World of coffee

If you wish to go beyond South Indian Coffee and try something different, the coffee bars offer quite a choice on the menu. Here’s a sampler of the most popular coffee beverages

Caffe (Espresso) – a small cup of very strong black coffee i.e., espresso, had at any time of the day

Caffe Americano – American-style coffee, but stronger; weaker than espresso and served in a large cup

Caffe Doppio – double espresso

Caffe Freddo – Italian iced coffee or a cold version of a cappuccino (with a cold frothed milk topping).

Caffe Hag – decaffeinated coffee

Caffe Latte – hot milk mixed with coffee and served in a glass for breakfast

Caffe Macchiato – espresso “stained” with a drop of steamed milk or a mini cappuccino, if you like

Caffe Marocchino – espresso with a dash of hot milk and cacao powder

Caffe Mocha – decaffeinated coffee

Caffe – the American equivalent of the Italian or French Mocha Latte. Like a caffe latte, caffe mocha is typically (one third) 1/3 espresso and (two thirds) 2/3 steamed milk with a dash of chocolate, typically in the form of sweet cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. Mocha can contain dark or milk chocolate. Like cappuccino, caffe mocha contains the well-known milk froth on top, although they are sometimes served with whipped cream and usually topped with a dusting of either cinnamon or cocoa powder. Marshmallows provide added flavor and decoration.

Cappuccino – Italy’s famous morning drink – an espresso infused with steamed milk and froth, ideally not drunk after lunch or dinner

Granita di caffe con Panna – frozen, iced beverage (similar to a slush, but crushed ice make it authentic) topped with whipped cream

Turkish Coffee – Served short like espresso, it is almost the same measure of ground coffee as an espresso, added to water and brought to a boil. Ground cardamom is added to the blend of coffee to perk the flavor.

Kopi luwak or Civet coffee – The world’s most expensive, low-production coffee made from the beans of coffee berries found in the scat of Asian Palm Civet and other civets. The civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. As the berries pass through its digestive tract, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans. The beans are finally excreted, but retain their shape. They are gathered, washed thoroughly, sun dried and light roasted before brewing. Kopi luwak beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness and is still rated as the most expensive coffee in the world! Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, in the Philippines and East Timor.

Strange Brew: The Story Of The Irish Coffee

Talk about a storm in a coffee cup! Here’s an interesting nugget for those who love their tipple. It might sound like an ancient recipe, but Irish Coffee was a 20th Century invention. This unique rich brew was born on a cold winter’s eve in 1942 at an airbase in Limerick, Ireland. What started out as a panacea to calm down and warm up stranded airline passengers caught in a freezing storm, went down in history as one of the best ways to sip coffee!

The story goes that a flight full of American passengers was recalled to Foynes Airbase (now Shannon International Airport) after braving heavy storms for many hours. Mercifully, the flight landed safely but the panic-stricken passengers were cold and wretched in the icy night air. Joseph Sheridan, the chef at the airbase terminal restaurant took one look at them and decided to whip up a concoction that would warm their bodies and their spirits. He brewed some hot coffee and added a splash of good Irish whiskey to it. The travellers loved it. When one of them asked whether it was Brazilian coffee, Chef Sheridan famously replied, “No, that’s Irish coffee.” Today, you can savour the original Irish Coffee drink at Joe Sheridan Café Bar in the airport, where a plaque marks his achievement.

Authentic Irish Coffee Recipe:

    • 1 measure or shot (2 ounces) Irish whiskey
    • 3 sugar cubes (1 & 1/2 heaping teaspoons granulated sugar)*
    • Strong black coffee
    • 2 teaspoons heavy or whipping cream

* Some recipes use brown sugar.

Heat a stemmed whiskey goblet (7-ounce coffee cup or goblet may be substituted) with boiling water so that it is good and hot. Pour in 1 shot of whiskey and add the sugar cubes. Fill with strong black coffee to within 1 inch of the top; stir gently until sugar is dissolved.

Top with thick, fresh cream. Pour the liquid cream over the back of a teaspoon held just above the coffee’s surface. Gradually raise the spoon as you slowly pour the cream. This will result in a layer of liquid cream that floats on top of the coffee. Drinking the coffee through the layer of cream results in the rich, authentic flavor that coffee’s drinkers originally enjoyed. Do not stir. Irish coffee is best enjoyed by sipping the coffee through the cream. Makes 1 serving.