Espresso with a touch of other flavors

I’m not actually big on adding all kinds of flavoring to Espresso drinks. Maybe a dash of chocolate from time to time, but that is about it.

It doesn’t mean my guests think the same way though. So, I started by adding flavors found at specialty stores. Here is a couple mixes I came across online to try out first… before I play too much on my ‘own’ creations:

Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Mocha

1/4 oz White Chocolate Sauce
1 oz Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup
2 oz espresso
8 oz steamed milks
Sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon (optional, for garnish)

1. Mix the white chocolate sauce and pumpkin spice syrup together in the bottom of your mug.
2. Pull your shots, add them to the sauces and swirl around a bit.
3. Pour in your steamed milk.
4. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg or cinnamon.

White Chocolate Macadamia Latte
Serves 1

1 ounce Ghirardelli Classic White Flavored Sauce
1/4 ounce macadamia syrup
2 ounces brewed espresso
8 ounces steamed milk
Chopped macadamia nuts, for garnish

1. Combine sauce, syrup and espresso in 12-oz. mug. Stir until well combined.
2. Pour steamed milk into mug; stir to combine.
3. Top with froth from steamed milk.
4. Drizzle with Ghirardelli Classic White Flavored Sauce.
5. Garnish with chopped macadamia nuts, if desired

Chocolate Raspberry Cappuccino
Serves 1

1/2 ounce Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Flavored Sauce
1/2 ounce Ghirardelli Classic White Flavored Sauce
1/2 ounce raspberry syrup
2 ounces brewed espresso coffee
8 ounces steamed milk

1. Combine sauces, syrup and espresso in 12-oz. mug. Stir until well combined.
2. Pour steamed milk into mug; stir to combine.
3. Top with froth from steamed milk.
4. Garnish with Ghirardelli Cocoa or drizzle with Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa Flavored Sauce.

These are all from . They have many more Recipes to try and things to buy.

chocolate rasp capp final


Creating art in your Espresso

A talent I desire is to make fun art in the milk foam when I make espresso for my visitors. It always looks so easy, but mine never turn out quite so perfect. To get better, I went in search of professional help. The pros at the local espresso spot just chuckle and explain nothing. Option two (should have been my first…) is to look on the internet. Books wont really do this skill justice. You really need a video. Hello Google and their YouTube.

Today, let’s start with the basics. How to get the milk just the right constancy so when you pour into the espresso it will hold it’s shape. Here is a quick vid that is a great entry into the fun. I will be posting links to vids rather than have it stream through the site. I hate sites that load slowly as the video cue up even if you aren’t going to watch them. Enjoy!

espresso art 1


Blend beans for the perfect Espresso

From my youngest days, I remember going to a roasting spot with my folks. We would have to make a special trip to a little building just on the other side of town. It was on a main road, yet you could easily miss the whole building. It was small brown wood sided building. Up the few steps and through the front door, you were greeted with an aroma that was smooth yet bold. The first thing you saw inside was a counter that went from the front of the store to the back. Under the counter was many small square glass faced cube containers of beans. Every bean was brown, but not all the same shade of brown.

What made this the place for the insiders to visit was that you weren’t buying coffee of a particular type, grower, or from a place in the world. They mixed beans from multiple locations to come up with unique flavors. Every time my parents went in, the Roaster would come out with a new brew he had come up with.

These experiences gave me a different view on what made a great espresso. The actual cost of buying small quantities of beans and mixing is relatively small so it’s a bit of fun anyone can enjoy. Till I get time to post up my logs, visit this article on Coffee Blending to get started – we’ll catch up later on your successes mixes.



Making Great Espresso with the skills of a Barista

I found a nice article over at Home Barista on an Introduction to Barista Techniques.

The post is actually one part of a larger end-to-end on Espressos. About the beans, fine details on grinding, machines, cleaning, etc…

This one part is an important topic of the day, the actual act and timing of making a great Espresso. From the post: Barista technique breaks down into three time scales and skill levels:

  • The first is the minute or so spent grinding and making the shot.
  • The second is the time spent carefully tasting an espresso or series of espressos, identifying the flavor balance and defects, and making adjustments to ones pull or machines to correct them.
  • The third is acquiring experience and informed preferences with a wide range of coffees, blends, espresso equipment, and alternative techniques.

If your are looking for maximizing the flavor in every Espresso you make, take a look at their in-depth walk through of what makes a difference.



Espresso thoughts from South Italy is a site run by Michelle Fabio, an American writer and attorney who left the Anthracite Coal Region of Pennsylvania for her family’s ancestral village in Calabria, Italy.

Her site is filled with recipes, tips on blogging, book reviews, local happenings, and no non-sense thoughts. In the ‘Links’ area is a very large list of Italian bloggers and sites of interest to people thinking about moving to Italy. This hits home with us, while our family is from Sicily, we are looking to move to the northern area in the near future.