Personal Interests

salsa and espresso

Salsa and Espresso

As with many of my interests in general, the intensity of my food is important to me, and two of the more intense things I enjoy are salsa and espresso.

Although it is increasingly easy to buy hot sauce over the Internet, (should I mention here how much I love HOT-wings?) my personal preference is to make my own. Click to get my salsa recipe. Ideally, for me a good salsa will not only make my mouth water, but my eyes as well.

Coffee has been a major enjoyment of mine since my first trip to Guatemala when I was just six years old. However, with the exponential growth in popularity of espresso in the U.S., I have had to jump on that wagon and make my own.

Making consistently good espresso (or any derivation from espresso such as a latte or cuppuccino) is somewhat of an art--and it certainly requires practice and paying attention to details. Here are a few tips that I can offer:

  1. Steam the milk (about 150-170 degrees F.) prior to pulling your espresso. The foam improves when you let it sit, espresso does not!
  2. Strive for a consistent time in pulling your shots of espresso. The amount of time it takes is a function of the grind of the beans, the amount you put in the basket, and how hard you tamp it down. It should take about 20 seconds to pull a double shot;
  3. Tamp firmly enough to make sure that there is a thick head of crema (oils) on every shot you pull. Otherwise you are just drinking strong coffee and not espresso! (If you tamp too firmly, the espresso will come out very slowly, and will have lots of crema, but it will tase burned.)

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