After visiting Phuong Tran (2005 US Barista Champion) at her Lava Java café Labor Day with POETS been playing with various signature drink techniques like infusing milk with herb or spice and/or 50:50 steamed coconut milk/cow's milk dessert caps. Recent cardamom thread on Sweet Maria's home roast List inspired a bit of non-milk espresso fun.
Pre-heat demi, add 6 green cardamom seeds (Penzeys of course:-) and 6 drops honey. (used mesquite honey had on hand)
Pull double shot longish Normale (but not quite Lungo, ~2.5oz) into demi with cardamom seeds and honey. Gently swirl about 30 seconds to mix and infuse. (Don't worry, cremas not going away.) Quite delish! I call it a Scheherazade Shot after one of my favorite pieces Rimsky-Korsakov's A Thousand and One Arabian Nights inspired Scheherazade. (I used my Summer Jam Espresso blend for the shot.)
I haven't used cardamom with coffee, not even Turkish. I have an Iranian friend who turned me on to tea with cardamom. I developed a taste for cardamom with Republic of Tea's Earl Grayer. Cardamom plus extra bergamot plus whatever crap tea they use equals yummy.
The_Mighty_Bean Senior Member Joined: 24 Feb 2006 Posts: 465 Location: Bowie, MD Expertise: I love coffee
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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2007, 6:13pm Subject: Re: Scheherazade Shot
Hey, I just tried this.
First I pulled a double into two separate shotglasses. Each had a few cardamom seeds and about 1/2 tsp of honey. Swirled them and dumped into a warm demi, and then went back and rinsed each with some hot espresso from the demi to pull out the honey and crema that was clinging to the sides. I used a blueberry honey that I bought direct from the beekeeper at a renaissance festival, and Balto. Coffee and Tea's strongly flavored espresso roma blend (reviewed elsewhere).
Result - not a bad drink. To my palate it was an overadulteration of the espresso. If I were to do it again I'd cut both the honey and cardamom in half so that I get mainly espresso infused with the barest hint of sweet and spice. Instead I had a sweet, thick drink and there was too much cardamom to blend well. .
After that, I tried a variation. I brewed an overstuffed single basket into a demi containing about 1/3 tsp of the honey, and stirred it up. Then I placed 5 cardamom seeds into the bottom of a frothing pitcher, added equal parts half&half and lowfat milk, and a squirt of maple syrup as an added flavor kick. I then frothed it up and made a cappa.
Result: MUCH better. The cardamom gently flavors the milk, and the creamy cappa top helps to blend in the honey and spice with the 'spresso. All flavors were clear and balanced- yum! One warning- it sucks when you take in 5 strongly-flavored seeds at the bottom of the brew. A pro might make a simple syrup of the cardamom or secure the seeds in cheesecloth to avoid that problem when serving a customer.
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