SCROLL DOWN for stories, hints and a guide to great coffee. My most recent posts will be on top – if you want to add your comments, tips and advice too: contact me here.
Ciao from coffee lover (AKA the passionate nomad, kiwitravelwriter) Heather Hapeta
- espresso / short black – basis for all coffee styles, espresso is full-flavoured, fragrant, with a velvety body and lingering after-taste; single serving in a demi-tasse (small cup)
- macchiato – a single or double espresso shot, just stained with frothed milk
- long black – single serving of espresso, with the same amount of hot water added; served in large cup filled to just under the top, or sometimes with the water provided separately
- flat white – one third espresso, two thirds steamed milk with a touch of swirled froth
- cappuccino – regular espresso with equal parts steamed milk and foam, sprinkled with chocolate or cinnamon
- caffe latte – regular espresso, topped with hot milk and little or no froth
- mochaccino - one third each of espresso, steamed milk, cocoa
- ristretto - (‘restricted’) is 15-20ml of espresso, the essence of coffee
- piccolo latte – miniature latte made with ristretto and 70ml of steamed milk; delicate flavoursome drink
- affogato – espresso served over ice-cream
- espresso Romano – espresso served with a twist of lemon
- latte macchiato – steamed milk with espresso on the side
- espresso con panna – espresso topped with a dash of whipped cream
- cortado - Spanish version of the piccolo served in a 60ml demitasse cup
- fluffy – for kids, a demi-tasse filled with foamed milk, sprinkled with chocolate and served with marshmallow on the side and a small chocolate fish. read more here
Coffee and Rome, what or who was a cappuccino named after? Read a travel story here
GREEN BEAN COFFEE want coffee and keep your conscience clear? At the recent International Buskers Festival ( January 2010) I found the GREEN BEAN coffee car (at last as have known about these guys for a little while!) We’re all used to mobile coffee but these people have taken it to a new level. How?
- their espresso bar is in the back of a smart car – how economical is that!
- They use UNDERGROUND COFFEE COMPANY which uses 100% TRADE AID beans
- they are certified Carbon Neutral- maybe the only mobile coffee operator in NZ to have achieved this
Coffee offers a gateway to the souls says ‘The You Code’. NZ Herald Feb. 13th 2010 (What does your drink say about you? Here’s what it says about me)
Coffee snobs can find more than froth and sugar at the bottom of their cups – personality lives there as well.
While strolling out of a cafe on the way to work, that cup of coffee in your hand is actually emitting hidden meanings to passers-by.
In their book The You Code, body language experts Judi James and James Moore decipher what our caffeine preferences reveal about our self esteem, stress levels and even sex life.
THE ESPRESSO DRINKER
James and Moore describe the espresso as “the unfiltered cigarette of the coffee drinking world”. Espresso drinkers tend to be moody, hard-bitten and hard working. They are into leadership and fast goals. They don’t suffer fools but are hard living and prone to “night-time shenanigans, followed by a rather louche attempt at day time repair”. The espresso drinker can be an experienced, exciting and consummate lover but is not known for reliability or unswerving loyalty.
THE BLACK COFFEE DRINKER
This type is all about minimalism and takes a no-frills, direct approach to life.
The black coffee drinker can be quiet and moody but prone to brief bursts of extroversion. “A difficult but potentially rewarding friend, colleague or partner,” James and Moore conclude.
Just so you know - I am am an expresso and/or black coffee drinker!
WHERE IS YOUR BEST CAFE? 2009
This afternoon, friend who shares a love of coffee and quirky places took me to a café I’d not discovered here in Christchurch – the Addington Coffee Co-op – it’s great both in ambiance and coffee and I shall return to photograph and discover more about it for this coffee blog page. (I have just contacted them and will let them write their own piece so scroll down to read it )
Chatting about cafes around the world, she declared her best café ever was one in Mexico – where over 20 years ago she had had coffee and cake. She went on to tell me about the wonderful atmosphere in the Gran Café, how the waiters had big pockets, that each waiter was really running his own business, that you ordered your coffee, paid the waiters (all who seemed to her to be at least 70 years old) and he would then go an order and deliver the coffee, and when you wanted a refill you hit the tall glass it was served in with the spoon. A noisy and lovely place of which at the time she said, “I have found my spiritual home”.
Returning home I did a search, and sure enough, all these years later it still seems to a be a classic that’s well worth writing about. Have you been there? Is it still as my friend describes it? Here’s what one reviewer said: Frommer’s Review in NY Times
“In the portales that face the front door of the cathedral is this dependable restaurant with good prices and local color. In the evenings a parade of strolling troubadours, harpists, marimba players, and shoeshine men passes by. For the midafternoon meal, the comida corrida provides lots of food at a reasonable price. Avoid the overcooked pasta and most beef dishes, which are tough. The exception is the tenderized milanesa, which is good. For seafood, ask the waiter what’s freshest. The enchiladas and the soups are good, and the flan napolitano could feed a family of four.”
Starbucks. Green or greenwashed? By Sarah Lozanova - Sarah Lozanova ”Starbucks is given credit by many for revolutionizing the American coffee drinking experience. The company, however, is both praised and criticized by environmentalists. Is Starbucks a leader of sustainability or a greenwasher?
