Back in January, my friend Ahram and I went up to NYC. She is like an NYC expert, especially when it comes to food and restaurants! Speaking of which, I really should do a recap of that via this blog - we called it our NYC Food Tour.
Anyway, we went to Chelsea Market. Now, it was my first time there and can I please say, I want to live there. The most amazing food shops and Food Network?! Of course I'd feel right at home.
Anyway, at the Market, there was this cafe called Ninth Street Espresso. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit quirky when it comes to my coffee. I used to work at several cafes so I always got to make my coffee how I liked it. I like my milk steamed to 120 degrees because I want to drink it right then and there. Typically, milk is steamed to 160, then it typically rises about 10-15 degrees, and that's a tad too hot for me.
However, Ninth Street doesn't change their recipes, which I was put off by a little but I can respect that. Except for the fact that the barista was quite rude about it, so that was a little frustrating. I think the other barista sensed my frustration and started asking me questions about why I like my coffee the way I like it. She then pointed out the reason why they steam to 150 is because milk caramelizes at 140 degrees. How enlightening! She was so nice and I appreciated her knowledge.
But, I appreciated her even more because she exposed me to latte art!!! It's when you pour your steamed milk in a certain way to create designs in your espresso. How cool is that? I've been doing a lot of reading and am confident enough to try - I'll hopefully talk to some of my favorite local baristas into letting me behind the counter. I'll report back. Hopefully, there'll be pictures soon.
The picture above is from Mortefot from flickr.com.