Tuesday, May 17, 2005

spiced viennese cappuccino

(single serving)
3 oz water
1 tbs espresso, ground (try Lavazza Grand Espresso)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg or allspice
3 whole cloves, crushed
6 oz cold milk

Fill water reservoir of a Bialetti Moka Express with 3 oz water (do not fill past safety valve). In the coffee basket, place ground espresso and spices. Assemble Bialetti to form a tight seal and place on stove element over high heat. The pressure created when the water comes to boil will force steam up through the coffee and into the top chamber through a funnel. Remove from heat as soon as espresso has stopped welling up.

Pour cold milk into a narrow, deep metal frothing pitcher, fitted with a clip-on cappuccino thermometer.

Fill water reservoir of a Graziella for Cappuccino milk frother. Screw top assembly on tightly to form a seal. Place unit on stove element over high heat until steam begins to escape through top safety valve. Turn steam knob to release any condensed water. With knob closed, submerge tip of steam wand just below milk’s surface. Release steam into milk, incorporating air to create a thick head of froth, stopping when milk reaches between 66-77 degrees Celcius. (Note: Producing froth with the Graziella takes practice. Don’t be disappointed if your first attempts do little more than heat the milk (or if, until you develop a knack, the process produces noise that sounds like an irate Tasmanian devil.) In a 16 oz cup, begin by pouring espresso, then milk, holding back foam with a spoon. Top with foam. Beneissimo!

Cappuccino, a la Niles Crane: “Double cappuccino, half-caf, nonfat milk, with enough foam to be aesthetically pleasing, but not so much that it would leave a mustache.”

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