Category Archives: Coffee

Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe – Bon Appétit

This is one that I might have to break the no sugar rule for.

OMG!

Ingredients

Servings: Makes 1

  • 2 tablespoons dark-roast ground coffee (preferably Trung Nguyen Premium Blend or Café Du Monde Coffee with Chicory)
  • 2 tablespoons (scant) sweetened condensed milk

Preparation

  • There are two ways to make Vietnamese coffee. The simplest method is to steep coffee grounds in a heatproof container with 2/3 cup boiling water for 4 minutes. Pour through a coffee filter into a heatproof glass.
  • Or use a metal filter, which we recommend. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Remove top screen from filter, add coffee, then screw on top screen. Place filter over a heatproof 12-oz. glass or measuring cup.
  • Pour a splash of the hot water into filter; this will allow the coffee grounds to bloom. When coffee begins to drip through, add enough water to reach top of filter. Place lid on filter and let coffee drip for 4 minutes. If coffee stops dripping sooner, gently loosen screw to relieve pressure.
  • Stir in condensed milk until blended. Add ice, stir, and serve.

Source: Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe – Bon Appétit

First Day Back on the Machine

8.45am Nina’s phone goes off with Claire, of the temp agency on the other end.  Not a strange occurrence being that Nina often gets work late in the morning but, this time, Nina turned to me and asked if I was available to help in a cafe.

It has been over a year since I did any sort of time on a coffee machine so I was a little cautious in my answer but I have never shied away from any challenge so wasn’t going to start today.

A quick shower, zhoush of the hair, dig out the old work trousers and I was off on the scooter on the 40 minute ride into town.   All the way in scenarios were running through my head.
“If the coffee machine is small and I have to do 300 coffees what am I going to do?”  “Is the reason that the temp staff never showed because the boss is an a-hole?”  “Can I even make coffee anymore?”

My destination was Columbus coffee in the Air New Zealand building in Fanshawe street.  A regular Columbus with quite a large catchment of caffeine addicts.

Columbus Coffee

Getting in about 10am I was introduced to the rest of the staff, a shirt on and a quick run through of the coffee machine from Jake was me ready to pour some shots.   One of the questions actually got me worried a little and it was probably the last thing you would expect. “I guess you are quite experienced and been making coffee for years” well?  Yes I have, but every coffee machine and cafe is different, dockets are different and although you would think coffees that are named latte, flat white and cappuccino are the same the world over, no they are not.

Young Jake said “I am sorry if I sound patronizing”. My response was “never, tell me as if I am a newbie”.

As a young manager I remember having to take on older staff that we had hired and having to speak to extremely experienced staff about the most menial tasks.  I found that if I didn’t explain the menial tasks in the way I wanted them completed they would do it their own way, just like any experienced person would, then a few weeks later, teach someone else how to do it that way, before I knew it, I was surrounded by people polishing cutlery very inefficiently.

As I said before, every cafe and every coffee machine is different and Columbus use the ‘2 clicks single’, ‘3 clicks double’ system on their packing.   They then randomly check the pour time of a shot out of a “measuring” head to make sure the grind is all good.

It’s a great system and saves on waste as you are not checking the grind by making a shot all the time.

I pull my first shot with 3 clicks in the handle, it doesn’t look quite right but its a new machine to me and it maybe right, I have to go ahead and pour.  It pours in 15 seconds and looks like crap ‘DOH!  great start Alan’

Next time I check it’s a full 3 clicks and pour, PERFECT!!

From then on the only difficulty was getting used to reading he dockets and frappes.

After an hour on the machine I felt the pour coming back.

After an hour on the machine I felt the pour coming back.

It was great to be back on the machine again, in familiar territory with faces of expectation showing up behind the machine followed by that thankful glance as their addiction is satisfied by a return caffeine dealer 😉

Great coffee experience

Wow!  Two days out of work and I have already been inspired to write about work.  This is worth it though.

Boxing Day morning I went out with my triathlon club for our annual boxing day swim followed by breakfast and coffee in Mission Bay.

The place we tried this year was Bar Comida

Image001

 and what a pleasant surprise.

First I noticed that they served Vittoria coffee (same as us at The Falls) before spotting the rest of my group gathered around a table in the corner.  (18 of us in total)

Before I carry on, I need to let you know that a table of 18 people walking in off the street is massive for a restaurant to deal with.  First you need to get the tables together, put water down, make menus available (which are normally spread around the rest of your customers in the restaurant) take the order for 18 people which sends the kitchen into a frenzy and then get 18 coffees to the table in a reasonable amount of time whilst still trying to keep the rest of your customers happy.  The point is, it is not easy to deal with that many people without a booking.

Soon after I arrived the food started to arrive at the table, which could only have been 8-10minutes after the order was taken, all hot and eggs all cooked beautifully, runny but not raw.   After seeing this I placed my order really quickly or I would have been drinking by myself at the speed everything came out. 

“double shot flat white in a Tulip Cup”  I asked with strange looks from the rest of the table.

The waiter needed clarification and a minute later showed me 2 cups to choose from.  After choosing the tulip cup he quickly went to sorting my coffee out.

My coffee arrived shortly after ordering (before most others, much to the annoyance of my friends J) and what a beautiful full flavoured coffee it was.  Not too bitter but enough bite to tell me it was a double shot, smooth crema still intact on top and warm enough to sit on for a few minutes but not so hot it burns your lips when you try to take a sip.

At this point I decided to have the big breakfast (to refuel after a hard swim…… Yeah right!) A few minutes later a full plate with poached eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushroom and toast arrived much to my delight.  Another coffee was in order “same again please?”  Another coffee arrived a few minutes later with that same great full flavour and crema to die for.

The breakfast was great and cleared a few minutes later.

The only complaint from the day was that the larger coffees took a quite some time to arrive at the table and this I can understand as it can be hard when everyone in the group orders bowl latte.

The experience I had on Saturday was enough for me to write this review, but wait, there is more.  On Sunday I left home at 9am for my bike ride into Mission Bay to meet up with the rest of the club members riding on Sunday.  The others arrived in Mission bay,  took a seat at Bar Comida and I joined them a few minutes later.  Soon after I sat down I looked around for someone to order my coffee from and the waiter from the day before was standing beside me.  “I’ll have…”  “Double shot flat white in a Long Black cup” he said. 

Now… not only was I shocked but the rest of the group ‘s jaws dropped as well.  That is service for you.

Maybe it’s just that I have a very funny order that sticks in a waiters brain but remembering my coffee really impressed me and made me feel really special for the rest of the morning, even when I was being punished on all the hills all the way home.

Thank you Bar Comida for a very pleasurable experience and I will be back.

Great coffee experience

Wow!  Two days out of work and I have already been inspired to write about work.  This is worth it though.

Boxing Day morning I went out with my triathlon club for our annual boxing day swim followed by breakfast and coffee in Mission Bay.

The place we tried this year was Bar Comida  and what a pleasant surprise.

First I noticed that they served Vittoria coffee (same as us at The Falls) before spotting the rest of my group gathered around a table in the corner.  (18 of us in total)

Before I carry on, I need to let you know that a table of 18 people walking in off the street is massive for a restaurant to deal with.  First you need to get the tables together, put water down, make menus available (which are normally spread around the rest of your customers in the restaurant) take the order for 18 people which sends the kitchen into a frenzy and then get 18 coffees to the table in a reasonable amount of time whilst still trying to keep the rest of your customers happy.  The point is, it is not easy to deal with that many people without a booking.

Soon after I arrived the food started to arrive at the table, which could only have been 8-10minutes after the order was taken, all hot and eggs all cooked beautifully, runny but not raw.   After seeing this I placed my order really quickly or I would have been drinking by myself at the speed everything came out. 

“double shot flat white in a Tulip Cup”  I asked with strange looks from the rest of the table.

The waiter needed clarification and a minute later showed me 2 cups to choose from.  After choosing the tulip cup he quickly went to sorting my coffee out.

My coffee arrived shortly after ordering (before most others, much to the annoyance of my friends J) and what a beautiful full flavoured coffee it was.  Not too bitter but enough bite to tell me it was a double shot, smooth crema still intact on top and warm enough to sit on for a few minutes but not so hot it burns your lips when you try to take a sip.

At this point I decided to have the big breakfast (to refuel after a hard swim…… Yeah right!) A few minutes later a full plate with poached eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushroom and toast arrived much to my delight.  Another coffee was in order “same again please?”  Another coffee arrived a few minutes later with that same great full flavour and crema to die for.

The breakfast was great and cleared a few minutes later.

The only complaint from the day was that the larger coffees took a quite some time to arrive at the table and this I can understand as it can be hard when everyone in the group orders bowl latte.

The experience I had on Saturday was enough for me to write this review, but wait, there is more.  On Sunday I left home at 9am for my bike ride into Mission Bay to meet up with the rest of the club members riding on Sunday.  The others arrived in Mission bay,  took a seat at Bar Comida and I joined them a few minutes later.  Soon after I sat down I looked around for someone to order my coffee from and the waiter from the day before was standing beside me.  “I’ll have…”  “Double shot flat white in a Long Black cup” he said. 

Now… not only was I shocked but the rest of the group ‘s jaws dropped as well.  That is service for you.

Maybe it’s just that I have a very funny order that sticks in a waiters brain but remembering my coffee really impressed me and made me feel really special for the rest of the morning, even when I was being punished on all the hills all the way home.

Thank you Bar Comida for a very pleasurable experience and I will be back.

Posted via email from Alan Parry Rambles