Showing posts from August, 2018

When Is A Macchiato Not A Macchiato?

In my recent posts, I have been referring to an interesting blog that had a cool image of the popular types of Italian coffee. To stick with that theme, I want to talk about one of my favorite espresso drinks, the Macchiato (a.k.a., Macchiato Caldo or Caffè Macchiato).
For the uninitiated, this drink is simply an espresso shot with a small dollop of milk foam dropped into the glass. Macchiato means stained or spotted, which brings up the obvious question: Does the milk stain the coffee or does the coffee stain the milk? I believe the coffee stains the milk, but for this I will require a nearly infinite number of shots, in situ to validate my opinions.

Until then, I need to appreciate when this drink is done correctly. When it isn't, I'd like to use it as an example of what not to do. Per esempio:

I enjoyed the above delicious cup of espresso spotted with milk at a not so local Italian bakery. Please note the espresso cup in which it is served, as well as the tiny amount of stain…

Espresso As A Solution!

In my last post, I referred to an interesting blog that had a cool image of the popular types of Italian coffee. I want to continue with that thread by talking about a really fun way to drink coffee, and that's with a Caffè Corretto
As I've learned about the range of ways to enjoy espresso, they have mostly revolved around breakfast, or more exactly, any time before lunch. There is an exception with espresso being served after dinner, but I wouldn't suggest it if you plan to go to bed that night. If you want help going to sleep, I would recommend a caffè corretto. In theory this is coffee with a shot of liquor in it, and more often than not that alcohol is Grappa, but I believe you can (and should) enjoy other sleep enhancers (read: booze) to offset the caffeine.
There are many different Italian drinks I've tried to enjoy, but I can say with certainty Grappa is one that escapes the pleasure centers of my brain. To me, the taste is horrifically close to something lik…

Italian Coffee Is More Than Cappuccino!

Coffee Culture Complexity
Recently, I found a great blog called My Corner Of Italy. What initially drew my attention was a post about the various types of Italian coffee, which I believe gives a great overview of the complex Italian Coffee Culture. 
Most intriguing was this picture:
For this discussion, we aren't focusing on the various roasts or grinds of the coffee bean. I'd like to focus on what can happen once the espresso machine completes it's holy mission and you have a single or double shot of this nectar of the gods. 
My Macchiato
I have had various opportunities to taste many of these varieties both in the U.S. and in Italy, and while each is beautiful in it's own right, my current go-to in a bar is a macchiato caldo, although I omit the caldo when I order and have yet to get one that is cold. 
While it's common to use zucchero (sugar), that stained milk foam is usually enough to knock down the bitterness for my tastes. It's a strong drink, though, a…