Category Archives: latteart

An Epic Experience at Epic Espresso


The Epic Espresso Blend has been one of my favourite espresso blend for quite some time. And of course, I had Simon to thank for introducing this lovely coffee to me. And being the true fan of Epic himself, he went to visit EPIC for a coffee spree. Below are the accounts from the man himself:

Adventure at Epic

Finally, after years of drinking the Epic Blend, I am finally visiting the famous café in Western Australia. Can Epic lives up to its tremendous reputation?

We were greeted with the fresh aroma of coffee even as we got off our car. The café is small and sits about 25 inside and another 10 outside. It spots a cool blend of retro and contemporary design. Nothing beats the industrial sound of human and machine combining to make great espresso.


KF Chan: note the price. very cheap if you are an Australian

Since the walkway between the bar and seating areas was quite small I was not able to observe the baristas in action. A few things I noticed though:

  • Every milk drink has latte art
  • They use the huge Synesso machines and Mazzar Robur grinders
  • The baristas adjusted the volume of the milk before doing free style latte art
  • They used the Greg Pullman tamper – and I found out later that the design was a collaboration between Greg and Epic.

Mr & Mrs Simon

First batch order – 1 Flat White, 1 Ristretto, 1 Latte, 1 Piccolo Latte and Affogato. The moment of truth as our orders arrived. The following comments were drinks ordered and consumed by me:
KF Chan: Greedy fella. Consume all by yourself??? Your wife just watch and take photos issit 😀

Flat White

No Sugar Needed

No Sugar Needed

Flat White – 1 part espresso and 5 part milk – incredibly sweet without any sugar yet does not take anything away from the coffee. Best milk based drink I have ever tasted!

Ristretto

Ristretto – The “restricted” shot of about 18ml of double espresso, nice deep red and brown colour – the shot is very intense with caramelised sweet finish. There’s not a single hint of bitterness. Not something I will drink often but a showcase of how good the Epic Blend can be.
KF Chan: Are you sure 18ml for a double ristretto? A single espresso shot is 30ml. 18ml for a double is too short, right?

Latte

Piccolo Latte

Belgian Chocolate Couverture

Then we were offered the “Mojo” – a drink only offered by the Barista to their friends. The base was a single shot espresso, then filled with Belgian Chocolate Couverture and topped with another double shot espresso – then the drink was stirred – taste a bit like liquor chocolate.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino

Mocha

Mocha

The next day I came back (and actually the day after next as well) and I tried their Cappuccino and Mocha. I usually dislike Mocha because it can taste a bit bitter when not done properly. This version was superb and silky smooth although it can be a bit too sweet for those who are used to drinking coffee without sugar.

No Extra Hot

No Extra Hot

KF Chan: Don’t insult the barista by requesting your coffee “Extra Hot”

Truly Epic Café lives up to its considerable reputation. I went to the café three days in a row. There was a slight drop in the quality on day 3 (with a different crew) but overall they displayed an absolute master class in preparing espresso drinks. Three days and AUD150 (RM450) spent – it was a great experience. Epic claimed they could possibly be one of the best espresso café in Australia – based on my experience I would not disagree.

Thank you Simon for these lovely photos and memories.
Note to self: Must visit Epic before I go.

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Signature Drink


What is better than Kopi Luwak?

After Kopi Luwak, it’s time for some “better” drink?

This is the Signature Drink (Coffee Beverage) with slight modification I used for the Barista Competition recently.


Of couse, it is made from the ever reliable Oscar Professional Espresso Machine.


Here is the SECRET ingrediant.


With some cream + brown sugar.


Some fresh Supremo Blend


Dosed… 18g


Tamped.


Tiger Stripping


Look at the crema!!!


Frothing the milk. Pleanty of steam from the Oscar.


A Heart


A Rosetta.


It is good…


It’s an EYE OPENING YUMMY EXPERIENCE.

An Affair with Silvia


Some time back, a friend of mine met Silvia and fall in love.

He brought her home and started a beautiful love affair.

The fact that Silvia is sexy and hot does not go unnoticed. Hey, I met her myself and I was drooling.
(I touched her too… but shhh….)

Nothing is perfect of course and Silvia tend to display this hot and cold treatment frequently. But she is also exciting, fun and full of energy. You should see her when she is blowing off steam.

But alas, after 10 months of passionate affair, Silvia is leaving. She was wooed by another.

To my dear friend: do not feel sad. Remember the great memory.

Remember how she has served you and comforted you. Remember how she lifted your spirit when you are tired.

And what many wives cannot do, you have counted on Silvia.

Remember the smoothness on your lips and the sweetness on your tongue. How she soothed you with her velvety touch.

How many but Silvia can make you a great cup of cappuccino?

Farewell Silvia. You will be missed.

Silvia

I sold my espresso machine


Goodbye my baby, goodbye my Gaggia Baby D.

