Coffee is my passion and yes, addiction. Maybe a little bit of :"I have a low blood pressure, I need it.." and so on... If you enjoy it as much as I do, check some recipes here and indulge in artistic side of the coffee.

More of Latte Art and Latte Art Competition in Vancouver 2010 at this post

Art of coffee drinking / coffee drink recipes/my coffee reviews

Fresh grinding is a first very important step in making perfect cup of any type of coffee, including espresso. Degree of grinding relates to the way of brewing. The finest, Turkish grind is set for a Turkish coffee, that actually dos not separate coffee grinds from a coffee drink. In this process grind coffee and water are brewed in a same pot and drank at the same time.

Key brewing factors

*degree of grind of the grind coffee
*ratio of water to coffee
*quality and temperature of water
*time of contact between water and coffee

Espresso types

Espresso is very versatile coffee, comparing to any other kind.

Espresso normal
1tbsp coffee is extracted by 93-96C/199-204F highly pressurized water to get around 40ml (1 ½ oz) of brewed espresso coffee

Normal espresso with 1 tbsp of foamed milk on top.

Normal espresso served with piece of lemon peel. I guess, it got its name where originated- Roma(Rome)

Basic espresso made with reduced water, sized to 25 ml, as expected twice strongest than regular.

Italian breakfast favorite: regular espresso with grappa (Italian grape schnapps)

Con panna/ Tazza d'oro
Macchiato but instead of foam, with a whipped cream on a top. My favorite!

Twice a coffee than a regular and twice a volume. Twice a caffeine as well.

Lungo or Americano
Normally brewed espresso with extra hot water, volume around 80ml.

Recipes with coffee

Non-alcoholic coffee drinks

Thai Iced coffee

4 cardamom pods (½ tsp ground)
½ cup ground coffee (for French press)
2 cups boiling water
sugar to taste
crushed ice
¼ to ½ sweetened condensed or evaporated milk

Combine grind cardamom and coffee, and steep in a French press for 10 min. Stir sugar in a filtered coffee and divide it equally between two glasses with ice. Pour sweetened condensed milk gently over so that it floats at the top of the glass.


2 cups espresso or similarly strong coffee
2 cups apple juice
2 tbsp apple juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 oranges, thinly sliced
2 small cinnamon sticks
pinch of ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves
cinnamon stick to serve

Bring all the ingredients to the boil over a moderate heat, than reduce the heat and simmer for 10 min. Strain the liquid in a jug. Pour into cappuccino cups, adding cinnamon sticks.

Georgia 'n Ginger

1 can of sliced peaches in syrup
3 cups of strong coffee
½ cup whipping cream
1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Drain the peaches, retaining the syrup. In a blender process half of coffee and peaches for 1 min. In a clean bowl whip the cream taking care not to over whip. Place 1 cup cold water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and peach syrup in a saucepan and bring to the boil over moderate heat, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 min. Add the blended peaches and the remaining coffee to the pan and stir well Serve topped with whipped cream and decorated with orange zest.

Coffee yogurt

Variation of “lassi”- famous Indian drink

11/2 cups cold black coffee
1 ½ cups natural yogurt
4 tsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Mix until creamy and serve sprinkled with cinnamon.

Masala coffee
(Karalan cappuccino)

2 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 cm piece of ginger
2 tbsp freshly ground coffee
5 cardamom seeds, pounded
1 cinnamon stick
cocoa powder

Simmer milk and sugar over low heat. Roast ginger for a couple of minutes on each side, crush it and release the juices. Add to the milk with coffee, cardamom and cinnamon. Cover and let it steep for few minutes. Strain and froth. Serve hot with sprinkled cocoa.

Coffee drinks with alcohol

Tiramisu coffee

Norvegian baristas won World barista's championchip in 2004 in Trieste Italy. This drink was later honoured WBC Signature drink of the year.

for Marsala syrup
2 ½ cups Marsala (or sherry)
1 cup plus 2 tsp sugar

2 medium egg yolks, room temperature
1 tsp sugar
120 gr (4 oz) mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp whole milk
4 tbsp (30 gr) finely ground coffee
1oz (30 gr) grated dark chocolate, preferred orange flavor

To prepare Marsala syrup:
Boil Marsala and sugar and simmer for 30-45r min until all the alcohol and liquid has disappeared and you get a thick syrup. Let cool.
Beat egg yolks, confectioner's sugar and 2 tbsp of Marsala syrup in a bowl. Thin mascarpone with whole milk and fold it in to egg mixture and whisk until fluffy. Transfer to a pitcher.
Brew 3 oz of espresso from each 2 tbsp of coffee. Stir remaining sugar in espresso.
Split coffee in four martini glasses. Pour over mascarpone mixture (1cm-2 inch) and garnish with a grated chocolate.

