Winters are tough for squirrels because food is scarce. In…
I love a good caffè espresso. There are a number of excellent independent coffee shops in Kitchener and Waterloo Region, perhaps too many to list.
Here are a few:
- Matter of Taste
- Smile Tiger
- Café Pyrus
- a new Settlement Co., soon to open in the Innovation District
- Monigram in Cambridge
- Eco-Coffee in St. Jacobs
- … and others
But recently, I purchased a small stove-top espresso maker, a Vigano (pictured here) for home brewing at STOP Restaurant Supply in Kitchener. I am experimenting with getting the brew just the right strength.
Espresso started to become popular in Italy as early as the late 1800s, and eventually, stand-up espresso bars popped up as part of the modernization and urbanization of downtown city centres. It has me wondering if it might be possible to gauge a city’s food and beverage sophistication by the espresso it serves? (Espresso-based drinks like cappuccino and macchiato, made with milk, came about much later in the United States. They are good, but not as good as a straight-up doppio espresso.)
As a very finely ground, strong-roast coffee, espresso relies on steam for its preparation. The water sits in the bottom of the Vigano vessel (and other devices such as the Moka macchinetta) beneath a small basket of lightly packed coffee.
As the water heats, the steam is forced upwards through the coffee, and it percolates into the upper chamber. What you pour out is a dark, thick, rich demitasse cup of delicious and satisfying espresso that has a rich aroma and concentrated flavours.
With the home brew, you don’t get the light foamy crema that is created with a coffee shop espresso, but you get some strong coffee taste. And, depending on the bean and the roast, espresso can have slightly less caffeine than regular brewed coffee.
For me, a sip of espresso and its preparation is creature comfort.[Vigano image/Espresso Planet]