Thursday, September 23, 2010

Creme de la Crema

Nope. That's not a typo. In the title, I mean.

Crema is the term the Italians use to describe the golden layer of liquid on top of the espresso. In the same vein, espresso is also an Italian term used to call the extract of coffee that's the base of many many beautiful caffeine creations such as macchiato, americano, caffe latte, flat white, cappuccino, mocha and affogato. Those who frequent Gloria Jeans or Starbucks would be familiar with those Italian terms.

Truth to be told, sometimes I wonder if Mama is trying to turn our home into a cafe. Poor Dad has been turned into a lab rat. Not that he minds drinking copious cups of latte, flat white, cappuccino, mocha, macchiato and even hot chocolate. What has been happening?

Well, there was a "sale" at the famous Sydney Coffee School where you get 50% off the fees for a limited period. And, trust my Mama in not letting any "sale" pass her by. (OK...there are exceptions to the rule...like how she turned down her friends' invitation to the Noritake wholesaler's sale...but that's another story altogether.)

So, I digress. Anyway, instead of trawling the streets of Sydney for the best cuppa, Mama decided to make THE best cuppa by enrolling in a coffee barista class. Serious! She even went on to also sign up for the latte art class and get an accreditation for her skills. Then, she dragged us to Target and bought this set of espresso machine and coffee grinder. Then, she went to Gloria Jeans, Jamaica Blues and Robert Timm's to buy their coffee beans. Nope, not the ready ground ones, just whole roasted beans. Organic, Fairtrade, the whole lot. Oh, there were talks of her planting coffee at Dad's village but I treat that as wishful thinking. For now.

Hmmm....tea time is never the same again at our house. Oh, don't even let me get started on Mama's tea collection. That deserves another entry. OK, who wants a bottle of Nescafe? Nobody drinks that anymore around here.

The basics first: espresso with crema on top (about 30ml) with enough textured milk turn an ordinary cup of coffee into black gold.

Ms EM was Mama's teacher for the day. Look at those intricate designs of the cuppa. That's latte art.

Mama's interpretation of latte art. It's freestyling, she said. Designs are created using milk foam, chocolate and a bamboo stick.

Mama's first attempt at creating "the fern" with a single pour, meaning latte art is created by a special way of pouring the milk instead of using bamboo stick and chocolate sauce. (see above)

And her first attempt at creating the love-heart design with a single pour too.

The teacher's version of love-heart that Mama had to aspire to.

Exquisite "fern" that the teacher did as sample for Mama to follow.

Finally! After hours of trying, Mama succeeded in making this.

And this too! Only then that she gets the accreditation.

Hmmm....coffee, anyone? purrr....meow!

46 comments:

Monyet King said...

Monyet wisdom : At tea-time, drink tea. Coffee is only for cats.

masterwordsmith said...

Exquisite, darling!! There are a couple of cafes in Penang that do this beautifully. I have tried it MOST disastrously...Well done! I hope your mama can make me a cuppa one day when we get to meet!

Thanks for sharing!

Salam

Kak Ezza@makcik blogger said...

Nope, no coffee to me angelina...sebab kalau i minum it will end up to the toilet several times...any teh tarik please!!!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Your Highness,
We also drink chai latte and hot chocolate. With toasted banana bread...yummmm.... purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Paula,
Hmmm...soon there'll be a Cafe Angelina somewhere... purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Ezza,
So you fancy tea more than coffee? No worries. Last count we have: T2 chamomile, Twining's Earl Grey, Traditional Afternoon, Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Russian Caravan, Prince of Wales, Orange Pekoe and BOH. Pilih saja yang mana satu. Or, chai latte? purrr....meow!

Naz said...

Hello darling!
If your mama needs any volunteer to finish up all those coffee while she tries all the beautiful designs, count me in OK.
Coffeeeeee anytime! :)

Pi Bani said...

KOPI-O SATU! KAWWW PUNYA!

