Lavazza Coffee – A New Tradition and some New Insights:
I have to admit, until now I’ve been something of an instant girl. That sounds slightly rude, but it isn’t meant to! I do like fresh coffee, but at home I really couldn’t be bothered to make it. And then I got my new machine from Lavazza – and went on one of their masterclasses to learn how to use it. Now, at this point I felt just a little silly – who needs to learn how to use a coffee machine? But it turns out I’ve already made mistakes!
The Lavazza ‘A Modo Mio’ machines were lauched in 2007 – with the intention of allowing everyone to make coffee at home that was just the way they wanted it. The neat little pods mean you can pick the type of coffee you prefer and the machine will do everything else. Well, actually not JUST the machine – the pods or capsules contain the exact amount of coffee ground to the correct level for the type of bean you prefer. And then sealed to keep it fresh.
What had I done wrong? Well, I prefer a long cup of coffee to expresso for the most part, and I’d set my machine to put as much water as possible through the pod. There are two buttons – one for expresso and one for ‘long’ coffee. But, even if you want an americano, you should, apparently, make it so that water only flows through the pod while the coffee mixture looks coffee coloured. Once you start to get dishwater, you are burning the coffee grounds. And, the best way to make an americano is to use the steam arm to add hot water to your cup, then pour in a 30ml shot of expresso.
I’ve also always made my coffee with boiling water. Usually in a cafetiere or french press. Once again, that will burn the coffee and give you a bitter taste.
On to the demonstration. Have you ever wondered how to make those frothy topped cappuccino coffees with a pretty heart? Well now I can! Or I could if I had the right metal jug. Apart from having the right kit, the trick is when you are foaming your milk to keep the jug static. No swirling it around, no lifting the nozzle in and out. Just keep it at the right level so you can hear that shloop noise as the steam goes in. You should get a lovely thick ‘meringue’ like milk froth. Pour that into your coffee, straight into the middle. And, at the last minute just flick the jug to make the heart shape.
Then, we got on to the *really* interesting bit. Coffee ‘desserts’ Expresso Nocciolato is made with a spoonful of nutella in the bottom of the dish, covered with a shot of hot expresso and then topped with what is usually called ‘squirty cream’ and chopped nuts.
Yum. I’m planning on making my own sinful version of this by adding in a measure of tia maria or something similar!
So, apart from all the delicious things you can make with your Lavazza ‘a Modo Mia’ machine, I’ve now found another excuse for drinking coffee. There have been some major studies into the potential health benefits of coffee. And so far it’s all looking good! The New York Times reported just a few days ago that a long term study of over 400,000 volunteers aged over 50 showed survival rates improved quite dramatically in both men and women who drank two or three cups of coffee a day over those who didn’t drink coffee. The same report has highlighted reductions in the risk of a whole range of diseases, including Alzheimers, cancer and diabetes.
So, now you can drink your coffee and know you are helping your health at the same time