In honor of National Coffee Day on September 29th, we wanted to share an innovative, gourmet recipe that will kick your daily brew up a notch, courtesy of KRUPS brand ambassador and U.S. Barista Champion Samuel Lewontin.
Sam Lewontin has worked as a barista since 2001, and can currently be found behind the bar at Everyman Espresso in New York, one of the county’s top coffee shops, where he is the General Manager. Sam is also an experienced barista competitor, most recently winning the 2011 SCAA Northeast Regional Barista Competition, and placing 4th at the 2013 United States Barista Championships. Today, Sam serves as a brand ambassador for KRUPS, worldwide leader in kitchen appliances with a passion for the best brew.
What you’ll need:
- 1 double-shot espresso (use a naturally processed coffee from Ethiopia; Counter Culture’s Banko Gotiti works well here.)
- 2oz. whole milk
- 2oz half and half
- 1/4oz. honey syrup**
- 1tsp lemon zest
What to do:
1. Combine espresso and honey syrup in a 5-oz cappuccino cup and set aside.
2. Combine whole milk, half and half, and lemon zest in a small stainless-steel pitcher.
3. Heat and texturize milk mixture, using a steam wand or a milk frother, until pitcher is just hot to the touch. KRUPS has a great milk frother for under $100 that makes brewing your favorite coffeehouse treat like a barista champ at home easy and affordable.
4. Pour textured milk mixture over espresso-and-syrup mixture, filling cappuccino cup to the rim.***
A few different pieces of coffee history come together in this drink. First, I’ve chosen a naturally-processed coffee from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, and natural processing, in which the coffee fruit is allowed to dry on the seed before being milled off, is the traditional method there. Second, this drink calls back both to the cappuccino, which behind espresso itself is the most iconic representation of Italian coffee tradition, and to the Espresso Romano, which is served with a twist of lemon peel. Third, this drink is a cousin of the Caffe Nico, a signature drink at Espresso Vivace in Seattle, which is one of the forebears of contemporary specialty coffee in the US. In the end, though, it’s just comforting and delicious– perfect for a cool fall morning.
**For honey syrup, combine 2 parts honey with 1 part boiling water. Stir until fully integrated.
***Since milk gains volume when textured, there will be 3oz. or so of the milk mixture left over when we’ve finished pouring. Were we to use less milk, however, it would heat too fast, and we’d be unable to control its texture. Milk, sadly, cannot be reheated without affecting its flavor, but you can always use the remaining milk mixture to make a “Backward and Forward” for a friend!
“I’m a big fan of pairing specific coffees (brewed either as espresso or as filter coffee) and more basic coffee drinks with meals. This both cuts down on the work involved in the meal, and allows the flavors of the coffee and the food to interact without any added clutter. This being said, here are the sorts of coffees (and drinks) that I would recommend pairing with breakfast or with dessert:
Breakfast, if you’re sitting down to it, usually involves rich, hearty flavors– bacon, eggs, buttered toast, waffles, pancakes and the like. To cut through all that richness, I’d recommend filter coffees with bright, juicy, fruity flavors, served black. African coffees– from Ethiopia and Kenya in the summer and fall, and Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania in the winter and early spring– work particularly well, as do more lightly-roasted espressos of all stripes. There’s usually plenty of dairy elsewhere in the meal, but if you’re craving coffee and milk, a lighter and more delicate espresso-and-milk drink– say, a cappuccino– is the way to go.
For dessert, you’ll want darker, richer flavors to stand up to the the sweetness of what you’re eating. Filter coffees from Brazil, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Latin-American coffees roasted with an eye toward sugar flavors– nuttiness, caramel, and chocolate– should be your go-tos here. For espresso, look to more traditional blends and roast profiles, either straight or in a small, dense drink like a macchiato. For a decadent punctuation mark on the end of a meal, prepare your macchiato with half and half instead of milk.”