Madam Tai Tai No More said...

Your mom is something huh, Angelina. She makes great kuih cara and now beautifully designed latte.

I'm kinda hooked to latte recently. Previously I will only take black coffee. But my coffee must always be a decaffeinated one. Kalau tak tak tidur semalaman lah jawabnya.

Enjoy your latte!

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Angelina,
How long do Ayoh Wan have to wait for Cafe Angelina somewhere..
Maybe you can make those misai kucing coffee brew for Ayoh Wang.. hiargh ha..

Razee Salleh said...

Heya,

Nice one this. It actually is not as easy as it looks (and I am sure your mama will attest to this). Lots of it is science - getting the milk just hot enough, getting the coffee well extracted etc, and the rest is art. I have been trained to do this but I still worry at having to make a cuppa where I work at.

Tell your mama her fern looks great!

@monyet king: I have to agree with you. a good orange pekoe is like way up there with the rest of life's greatest pleasures, tho at times nothing quite kicks like a good espresso.

@Kak Ezza: perhaps you can try the less acidic coffees then? stay away from the South American beans, they tend to be a bit acidic, some say this is the cause of the tummy discomfort.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Naz,
Your adoption is still in progress....and you'll have to move here too. Then we can have great cuppa anytime.... purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Errr...we don't do those Tongkat Ali or Kacip Fatimah or 3-in-1 types.... purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Gina,
Only decaf? Or, are you also one of those who drinks skinny latte? Hmmm...am sure we can arrange for some decaf beans from somewhere. Promise you'll come though. purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
We definitely can try stirring the brew with misai kucing! (the whiskers, not the herb) As for Cafe Angelina....hmmm....if you can find the investors, why not? Anywhere...even in Pulau Duyung or Bukit Besar. purrrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Razee,
Dad has been cruel too, giving Mama bad ratings like 3/10 but with a wink and a sly smile on the side. Oh, Mama finds it a bit "leceh" adjusting from that humongous $5K commercial machine to the $500 home machine. But then, considering that the commercial machine is all automated, there's actually no excuse for the cafes to make bad coffee, eh? Yes, heaps of science in it but what's also important is the passion of the barista and experienced enough to adjust the grinding machine as the day progresses. purrr....meow!

Au and Target said...

Do you think your mummy will come and make me coffee? I looooove coffee!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Ellen,
Would Mama be willing to carry all of those coffee making stuff with her too? OK, take a number. purrr....meow!

mokjadeandell said...

Dell : me no coffee,but mamason once let me drink the tinned milk.No, I dont like it.Mamajade's taste better.
Jade : Dah tua tua pun,dok sentel susu lagi.Tak malu langsung Dell ni.

Sandy said...

hey, that's beautiful !! Tell your mama to keep on practicing so I can learn from her someday hehehe ..when I get the chance to visit Sydney.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Tsk tsk tsk...Dell, apa ni dah tua-tua pun nak "nenen" lagi? purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Hie Sandy! You're not far from us! In fact, you can even do some serious island hopping and before you know it, you'll be at our doorstep. Love your blog. Love that "macet" pix. Yeah, crazy bus drivers are everywhere. Even Down Under! Mampir lagi ya? purrr....meow!

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Yumms! Coofffeee... I need coffeee. But I am nicely cocooned in my warm duvet.. can I have room service, cat?

Wan Sharif said...

OOps ,
Finding investors..boleh.. kena tunggu Angelina pandai buat all those coffee dulu.. doakan Ayoh Wang berjaya dengan current farming project ni berjaya.. tentu Ayoh Wang boleh consider another investment..
Thanks a zillion for second visits.. ha kira nie balasan lawatan kedua dari Ayoh Wang..
like your aunty Ninot said "...

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Andrea dear,
In your case, it's not just coffee that we'll deliver to your room......... but also cookies and biscotti and cakes and brownies and pies! (what were you thinking?) purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
We believe that "kunjung-mengunjung membawa bahagia" sokmo! Mari kita sama-sama dream of Cafe Angelina first, lama-lama esok jadi kenyataan.... purrr...meow!

