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Coffee that tastes and looks great

Don't just settle for coffee when you can brew up your own personal coffee blend.

 

Trends show that cConsumers are brewing up personalised specialty coffee drinks on par with those in high-end restaurants and coffee shops. In fact, "do-it-yourself flavour" is among the top 10 beverage trends of the year, according to The Food Channel, a leading online source for food industry trends.

This trend is due, in part, to the uncertain economy. Recent research found that 79 percent of consumers cite price as a key factor in deciding which drink items to purchase in a store. With equipment and recipes readily available today, consumers are embracing this DIY trend and cutting costs by making their own custom drinks at home.

Whatever your taste preference, it's easy to create personalised beverages for yourself, your family and guests to enjoy all winter long.

Hot-coffee indulgence

Gourmet coffee continues to be a significant portion (37 percent) of total coffee consumed. If hot coffee is your way to pamper yourself, endless roast varieties are available, from classic French roast to Hawaiian Kona and Costa Rica.

Choose to brew your way

To make great coffee, start with the right coffeemaker. Look for one that fills easily and lets you create large or small batches and different brew strengths, plus on that allows you to brew up to 12 cups at a time when you have a crowd.

Add cream to your cup

Once you've brewed your coffee, personalise it further with coffee creamers. They're available in everything from traditional vanilla, almond or hazelnut to enticing new combinations like honey-vanilla cream and white chocolate caramel latte. But do limit yourself, as these creamers are loaded with saturated fat - keep it to a special indulgence only!

Make it special

Many specialty coffee drinks are also easy to make at home, such as mocha coffee, gingerbread coffee, almond coffee and Irish coffee. They can often be made with just a few simple ingredients from recipes on websites such as allrecipes.com and others, providing a fun way to top off a dinner party or savour alone by the fireplace.

Create a new blend

Research shows more coffee lovers are buying whole beans and grinding them at home for a fresher, richer flavour. Take your coffee grinds one step further and become a true "Roastmaster" by creating a whole new blend of your own. Mix and match flavoured beans or beans from different coffee-growing countries to develop new tastes and sensations you won't find in your average cup of coffee. For peak flavour and the ultimate freshness, package your blend in an airtight container and store it in a dark, room-temperature location.

Coffee Art

While many agree that making a good cup of espresso coffee is an art within itself, ‘coffee art’, also known as ‘latte art’, refers to creative patterns made from the velvety milk foam skillfully poured into a rich crema-crowned espresso coffee.

Flat White is an espresso-based drink common in New Zealand, Australia and South Arica It is an exceptional espresso-based drink, rich and velvety in the mouth. When compared to espresso-based drinks that have a high proportion of milk to espresso – flat-white has a much lower ratio of milk to espresso.

In making a flat-white you are essentially making a latte, but pouring less milk to start, and then placing less of the micro-foam milk on the top, hence the word "flat" in the name.

When preparing your milk for a flat-white, blend or fold the micro-foam into the rest of the milk either with a spoon or by swirling the pitcher. The milk should be velvety and wet.

Flat-White lends itself well to making what is referred to as Latte Art. With a bit of practice you can make patterns such as leaves and hearts. But first of all just perfect making a great flat-white; it tastes as good however it looks when well made. Even without the pattern, the drink should look rich and inviting since the espresso, crema, and velvety milk all combine to make for a rich and inviting palate. It’s a work of art to see, let alone drink!  

Free-pouring is a skillful style of free-pouring” velvety smooth steamed/foamed milk into a perfect shot of crema-crowned espresso coffee. The person pouring has a practiced hand (and wrist!) that masterfully creates an attractive pattern or design on the surface of the resulting latte or cappuccino.

Coffee/latte art can be particularly difficult to create consistently, due to the demanding conditions required of both the espresso shot and milk texture. This method however is limited by the experience of the barista (coffee-making individual) and the professional quality of the espresso machine.    [via strictly coffee]

So go ahead and turn yourself loose in the kitchen. It's easier than ever to customise your cup.

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