Imagine Waking Up to This

Image 10I did.  Two blissful mornings in a row while visiting my sister and her fiancé in Florida.  She gave him the beautiful Alex Duetto II machine below as an engagement gift (have I mentioned how brilliant she is?  I think I have).  The above photo is of the actual cappuccino he made on morning two.  Seriously.

Image 3I was totally fascinated with the process because this cappuccino was truly SO much better than any I had ever had.  He graciously spent some time showing me how it’s done and below are the photos I took along the way.

Image 7

Image 4Above, the espresso being extracted.  The gorgeous caramel color of the top layer (above and below) is called the crema.  No dairy has been added – what you are seeing are the emulsified oils that have been forced out of the grounds.  And it is what makes the perfect shot.

Image 6

The next step is steaming the milk.  Sounds easy, but there is actually a science – and an art – to it.  You have to “stretch” the milk by keeping the steaming wand just below the surface, then sink it deeper to create a whirlpool, AND not let it get too hot (i.e. not too hot to the touch – so basically Starbucks is doing everything wrong).

Image 12The artful pour, below:

Image 8 Morning one cappuccino:

Image 1And my bunkmate while I was there, rescue pup Jovie:

ImageShe was the best inner spoon ever.  Two bests in one weekend.  When was the last time that happened to you?

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