Recently I bought a commercial blender to make fruit smoothies. Being a coffee junkie I wanted a coffee smoothie recipe. Most recipes I found started with instant coffee – not going to happen. I tried making strong hot coffee, adding milk, sugar and ice and blending. The result was a bland cool drink. Yuch.
Then I found an article on making strong coffee base with a french press and cold brewing. Normal hot coffee uses 10-15 grams to a cup of water so this is 2 to 3 times stronger. Cold brewing also reduces bitterness. I have been working on this recipe for months and here is my result. It is interesting how the type of coffee bean and roast changes the taste. A full city roast of Sumatra is one of my favorites.
Since releasing the recipe I had found an improvement. By adding two tablespoons of powered milk the smoothie stays creamier longer and tastes more milk shake like.
On the weekend I made coffee at the Siloam Studio Stop (part of the Uxbridge Studio Tour). I brought coffee from Guatemala, Kenya, Columbia (decaf), Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia. I even roasted a few batches. I served hundreds of cups of my favorite coffee I call ‘Northern Lights.’ Photographer Stephen Wright (stephenwrightphotos.com) took these wonderful pictures.
The trick is in the frothing. I use a 50/50 mixture of 10% cream (also known as half & half) and evaporated milk. The evaporated milk gives the froth body. I whip the cream/milk mixture with a hand blender. If the mixture is cold it whips better. Place the sugar cube in the bottom of the glass, pour in the coffee then pour the whipped cream over the drink.
In this picture you can see me pouring the whipped cream.
Recently I bought a Froth Au Lait for making milk froth for my coffee. I have been using a Braun hand-blender with success but was intrigued by this unit. The idea is that you put 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of cold milk in the unit and press start. In three minutes the milk is heated and whipped to a stiff froth. I must admit my wife and I are really getting used to these wonderful drinks with freshly ground home roasted coffee, made with a French Press and a generous mound of froth on top.
If I had any criticism it is that the marks for milk level are on the back. I am getting used to looking in from the top. Also you have to clean the unit with a wash cloth after each use. The milk forms a residue on the heating unit. It is easy to keep clean if you just do it after every use.
We are turning our kitchen into a regular cafe.
Update: (Sept 23, 09) I bought a small cleaning brush from Kitchen Stuff Plus. It works really well cleaning off the milk residue.