The other day, I gave you a few pointers on how to make a visually outstanding cup of coffee. Today, will be another coffee post, but not quite as involved… it will just take a couple of “props” (you’ll see what I mean).
If you’re just picking up the Bring-it-Home series with this post and you’re a coffee drinker, I’d highly recommend heading back to my last (un)Gourmet Coffee post.
Start with espresso…
As with the coffee in my first (un)Gourmet Coffee post, I don’t recommend starting a wonderful coffee experience with a drip coffee maker. Remember, you’re trying to bring home a taste of France, and when you order un p’tit café it will NOT be drip-coffee… guaranteed!
A good alternative to the expensive “start-to-Finish” espresso machines, like DeLonghi for example, is a simply stove-top espresso maker (Bialetti is a good brand, although there are several). Such a maker will brew you up a great cup of full-bodied coffee. Here’s the quick run-down…
The water goes in the bottom, coffee grounds in the filter (in the middle) then screw the top on, place on the burner and turn to high (remove from burner once you hear the “whoosh” sound, letting you know it’s done.
all brewed… now what?
For today’s coffee there are a couple of options for preparing the milk (if you take milk or cream in your java).
- If you’d like to froth it like last time, go for it, you just won’t need as much of it. Alternatively…
- Simply heat your milk / cream in a small pitcher, prior to adding to the coffee.
For sweetner… the French will mostly use real sugar (if they’re sweetening at all) and they’ll either use small packets or, if in restaurants / cafés, you could also be given individually wrapped sugar cubes. I also like to sweeten with honey when we have some available.
Making the magic… props
For today’s treat, I’m not sure that there’s anything magical about preparing the coffee per sé; today it’s all about the presentation. With the exception of Starbucks and similar chains, the traditional p’tit café is served in small little demi-tasses such as the ones pictured below. Don’t worry if you don’t have ones as fancy as these, they just happen to be some of the ones we have, but any demi-tasse cup is great. Also, note that I’m not using frothed milk in any of these photos… I have used it in the demi-tasse and it’s a nice presentation as well, so either way is fine.
One More Thing!
In France, while it’s encouraged to order dessert with your coffee (you’ll definitely be wowed by SOMEthing!) it’s not particularly necessary as un café will almost without exception be served with un p’tit chocolat… a small, thin chocolate square (usually dark chocolate) on the side.
So in order to bring it home today… pick yourself up a packet of Lindt or Côte d’Or chocolate at your local grocery store and serve it alongside a nice little demi-tasse full of espresso.
Voilà! I hope you enjoy it!