Thursday, November 16, 2017

Is Your Holiday Coffee Game on Point?

By Lacy O’Brien, for Chris’ Coffee Service
November 16, 2017

Are you the designated barista at your holiday gathering?  If you want to wow your friends and family this season, here are five pointers to ensure that you won’t be stuck bringing the ambrosia next year:

Coffee Game on Point –Holiday Checklist

  1. Most households in the U.S. are used to drinking pre-ground coffee.  If you show up with a grinder and grind your coffee and espresso on the spot, you know you will wow the crowd with the fresh flavor notes your family’s taste buds have been waiting for.  Move over aunt Pearl’s Bundt cake, you’re bound to be the star of the festivities!
In the market for a new grinder?  Try the Fiorenzato F4E Nano V2 Electronic Espresso Grinder in White.  

  1. Pour-over anyone?  If your gathering is on the smaller side, bringing out the Chemex will not only delight your friends with the mouthwatering aroma of a perfectly timed brew, but will keep you busy long enough to avoid small talk with that relative you’ve been trying not to make eye contact with.
Need some Chemex products before the holidays?  Chris’ Coffee Services stocks everything you need.  
  1. Have you been trying to explain to your entourage the nuances of a great light roast, to no avail?  Show up at the potluck with a bag of light roast to brew, and serve without cream and sugar.  Everyone will be in such a great mood, and into trying all the items on the table, that they’ll be more inclined to give it a go.  Sit back and watch as their eyes sparkle, as they taste the tantalizing flavors of chocolate, citrus, and hibiscus bounce around their palette.  Don’t forget to let everyone know that light roast actually contains more caffeine than dark roast!
Try Machristay’s Blond Bombshell light roast.  

  1. Bust out a tulip on your sister’s mocha and watch as everyone gather’s around and asks you to make one for them!  Now is the perfect time to start practicing your latte art on your home machine, and ride those accolades all the way through the New Year!
Check out this tutorial by Urnex for making killer latte art.
  1. If you’re going for gold, this holiday, create a signature drink for your get together!  You can let your imagination run wild, or you can use the holiday recipe posted here.  Either way, busting onto the holiday scene with a killer coffee drink will guarantee that next year everyone will be greeting you at the door with one question:                                                                                                                                         

    “Did you bring the coffee?”

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How Pumpkin Flavored Everything Came to Dominate Fall

By Lacy O’Brien, for Chris’ Coffee Service
November 2, 2017

WHETHER YOU'RE TEAM PUMPKIN or not, there is no denying that as soon as a cool breeze cuts through the summer air, you can count on the presence of Pumpkin flavored products everywhere you go.  Though, it wasn’t always this prominent.  Curious about how exactly the fall flavor became a staple for retailers across the U.S., we decided to do a little research and find out how this trend came to be.

Traditionally for the Fall season consumers, especially those in the Northeast, have been accustomed to journeying out for the coveted apple cider donut at their favorite orchard or bakery once sweater weather hit.  The taste and smell of apple cider were picked up and marketed by many retailers looking to provide their customers with that wholesome nostalgia as everyone got prepared for the arrival of the winter holidays. Until around 2004 Pumpkin flavored products, with the exception of your aunt’s famous pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

The culprit of our new Fall trend is, not too surprisingly, in fact, Starbucks.  When they introduced the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, their customers fell in love.  The combination of sweet and subtle savory was a hit and now accounts for over $80 million in revenue annually for the chain.  Other retailers took notice, and soon it seemed all of America was obsessed.  Now, over a decade later, we can count on Pumpkin flavored cookies, bagels, pancakes, coffees and more lining the shelves of every retailer across the states.  The paucity of the product creates anticipation and increases demand, leading to millions of Team Pumpkin lovers at the mercy of the calendar to enjoy their coveted treat. 

Are you Team Pumpkin?  Let us know in the comments and read on for a recipe you can make at home on your home espresso machine.

     Pumpkin Spice Latte – Home Brew Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 shot brewed espresso
  1.  Brew your espresso. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and milk. Warm over medium heat, whisking constantly, until hot and frothy. Do not bring to a boil. 
  2. Pour the espresso into a mug and pour the pumpkin spiced milk over it.
Try our Machristay VooDoo whole bean espresso in your recipe!  A blend of coffees from distinctly different countries of origin in South and Central America as well as in Africa. The coffees are all 100% Arabica and roasted to perfection daily at our facility, in our PID controlled Renegade coffee roaster.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fall latte recipe

 Fall latte recipe

October 12, 2017
By Lacy O'Brien for Chris' Coffee Service

Stopping for my favorite fall latte before I head out to peep these beautiful upstate NY leaves is a tradition for everyone I know.  Whether you are a home barista or working in a shop, creating a special drink for the season is the perfect way to celebrate.

