water and then brew your normal pot of pour-over coffee. In this way, the coffee isn’t over-diluted with the water used from brewing and the water from melted ice.

There’s a handy dandy video from Counter Culture Coffee that shows exactly how to brew Japanese Iced Coffee. Continue reading

Two Cold Brew Coffee Methods

cold-brew-pitcher-tray

Tis the season for iced coffee. While it’s been suggested that drinking hot coffee may cool you down, it’s not entirely natural to reach for a hot cup of joe when the heat index is 105. On the other hand, you don’t want to constantly fork over cash to your local coffee shop for iced coffee, when you like your blends you already get at home, right? Why not just cold brew your coffee yourself?

If you look up recipes on the Internet for cold brewing coffee, it can be daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. Cold brewing coffee is really quite simple, and there are two methods to doing so. One is usually called the “hard way” and the other the “easy way,” but neither is easier than the other. More accurately, one takes far more time than the other. In addition, each method produces its own unique coffee flavors. Continue reading