Coffee Talk: The Original Father of Espresso

It is generally accepted that the founding fathers of the wondrous espresso machine were Milanese inventors/manufacturers Luigi Bezzara, who patented his espresso machine in 1901, and Desidero Pavoni, who bought the patent from Bezzara 1903 and released his own machine in 1905.

However, it was actually Angelo Moriondo who holds the first patent for an espresso machine dating back to 1884. His bulk espresso machine was used to serve coffee at the Turin General Exposition in 1884–nearly 20 years before Bezzara and Pavoni.

Wait…espresso in bulk?!? Sign me up, please!!

Nespresso Ethiopia

It wasn’t originally my intention to make this entire month about espresso, but that seems to be how it is working out and who am I to argue?

For today’s tasting, I have an Ethiopian coffee from Nespresso. 

Now before we get to the tasting, let me introduce you to Riccardo, my De’Longhi Nespresso machine (yes, I’m one of those annoying people who love to name inanimate objects, like kitchen appliances). Mainly I’m telling you this because this means whenever I’m tasting espresso from home, I am using Riccardo with the original Nespresso capsules–or as I like to call them: the non-dome ones. 

According to Nespresso their Ethiopa espresso is:

  • Made with dry processed Arabica beans
  • Intensity Level: 4 (of 10)
  • Roastiness: 2 (of 5)
  • Acidity: 4 (of 5)
  • Bitterness: 2 (of 5)
  • Body: 2 (of 5)
  • Aromatic Profile: Flowery & Bright
  • Aromatic Notes: Flowery

My Notes:

  • Smells: sweet, like honeysuckle or orange blossom
  • Tastes: bright, acidic, with overtones of lemon but as it cools overtones have less citrus and more caramel
  • Finishes: smooth with a sweet lemon taste that disperses quickly
  • Pairs: lemon bars/cake, cheese danish, old-fashioned doughnuts

Overall, this is a very smooth and delicious espresso. It is on the lighter side and tastes sweet. Personally I wish it were just a tiny bit stronger to increase the body and mouthfeel just a tad. If you are new to espresso and/or think all espressos are too dark/taste burned and/or looking for something lighter you can drink anytime, I highly recommend this one.

Coffee Talk: Cappuccino vs Espresso

As I mentioned earlier this week, when one is visiting the Land of Espresso (aka Italy) it is hard not to imbibe in a cappuccino or twelve. If you do find yourself visiting Italy (and I highly recommend it) and want to blend in with the locals in the cafe, the key is to never order a cappuccino after 12pm. After that, espresso is king. However, don’t panic. Italian espresso is much smoother and milder than its American counterpart. And if you really need milk, you can always ask for a splash.

When In Rome

Cappuccinos aren’t my favorite way to drink coffee. Although I must confess when I lived in Australia, I did drink a fair few.  These days, however, I prefer black coffee and only partake in cappuccinos every great once in awhile.

Unless I’m in Italy.  And then, well, I’m partaking in them every.single.day.

Hands down the best cappuccino we had was on our last day in Rome. We were heading east to Montappone, but wanted to make a quick stop at a little market that was recommended to us so that we could stock up on snacks for the road trip—you know like salami, pecorino, and probably some of the most succulent tomatoes I’ve ever had in my life.

Conveniently located in the car park near the market was a tiny little cafe and the cappuccinos were, in a word, blissful.

The foam was so thick and creamy it clung to the spoon. The espresso smooth and not overpowering. It paired heavenly with a cream filled croissant. It was the perfect spot to say goodbye to Rome, while making us a bit sad to leave this little treasure of a place.

Thankfully we were on a tight schedule, otherwise we might have been tempted by these cappuccinos to extend our visit indefinitely.

Unfortunately, the cafe name I wrote down was not found on Google maps near the market we visited—so I will sacrifice myself to go back to Italy to get that name for you.  That is how dedicated I am to bringing you the best coffee in the world 😉

In addition to reminiscing about my recent trip to Italy and one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had, I wanted share with you the format that I plan to use in my tastings.

For Espresso Drinks, I am ultimately discussing whether or not I recommend the cafe by taking you through the flavor & smoothness of the espresso, the creaminess & consistency of the milk (if applicable) and any food pairings (see example above).

For Brewed Coffee, my tastings will be a lot more in-depth.  I will be exploring the country of origin of the beans, roasting level, brew method, flavor and tastes of the coffee, and food items that would compliment the coffee.

I know this sounds a bit excessive, especially in comparison to my tasting notes on espresso drinks.  However, bean origins, roasting level, and brew method all have a huge impact on extracting certain flavors from a cup of coffee.  Changing any of these can yield a completely different cup of coffee, as I will be discussing several in several posts later with side by side comparisons of brew methods.

There is a lot to know about coffee and it’s easy to overlook something.  If you feel this is the case and I’m missing something, please let me know in the comments below.

Ciao for now!

Re-Introductions.

Happy International Coffee Day!

Today seemed like the perfect day to relaunch this severely neglected blog.  As such, I’ve deleted all my previous work (don’t panic—if you’ve been here before, you know it wasn’t a lot) and I’m starting anew.  I mean, no one like a cold cup of coffee…unless you’re one of those weirdos lovely people who like iced coffee/cold brew.

So let’s brew a fresh pot and let me tell you how things got started…

“You better fucking write about this,” Ann commented as we walked into the New York Coffee Festival a couple of years ago.

“Yeah, yeah, I will!” was my enthusiastic non-commital reply while veering away from her, much like a toddler at the zoo.  To be fair to me, we had literally walked into the largest display of coffee vendors I had ever seen.  I think someone could have been throwing $100 bills at me and I would not have noticed over the enticing smells and sounds of coffee being ground, brewed, and espressoed. Well, maybe $5 bills. At some point, Benjamins are pretty hard to miss.

For five hours we visited coffee stall after coffee stall.  The coffee drink du jour was definitely cold brew.  I willingly drink the grand total of about 4 cold brew coffees a year, so I was a little disappointed in the stalls that only offered cold brew for tasting.

Except for this stall.

Their cold brew was not only served in a champagne flute but topped with a maple cold brew cotton candy.  That’s right MAPLE COLD BREW COTTON CANDY.  Holy shit…it was sweet.  A little too sweet for me, but I can appreciate cotton candy and coffee served in a champagne flute with the best of them!

Anyway, so here I am—months of starting and restarting and restarting yet again to bring you lots of information about coffee the only way I know how: humor, a little information, a lot of babbling, and fun expletives!

I have been wanting to branch out from EpicuriousTexan (shameless plug!) for quite some time now—it’s just been a matter of getting off my ass and making it happen.  I chose to start this website specifically for coffee because I wanted to write in a lot more detail about one of my true loves in life, but I didn’t want to turn ET into a coffee blog.

In addition to Ann yelling strongly suggesting to write about my adventures in coffee, I found this mug on Etsy.

coffee and cusswords

Which is pretty much the most accurate description of me ever.

My plan is to take you through all I know about coffee, including history, tasting, finding that perfect cup, and who knows whatever else coffee-related I can find.

Suggestions are always welcome, except for decaf, watering down the coffee, or toning it down on the cuss words–those might get you stabbed.  I’m kidding, of course!  Mainly because I have no idea how one would go about stabbing someone over the interwebs…

Thanks for popping in, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy!