Coffee Mania – 9 Ways to be Your Own Barista!

We all know someone who can’t start the day without their morning cup (or cups) of Joe. In fact, some 64% of the U.S. population over 18 drinks at least one cup of coffee a day.  Statistics from the National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America show that coffee shops make around $12 billion in sales per year. That’s a lot of coffee lovers!  

And the choices are seemingly endless.  Have you ever gone to one of those specialty coffee shops and felt confused?  There’s a dizzying array of different coffee types and multiple variations on each.  

Here are some of the basic specialty coffee types with suggestions of how to be your own barista.  

    1. Cappuccino: This coffee is usually made out of three layers. The bottom layer is a shot of espresso. Then, a layer of heated milk is added.  Many of the cappuccino machines have a milk steamer but the milk can also be heated in a milk frother. Most frothers come with two whisks – one for a light froth and one for a thick froth.   After the heated milk is added, there’s a thick layer (around 0.8 to 1.2 inches) of milk foam. Cream is a common substitute for the milk foam. Sprinkles of cinnamon, chocolate, or vanilla powder are often added on top. Cappuccinos are usually served in 5-ounce cups.
    2. Latte: Latte has the same configuration as Cappuccino. The difference is that there’s more milk added in the second layer and there’s very little or no steamed milk foam. This coffee is also typically served in a bigger cup.
    3. Macchiato: This one also has expresso as its first layer. After that, there’s a thick layer of milk foam (but without a milk layer). The perfect macchiato will show three different layers: the dark espresso (the very thick layer of espresso that got mixed with the milk foam), then a lighter brown colour, and finally, just the foam.
    4. Mocha: Mocha was made for the sweet tooth. It is a mix of hot chocolate and cappuccino. After the first layer of one shot of espresso, there’s a layer of chocolate syrup. After that, there’s a big layer of milk.

      To make a Mocha, you need:
      1 cup whole milk
      1 teaspoon instant espresso
      1 ounce of chocolate, or chocolate syrup
      1 teaspoon sugarPut one cup of milk in a jar and put it in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds until it’s slightly steaming. While the milk is heating up, heat 1 ounce of chocolate in a medium low heat in the stove, adding one teaspoon instant espresso and the sugar. Mix until all the chocolate is smooth and melted.After that, carefully put ¾ cup of the steamed milk into the chocolate. Put the other ¼ cup of the hot milk into a container that you can cover with a lid and shake it nonstop for 30 seconds. This will create the foam.Now that you have your mocha mixture ready (steamed milk, espresso and melted chocolate), pour it into a mug and then add the milk foam on top. If you want, you can add whipped cream and some chocolate powder over the foam.
    5. Americano: This beverage, also known as Long Black, is a shot of espresso over hot water.  It’s very easy to make. Just fill of a cup with hot water and add the shot of espresso.
    6. Iced Vanilla Latte: This coffee, like the simple Latte, is has a large milk component.

      Brew some coffee, put it into an ice tray and put the tray in the freezer. Once the coffee is frozen, place the frozen cubes into a cup. Pour some unsweetened vanilla almond milk into the cup, add some liquid Stevia, and mix. Then, sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top. Coffee Banana Smoothie: For this smoothie, you will need: one cup of brewed coffee, 1-½ bananas cut into pieces, one cup of plain Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of ground flaxseed, two teaspoons of honey, ½ teaspoons of cinnamon powder, ¼ teaspoons of nutmeg powder and six ice cubes.To make it, simply put all the ingredients in a blender that is strong enough to crush ice and blend until the mixture is smooth.

    7. Honey Cinnamon Iced Latte:  The base of this beverage is iced coffee. To prepare that, use 2-½ to 3 cups of ground dark roast coffee and 16 cups of cold water. Mix them thoroughly in a container and let the mixture sit overnight (at least 8 hours). Then use a cheesecloth to filter the mixture to remove the grounds.

      Once this base is prepared, you will need ¾ cup of water, ¾ cup of honey, three cinnamon sticks, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and whole milk.To make the syrup, add the water, cinnamon sticks and honey in a pan. Cook them together in a medium-high temperature. Stir until the honey and the water are fully mixed and starting to boil. When that happens, put the heat down, let it simmer for 5 minutes and remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.Let that mixture to cool down completely before serving.  Remove the cinnamon sticks (and throw them out) and put the syrup in the fridge.When the syrup is ready to be used, add ice cubes to a glass. Pour the iced coffee that we prepared previously, add milk and syrup in your desired amount. Mix well and serve immediately.

    8. Affogato:  Made with espresso, this is a perfect summer concoction.  It is made by putting one scoop of vanilla ice cream with a single or double espresso shot.

      First, make sure your glass is cold. Put one scoop of ice cream in the chilled glass and add the espresso shot(s). This dessert should be made quickly so the ice cream is not too melted when you pour the espresso.You can change the flavour of ice cream with pieces of chocolate or small pieces of cookies on top.And enjoy!

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