This Guy

My photo
Native son to the American Deep South - now living in Portland, OR. Lover of people, sustainability, justice, culture, writing, history, cuisine and coffee.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Cappuccino

Since working with coffee, I have fallen in love.

The traditional 5.5oz cappuccino.
An obsession. An art form. A badge of honor.
The perfect ratio of espresso, steamed milk and foam.

And by foam, I'm not talking about globs upon globs of airy frothed milk, but a velvety and creamy crema layer that is in perfect harmony with the other two parts.

While we're on the topic of milk, your cappuccino should not be hot enough to burn your tongue. The pros generally drink it just when it becomes warm to the touch...and that's just the way I like it.
The hotter you steam the milk (or have your preference of steamed milk) the less sweet it becomes.
So every time you order your 24oz Startbucks cappuccino extra hot, a barista looses their tattoos...(and we don't want that to happen!)

Any barista competition has you making the following: two shots of espresso, a cappuccino and a "specialty" espresso beverage.
Therefore, the cappuccino is an important drink to make right if you're any sort of serious barista. I know people who spend 3-4 hours a day practicing the double cappuccino...because there is a very fine line. You're always one second away from either making it too foamy, or two hot. The variables are quite timely.

Here in lies, my obsession.
But I'm not the only one.

This trailer seemingly tells the story of what America's "fast food" culture is doing to this beloved beverage -- and why it's important to stay away from damaging coffee culture.

Another video, showing Kyle Glanville. He was the 2008 US Barista Champion and all around coffee nerd turned rock star. He knows what's up and does it well.

And though, it is only coffee, it IS a livelihood for so many of us.

Ultimately, it's about the farmers.
There is justice in good coffee.
There is justice in good coffee buying.
It's when farmers are able to afford healthcare for their babies.
It's when they can put food on their table and be treated with dignity by being paid fairly.

To me, this is what making good coffee is about. The things we do only take away from the product they pick with their weathered hands.

There is respect in making their products with dignity.

So, after all, I do not feel ridiculous for loving this drink and striving to make it better for others. It is a product that comes full circle and we give thanks to all who are involved in the process...

[except for those gas station cappuccino machines...what are those anyways??]

1 comment:

  1. Just reminded me of why I love this drink so. Thanks for posting.

    And yeah, I have no idea what those gas station drinks are. Better to think of them as glorified hot chocolates, I think.

    Good post, bro.