Saturday, March 05, 2005


vito's and vesuvius

i suppose it makes sense to have a totally italian day, doesn't it? and in that respect, i watched a great classic italian movie, the gold of naples, made a simple cappuccino etching, and made that cappuccino with terry's fantastic doma "vito's espresso blend."

i'd describe the roast color as much lighter than i expected, since it's pretty much a west-coast coffee (idaho seems plenty west to me!). but it's definitely in the standard northern-italian range, which as long-time readers know, is the way i like it!

maybe i'd say full-city+: only a very few beans showed the slightest pinprick of oil. it may actually be a tad more lightly roasted that mr. right's favorite batdorf dancing goat.

first, the great linglese, you know? in brief, i'd say it has a wonderful tea rose fragrance to the dry grounds.

as a brewed espresso, it's a buttery coffee, with a strong nutty aroma and a long chocolate-y aftertaste. it wasn't lost in the milk at all.

terry says that it's an unusual blend, in that all the coffees are from the americas, no indonesian component at all. i liked it so much i had two!

the temperature he suggests for "vito" is 202, with the pull in a 28-32 second range for a double. i'd tell you that i'd have this again tomorrow -- even mr. right liked it, and he is so loyal to the dancing goat -- but terry kindly sent me his ruby's organic espresso as well. . .

as for etching. i thought it was appropriate to try an etching with this coffee, since doma's barista j. lewis is famous for his.

thus, i went out and bought some chocolate syrup on a whim. i was confronted at the store with a sad selection: hershey's, bosco, nestle, smuckers, u bet.

i should have planned more carefully and ordered some of the guittard! anyway, i finally settled on a sugar-free version, walden farms, which inexplicably doesn't come in a squeeze bottle.

so after i pulled a nice 30 second shot into my 6 oz. cappuccino cup, i quickly poured a pool of microfoamed milk into the center. then from a chopstick i dropped small somewhat oval splotches of syrup -- maybe 6 or 8 -- around the circumference of the white pool as it sat surrounded by the hazelnut-brown crema.

with the end of the chopstick i lightly dragged the end of each splotch out into a little arc so it slightly came inside the beginning of the next splotch.

that quickly and easily made a simple, attractive and very easy lacy design. even with this basic etching, you have to have a light, free hand, and draw quickly.

don't try to overdraw, or else the design gets muddy-looking in a hurry. less is more.

and also, don't put the end of whatever you're using to draw with -- instant-read thermometer, skewer, pointed japanese chopstick -- too deeply in the foam as you draw, or you'll get unattractive ridges in the milk.

my design was ok; nothing i'd take to seattle, that's for sure! since you definitely are going to taste the syrup a bit, make sure you get a kind you like, but don't use too much of it!

i have to say, the vito's espresso made a great cappuccino, but i was waaay less than thrilled with the taste of the walden farms syrup! ick.

posted by fortune | 6:19 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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