Showing posts from 2011

Something is really amiss...

"Something is really amiss when we can make a better cup of espresso and espresso machiatto or cappuccino from a CND$80 stove top Bialetti Brikka (well tamped!) than 90% of the coffee's we get served from cafes with either a manual espresso machine or an automated machine, most often with a high end professional grinder (most often set to the wrong grind). Of course we are using really high quality and well roasted beans (New Year's morning coffee was 10% El Salvador Alaska Finca (roasted by Discovery-Victoria), 30% Piendamo, Columbia (Intelligentsia), 30% Minais Gerias, Brazil, Fadenza Samam Baje, Yellow Burbon Peaberry (Galiano Coffee Lab), and 30% Hawaiian Red Catuai, Lava Java (Galiano Coffee Lab)...yet we are travelling with $60 Hario hand grinder (excellent travel grinder bye the way) and a milk frother!" LM 

Cafe Votiv, Vienna, Austria

Nicely located near an open park/area and the University. The cafe is fairly well presented with a decent espresso that tasted italian style roasted, yet not overly burnt, and even a little sweet. The cups are the correct size for an espresso macchiato. The barista didn't speak much english, but we had a body-speech conversation, with milk noises from the mouth. He was kind and friendly, allowing me to make some suggestions on how to make the milk a good consistency, since the standard in this cafe seems to be to use milk that has already been over-whipped and left in the container for an un-determined amount of time. Unfortunately the music was blasting, which I suspect is related to the stream of University students! Looking forward to the lunch!

Dommayer Cafe, Auhofstrabe 2, Vienna, Austria

In the late afternoon we visited the DOMMAYER Cafe, located in the 13th district. It came highly recommended as a place of importance with regards to experiencing a traditional  ‘Viennese Cafe’. The atmosphere has similarities to English pub culture; very comfortable, friendly, a place for families to gather and people to sit alone and read, and slightly ornate with an old world charm. It had the bonus of not having alcohol! Also, to our surprise it was quiet, except the buzz of conversation of locals, families and friends; it is funny to mention it, but a cafe without the blaring music is becoming more and more difficult to find! The cafe atmosphere was very pleasant! The DOMMAYER Cafe has all those good qualities but unfortunately lacks in the coffee department! We had a very boring, evenly-mono-chromatic, lightly burnt espresso macchiato (1 espresso: 1 steamed milk, in a espresso cup). I suppose for some people this is a perfect sounding cup, but as far as we are concerned coffee

Madiani, Vienna, Austria

Nasser at Madiani served us espresso Macchiato. He is a very open-minded and friendly guy with a good sense of humour. He expressed his hopes to upgrade his grinder because of its over grinding. The grinder has a sensor that keeps 10 to 15 cups of ground beans ready at all times. As well, Nasser has a friend who roasts beans and he plans to feature these at his cafe/restaurant. I was glad to hear that since the beans he is using now are italian style over roasted beans. But, with that said, the espresso macchiato was good.

Max + Muh, Deggendorf, Germany

Had a good night's rest in the NH hotel and went for an espresso at Max+Muh just across the street. They have a Mazzer Luigi Grinder and a dual head Astoria, proper size cups and decent beans. They served us an espresso macchiato, which had a single bean arabica roast from Brasilia, Amazonas. The milk was over frothed, a little too thick, but the coffee was liquorice, sweet orange and burnt chocolate - all what I have come to expect from some of the Brasilia beans. The Barista was open and friendly and the setting was modern and comfortable with a real-size sculpture of a cow painted with an american flag on it :)

Metropolitan, Bangla Sahib Road, New Delhi, India

The full Galiano Coffee Lab team was together in India. We stayed at the MET in New Delhi for a few nights. Each morning we would gather in the cafe/restaurant in the main foyer. On the menu is what they call an "espresso" from a Lavazza pod style machine. It is our belief through experience that many cafes are now touting espresso but are not actually making one! Somehow, cafes have been convinced, either through trickery or a lack of knowledge that putting (old) already prepared ground coffee in a pod capsule and into a machine and pressing a button is now called espresso. Whatever happened to the craft and enjoyment of learning all the necessary steps in creating a great cup of coffee/espresso?   The so called espresso that was served was an over-roasted, burnt tasting gut and throat burning coffee topped with over whipped milk that you can't get past your lips since it is so airy! We tried many times to lend a bit of knowledge to the staff, but the pride that comes fr

Palpung Institute, Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India

Setting: The cafe in the hotel ground floor is equipped with a La Scala dual head espresso machine, accompanied by a La Scala grinder. The espresso bar itself is elevated within a spacious, marble-floored room with very comfortable chairs. While happily kept warm, the cups are unfortunately of a single size- large. While this may suit the Americano drinker, it is unfortunate for espresso, cordato, flat white, macchiato....etc. Coffee: Upon entering the cafe, we found the grind to be excessively coarse. The friendly staff allowed us to adjust the setting and test several shots to become familiar with the espresso machine. A superb cordato was produced upon the third experimental iteration and was declared syrupey and chocalatey- a great result from Devan's blend. We hope that if we return, the steam wand will be clean and free of caked milk.

EMAHO, Rewalsar, India

Thinley is the Barista in robes that served us. He was receptive to our particularities. They served Devan's Organic Malabar; grinder needed adjusting but eventually gave a high noted espresso.

J.W. Marriott, Chandigarh, India

Sukhwinder and the barista in the morning that we forgot to get his name were open and passionate about coffee while initially hesitant to allow guests behind the bar, upon hearing that we could talk the talk they allowed us to brew the brew! There beans are Illy, which were slightly over-roasted, but the coffee was made with lots of care and attention. The setting for sipping was open, elegant and relaxing. We highly recommend the baked goods, especially the croissants.

Devan's, 131 Khanna Market, Lodhi Colony, Lodhi Colony New Delhi

On the outskirts of Delhi there is a fine roaster of India grown beans. The owner is a kind, relaxed and helpful fellow who provided us with well roasted beans to travel with throughout our time in India. We were delighted to find his roasted beans in Rewalsar!