Jamaican Black coffee

1 lemon and 2 oranges, finely sliced
6 ¼ cup black coffee (filter brewed)
3 tbsp rum
½ cup sugar
8 lemon slices for serving

Place the lemon and oranges in a saucepan. Add coffee and heat. When the mixture is about to boil, pour in the rum and sugar, While coffee is still hot pour it in a cups.

French Toddy

½ cup Calvados
¼ cup apricot brandy
5 tsp sugar
1 ¼ cups strong coffee
11/2 tbsp heavy cream

Warm up Calvados and Brandy together over a low heat and transfer to balloon glasses. Dissolve the sugar in the coffee and add to the liqueurs. Stir and add cream.


Dark and white chocolate with mints
¼ cup green crème de menthe
¼ cup coffee liqueur
1 ½ cups hot strong coffee
¼ cup whipping cream

Cut the dark and white chocolate mints diagonally in half. Pour hot coffee over and other ingredients. Stir well. Whipping Cream on top.

Cafe Brulot

6 tbsp brandy or rum
¼ cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
2 tbsp sugar
7 cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
1 strip of lemon and orange peel
3 cups strong coffee

Heat all the ingredients except coffee together. Stir in coffee and serve with cinnamon sticks and orange rinds.

Coffee Egg nog

8 eggs separated
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of strong coffee
1 cup whiskey, rum or brandy
1 cup cold heavy cream
½ cup whipped cream

Beet the egg yolks, add sugar. Heat the mixture over a low heat stirring all the time. Remove from a heat, stir in coffee and whiskey and slowly add cream. Beat egg whites and add to the mixture. Top with whipping cream.


Coconut Coffee Salami

I have never missed to make this cake for the Holidays in a last thirty years.  Although amount of butter is pretty insignificant I have replaced it with milk in my second version, to reduce saturated fat. It really makes no difference in taste. I also added hazelnuts, just because of my personal affinity.
What more to say about this sweet roll.., oh yes, there is no baking involved!

Original Salami recipe:

350 gr finely ground biscuits (lightly sweetened)
150 gr powder sugar
50 gr melted semisweet chocolate
2 dl brewed coffee (possibly espresso or any strong)
White fill:
100 gr coconut
120 gr unsalted butter
100 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 dl milk

Mix together ground biscuits, 150 gr of sugar, melted chocolate and cooled coffee . Make a rectangle with a sides in proportion of 2:1,(one side two times bigger than the other), thick 1 cm (½ inch). This mass has to be soft, not crumbly, so it can be rolled into a roll (salami).
At the same time, in a small saucepan boil together coconut, butter, sugar and vanilla and milk and cool. Spread over a coffee rectangle and roll from a longer side towards the other, until its compact and completely rolled. Press around to get more compact mass and than roll in a plastic or parchment paper. Leave it in a fridge for at least five to six hours or over night.
Cut in a rolls 1 cm (½ inch) thick.

No butter version

250 gr finely ground biscuits (lightly sweetened)
150 gr powder sugar
50 gr melted semisweet chocolate
100 gr ground ,roasted and skinned hazelnuts
2 dl brewed coffee (possibly espresso or any strong)

White fill:
150 gr unsweetened coconut
130 gr sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 dl milk

Coffee hazelnut macaroons

115 gr / 2/3 cup - hazelnuts (baked, skinned, ground)
225 gr/ 1 cup sugar
15ml/1 tbsp rice flour (ground rice)
10 ml/2 tsp finely ground coffee
2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Mix ground nuts with sugar, ground rice and coffee. Stir in the whipped egg whites to make a stiff paste. Pipe rounds on a baking pan with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 min.

Espresso makers

The best I had stove top maker!
Invest in quality good brand for best cup!

Or one very unusual and mysterious (Vietnamese?)

Still not sure how to use this one

Recipe for the best homemade Coconut Latte

It is so simple, but the natural whole coconut taste of this latte - very impressive! 

You'll need: (beside espresso)

coconut milk + milk

for the decoration: cocoa, coconut flakes

sugar (up to you) 

1.Start with fresh espresso

2. Pour  approximately 1/2 cup of milk and coconut milk (2/3 of milk and 1/3 of coconut milk) in the pot where you make a milk foam for latte.  If your espresso machine does not make a good foam, I suggest to use your stove as explained below. My personal experience with many good and bad espresso makers, made me make milk foam always on the stove top this way.
Foam thickness was incomparable!

Add espresso in your latte cup

Make a coconut foam the way you like it *(see below if you only have hand mixer of all gadgets) and add to the sweetened espresso


If you care about presentation, add some cocoa etc..


Anyhow, if you love coffee and coconut, this is the best way to treat yourself at home.

* How to froth milk without any frothing gadgets

stove-top !

