Food Review – What makes a good cup of coffee?

Shanika Whaley
City Times

“I really like coffee. It reminds me of an Italian morning; the smell, the atmosphere, the environment.”

Reminiscent of his previous days in Italy, Francesco Bucci, owner of Papalecco, states what coffee reminds him of and why it is so important to have a lasting, tasty cup of coffee, cappuccino or espresso.

Plus, do Italians have a bigger respect for coffee over the norm, who doesn’t know the techniques of making a good cup of Joe?

To begin, do most of us ever consider what makes a good cup of coffee? Is it the cleaning process, or which type of specific bean that is used? Well I want to tell you it is all of the above.

“The cleaning process is just as important,” stated Andrea Guerrini, also owner of Papalecco. He continues, “Cleaning each part separately is just the first step.”

At Papalecco, located in Little Italy, your morning drink is made with first-class ingredients. Danesi coffee beans, straight from Rome, have that pure, shiny bean quality that is undeniably delicious when you take the first sip. The Danesi bean has a very aromatic scent to it; not overbearing and not to strong, but that perfect balance.

So how can you tell the drink you are enjoying is made with high quality standards? Here are a few secrets Bucci and Guerrini want you to know.

“When ordering a cappuccino,” Bucci says, “the foam must be shiny and have no bubbles. People should recognize it.” Guerrini continues with, “An espresso should have a light brown color that coats the top as well as the inside surface of the cup. The texture should not taste watery.”

To test your espresso for the right consistency, put a little bit of sugar on top. If it stays on the surface, it’s a good cup, bene! If not, discard the cup and go to a different location for a sufficient espresso.

Different coffee shops prepare there coffee according to a certain standard that they assume is correct, but is it exactly the taste you were looking for? At Z’s café on India street in Little Italy, the taste may be earthier then what you would expect; there organic as well as coming from Italy and Columbia.

“We asked our customers and they prefer the organic bean,” reflected Zion Yohannas, owner of Z’s. She added, “The more fanatic customers like organic beans.”

An espresso from Z’s did have the light brown texture on top, but the texture was not consistent enough to stay around the glass and the sugar on top fell straight to the bottom.

Italians do know more about preparing coffee. It’s something they enjoy everyday and for them, coffee seems to be a way of life. Having a delicious espresso or creamy cappuccino makes anyone believe they are at the very top of Leaning Tower-Piza. Ciao!

(Shanika Whaley is City Times’ arts and features editor)

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Food Review – What makes a good cup of coffee?