The word “kaapi” (the word for coffee in Tamil or Malayalam) and the smell of it being made, especially early in the morning is something that is almost taken for granted in the Palakkad Iyer household.
While individuals in the community may argue about which blend is the best with those who subscribe to the use pure coffee grounds in their filter coffee looking down upon those who chose to taint their coffee with chicory, the truth is that you may take a Palakkad Iyer out of Palakkad but you can never take his love for filter coffee away from him!
The Tecnora Coffee Machine brought back memories of the days when we used to live in campus housing when our daughter was a toddler. Those days, some of my husband’s colleagues who are also very good friends of ours used to live close by and would drop in and their discussions would go on late into the night.
Food was always welcome but the thing they never said no to were unending supply of hot filter coffee. I was just thinking that a coffee machine in those days would have made things a lot easier.
The Tecnora Cremiere is a fully automatic, well-built and compact 1250W coffee maker with a powerful 15 bar pump. The machine has one touch buttons and can make both Espresso and Cappuchino and can make two coffees at a time. There are 4 pre-set options for different strengths of brew. It also has an additional hot water spout which can be used for making tea, long coffee or even pre-mix soups if you make them and a frother to froth milk.
The machine comes with a 1.5L clear plastic removable water tank which makes it easy to see how much water is in it and removable drip tray. Both are easily cleaned. Also provided are a handy measuring spoon for the coffee and an extra pod filter cup (there are two – one 45mm and the other 60mm) which can be stored in a convenient accessories drawer which is built into the machine. It also has an aluminium thermoblock (with a safety device) so water heats up quickly and also produces good steam.
The Tecnora Cremiere comes with a complimentary pack of gourmet coffee grounds and a company 1 year full product Warranty and 2 year warranty on the Pump. The instruction manual is pretty concise and easy to decipher and makes short work of figuring out how to use the coffee maker. This video of theirs also helps
We’ve had this Coffee Machine for over 10 days now and after numerous cups of very good coffee from it, I would recommend it as a good buy. Apart from the ease of use and the excellent coffee it makes (this will depend on the quality of the coffee grounds you use, naturally), what stands out for me is how easy it is to clean up. I also especially liked the built-in accessories drawer that makes storing the spoon and the extra pod filter cup conveniently close.
Tecnora also makes a smaller Classico Espresso/ Cappuchino Coffee Maker you might like to take a look at.
Espresso, (by the way is meant to be pronounced just that way and not “Expresso”) is not a coffee variety or blend but a method of making coffee that is Italian in origin. It’s also the name given to the coffee that results from this process. Espresso is made by forcing very hot water under high pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. Tamping down the coffee ensures that the water pushes through the coffee grounds evenly and extracts the best flavour.
Espresso is supposed to be served in small demitasse-style cups and should be drunk as soon as it is made. It can be served in different ways though it is typically served as “shots” which could be “strette” or reduced, “normale” or normal and “lungo” or long referring to the amount and strength of the brew.
If you’re like me and find that too much choice in a coffee shop can be like making sense of bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces then here’s a sort of basic ready reckoner of Espresso coffee.
Single Shot – A single ounce (about 30ml) shot of espresso.
Double Shot – This is not a double shot of espresso but uses twice the amount of coffee in the filter.
Ristretto – This “short shot” is the first 3/4-ounce (22ml) of espresso in an extraction, which many believe is the absolute perfect espresso.
Lungo – This “long shot” is a 1 ½-ounce (45ml) of espresso.
Espresso Machiatto – This is a shot of espresso with a layer of foamed milk.
Espresso con Panna – This is a shot of espresso with a layer of whipped cream.
Café Breve – This is made with a shot of espresso and steamed half and half (half milk and half cream/ light cream)
Cappuccino – So named because this coffee colour is like the robes of Capuchin monks, it is a shot of espresso with steamed, wet milk, not necessarily foamed.
Café Latte – This is one shot of espresso mixed with 6 to 8 ounces (180ml to 240ml) of steamed milk and the foam is optional. A Café Latte with foam is known as a Flat White.
Café Americano – This is essentially a shot of espresso watered down with 6-8 ounces (180ml to 240ml) of hot water.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da/ Ca-Phe Sua Da)
So if you have a Coffee Machine, and you were like me you wouldn’t stick to using it to just brew coffee! You’d think a little further and think about all the other things you could make with that coffee, like I did with the Earl Grey tea. So here’s the Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Cafe Sua Da/ Ca-Phe Sua Da you could make with Espresso from the Coffee Machine.
It’s still a very hot summer in parts of India especially the North, so long chilled drink of any kind is always welcome. Where I am it has started cooling down as the rainy season is just setting in, so if you would prefer a hot drink rather than a cold one, then you can make this coffee the same way but without the ice cubes. Serve in a small coffee mug and you’ll have really good hot cup of thick and sweet coffee which is quite a good way to kick start off a day.
If you’re a coffee lover you will love Vietnamese Iced Coffee, unless you’re one of those people who believe coffee must be this thick, dark and almost bitter liquid that must be had without milk and sugar.
To make Cafe SuaDa, you will ideally need a medium coarse ground chicory based coffee (preferably Cafe Du Monde chicory coffee for authenticity, if you can find it or a strong chicory blend), a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a Vietnamese coffee filter called a “Phin” (a drip type South Indian coffee filter works on the same principle) or use Espresso from a coffee maker.
The recipe below is to make a single serving of Vietnamese Iced Coffee to be made in a 235ml glass. You can multiply it to make as many serves as you need. The recipe is more of a guideline and the amount of condensed milk and coffee can be adjusted to suit your taste. Too much of ice in your coffee and letting it sit for too long will leave with a watery tasting iced coffee so drink it up before the ice melts!
Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Cafe Sua Da/ Ca-Phe Sua Da
- 3/4 cup Espresso coffee freshly brewed (or use 2 tbsps grounds for the drip filter coffee)
- 1/8 cup sweetened condensed milk (2 tbsp)
- Ice to serve (1/2 the glass full)
- Put the ice cubes in a tall glass. Pour the condensed milk into another shorter glass. Top up with the Espresso and mix well while the brew is still hot so the condensed milk will dissolve well.
- Pour the thick and dark almost chocolate coloured liquid over the ice cubes and stir with a long spoon. Serve with a straw. Enjoy!