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Dear Kitties,
Your Mama and I would get on like a house on fire! I love coffee! We brew pots of them on football night, and when we come home from work. Your Mama's latte art is great! Her artwork looks so professional, especially that palm-frond-like design! Your Dad is very lucky indeed to have someone who loves making coffee. I wouldn't drink anything else if I lived in the same house!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

CO78,
Would you like to inherit Mama's percolator? Don't think she'll be using that anymore now that we have espresso machine. We've been egging her to draw a cat on a latte but so far she's only done some whiskers. purrr....meow!

The Teacher's Pets said...

Hello!
I am sooo glad you decided to join us yesterday for the THANKFUL FUR 3 THURSDAY BLOG HOP at http://theteacherspets.blogspot.com and I hope you made plenty of new friends by joining us! I hope you made friends with our co-host, a tabby cat named Brian at http://brianshome-me.blogspot.com too because he is a very wise and wonderful kitty.
I really love the name of your blog...very original! I also love your header too...very creative!
Your mom sure does have an artistic flair when it comes to coffee and espresso! I loved the designs! Are you going to be the taste tester, kitty?
P.S. I am your newest RSS Feed Reader and I hope you will follow my blog too!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Purrr....welcome Teacher's Pets! How may I address you? Drop by again for latte, a chat or even TLC. purrr....meow!

tireless mom said...

I saw the skillful barista did it at KL Convec the other day, and wow I was amazed. I am sure your mum will asquire the skill of designing it in no time. Unfortunately, I tak minum kopi lah, tak tau nak appreciate keenakan rasa kopi sebenar.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Cat, I love coffee, as well this one in your posting. It sure looks delicious!
But believe it or not, I've never stepped into Starbucks, nor keen on those designer coffee....I love to make my own.
Maxwell House Rich Blend, and iced.
Have fun and keep well, Lee.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Yatt,
No worries. We'll make designer chai latte for you, OK? purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Lee,
We're not Starbucks fans too. That's why decided to have her own machine at home. Am sure with the right ice crusher, we'll whip a super duper ice-blended coffee for you. yummm.... purrr....meow!

Aimy Bazura Mohamed said...

Not a bad job at all! Congrats to your Mama..

Now I can look forward to having her specially made latte when I go and visit, eh?

TK said...

Hi! I love all types of coffee especially latte and macchiato. Kopi Kemaman kopitiam pun I like so much.
I love the latte art and always wonder how do we get that love shape!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Aimy,
Just latte? Mintaklah Mama to make cappuccino ke, mocha ke....purrr...meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

TK Sensei,
Ahhh...a coffee lover too, eh? Nanti kita main-main melukis on buih susu, OK? purrr...meow!

Al-Manar said...

What a shame I do not take coffee. Jaga badan.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
Jaga badan? Hmmm...maybe we can offer you hot chocolate or chai latte instead? purrr....meow!

Sandy said...

Yepp, I could drop by there to check out on your mom's Latte progress haha, I have a brother in Australia. It's either macet or banjir here in Jakarta ><.. Your mom is Malaysian kah? I used to study in Malaysia too ^^

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Hi Sandy,
My Mama? Oh, she's a citizen of the world, she said. Please drop by if ever you come visit your brother. Is he in Sydney? purrr....meow!

I amsterdam said...

Who drinks nescafe anymore??? Huawawaaa... I do... :(

I would love to have one of those fancy art latte machine....

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Mother of Ilham,
Jangan nangislah...come...I'll make you a cup of coffee, OK? purrr....meow!

Sandy said...

Hi Cat, my brother is in Perth. Check out my blog, I just posted some cat videos there haha :D

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Tante Sandy,
Perth? That's so far away from us! I think Jakarta would be nearer for us. purrr....meow!