William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
The foamy haze of milk hides not thy depths
and deep inside thy cup we know thine origin.
And yet thy warmth doth comfort me,
as milk gives comfort to the lamb."
- JUST BLOOMED TODAY
- GARDEN UPDATE
- THE COFFEE PLANT
- LATTE ART
- GARDEN GIGGLE
- GARDEN GAMES~HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN LATTE ART
I was dismayed to see that I missed the birthday of the U.S. Army!! What an amazing accomplishment! You look awful good for 237 years old!!
Hot again as we head into summer, only a week away! Early afternoon as I write this and 90F. That sun sure is hot when you're in it...sparkling bright when you're not.
Ate our own lettuce today, so lovely! I also made my favorite cold pasta salad with the roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme from our garden. Such a blessing to have such abundance within my footsteps.
THE COFFEE PLANT
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a bitter flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Coffee is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world.
What Is Shade-Grown Coffee?
In the time that it takes you to drink your next cup of coffee, acres of tropical forest will be lost. Along with the forest will go the birds and other wildlife that depend on it. Wouldn’t it be gratifying to know that by choosing shade-grown coffee you’d be helping to conserve wildlife habitat?
“Shade-grown” refers to the way coffee has been traditionally farmed. For generations, coffee shrubs have been planted in the shade of tall trees, making these traditional coffee plantations excellent homes for birds and other forest-dwelling wildlife.
Over the past 30 years, more than half of the traditional shade-grown coffee farms in Latin America have been converted to “sun-coffee” farms to increase production. This newer method entails clearing or thinning the shade trees and growing coffee plants under full or nearly full sun conditions. These changes also demand the use of agrochemicals like synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to counter the effects of eliminating the shaded agroforestry system.
Unfortunately, scientists believe that the conversion from shade to sun coffee contributes to the decline in numbers of many of our birds that migrate to Latin America.In addition to birds, shade-coffee plantations provide habitat for myriad insects, orchids, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and other less well-known denizens of tropical forests. Furthermore, shade trees provide nutrients and suppress weeds, thus reducing or eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers and herbicides, and lowering farming costs.
Farmers also harvest an assortment of fruits, firewood, lumber, and medicines from the shade trees. These products make families less vulnerable to coffee price fluctuations on the world market—fluctuations that accompany any cash crop that is also a global commodity.
Straight walled steam pitcher with a sharp spout
Espresso machine with a powerful steam wand
14 ounce (400 ml) latte cup
Pour enough cold milk (34 ºF or 1 ºC)for one cup into the steam pitcher. Put the steam wand at the bottom of the pitcher. Turn on the steam, and slowly raise the wand until it is near the top of the milk. Lower the pitcher as the milk rises so the steam wand stays 1 inch away from the top of the milk. The milk should not stretch too much nor should there be any big bubbles. This should create a smooth, velvety milk as opposed to the foam that sits atop most espresso drinks.
Let the milk settle for a few seconds. This will allow a more velvety texture. Swirl the milk vigorously. If you see any bubbles, pound the pitcher on the counter several times and go back to swirling the milk for 20 to 30 seconds.Start pouring the milk into the espresso.
Embellish the design using stencils, powder, and milk foam. This step is optional, as many prefer to limit their latte art to "free form" methods, but you may want to experiment with the possibilities added by "etching."
To write a word, such as "love" in the picture, melt milk chocolate and using a pin as a paintbrush drag the melting chocolate over the foamed milk. More commonly this is done by dipping said pointy object into the cream of the drink being decorated, and then transferring that cream stained foam to the pure white foam to 'draw' a design. Are you ready to try your hand at latte art?