CRASH course in Coffee… written by a hopefully non-pretenious drinker.

Yesterday, I had a friend send me the following message: “I need to start drinking coffee so bad! Ugh I just feel like an 8 year old tasting beer for the first time. What are some fancy coffee drinks that taste decently good?”

Here was my Coffee 101 answer:

The taste is definitely bitter and takes getting use to. That’s why you should start with the milkier and sweeter options. Generally, you have two types of milk coffees – latte and cappuccino. Latte has more milk and cappuccino more foam. And then you can add a syrup (vanilla, caramel, etc) and that will sweeten it. So maybe start with those in hopes of adjusting to the coffee taste. My personal favourite is a flat white (coming from an Australian origin) and that has less milk than a latte, with a stronger coffee taste. And in France, you have your café au lait (which as the name suggests is coffee with milk). So around the world, the strong taste of the coffee bean is mellowed out using sugar and milk. And then if you’re feeling brave, you can venture into black coffee. At your typical Starbucks, there are two kinds: Americano and Filter coffee. Americano is an espresso with hot water (instead of milk in a latte) and a filter coffee is hot water run through coffee beans. They each have a particular taste (plus the origins of the beans matters as well), so you can try both and see which one you fancy. And of course if you’re feeling a bit childish that day or just need the sugar rush, you can always go for a Caramel Frappachino!

dscn4644

*Latte in a cute cafe (New York, USA) 

For you visual souls, infographic here. 

What’s your definition of Home?

What's your definition of Home?

Let’s face it…. coffee shops are like a third home for me. I use the word ‘ home’ pretty liberally in terms of locations and countries. But after three years, I really do feel like London is my home. And no place more than The Fleet Street Press – a coffee shop near the Strand Campus of King’s College London and the Maughan Library on Chancery Lane. That coffee shop has seen multiple essays develop; it has kept so many secrets; it has fed me brownies and chickpea spinach soup. I even knew this coffee shop when it was called Get Coffee (Let’s go to ‘get coffee’ … clever right?) and the same Italian barista that has worked there for the past 3 years. A bleak Tuesday, three years ago, I saw this small coffee shop offering a ‘Monkey Mocha’. I was intrigued by the name and discovered a chocolate/banana/orange creation in this perfect house of wifi and bathroom access. Since that day, I have never looked back. It will always be one of my FAVOURITE coffee shops in London.

Check out their website: http://www.thefleetstreetpress.com

They also have a twitter with their daily clever coffee-board sayings!