Queen of the Latte (354th new thing).

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Patrick and I were heading to Hop City on Day Three Hundred Fifty-Four to purchase some additions to my home brewing supplies. We never actually made it to the giant emporium of booze. Instead, we stopped for a coffee at Hodgepodge and my friend Lynne convinced me to try my hand at making a latte instead.

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Next time I’ll draw a feather. Or a heart.

“Laura Scott, Barista” has a nice ring to it, yes?

First the official barista, whose name was also Laura, demonstrated the latte-making process. I took notes detailing each step to the art:

1. Grind the beans into the holder.
2. Make a rounded top on the holder.
3. Thirty pounds of pressure onto the ground coffee with the mallet thing.
4. Insert into machine.
5. Pour milk into metal pitcher.
6. Steam the milk to make foam.
7. Brew the espresso for 20 seconds (with a timer). Coffee should come out of the spigot after five seconds.
8. Pour milk over espresso.
10. Clean everything.
11. Drink latte.

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After the demonstration, I tried my hand at creating my own version, with reminders along the way. Laura also double checked my work, making a better rounded top into my freshly ground beans and adding more pressure to the rounded scoop.

The espresso came out of its spigot after exactly 5 seconds and I intently watched the timer for fifteen more to ensure perfect timing. In the end, I made a yummy soy latte (mostly) all by myself.

I wouldn’t hire me as an official barista anytime soon without further training, but I certainly have more appreciation for the job. I can see why the job even has a unique, cool-sounding title.

 

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Hodgepodge (324th new thing).

July 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

My friend Lynne had been working on opening a coffee shop/gallery for quite awhile. The dream finally became a reality and on Day Three Hundred Twenty-Four for the first time I visited Hodgepodge Coffeehouse & Gallery, for the Grand Opening.

The Ever Hospitable Lynne

The space is lovely inside. With tall ceilings and large windows, everything is bright and open. There is a rotating collection of artwork for sale lining the walls and plenty of room to sit or stretch out. I met Lynne at the counter and helped myself to the complimentary wine and mini cupcakes, leaving a donation in return. I had a bite size red velvet and it was delicious. Coffee and cupcakes? What a wonderful combination.

Cupcakes!

I wandered around the expanse of the shop, seeing a couple people I knew and chatting briefly. Before too long it was time for me to head home to take care of Murphy, but I was really excited about visiting Hodgepodge again. With such a wonderful proprietor, how could anyone not be back?

Tall ceilings, big windows, and good coffee.

And you should visit too!

A Taste of Autumn (208th new thing).

November 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Inspired by a friend’s tweet about the outlandish price of a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, I decided to try the overpriced autumn delight as a new thing for Day Two Hundred Eight.

I stopped by the coffee shop after work and ordered the five dollar grande version of the drink with soy milk (because it makes it the perfect sweetness). The soy upped the total to like $5.30. I thought it had better be some damned good coffee. Especially the way I’ve heard people rave about it.

It tasted like coffee, with soy…and a little pumpkin spice flavor. A whole pump full, some of which got on the side of my cup in a sticky mess that was then transferred to my car steering wheel. And that was before I had even let the drink’s temperature chill long enough to take a real sip.

As I drove away, blowing on the drink to cool it down, and thinking that I should’ve gotten the whipped cream, I realized what I actually had been in the mood for on the second day of fall (temperature-wise) was a cuppa tea. A good ol’ cheap English brew, with a little sugar, and a little (non soy) milk.

Instant with milk and sugar (191st new thing).

October 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

I was on camera at work and noticed an interesting looking cylindrical packet of something next to me on the table. I asked the host what it was, with its Korean writing all over the plastic encasement. “Korean Instant Coffee,” he explained. “Want to try it?” Of course I did. A little pixie stick looking parcel that when added to hot water made a cup of joe, cream and sugar included? Hello, Day One Hundred Ninety-First new thing.

I headed to the breakroom and made my self a little pre-mixed cup. And it was tasty, the right amount of sweetness and creamer. Korean Coffee: 1, Sludge in the pot: 0.

Day Thirty-Seven. Frappuccino.

April 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

I stopped by CVS on my way into work on Day Thirty-Seven to pick up some Mucinex for a persistent cough that was still plaguing me. On the way to the checkout, I passed by a friend of mine from years ago. “Lance?” I asked after I had zoomed by. He looked up and exclaimed, “Laura Scott!” We caught up for a minute and headed to the checkout. On the way I went to pick up a bottled beverage and he extolled the virtues of a Starbucks Frappuccino, something I had never tried.

Me: “What flavor should I get?”

Lance: “I always get the regular coffee one.”

Me: “Is it sweet?”

Lance: “Ridiculously Sweet!”

Me: “Should I get the regular or large?”

Lance: “Oh get the large! It might upset your stomach, but it tastes really good going down.”

So on Day Thirty-Seven, I drank a large coffee flavored Frappuccino.

It was sweet and thick, and reminded me sort of of Bailey’s without the booze. A liquid milkshake. People walking by seeing my beige beverage all seemed to profess an enjoyment of the frappuccino. “So fatty, but so good.” I found it alright if you were in the mood for non-alcoholic Bailey’s, but over all thought it was way to sweet. About halfway through I started to reconsider my decision to purchase a large. 340 calories with 5 grams of fat. In a beverage. I could certainly see why for most people, the frappuccino is an uncommon indulgence.

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