Everyone these days is used to ordering Macchiattos, Irish coffees and Affogatos (Ice cream with espresso poured over it – in case you have been living under a rock for the last 5 years), but have you heard of these coffees?
1. Espresso Romano
A Romano is a short black coffee with a twist of lemon. It’s probably one of my favourite drinks to have during the hot summer months – there is something about the acidic lemon that melds with the coffee to create a beautiful and mellow flavour. There are different versions of this drink and each place seems to claim they are the original. Some cafes serve only the rind of the lemon, some also serve it with Annisette. Despite the name, it didn’t originate from Italy but most likely came from America (although some speculate France, too.)
As a barista, I was often asked for a decaf coffee. Rather than just making them a crappy decaf (most of the decaf was pre-ground and months old) I questioned the patrons a little more to discover if they were highly sensitive to caffeine or if the caffeine just affected them a little more than most. If the answer was the latter, I would offer a Ristretto as an alternative. A Ristretto directly translates to “Restricted” which means the caffeine is restricted by cutting the shot short. Most shots of coffee run for about 30 secs, however by stopping the shot after about 10-15 seconds you get all the great flavours of the coffee, without much of the caffeine (if you have read this blog, you’ll have learnt that the caffeine is the white colour of the pour which comes through towards the end of the shot and adds to the bitterness of the flavour.) Of course, not all of the caffeine is restricted, so don’t go handing these out to everyone who orders a decaf – make sure you investigate how sensitive the customer is first!
3. Puñet (Pronounced Poo-nay)
Rarely used anymore as people have opted for the term “3/4 latte” or “long macchiato” but the Puñet was for those people who liked having a latte but just wanted it to be that little bit stronger. Maybe it was just another fad like leg warmers, or maybe it was because the word, when pronounced, sounds too similar to a certain slang term that Ali G uses to describe a woman’s “beautiful flower”(direct Hawaiian translation), but the term does not exist anymore.
4. Eggnog Latte
It wouldn’t be in the Christmas spirit if I didn’t include some sort of Christmas drink, would it? The Eggnog Latte is Eggnog (raw eggs, milk, sugar and spices) with the espresso poured in. You can steam the milk if you prefer and you can also add some liquor if you feel so inclined.
I guarantee you’ve never heard of this coffee. I always get asked what coffee I drink (like there is some kind of advantage to drinking different coffees) and I answer: A Divisio. “What the hell is a Divisio?” is the question that generally follows. Well it’s a coffee that I made up. You see, I love drinking coffee, but as a coffee snob I like to taste the unadulterated flavours that can only be found in a short black. The problem with a short black is that my coffee experience is over in about 30 seconds. I don’t have the mental or physical resistance to down 10 shots of espresso so my experience lasts the 5 minutes so I invented the Divisio. Divisio stems from the italian word Diviso, meaning “Seperated”. How it works: I pour the two shots of coffee into one glass, i have a few sips of the espresso, tip a bit down the sink (I call that the “Save some for Jesus”, it’s my sacrifice to the coffee gods) and then make a latte with what is left. This way I get to taste the true flavours of the espresso and I get to see how it performs in the milk whilst enjoying a longer lasting coffee.
You might argue that all I’ve really made was two coffees: an espresso and a latte. You would be right in a way, but the key is that both coffees MUST come from the same pour, and the offering to the Gods is equally as important. You see now why I’m a snob?
I’ve also invented some other signature drinks (some that have failed miserably) including the Mango Latte, Banana latte and the V-latte. But let’s leave them for another day.
Are there any coffees that you have heard of that I may not have? Or what about your own inventions?
Leave some comments below and let me know.