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.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

5 Things To Get You Started in Home Brewing Espresso

By Lacy O’Brien, for Chris’ Coffee Service
August 24, 2017

1. Counter Space

There’s nothing worse than researching the exact espresso machine you want, falling in love with it, and then figuring out it won’t fit under your cabinets.

Measure out the space where you will be housing your machine, and make sure the machines you are researching will fit nicely. Take into consideration that you will need enough room to manually fill the water reservoir, or else you will have to slide the machine forward to do so.

Bonus*  You can get your machine plumbed directly into existing pipeline, so that you never have to fill the reservoir.

2. Electricity

There are two types of electrical systems used around the world. Most electrical systems in North and Central America, and parts of Japan are set up to run 100-127 volt, at 60 hertz frequency.  The rest of the world generally operates on a 220-240 volt, at 50 hertz connection.  Be sure that the voltage and frequency of the machine match the system used in your region, otherwise you need a converter.  In certain parts of the world, you may also need a plug adapter.

Additionally, espresso machines pull a lot of power, so making sure your system can handle the output without blowing a fuse is an important thing to consider.

3. Type of  Machine

From the experienced espresso lover, to the newly acquainted connoisseur, one thing is certain:  you need the right equipment to get the right extraction and flavor profile when pulling the perfect shot.   Most machines offered in department stores will not supply the proper temperature or pressure for pulling the velvety coffee-shop kind of espresso shot you are looking for.

Some things to consider are temperature, pressure, single boiler vs. double boiler, and settings control. Stay tuned for our next blog: “Single Boiler Vs. Double Boiler in Home Brewing”, sign up for our newsletter to receive blog posts in your inbox!

Pictured: La Marzocco GS3 Mechanical Paddle, click here for more info about this machine.

4. Grinder

The proper grind is crucial to a balanced, flavorful shot of espresso, and you will want a quality grinder for the job. Being able to adjust grind size is crucial to pulling the perfect shot.  You may adjust grind size depending on the coffee you are using and the type of drink you are preparing.  For the best grind quality and setting control, choose a stepless, doserless burr machine for optimal extraction.  Sign up to our mailing list to get future blog posts, which will go more in depth about getting a quality grind.

Pictured: Fiorenzato F4E Nano in red, click here for more info about this machine.

5. Coffee

Using quality roasted whole beans is vital for a delicious end- product.  The best equipment in the world won’t be able to make up for over roasted beans.  Purchase your beans from an established roaster like Machristay or other specialty coffee roasters for a smooth shot of espresso with the original flavor notes intact.  The lighter the roast, the more flavor quality will be maintained, and lighter roasts have a higher caffeine content!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Difference Between Cold Brew And Iced Coffee

By Taylor Nachtrieb

Since the recent popularity of cold brew coffee many consumers have wondered - what is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? The main difference is the brewing method itself; cold brew is steeped with cold water for 12-48 hours, where iced coffee is brewed with hot water and then mixed with cold water and refrigerated. Both methods are relatively easy to execute, but the flavor profile achieved can be dramatically different. 

The Cold Brew Process

There are many different brewer options that can be used in order to make cold brew, but our favorite is the Toddy. You want to start with freshly roasted coffee; we recommend using our Golden Gate Java and you will need a medium-coarse grind so that it will allow the cold water to properly steep through the grounds. Once the coffee is ground you will insert the stopper into the bottom of the container from the outside and then wet the filter and place it at the bottom of the container from inside. The Toddy brewers are available in different sizes, so depending on the size you are using you will need to add cold filtered water into the bottom of the container, followed by coffee, more water & then the remaining coffee. Once the Toddy is filled with cold water and ground coffee you want to use the back of a spoon to gently press down any dry coffee grounds to make sure it's evenly saturated. Now you must wait, which is probably the hardest part of the brewing process! 

Keep the Toddy at room temperature while the cold brew is working it's magic for anywhere from 12-48 hours. Once the grueling 48 hours passes you can now remove the stopper and let the coffee slowly pour itself into the included glass decanter. The cold brew concentrate you just created will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge! The reason I refer to it as a concentrate is because you will want to add cold water to it so it is not too strong, depending on your preference. 

Cold brew coffee has emerged in popularity over the years due to the following characteristics; it has a higher caffeine content because it is in contact with the coffee grounds for a substantial amount of time, it is considered smoother in taste and less acidic than regular drip coffee, and lastly is brings out more of the flavor profile of the beans that are used in the brewing process.

The Iced Coffee Brew Process

The iced coffee brewing method is not as simple as pouring hot coffee over ice due to the simple fact that the ice melts almost instantly and turns the coffee into a watery, lukewarm coffee - and no one wants that. Hot coffee = good; cold coffee = good; warm coffee = bad. You will want to start with our Premium Iced Coffee Blend, which is conveniently ground and packaged into 5 oz. fractional bags. We have carefully taken the time to experiment with different blends, roast shades, and grind settings to come up with what we believe will make the best cup of iced coffee. You will want to use a standard coffee brewer like a Bunn Machine to brew the pot of hot coffee. Although you are using more ground coffee than you typically would (2.5 oz.) the grind is coarse enough so the brew basket will not overflow, and you will get a stronger tasting coffee which will in turn not taste diluted when the cold water is added to it. For every pot of coffee that is brewed you will want to add a third of a pot of cold water to it. Ideally you will want to keep the coffee in the fridge overnight to ensure a nice, cold cup of iced coffee for the following day.

No matter if you prefer cold brew, or iced coffee - one thing we can all agree on is there's nothing better than an iced cold cup of freshly brewed coffee on a hot summer day...or a cold snowy night like tonight! 

 Chris Coffee Service

**Click images to follow us on social media** 

 Twitter   Pinterest  Facebook    Instagram