It’s been a good 2 years and you have faithfully pull me lovely espresso, delicately give me microfoam for my cappuccino.

Though you are lousy at steaming milk and no power to blow steam when your life depends on it, i have trained you to exceed your primary functions. Together we make velvety, creamy  and sweet capuccino. Though your boiler is tiny, you are not finicky like that Ms. Silvia 🙂 Oh, did anyone tell you how fast you heat up? 10 minutes and you get yourself real HOT for me.

Now that you are with someone else, behave yourself and don’t bring shame to your Ex. Just joking, I know you wouldn’t.

Thank you for the good time. The last 2 drinks has been the best.

My Mocha

My Hot Chocolate

Truly the best and also the last.

Latte Art on Coffee


Not many cafes in Malaysia make their cappuccino or cafe latte with LATTE ART on them.

The word LATTE basically means MILK. So latte art means art made with milk.

Incidentally, many people went into Starbucks and asked for a latte not knowing that they were actually asking for MILK! Well, that how words lost their meaning. Perfectly meaningful words being mis-used. Back to the matter of latte art and cafes.

The only cafes I know of that serve their milk-based drinks with latte art are Espressamente Illy and Segafredo Espresso. And I don’t mean those cafes that shows us latte art only when interviewed by journalists or when they appear on media, or those where latte art only appears on their menu. Seems like Espressamente Illy and Segafredo Espresso cafes are the only that serves with latte art on a regular basis. Well, at least 8 out of 10 times is good enough for me.

Hey, if your cafe serves coffee with latte art, let me know. I want to come and try.

Note: let me qualify… when I say latte art, I meant those free pouring  latte art that shows a heart, an apple or a rosetta. NOT those who simple etched the surface with some chocolate sauce or colouring.

Is LATTE ART important to a cup of coffee? I assure you that latte art does enhanced that cup of coffee. How? Firstly, enjoying coffee is a sensory experience. It involve our whole senses. One of the very few things I like about Starbucks is how very cozy is their environment. (they can’t make a good cup of cappuccino if their lives is depending on it)  A nice cup of cappuccino with latte art shows how much care and details were put into making it.

Latte art on coffee basically enhances 2 aspects of consuming coffee. It is pleasant to the eyes and sweetly smooth on the tongue.

The fact that it is pleasing to the eyes is easy to understand, but there is another reason why it is lovely to the tongue.

In order to pour latte art like this picture (not by me unfortunately), the milk need to be correctly frothed. The stretching amd texturing must be well done and temperature must be ideal.

Actually, when you have correctly frothed milk, even without the art, it will still taste sweet and velvety.

And when you add the art, wow… that is a lovely coffee experience. With lovely milk and art, it can turn a lousy cup of coffee to be bearable. A bearable cup to average and an average cup of cofee to decent. And if you have quality fresh roasted coffee to begin with, you can get a GREAT cup of coffee.

Of yes, LATTE ART works on hot chocolate too.

Finally: don’t go and whacked the barista in Espressamente Illy or Segafredo Espresso if your cappuccino does not come with latte art , ok. Consider it a bonus. It is a difficult skills and take time to learn, practice and perfect.

Vibiemme Domobar Super – The Super Sexy Expresso Machine


Monday, 9th February 2009
Hari Chap Goh Mei.

The day I got to play with a Super Sexy, Cool and Kencang Espresso Machine.

Our friend Phil Liew got himself a brand new Vibiemme Domobar Super + Compak K3 Touch Grinder.
Cost approx: RM10K with all the professional tools thrown in (like espro tamper, knock-box, pitchers, and even a hands-on barista course).

The Specifications:

  • E61 Grouphead
  • Full Stainless Steel Body
  • 2.7L boiler and 4L water reservoir


Notice the grinder, tamper and knock-box on the right.


Front view: This is a manual machine, meaning you start and stop the brewing process manually.
The lever on the right of the grouphead is the brewing switch. Also warms up your cups nicely on top.


A closer look with the portafilter lock-in. Gives you double-vision due to the reflective nature of a shiny stainless steel body.


The 3.8L water tank and the 2.7L boiler is hidden under the steel compartment.


Phil got himself a naked portafilter too. Double espresso pouring out like hot honey.
It was yummy. The E61 grouphead ensures excellent temperature stabilty.
It’s not difficult to pull decent shots of espresso. With proper barista training, pulling excellent aromatic and sweet tasting espresso should be a norm (provided you got fresh roasted good quality beans).


(These shots were taken when I was pulling the espresso in the showroom)
Just to shows that it works the same whether in the showroom or back home 🙂


(Also taken from showroom)
Frothing milk is a joy. Plenty of steam and you can make silky, velvety microfoam milk.
It’s time to learn up some latte art. Alas, I can only make simple heart since I can’t practice on this machine everyday… sigh.