Joined Jan 24, 2011
Here is one of my favourites:


Enjoy ! The good thing about coffee is that you can be inventive/img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
My favorite is Kona. The true kind (whatever that may be, LOL), not the 10% blendy stuff we get in grocery stores. Since the cost is close to a mortgage payment I can only get it after I pick enough winning horses. I like using real, heavy cream and raw style turbinado sugar. Yummo, Dee-Lish.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
I'm unsure what you're seeking.  To my mind "barista style," hot coffee drinks start with the skills (and equipment) necessary to pull a decent shot of espresso and foam a pitcher of milk to "chrome."  How far along that continuum are you?  If the answer is "not very," perhaps we should start there.

After that, it's mostly a matter of syrups, whipped cream and garnishes.  That part is no big deal really.  Buy or make some chocolate and carmel syrups (the same thickness you'd use for an ice cream sundae); buy a good selection of Torani and/or Monin syrups in whatever flavors tickle your fancy; buy some decent ground chocolate (such as Ghirardelli); have some freshly ground cinnamon on hand, and you're good to go.

I drink straight espresso, but make all sorts of flavored caps and lattes for my wife and our friends.  And, really, they're just basic, well-made lattes with syrup and garnish.  The syrup is the recipe, pretty much.

Cold coffee "blendeds" are a little different in that they often require using some sort of powdered base and frequently are built around concentrated extractions other than espresso -- "toddy" for example.   Is that what you're after?

If you're also asking about beans, roasts and blends... SOs (single origins) aren't usually as good for "milky" espresso drinks as appropriate PNW (Pacific Northwest) or Italian style blends. 

If you're using a decent espresso maker, you do NOT want to use too dark a roast -- medium is good, and medium-dark is about max.  Otherwise the espresso extraction will taste burnt and bitter.  On the other hand, if you're making the coffee itself in a French press or a pour-over, you'll probably want a very dark roast such as a Viennese or "espresso" style.

How good you go with your beans mostly depends on how much you're willing to spend.  By and large, you get what you pay for.  The going rate for the really good stuff -- Intelligentsia Black Cat, e.g. -- is around $15 a pound.  But you can do almost as well with something half the price -- Trader Joe Bolivian, by way of example. 

If you're very serious about coffee, you may want to consider roasting and mixing your own.  In the last couple of years some very competent and (relatively) affordable roasters have entered the market, like the Gene Cafe and the Behmor 1600.  Both are under $500 and both able to roast very high quality batches of at least a half pound at a time.  You not only gain a lot of control, but the savings for green as opposed to already roasted beans are substantial.

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