Have a cuppa?


It was my first trip to Australia-a stopover for two days in Melbourne and my final destination, Sydney, for five days to attend a good, old friend’s wedding. And boy, I love Melbourne although it was quite a short get-away from buzzing life back at home. Thank God for friends who are sent all around the globe to fulfill the missions God has given them, I can leech on to friends to enjoy myself and experience life with less commercial aids. I prefer to avoid as much as I can for tours that are guided and tightly packed with pre-planned destinations.

One of the many things I did not have enough or rather will not have enough-the cafes and coffees in Melbourne! There are so many of them and most of them serve great coffee! I was introduced by a coffee-lover friend to a whole new world of coffee and cafes in the short span of less than forty-eight hours. We popped into like five cafes each day, trying out ristrato, expresso and latte. There was this one particular cafe that my coffee-lover friend swears by it… Degraves Expresso, located right in the middle of degraves street. There are many cafes and good ones actually but somehow, that felt different. The barista made the difference… not just a matter of skill but passion for the coffee, the product he was selling and his work. We had to order the ristretto, not every cafe serves it and not every barista can make it and make it well.

Ahem, a treat to knowledge!
Ristretto-a very “short” shot of expresso coffee. Originally this meant pulling a hand press faster than usual using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water came in contact with the grinds for a much shorter time the caffeine is extracted in reduced ratio to the flavorful coffee oils. The resultant shot could be described as bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness. All of these flavors are usually attributed to espresso in general, but are more pronounced in ristretto.  Today, with the hand press out of favor and modern automated machines generally less controllable, ristretto usually just means less water; a double espresso shot is typically around 60 ml (2 fl oz), while a double ristretto is typically 45 ml (1–1.5 fl oz). One modern method of “pulling” a ristretto shot is to grind the coffee finer than that used for normal espresso, and pull the shot for the same amount of time as a normal shot. The smaller spaces between the particles of finer-ground coffee allow less water to pass through, resulting in a shorter shot.

The Ristretto at Degraves was unbelievably superb! It was rich and creamy… full yet soothing with just-right bitter after-taste that lingered in my mouth – all I needed was just One Power Shot!

Hmmm, can’t really recall when I started drinking and enjoying coffee… must have been quite a while ago… Join me, have a cuppa?

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