Musings of a Coffee Novice


March 6, 2015


Want to take away any bitterness your coffee may have? Did you know that adding a pinch of salt, we recommend Sal del Mar Gourmet Sea Salt (, will take away the bitterness. Claudia, the proprietor of Sal del Mar gathered the recipe from The Food Network's, Alton Brown who is not only a cook, but in a way, a food scientist who explains the science behind cooking. Check out Alton Brown's entertaining segment on YouTube: Otherwise here's the written recipe...enjoy!


24 fluid ounces filtered water
1/2 cup freshly ground The Expresso Shoppe's Carioca blend
Pinch Sal del Mar gourmet sea salt
Bring water to a boil in an electric kettle or in the microwave. Meanwhile place the ground coffee and Sal del Mar into a 
French press carafe. Pour the water over the grounds. Place the plunger in the carafe but do not press down. Brew for 4 minutes,
then slowly push the plunger down. Drink immediately or hold in a thermos for up to 3 hours.



January 20, 2015


It happened to me the other day, twice in fact. I was stumped as I was perusing our local competition's website. “A white what? Flat? It that what it says? F-L-A-T, not fat?” Alright, great a new coffee drink someone invented to be “different” from the rest of the pack. Blah, blah... But coincidentally later that day, I was sitting at my local coffee café chain from the land of the Seahawks enjoying an afternoon coffee while my son devoured his doughnut, I looked up and saw a huge sign advertising “White Flat”. Now, I am very familiar with lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos with all their various permutations. But this way completely new territory for me. So I started my investigation.


An Export from Down Under

I discovered that a Flat White is an export from the land Down Under. After WWII, there was influx of Italian immigrants in the land of vegemite sandwiches. According to Wikipedia (, it was invented in the disco days of the 70's in Australia and later refined in New Zealand. Although that is up to debate for some. It is a tiny latte with a thin layer of microfoam. As I read this, I was like “isn't this just a new term for a wet cappuccino with less foam on top?" But alas there are technical differences.


Not your typical foam

Microfoam is not your typical foam; it is silky and velvety in consistency. Basically, the milk is steamed without frothing to 150-170° F. So the milk tastes different, sweeter, because the fats and the proteins in the milk are retained. When milk is steamed to scalding temperatures it looses that sweetness. When poured the milk forms a flat top opposed to the fluffy foam on top of a cappuccino or latte for example.


Ristretto run

But it doesn't end there, since the milk is different and some may say stronger. Therefore, the espresso must be stronger to compensate, a ristretto run is needed. Being the coffee novice, I have heard the term ristretto thrown around a couple of times at my job and coffee shops. But I was not really too familiar as to what it actually meant. Again, back to Wikipedia (, ristretto is traditionally a short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water.


So White Flat is indeed a legitimate espresso drink. It is traditionally served in a small 150-160 millilitre ceramic cup which (about 5-5.5 ounces). Just don't call it a tiny latte. Salute!


by The Expresso Shoppe's Master of Marketing & Design


January 14, 2014

This is my first official blog article for The Expresso Shoppe. I have taken over the reigns of our blog since our owner, my boss is busy roasting delicious coffee and making sure you have it as soon as it's packaged. Now, I consider myself a fairly educated coffee drinker. Actually, I cut my teeth drinking espresso, granted they were cappuccinos, in my youth during a college summer internship in Rome. But when I was hired and named "Master of Marketing & Design" for The Expresso Shoppe, I quickly learned I had much more to learn about coffee.

So this is a beginning of my exploration into the coffee world. I will be covering various topics from recipes, products, tips & tricks and also the basics for you novices like me. Stay tuned...


by The Expresso Shoppe's Master of Marketing & Design