White Chocolate Carmel Latte

Using quality syrups, like Ghiradelli gives you the best tasting lattes to cozy up with on a beautiful fall day.

Use white chocolate & caramel, with a sprinkle of cinnamon for the perfect hot drink. 

Dash of cinnamon on top

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why is the specialty coffee world obsessed with light roast?

By Lacy O’Brien, For Chris’ Coffee Service

Somewhere along the line, in recent coffee consumer history, “Dark Roast” became synonymous with good coffee.  Maybe around the time the mythical belief that “black coffee puts hair on your chest” became a widely held point of pride for the boastful hard-working average Joe, did this belief cross over into coffee production, where manufactures aimed to meet demand.   Many consumers even believe that the darker the roast, the stronger the coffee.

However it may have started, dark roasted coffee has become so ingrained in the average coffee drinker’s mind, that it has become widely recognized as “The” way that coffee should taste.  Dark and bitter is what people expect.  The coffee lover who may not be quite as attached to that flavor will add cream and sugar to soften the bitterness on their palette.

With the rise of the specialty coffee industry and the boom of small business owners interested in the craft of a quality roast, consumers are slowly catching on to the truth of the matter, which is that “Dark Roast” coffee is simply the result of burning the bean, and that the flavor has very little to do with quality and more to do with over-roasting.  Surprising (to most regular coffee drinkers) coffee, much like tea, can be a complex blend of flavor notes that combine to make a unique flavor profile.  There is in fact an art to cupping and profiling the various delicate notes that can be found in coffees from different regions, similarly to the various profilings of quality wines.  And, in fact, a lighter roast, commonly known as a blonde roast, lets the complexity and delicate tastes of the bean shine through.  

An even more shocking antidote for the average Joe, is that lighter roasted coffee actually has a higher caffeine content compared to dark roast because the integrity of the coffee remains intact.  To learn more about the many flavors that will entice your taste buds the next time you brew a cup, simply start reading the flavor notes stated on the label and see if you can pick out each note as you enjoy your brew.  Many coffee drinkers will even tell you that they enjoy the flavor so much that they stopped putting cream and sugar in their coffee, because a quality blend is smooth and has its own sweetness.

Try “Blonde Bombshell” by Machristay, which is a light roasted Columbian coffee with bright citrus notes, and a floral aroma.  Click here to shop.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Single Boiler Vs. Double Boiler in Home Brewing
How to decide which machine is right for home-brewing espresso

By Lacy O’Brien, For Chris’ Coffee Service
September 7, 2017

When brewing espresso drinks there is a need for two different temperatures.  Espresso is prepared best when the coffee is extracted at temperatures well below boiling point, around 198-204F.  However, when it comes time to steam milk for lattes and other milk-based espresso drinks, this requires a large amount of steam at a temperature well above boiling.

There are varied methods that manufacturers use to tackle the issue of handling two temperature outputs.  One system includes a single boiler with a dual thermostat, which allows you to control the temperature in the settings panel while you are at each step in the drink making process.  It takes more time (up to several minutes) though, for the machine to acclimate to each setting. 

An alternative system includes a (DB) Double Boiler set up within the machine.  One set up for brew temperature, and one set to steam temperature, which allows for the preferred temperature at each output phase without lag time.

A third option are (HX) Heat Exchanger machines, which utilize a single boiler that keeps the water at steam temperature but uses a cool water that is flash heated instantly to brew temperature when ready for pulling the espresso shot.

There are ongoing debates around which machine, DB or HX produces the best results.  Both give the option to produce espresso and steamed milk simultaneously.  Both can be plumbed, or utilized as a countertop machine.  They both generally offer rotary pumps that keep noise levels down, and PID control of shot temperature.  Though, PID control may actually have less impact in a HX machine due to the flash heating element in the boiler. 

The main consideration to take into account when deciding which type of machine is best for you, is understanding how you will be using your machine.  Will you be mainly making espresso, or lattes?  How often and for how many people?  Do you want maximum control over temperature so that you can cup various espressos and compare flavor profiles?

For a list of popular home espresso machines, like the Slayer Single Group (pictured), which features a double boiler, visit, as they are the largest distributer of home brewing machines.