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Tasty Scotch & Coffee combo!

I came across an article, Four Smooth, Boozy, Coffee-spiked Cocktails, and made up a Talisman. I didn’t follow the instructions exactly (I added ice to the shaker, and some bitters).  My resulting cocktail looked very appetizing – kind of a cross between a Guinness and a creamy latte with a nice foamy head 🙂

The taste was delicious! Creamy, and a touch of heat, almost like a mexican hot chocolate 🙂

Talisman

  • 1.5 oz scotch
  • .5 oz Drambuie
  • .75 oz agave syrup
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly brewed shot of espresso
    Couple dashes of Xocolatl bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker half-filled with ice, and shake well for 20-30 seconds.
Pour into a chilled coupe glass, and enjoy!

Fixing the espresso machine

Andreja_premium Well, after 7 years of almost daily use, it appears that the pump has failed on my Andreja Premium espresso machine.

The machine uses a 52W, ULKA EAX5 vibe pump – and as it turns out, this is a fairly commonly used pump in espresso machines.  I also found prices varied wildly.  The dealer where I purchased the machine originally sells the replacement pump for $95.  I found a replacement on Ebay for $39.99.

Ulka_52WattAfter getting the new pump swapped in, the machine seemed to be working fine.  Then, this morning, it seemed to have stopped again 🙁

So, removed the casing from the machine and hooked the water supply back up, and this time I tested things out  with the cover off.  This allowed me to see the water flow.  Everything worked fine. Maybe I kinked a hose as I put the machine back together?

I carefully put everything back together – making sure no hoses were kinked, and tested the machine again – everything was 100%.  This morning, the timer kicked in and turned the machine on at 6:00 AM, and at 7:00, I pulled a double shot with no issues.  I think that the shot was up there with some of the best that I’ve done!

Something I came across, that might be useful in future, is this page describing the process of repairing the ULKA pump itself – with lots of photos and additional comments from other readers.  I still have the old pump just in case.  They certainly aren’t that complex!

Aeropress

I finally picked up an Aerobie Aeropress coffee maker today from St. City Roasters.

aeropress_setupI’ve been wanting something to make a single cup of coffee for a while… I’m finding that with the heat lately, I haven’t always been finishing the coffee I make in the morning… and it doesn’t feel right dumping coffee down the drain.

Anyway, I tried it out this evening for the first time… putting a couple spoonfuls of fresh ground Organic Timor Maubesse beans into the coffee maker. I boiled up some water, then waited a couple minutes for the temperature to drop down a bit. Poured a little in to moisten the grounds as recommended, then poured in the rest and gave it the 10 second stir before putting in the plunger and pressing out a mug full of coffee.

The results were VERY pleasing 🙂 It was an excellent cup of coffee, and unlike my normal coffee from my Starbucks Grande Barista coffee maker, there was no coffee silt at the bottom of the mug. The coffee was very rich in flavour, no bitterness whatsoever. Absolutely delicious !

I ended up picking up another one for the office… and there will likely be more than one purchased as Christmas gifts for a few relatives that I know enjoy a good cup of coffee. Will also be awesome when away camping or fishing!

The Search for Coffee Nirvana

Well, just in case anyone is wondering why the heck is this guy posting coffee stuff… my enjoyment of coffee has been rekindled. I finally got totally pissed off at the lukewarm toiletwater that our old Braun coffee maker was producing. So, after some fairly extensive searching on Google, I found coffeegeek.com. I was looking for a replacement coffee maker that would meet 3 requirements:

  • 10+ cups
  • Thermal carafe
  • Proper brewing temperature

Starbucks_Barista_Aroma_Grande_Thermal_CoffeemakerI found a number of posts about the Starbucks coffee makers on coffeegeek.com, and a couple other review sites. No really adverse opinions, and in general, a good solid machine that met the three requirements, and I could actually go to a store and see one. So, popped into a Starbucks and they happened to have a deal on a Barista Aroma Grande coffeemaker.

pc-grinderI’ve known that freshly ground coffee was the best, and learnt that those little blade grinders are not the ideal – and discovered a great deal at Superstore for a little ceramic burr grinder for only $30. Picked it up and went by St. City Roasters for some more beans to test out the new little grinder.

After a month or so, I’ve put about 5lbs of coffee through the grinder and coffeemaker, and have been very pleased pot after pot. I had to pick up a Thermos to empty the carafe into in the morning, so that I could enjoy the coffee at work instead of wasting anything from my morning pot.