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Coffee is the beverage of choice and resides over meetings, gossip sessions and catch ups, the odd guffaws and romantic dates. Call it a style statement, trend, a way of life or merely a ‘pick me up’ it is here to stay and is a part of life, the way we know it. Love it or hate it – there is just no denying it. Let us first understand what the espresso and French press is all about as they lay the base for a variety of coffee preparations in and around this fine state. Espresso is the crux of literally any coffee from all over the world. It mostly means ‘pressed out,’ according to some Anglo-American dictionaries, owing to the fact that it is made by nearly boiling water under pressure with finely ground coffee beans. A ‘French press’ is different in preparation. It is made in a device in which finely ground coffee is added and hot water is poured on top. After staying still for 2-4 minutes, a plunger is pressed hard, so that the ground coffee’s essence is released more as it seeps into the water, and the brew is poured out. This was to help understand the basics of this beverage and here are some of the various haunts in and around Goa serving some amazing brews –
Espresso as a standalone coffee, is served everywhere. It contains the basic essence of coffee and water. No strings attached. Why a mention in this article? Try the Illy espresso – one of the fine coffee stalwarts in the industry showcasing their wares at Caramel, the coffee shop of Taj Vivanta, Goa. If you cannot curb your cravings and stop at one, (trust me I could not) try the doppio. In Italian, it literally means ‘double.’ It is a double shot of Espresso. The ideal serving is 60ml espresso in a 90ml cup.
Fiesta, run by Yellow Mehra always knows how to bring a smile on one’s face. A shack perched right next to the beach, it adds a fun twist to the way normal coffees are served. Sit back, relax and try the Vienna coffee, while watching the perfect sunset on Baga beach. It is a regular espresso shot with whipped cream!!!! Ideal serving is a 60ml Espresso topped with whipped cream in a 150ml cup.
Baba's Wood Café, Panaji
Macchiato in Italian means ‘stained’. Head over to this restaurant for your coffee fix and leave it to an Italian restaurateur to get it right. A serving of macchiato is a normal espresso shot with a little-foamed milk on top. Try the ciocolata version where the base is lined with dark chocolate. Drink coffee in sinful pleasure and make a dessert out of it. The ideal serving is a 30ml Espresso topped with foamed milk in a 90ml cup.
Café Coffee Day, Panjim
A no brainer for most, this is the most loved brand by all walks of the society alike for a mere catch-up or a casual business meeting. The seating is ample and comfortable. While they have a vast variety of coffees to choose from, stick to the basics such as a good cappuccino with consistency personified. This preparation contains more milk-to-coffee ratio. The ideal serving is 60ml Espresso with 60ml steamed milk topped with 60ml foamed milk (in that order) served in a 200ml cup.
Sol de Goa Café Bistro, Nerul
Café au lait literally means ‘coffee with milk.’ It is a French press coffee preparation with equal amounts of brewed coffee and scalded milk. Scalded milk is milk that is heated to 82° C to kill off the bacteria and remove proteins. The ideal serving is 90ml French press coffee + 90ml scalded milk in a 200ml cup.
Burcu’s Turkish Café, Anjuna
An interesting meeting with the lovely Burcu Baldauf at her Café Turkish Delight delves deep into the way the Turkish love and consume their coffee – light and sweet. A majority of this coffee is sugar water and is a pick me up on any given day. The ideal serving is 10g (or 2 tsp) of ground coffee poured with 180ml of sugar water and ‘köpük’ later, which means ‘foam’ poured in this particular order. Serve this in a 200ml cup and sit back and relish the strong sweet taste of Turkey right in this café in Anjuna.
Baba Au Rhum, Anjuna
The Irish sure know to stir things up making literally any dish or drink interesting. And Dayini and Davide have taken it one step further and brought a classic recipe to the village of Anjuna. Ever heard of whiskey in coffee? Yep! This is the one. Try it at Baba Au Rhum savoured with a fresh Nutella croissant. It is a lethal combination, which would make you want to thank us later. The Ideal serving is 5g or 1 tablespoon of brown sugar with 120ml of French press coffee. Add to that, 60ml of Irish whiskey and layer it with 75ml of heavy cream – all in that order. Serve it in a 250ml glass and watch the layers form.