The Coffee Industry The coffee industry itself is inherently unsustainable. Coffee is cultivated in more than 60 tropical countries across tens of millions of acres of land. Tropical soils unfortunately are vulnerable to erosion and loss of topsoil, particularly when the native vegetation is removed. Coffee also has relatively high water footprint — to produce one cup of coffee requires 140 liters of water.
Historically, much coffee was shade grown under a variety of native trees on small farms. A surge in coffee demand a decade ago significantly increased global production, thus boosting the prevalence of monoculture farming. The land is often cleared of native vegetation and pesticide use became more common.
Not all coffee beans are created equal through the eyes of sustainability. Organic shade grown coffee on smaller farms is ideal. The reality is that working conditions, pesticide use and many other factors vary greatly in this industry. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE
Coffee, boots and sandals - a travel story from Ireland
The quality of coffee and footwear make a big difference to travel comfort. Well mine anyway -one can be satisfied and one usually can’t.
With pterodactyls on my feet I feel unstoppable. Wet or dry these Teva sandals can take me anywhere. Bought in a sale, in a small American town, back in 1995 they walked me through many parts of the world with nary a blister.
We – the sandals and I – have gone from safaris in Africa to sailing in Australia, from climbing small mountains in Malaysia to national parks in Alaska, along city streets, beaches and even into the homes of a member of parliament in Malaysia and a USA congresswoman! What more could one want from your closest friend when travelling.
Over seven years the only attention they’ve needed was a few stitches in Thailand, some more in Christchurch, NZ and the occasional bath while still attached to my feet. When they went to the great sandal heaven in the sky I wanted to have them bronzed. They have been my best buy ever.
Winter travelling saw my maroon boots die in Europe so it was time to buy some more with money I’d been sent for Christmas. I ring New Zealand to report on my purchase.
‘I bought my gift from you’ I say
‘Great – what did you get?’
‘Boots. Doc Martins’
‘Oh, I thought you’d get some jewellery! What sort are they?’
‘Nice high ones, they go well up my legs-lovely and warm’
‘How many spots? Holes for the laces.’
There’s a pause while I count.
‘Six eyelet’s and four hook things.’
‘Oh my gosh. Don’t f*** with me boots!’ she exclaims.
I guess she was right. No-one has challenged me while I was wearing them. However no-one has confronted me with sandals or bare feet either.
So both my best travel footwear are essential to my travel comfort. Coffee is different: very different.
Mostly I have found it easier, and cheaper, to give up the caffeine. Go into withdrawals for a few days and then just imbibe the local drink, hot water or diet coke – which globalisation has made available in most places.
Why do I do this? Because when I ask for a ‘long black’ (no sugar) I expect to be given the same as I get at my regular cafés at home or in Italy. Hot. Strong. Fresh. Espresso.
Not everyone understands these needs. We have different regional and country interpretations as well as getting our beans from different places, so different flavours.
Ms Fussy I have been called when I moaned that I couldn’t find a decent coffee in London except for one little Italian place only yards from Buckingham Palace. Ms Resilient or Ms Stupid is perhaps more appropriate as I often try again, and again to get a cup of ‘real’ coffee. Just as I did in Ireland.
We were not sure the little tea rooms in a little village had anything for us but we needed a drink. The shelves in this tiny main street shop could have been in any Russian village-shop a few years ago – items well spaced out on the shelves in an attempt to look full, the lights dim.
We sit at a small, plastic-covered, oblong table, and the chairs square, solid, unlike their owner. Ancient, reduced to a small question mark, she looked suspiciously happy to have someone in her shop.
‘Hello’ says Renée
‘Hello’ her lips reply, her face says, you’re strangers here.
‘Can I have some tea please? Do you have Earl Grey?’
‘No,’ comes the jubilant reply- Earl Grey – I knew you were not from here!
‘Regular tea is fine’
‘I’ll have a black coffee please’ I smile
‘Black?’ she says. ‘No milk?’
‘That’s right. No milk.’
For the first time she looks me squarely in the eye, her eyebrows disappearing into her hairline.
‘None at all?’ She is astounded.
Shaking her head at my reply she disappears back into the gloom.
We could almost hear her mind. Earl grey! No milk! I knew they we not from these parts.
Addington Coffee Co-op Christchurch, New Zealand – Adrian emailed me saying … ”We’ve always loved a good coffee, so a couple of years back we thought why not get our hands dirty and start our own cafe. Since many of us live in the local area Addington seemed like a pretty good place to start. We picked an old mechanic’s garage to transform into a cafe – not a smart choice if you want an easy ride, but it seems to have made for an enjoyable atmosphere.
To be sure, living a 2 min walk away from work makes it a little easier to get the muffins in the oven at 6am on a frosty morning. We’re big advocates of Fair Trade, and build relationships with coffee growers to make the industry more sustainable for both us and coffee farmers around the world. Our latest obsession is to try and grow veges around the neighbourhood for local distribution and cafe use. After last week’s hail and frosts we probably need to get our planting timing better!
The neighbourhood’s a great little village – we love meeting travellers from the Jailhouse backpackers down the road, workers from the offices on our block, our Sallies regulars and those randoms who just wanted a place to grab a coffee and read the paper or hook into our wireless for the day. “
He also told me there’s about 10 of them who in various ways were involved in seeding the project. he said “In that sense we are more than just one business person wanting to make some cash – we’re spread throughout the local community. “
(Photos from the Addington Coffee Co-op) And, don’t forget, when you visit – tell them the kiwitravelwriter sent you!