Page 39 - the Noise October 2017
P. 39

I thought I’d take the time this month to explain and dissect a normal cafe menu that you might come across anywhere in the world. My reasoning is simple, in that I want consumers and Baristas to have as uniform a dialogue as possible. I want to throw out some common misconceptions such as ordering fast food style beverages that larger corporate entities take liberties on changing, what are in fact traditional drinks that most shops understand universally, thus causing mass confusion. The Macchiato being the most common example. If I’ve caught
your attention, please read on... We’ll work our way down the
espresso-based list first:
Espresso: 1.5-3oz. viscous liquid
with a golden crema on top. Most shops these days are always pulling a “double espresso” with the only real difference lying in the volume of the shots. If it’s short (1.5oz.), them we call that a “ristretto.” If long (3oz.), then we call that ‘lungo.” A “single shot” espresso is a bit of a misnomer, in that many cafes are no longer equipped to pull single espressos. Rather, they might pull a ristretto and a lungo if a customer orders a beverage with “3 shots,” or simply engage with the customer to settle on a “double” or “quad” shot bever- age. The “double shot” will be the basis for the following, most typically available drinks...
Americano: Double espresso + 6-14oz. hot water.
Shot In The Dark: Double espresso + 6-14oz. brewed coffee. This drink has many other names such as “Hammerhead,”“Red Eye,” Black Eye,” and on and on and on...
Con Pana: Double espresso + a topping of whipped cream.
Macchiato: Double espresso + 1-2oz. steamed milk. Not in fact, a caramel latte as is often implied by a certain corporate coffee chain who shall not be named.
Cortado: Double Espresso + 2-3oz. steamed milk, served in a gibraltar or “rocks” glass.
Cappuccino: Double espresso + 3-4oz. steamed milk with an emphasis on more foam being created and incorporated into the beverage, in semi-equal parts.
Flat White: Double espresso + 6-8oz. steamed milk with little foam, for a complete 10oz. beverage.
Latte: Double espresso + 6-14oz. (or heaven forbid more), steamed milk with little foam.
Mocha: Double espresso + 6-14oz. steamed milk with little foam + chocolate sauce and/or chocolate powder.
Dirty Chai: Double espresso + any given house chai latte recipe.
That covers the most basic of espresso-based drinks. The quantities I listed also assume beverages that range in typical 6oz. (traditional) to 16oz. (large) sizes. Keep in mind that all of those are typically available iced as well, with the exception of a cappuccino because you wouldn’t add steamed foam to an iced drink. Or would you?
Now comes the breakdown of drinks that don’t include espresso ...
Brewed Coffee/Drip: This indicates a typical “house brew” that is brewed with any range of “automatic brew” methods. The specific coffees offered on drip can be a range of blends, single origin coffees, or even focus an attention on roast levels such as light to dark roast, and not where the coffee comes from at all. Overall, this is the most common way coffee is brewed in most shops to keep up with a large volume of consumers.
Pour-Over/Slow Bar: Many shops these days are incorporating what we call “manual brew” methods. If pour overs are listed on a menu, you’ll usually find a range of manual brew method options, as well as choices in coffees that are single origin, sometimes com- plete with tasting notes like what you’d find at a wine tasting. Hence, the focus becomes about the coffee, the story of the farmer/producers, and what the roaster has chosen to do with the roast to bring out the most in the bean to justify a higher priced coffee.
Cafe au Lait: 2/3 brewed coffee + 1/3 steamed milk of customer’s choice.
Hot Chocolate: Chocolate sauce and/or chocolate powder + steamed milk.
London Fog: Black tea (such as Earl Grey) + steamed milk + vanilla syrup.
Tea Latte: 2/3 brewed tea of your choice + 1/3 steamed milk (roughly). Matte Lattes are
typically prepared this way.
That’s the 101 of drinks that involve more preparation on the part of the Barista, skipping
simpler items such as iced and hot teas, etcetera. Next month, we’ll dive down the rabbit hole of specialty drinks involving syrups, flavorings, frozen/blended options and more.
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