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creative espresso concoctions

I once had something served in an espresso cup which was like an herbed frothed up mushrooms and cream at a hotel restaurant outside of London. I am sorry I can't give you more than that. It was that obscure, but also fabulous. I have an espresso machine that I haven't used for awhile. Of course I would be interested in making really good espresso, but also other inventive means of using it. Any ideas?

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  1. I desparately want an espresso machine, not for the espresso but for the milk steamer. I love a lot of drinks that have steamed milk as the base.

    Ice cold steamed milk and a half teaspoon each (or to taste) of matcha powder and sugar makes amazing green tea latte.

    Iced milk and chocolate ganache, of course, makes frothy hot chocolate. Some cayenne and/or cinnamon are a nice addition.

    I too am curious what savory concoctions others will come up with. Uni mousse comes to mind, but a shot of heat that high might cook it too much.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      What's matcha powder? Is it easy to get, or order?

      1. re: HWiley

        Any Japanese market will have it, and I'm pretty sure Asian markets will have it though I haven't looked closely. I remember a Korean market had it, but seriously overpriced. Matcha can get expensive, but I don't know why a tiny pouch (like four wet naps) would be over $10. At that price I would buy from a specialty tea shop.

        I got a small jar at Nijiya for about $6, and that was sort of mid-range for a jar about three inches tall and an inch and a half in diameter. It seems like a tiny jar, but a little goes a long way.

        You'll have to ask Google or Wikipedia exactly what matcha is. All I know is it tastes good and is high in antioxidants. It's usually what's used to flavor green tea ice cream, if you like that.

        1. re: Pei

          Matcha is just powdered green tea-- that is, a powder made of pulverized leaves.

          I've actually found that the same containers of matcha are more expensive at Japanese markets such as Nijiya and Mitsuwa than at Korean markets.

    2. You can buy a milk steamer without spending a fortune on an espresso machine. Or how about using an immersion blender in a pyrex measuring cup of hot milk??

      2 Replies
      1. re: cooknKate

        Do you know of a good brand of milk steamer? I've been looking for an inexpensive one without luck. All the good ones seem to be so expensive I might as well get an espresso machine. Good immersion blenders are also so expensive I might as well get an expresso machine, and they don't pump any hot air into the milk--which to me is what makes steamed milk so sweet and tasty.

        I know if I save up $100 I'll have plenty of options, but is there a choice for, let's say, half that price?

        1. re: Pei

          my immersion blender cost me less than $20 and works like a charm. I don't know of any brands for a milk steamer, I have just seen them available. As with any appliance, do your homework and shop around. I am sure you'll find something.

      2. Don't get a cheap plastic one - invest in a real good one. My La Pavoni is 5 yrs old, and my friends have one that is over 20 years old. There are previous posts elsewhere in Chowhound, including

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33737...

        I had a great cappucino last night at Barefoot Coffee Roasters in San Jose: vanilla in the espresso; then on top of the foam a layer of sugar/sprinkle of black pepper/layer of sugar; then the sugar was bruleed. Sweet, crunchy, foamy, hot, spicy - delish! Kate created it for me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Claudette

          I absolutly love Barefoot Roasters. I drive 60 miles round trip to buy their Element 114 espresso blend. In my biased oppinion them, Ritual, and Bluebottle are the only places worth a damn in the bay area.

        2. Look at: http://www.soupsong.com/d1298.html for trends in frothed. Search the page for "Frothed Celery-Root soup with Truffles" to find the entry,

          1. You can buy a glass Bodum milk frother for under $20. For most soup applications (i.e. mushroom cappuccino) it's fine, unless you were planning on latte art.