Category Archives: Coffee

Making the Best Pumpkin Spice Latte

Well, I had to try it. James Hoffman’s recent video was interesting. I ended up making 2 batches after a visit to the Silk Road Spice Merchant on Whyte Avenue.

The first one I followed his direction and recipe as closely and exact as possible. After measuring everything out, I ground it all up into a Krups Coffee & Spice grinder. One step I added was to heat the spice blend up on the stove prior to adding the water and pumpkin juice. I also used a light brown sugar instead of Demarra.

This initial batch ended up much thicker than what his seemed, so I made a second batch, which I combined with the first one. I made the second batch without pumpkin, and added green cardamom.

The syrup is definitely very flavorful, and makes a delicious latte! The biggest challenge I found was in trying to strain the syrup. I used a couple different sieves and also a muslin filter bag, and it took a long time – must have taken almost an hour! I’ll have to find a better strainer.

Here’s are the ingredients I used for my second batch of pumpkin spice:

Vietnamese Cassia Bark: 14g
Indonesian Cinnamon Quills: 14g
Powdered Ginger: 8g
Whole Cloves: 2g
Allspice: 2g
Whole Nutmeg: 7g
Green Cardamom: 3g

For the syrup, I used a light brown sugar – 350g, and 175g of water, and 25g of the pumpkin spice.

I also made the coffee infused whipping cream to top the latte – it was fantastic, and much easier to make! Will definitely make the whipping cream again, as well as the pumpkin spice. I think that I’ll like skip the syrup.

Dialing in the Espresso

My espresso machine has been working well, but I think I was getting lazy in spending time to properly dial in my beans – but after spending a little time this weekend doing just that – I realized what a difference it really makes!

I was motivated after taking apart the grouphead trying to resolve some excessive water dripping from it – I was going to take the parts into a local shop and basically rebuild and re-gasket the entire grouphead. Once I had all the parts out, and cleaned everything up, I realized it would be a couple days before I could get to the shop – and I didn’t want to be without my morning espresso’s, leaky machine or not!

So back together it went – and shockingly, the leaking went away, and I also found that the shot lever actually moved with little resistance – much like it did when I first got the machine over a decade ago!

Dialing in my shots didn’t take long at all I found – don’t know why I thought it was such a chore. I have the machine dispensing about 2 oz. of espresso in 29 seconds, with the portafilter dosed with 19-20 grams of beans.

Almond Milk & Lattes

Amazing how time goes by. It’s almost a year since we began a Keto way of eating – not 100% clean, but making an honest effort for the most part. It has proven to be a very positive change, not only in weight loss, but also been very helpful for my wife in managing diabetes.

We used to go through a fair bit of milk, and now we use none. We do go through whipping cream – perhaps a litre a week. Much of that was being used making lattes. Recently, after our blender broke down and I replaced it with a Vitamix, I’ve been making almond milk, and discovered that it is awesome steamed up and used for lattes.

Making the almond milk is so simple. I almost fill a 4 oz mason jar with almonds (unsalted), then fill the jar with water. After putting lid on the jar, I put it in the fridge. The next day, 12 – 24 hours later, I empty the mason jar into a sieve, and rinse the almonds under running water, then dump the almonds into the Vitamix. I add 2 cups of cold water, pop the lid onto the blender and run it at full power for about a minute or so if using blanched almonds, and maybe 30 seconds longer if using almonds with the skins still on them. I then pour the milk through a mesh bag. I’ve been saving the filtered almond pulp in the freezer, and will try using it like almond flour at some point :).

When making a latte, the almond milk steams up very nicely, and get’s slightly thicker and more cream-like. I’m able to get some very good microfoam and pour some pretty decent rosettes. The almond milk has a very mild flavour that doesn’t get in the way of the coffee flavours, unlike some of the commercial almond milks, that have various additives for stabilizers etc.

NXT Roasters

Just discovered NXT Roasters a couple weeks ago, and I’m pleased with their coffee so far, and their roaster is pretty cool too!

Bag of NXT Roasters Yellow Cataui coffee beans.

I’ve only tried their Brazilian Yellow Catuai beans – I prefer the medium roast of these beans, perhaps in future I’ll try some of their darker roasts.

I just picked up a couple more bags today, beans were roasted yesterday 🙂 I really like the bloom of the coffee when brewing, and the crema in the espresso shots is so rich and tasty.

Their roaster is very interesting, in that it recirculates the heated air, and through a special process, the air is cleaned before being exhausted. It has operated indoors without any chimney, and no burnt smell typical of other roasters I’ve seen, and is very efficient, using far less energy than conventional roasters. There’s some pretty detailed information on their roasting profiles for the different beans they use, and more information on the roaster itself in the NXT Roasters Blog.

Bulletproof Coffee – A Non-Dairy Variation

espresso shot, mct oil, cashews and cinnamon

We’ve adopted a ‘largely’ Keto way of eating for about 8 months now, and I’ve gotten used to blending my morning coffee with MCT oil and butter, and a pinch of cinnamon for fun. Took a little getting used to being a creature of habit – my habit being over a decade of pulling a double shot every morning and making an Americano to start my day – no cream, no sugar.

Well, after our old blender gave up and replacing it with a Vitamix, I thought I’d try something a little different. I came across a site using cashews as a milk replacement – and thought perhaps I would see how it fared replacing the butter in my coffee. I was very pleased with the result, and with hile there are a few carbs, it’s still a Keto-friendly drink with 8 carbs, 42g of fat, and 5 grams of protein. It’s has more of a milk feel in the mouth as well – butter seems to have an slicker or oilier feel.

Filling my mug…

Keto Cashew Bulletproof Coffee

Course Drinks
Keyword coffee, Keto, vitamix
Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 double shot espresso
  • 2 tbsp MCT oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts (optional: soak overnight in water)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (just off the boil, or from the espresso machine)
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. add MCT oil, espresso, hot water, cashew nuts and salt to the blender

  2. starting on low, start the blender, slowly turning the speed to max.

  3. blend at max for 20-30 seconds

  4. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Adjust the amount of hot water to the size of your mug.  Also, you might try adding a pinch of cinnamon, and/or a half-dime sized piece of 85% cacao dark chocolate to the blender…trust me 🙂 

If you choose not to soak your cashew nuts overnight, extend the blend time to 30-60 seconds.  This will pulverize the cashew nuts more, so there is virtually no solids left at the bottom of your drink.