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)