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If you’ve ever been to Italy you’ll know that coffee is big business as it is treated with the utmost respect and graded for its quality and flavour.

 

In the cities and large towns there are coffee bars aplenty, yet these aren’t the coffee shops you see in England or the US.

The word bar is apt as this is where the  coffee is served. There are often bar stools, yet the changing of seats happens very often, with customers staying only seconds before leaving to carry on with daily life.

The serving of coffee is quick, instantaneous and in most cases it’s swallowed before the barista has printed off your receipt, as these bars are pit stops not cafes.

The quality of the coffee is taken for granted as these bars have perfected the art of using the finest beans to produce the coffee that brings customers back again and again. The stronger the better usually, as many stop off for an espresso, downing this is one, using the coffee as a pick me up just as you’d drink a single shot.

They do offer other types, yet most are all are served in a single shot glass, even the more indulgent such as the Nutella and cream espresso. Rather than used as a drink to savour, during the day coffee is used for its rejuvenating properties, rarely served with milk, the quality must be exceptional as the flavour has nowhere to hide.

It’s rare in England that we find a full bodied coffee that is creamy in texture even when black, naturally sweetened through the growing process so no sugar is needed and frothy enough to be able to drink as its served. Even the best chain coffee stores can be guilty of disguising the tastes of the bean so eventually there’s little left.

One dessert that uses only the finest black coffee is tiramisu. At the restaurant we use a secret recipe that incorporates egg yolk and mascarpone, however if you’ve got some fine coffee left in your pot, you can create this quick one any day of the week.

Ingredients

  • Sponge Fingers or Leftover Cake
  • Double Cream
  • Crème Fraiche
  • Almond essence
  • Chocolate
  • Icing Sugar
  • Rum
  • Strong Filter Coffee

Method:

Soak the sponge fingers or cake in the coffee then layer side by side in the bottom of a glass. Mix the crème fraiche with rum, pour over the sponge fingers then add one more sponge layer. Whisk a little almond essence and a tablespoon of icing sugar with the cream until it forms soft peaks. Spoon the cream into the glass and grate chocolate on the top.

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