Warm up the milk in the pot, on the stove at the mild temperature to be very hot

Get the hand mixer or any working 
one you have

When the milk is almost scalded , but not boiled, turn off the stove and get the mixer in the milk and mix for 20-30 sec. until it gets that thick consistency.

If it's still very bubbly, mix more

Once the thickness is there,take it off the stove and use it

Coffee art :Espresso / Cappuccino cups

Great  espresso, piece of art in the hand, enjoy ....

Real Italian style.
Mexican colorful ceramics.Traditional and modern.

Thrift store finds:

My choice: Best coffee beans for home espresso

This is my personal list.
I have tasted probably hundreds of different espresso roasts in my life, while searching for that perfect cup. I must admit, I have rarely tasted that good coffees in Europe, that I have tasted here in North America. It must be the geostrategical position ...
I personally prefer dark roast, instead of espresso roast: it has more strength and more bold flavor. But not too dark with to much acidity in the aftertaste.
There is an excellent fair trade organic coffee selection now on the market from all over the world. It is fun to try them all, although there is a financial and consumer challenge, if you buy a bag of the coffee you don't like...

So here is my list, updated from time to time.. At the bottom you can find some big coffee disappointments, not worth of trying in my opinion:

At the Big Island, I had the opportunity to taste many different Kona coffees, from many different farms. As you drive around the island you can see the farms of coffee everywhere, especially in the southwest part of the island. They say that this coffee is the best in the world because of the volcanic soil it grows on and great weather. Trish, the owner of the "Kona Coffee Cafe" and coffee farm, where I had some amazing morning espresso, told me that, because of its quality and strength, when brewing Kona coffee, one should use 20% less coffee than usually. This store, as well as some other stores and farms, also make the famous "Donkey balls"- chocolate covered macadamia nuts and chocolate coffee beans.-

Great Kona-dark roast made by "Kona Coffee Cafe" 

Different farmers grow Kona coffee

So hardly comparable with any other coffee I pick my winner:

"Kona peaberry"
Is a top of the Kona coffee beens, usually dark roast, which is the best for my espresso, it is smallest and rarest of all the Kona coffee beans with a superb taste, with a little chocolate hint at the end and very low acidity (70% less than other coffees).  
my mark: 10

"100% Kona" dark roast
Ultimate winner for espresso style. I was lucky to taste Kona right where it grows on the Big Island Hawaii and from many different farms. They all deserve the highest mark, but I loved also Kona coffee "culture" around the island where you can taste the coffee right at the farm or the outlets, and talk to the owners and farmers. Their passion and love for their coffee and the island is so impressive.
 Don't mix it with blends of coffee where there is only 10% Kona.

my mark: 10

Other great coffees I recommend:

"Mbeya" Tanzania  (no more to find)
(my favourite for my everyday espresso; my mark: 9.75

Salt Spring
my rating: 8.75 7.5
Nice, bold but not enough strong for my espresso, recently dramaticaly changed in quality, so I lower its mark from 8.75 to 7.5.

Luwak Coffee my mark : n/a
(The most expensive coffee in the world, has special qualities and interesting origin described in the book of Massimo Marcone, food scientist from Guelph. Unique experience, unlike any other coffee. After tasting of half a cup of drip coffee,not espresso, I had an exquisite feeling like after tasting some extraordinary vine.
There is definitely much more than just caffeine in this cup of coffee!)

Terrelli Organic Espresso My mark: 9.0
Since I have a hard time finding my favorite Mbeya fair-trade coffee, I had to look hard for some satisfying replacement. I was lucky to find this extraordinary dark roast Italian way, but dark enough to satisfy my craving for bitter and still with that Italian aroma. Well balanced!

"Illy" - dark roast Italian My mark: 8

If you like that Italian taste and not too strong and bold flavor of your espresso, this is the one to stick too. It is way more expensive but has no comparison with other Italian cheep roasts, stores are flooded with, these days.

"Starbucks"-espresso roast My mark: 8.5

Very bold, dark and strong. Great taste, but too much of caffeine. I can personally feel it. Intake of caffeine don't interfere with my sleep usually, although I approximately drink two to three double espressos a day. With Starbucks usually one is enough prevent me from sleeping.

"Mogiana"-Brazilian espresso
                      and  french roast

My mark: 8.0

At a Brazilfest, I learned about this coffee and met the owner. Than I read more about this charming "Mogiana" fair trade farm where everyone live together as a one big family. The coffee won several awards.
It is very rich, flavourful and smooth with an interesting chocolate hint. Bourbon beans give very unique quality roast, good for drip and espresso. I like my cup of espresso more sharp and strong, so I blended it with a darker roast-Mogiana french roast, and the result was very satisfying.

"Kicking Horse" - Kick Ass
Amazing, the best organic dark for esspreso at the moment. I tested many over time, since many of the organic coffee producers are not in business anymore, so this is my pick currently.
 My mark: 9.25

Not to my taste: