Saturday, September 23, 2006
cappuccini & rustic apple tarts
dilemmas here at bccy always kinda go like this: so i have to finish my delicious batdorf dancing goat cappuccini, run this afternoon to chic central to have my hair done and then i have to find the time to bake a rustic apple tart, well, because the csa has dumped all these local, organic, upstate new york apples on me.
i know: life's hard here sometimes. oh, also, being a new yorker of the downtown persuasion, i have to manage to get off at union sq., near where chic central's located without actually crossing 14th st.
because crossing 14th st. would constitute going uptown. and we downtowners never go uptown unless forced by acts of god or a really fabulous sale.
i used to have to cross into union sq. itself to get to the greenmarket, but luckily the csa here in bklyn has spared me the inconvenience and the moral horror that comes from violating the bright boundaries of these ridiculous noo yawk identities.
so where was i? standing on the corner (the south corner!) of 14th and b'way, aiming my little green flats back down towards the village -- when what did i see? an espresso cart!
not a quilted metal corner coffee cart selling the dread witch-liquor that most denizens of gotham buy every morning, but a real espresso cart. naturally, i drew near. . .and nearer. . .and offered the pusher 2 bucks for an espresso.
only to discover that it was only a prop being pushed along the sidewalk to a closed alleyway where some hollywood production was filming! sigh.
many hours later, i had finished with the hair thing while doing eustace tilley's current number proud. this left me scurrying back to bake, bake, bake.
but as i waited for the big yellow rarely, i couldn't help remembering that espresso cart. why exactly are there so few of these in nyc?
is it a permit issue? or what? obviously not all cities are ripe for espresso carts (london, for example -- too much rain), but i don't think our fave big apple's in this situation.
gotta track oren down and ask him why he doesn't have 100 of these all over town during pleasant weather!
as for the giant (17" x 24") tart, it's in the oven now. if you don't like elizabeth david's recipe, i highly recommend jacques pepin's.
Friday, September 22, 2006
mark inman's taylormaid espresso 0
for some inexplicable reason, i woke up early this morning, before the alarm. which worked out to my advantage, as i could then have plenty of time to warm up my espresso machine and pull some shots of mark inman's taylormaid espresso 0 before it completely fades away from age.
ok. i'll be frank -- i pulled 2 triple cappuccinos. because i love this coffee, which is something i don't usually say about coffees that contain robusta.
let's take a trip down memory lane, and re-visit mark's old espresso a-go-go. i still strongly feel that this was one of the most under-rated espressi in north america.
but i also understand why not very many people "got" this coffee: it was a tad too bright for most espresso lovers, and that star-anise complexity was too unusual for many drip people. it didn't taste as dark as it looked, for dark-roast lovers; while it looked too dark to taste, for those lighter-roast people.
and it wasn't strongly chocolate-y in a world where right now everyone wants a chocolate espresso. it just broke the mold in every direction, you know?
so now we have the new espresso 0, which might remind some people of mark's old organic panic! but with a strong chocolate component. i have to say that personally i do prefer this new espresso 0 to the organic panic!.
it does stand up better in milk too.
the beans, as i said yesterday, seem to me to be full city, since they don't show a speck of oil anywhere. since this morning i had a great talk with mark in which he informed me that he wants this coffee brewed at a lower temp, a dark-roast temp, even tho' it's not a dark-dark coffee.
think 195-197 degrees, for those of you who have p.i.d'd your espresso machines. for those of us who haven't, this means you'll want to run a lot of water thru before you lock-n-load to pull the shot.
this should get you the most chocolate taste: i found this out thru pure trial and error, so let me save you the effort! since the coffee has robusta, the crema is quite long-lasting and the body's super-buttery.
it's a sweet, low-brightness coffee. a rarity -- esp. for a robusta blend -- that i didn't need any sugar!
the steamed milk alone added adequate sweetness. mark has an info sheet on this coffee that i think would be helpful for people who might like to try this coffee.
and once he sends it to me in an electronic format, i'll post it. in short, if you like a chocolate espresso with a hint of robusta and super crema, do check out mark's 0.
as with all of mark's coffee, it's ultra-environmental as well as fab, fab, fab.
long-time readers know i generally frown heavily on robusta -- so for me to like this coffee is a big deal.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
and what came today but an ultra-fresh bag of my husband's would-rather-die-than-do-without espresso, the batdorf dancing goat? long-time readers know it's the only coffee he will drink outside of tazza d'oro (when in rome!).
what i wanna know is how jessica gets it here so fast? good shipping karma or what?
many thanks to jessica!
in short, a non-alcoholic guinness
fall happened in new york for real yesterday evening, as the wind coming off the harbor definitely shifted. that chill breeze is the hem of autumn making its way over the threshhold.
i had my windows open in the living room, basking in the pleasant twilight, with the setting sun highlighting the water when suddenly. . .brr! there it was, the wind.
goodbye summer. since summer is my favorite season, i was sad for a long moment -- and then i ran into the kitchen to fire up my espresso machine.
yuppers, a cool evening makes a decaf espresso quite welcome! the coffee in question is mark inman's taylormaid decaf espresso d.
decaf coffees, i find, usually have to be ground finer than usual to perform well in espresso. and this was no exception -- i had to adjust my mazzer mini 2 whole notches to the left of the usual arrow point.
