Thursday, May 22, 2008

Enhancing the spice

This week I’m concentrating on enhancing certain elements and aspects in the espresso. Apart from the most obvious characteristics such as sweetness and acidity which are found in many full-bodied coffees; I often get hints of spice that linger at the back of the throat. In many ways you could associate spice as aftertaste as it is a lingering sensation, so I wanted it to come through as more distinctive initial taste.

First thing that came to mind was pepper sauce, so without hesitation I dropped few drops of Tabasco in to the cup. NOT A GOOD IDEA! After drinking this combination my thought was on fire, the sauce itself is pure vinegar and this combo doesn’t work at all.

Using freshly ground pepper seemed to do a trick. You will find that black peppercorns are a little too overpowering, but white peppercorns are just right. The idea is to freshly grind a little dash of white peppercorn into the espresso cup and run the extraction over the top. The most important thing is to mix it really well to achieve the balance. I encourage you to try this and report back.

I will further continue with spice tests perhaps roasted garlic is the next big thing, I guess we just wait and see … :)


Blue Chip Espresso said...

Don't know if you ended up seeing my sig drink at the nationals, but roasted garlic was a big part of it. I think you'll be very pleasently suprised at your experiments. The garlic (while not a direct flavour pairing with coffee) melds fantastically with chocolate, and so works quite well with deeper, less fruit driven coffee's for the same reasons.
The garlic also does a fantastic job of grabbing unique flavour nuances from the coffee blend and dragging them out, breeding fantastic length on the pallate.

Happy trials ahead!

amber fox said...

one of my favourite drinks to serve at Mercury (in Toronto) is the signature drink 'Cafe Mecki'.... local honey in the bottom of a demitasse, fresh ground black pepper on top of the honey (enough to coat the honey well), a small amount of steamed milk and foam on top, then pull the shot right ontop...
serve and instruct to stir to incorporate..

it is so freakin' delicious.

Kiril said...

thanks for the feedback Ian, i will definitely roast some garlic and play around with it. I believe you had garlic foam?

Hi Amber, its good to hear from you, and i am glad that you still read my blog haha. The combination of pepper and honey sounds very interesting and i will try it as soon as possible. One quick question, how big is the glass that you serve it in? 90ML?