Just like any beverage worth drinking, how one serves coffee is crucial. And just like no sommelier would dream of serving Barolo in a flute, expert espresso tasters won’t tolerate a cold or coloured cup. On the contrary: the Istituto Internazionale Assaggiatori Caffè (International Coffee Tasters Association) has codified the characteristics for the new official tasting cup.
It’s in ultra-white porcelain, which emphasizes the cream, with an elliptical bottom that allows the oils and fibres of the blend to emerge. Within the cup, a sign marks that right amount of coffee, 25 mm, which allows for an espresso that is neither too diluted or too concentrated, whose perfumes naturally converge towards the nose.
One detail helps the barista serve the cup at the proper temperature: the outer shape doesn’t allow for more than two cups to be piled on the cup warmer at one time. These cups are lightweight and manageable; the thick bottom maintains the heat of the coffee while the thinner upper part gives a refined sensation to your mouth.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.
The story of baked Alaska is much more than one of cake and ice cream. It’s a story of war and exile, scientific endeavour, and, depending on how you look at it, either political buffoonery or political astuteness.