decaf coffee also roasts differently than regular -- while mark's "must-have" chocolate-y espresso 0 is what i'd call a full-city, this decaf is much darker, full oil.
but don't be put off by the dark color when you first open the can!
it doesn't taste as dark as it may at first appear. it's bitter in a good way -- think stout.
the aromas are malty, candied hazelnut and super-dark caramelized vanilla sugar, like the part of the creme brulee crust the chef let the kitchen torch linger on a tad long.
i drank it as a 30-second triple without sugar. its body was nice 'n syrupy with long-lasting crema.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
fall accessories update
here at bccy we're not indifferent to the changing seasons. we've bought ourselves a couple of printed designer wrap dresses, but draw the line at those stupid scrunchy boots that pinch your toes and are bad for your yoga.
however there are 4 every-day musts for fall we believe every right-bendin' yogini's gotta have:
- a red lipstick that matches your complexion
- a triple cappuccino of mark inman's new taylormaid espresso 0, which puts our chocolate and coffee jones perfectly together
- handy purse reading by desikachar
- the perfect laptop desk for your macbook pro 17"
utter fall fashion perfection would be if mark inman released a 6-8 oz. logo cappa cup in the classic italian style to better showcase that lip-licking brew. . .but then you'd have to re-apply your lipstick, wouldn't you?
Tags: coffee :: yoga :: espresso :: laptop desk :: lapinator :: macbook pro 17" :: mark inman :: taylormaid farms :: frelkins :: fortune :: fortune elkins :: bklyn :: brooklyn :: bread coffee chocolate yoga
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
peter g's honduras el puenta
peter g. knows the fast way to get my attention is to say "berry," so i leapt outta bed this morning and brewed up his honduras from yesterday in the vac pot. but i couldn't get the raspberry into the cup this morning, so i'm gonna work on that.
will update you later. in the meantime, the clock is ticking ticking ticking on mark inman's taylormaid espresso, so i have to play with that before it fades like the ghost in john cale's paris 1919. . .
Tags: coffee :: brewing :: java :: joe :: espresso :: peter giuliano :: counterculture :: honduras :: el puenta :: mark inman :: taylormaid farms :: frelkins :: fortune :: fortune elkins :: bklyn :: brooklyn :: bread coffee chocolate yoga
Monday, September 18, 2006
surprise: mark inman's taylormaid & peter g's counterculture in the house
- the counterculture honduras el puenta, aka "the purple princess," from farmer marysabel caballero, a shade-grown coffee with striking raspberry tones, roast-dated sept. 13
and so exciting! from mark inman:
- the taylormaid brand-new ultra-chocolate organic espresso 0, roast-dated sept. 12
- and his decaf organic espresso d, with a roast date i can't quite figure out, but i think is sept. 13
many many thanks you two!
mark says this new espresso will hit his taylormaid website this week, so keep looking for that link. i'm definitely brewing this one up tomorrow -- and i might pull the decaf after dinner this evening.
my husband is always looking for a wonderful decaf for cappuccino, since he's one of those who's quite sensitive to caffeine; could this be the one?
the purple princess, with its berry note, is going to be right up my alley in all likelihood. . .this is going to be one for the vac pot. note that marysabel caballero's other coffees have done quite well in the cup of excellence, so we know we're looking at a quality bean.
i began this morning with another "super-oren" of don schoenholt's gillies yemen, which i love for its winey, floral, all-spicy, and milk chocolate package. at this brewing proportion it has a lush body as well.
it's gonna be a week of mega-yummy coffees here at bccy!
Tags: coffee :: espresso :: java :: joe :: brewing :: chemex :: mark inman :: taylormaid farms :: peter giuliano :: counterculture :: marysabel cabellero :: honduras :: the purple princess :: el puenta :: yemen :: frelkins :: fortune :: fortune elkins :: bklyn :: brooklyn :: bread coffee chocolate yoga
Sunday, September 17, 2006
i was pretty surprised to be running thru the papers i normally read online and see that paul mccartney's hanging with new yoga bud alec baldwin -- how soon will they be in a partners yoga class in the hamptons with jennifer aniston? everytime i begin to hope the yoga fad is starting to fade, i see that actually it's only getting longer, stronger and more flexible legs!
oh well. i'll be practicing at home later this afternoon once i have the pizza dough and another apple-plum crumble squared away.
the problem with the csa is that at the start of the season you don't get very much, and most of what you get's a little odd.
now later on in the season, i'm overwhelmed with piles of organic local veggies, 7 pounds of local fruit -- and even after the ratatouilles, pizza sauces, and crumbles, i still have to figure out what to do with a head of lettuce, a pound of carrots, and a pound of breakfast radishes. . .
the crumble takes care of the apples and plums, but not the pears! in fact i spent the morning drinking my usual batdorf dancing goat cappuccini perusing an old volume of jacques pepin's wondering what to do with all these baby pears.
eat them with cheese for lunch -- it's my only hope. or do i really have to face the specter of canning?
i just don't have space in my bklyn apartment for piles of home canned stuff! (to which some will say, "yeah yeah, if you didn't have 2 espresso machines, 3 grinders, 6 other coffee pots, 4 rolling pins, 5 kinds of flour in 10 pound bags, and a case of chocolate. . .")