Could there be a contradictory existence when considering what a product is, as opposed to how and why it is used?
Denis Leary does a fantastic rendition to the dilemma the simple coffee drinker is confronted with in a contemporary society where various rituals have developed in the last ten to fifteen years. In this video he rants about coffees tasting like vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate and caramel, about sirups and people servicing coffee while their pants are falling down. Those sirups came as a highly profitable product for the coffee industry, after a time when the coffee seeds were being roasted with additional aromatic ingredients to achieve what they considered to be gourmet, just because extra taste was added. This abuse of the coffee taste and the artificiality around the idea, prompted many coffee drinkers to be against various stores and shops that were bombarding the public with their offers of syrup coffee drinks. The usage is one thing. Another thing is, what the sirup truly is in its original, initial form.
The very best we could attribute to the Italian ingenuity in the realm of coffee is something they did not touch anywhere else. In their magnificent mother role for the language of the opera, their aesthetics for melodies, acoustic and lyrics make their contribution to the art of reduction seem totally nonexistent. With their contributions to the sweet world, like with one of the top classics, the tiramisu, nothing says nothing about reducing anything. Even with their – also classical – offering to the world of rice, risotto, although it is about simplicity, they do not aim at reduction. In painting ceilings of magnificent cathedrals, or building and decorating architecture for secular or religious reasons, the Italian taste is not known in history for reduction – on the very contrary. But out of the technology and alchemy they have contributed to the complex world of coffee, one single thing has set highest standards, well over other methods from Ethiopia, Turkey or elsewhere. With the espresso they contributed greatly to establish the fineness and the well-rounded taste that are available through reduction.
If all things have been well accumulated, collected and openly, as well as conscientiously proven against each other, the subsequent step of reduction will impart energy and taste of magnificent stature. Reduction is intensity, elimination of delusions and of disturbances. It is concentration on the essential – essential oils, essential hues, essential time span…
Syrups are perhaps the best thing next to liqueurs, when it comes to reduction. But it is imperative that quality is priority long before the reduction step begins. The more rubbish one reduces, the more rubbish will be enhanced. So, begin wisely and follow through just the same.
My suggestion for this moment:
- 500 gm dark roasted and very fine coffee grind
- 1,5 liter water
- 2,5 Kilogram panela or raw cane sugar
- one rosemary needle
- one roasted almond
- one grain of black lava salt (Hawaii), about the size of 0.25 cm
Roast Almond in a pan. Not too little, not too much
Grind most of the coffee seeds fine – like for espresso or Turkish mocca
Grind about five spoons of the coffee seeds in a mortar with the salt, roasted almond and rosemary
Mix both coffee grinds
Pour boiling water slowly over the coffee grind
Add the coffee to the panela in a large pot and let cook slowly by low heat – it should not boil
It should cook about one or two hours under careful watch, until water has evaporated enough and a sirup has developed
Store in tight glass container and keep refrigerated.
Compare. Make different recipes by changing the rosemary and almond for other ingredients. Also, try high quality syrups on the market, like Dave’s Coffee Syrup. Then pour your choice over ice cream, or use for shakes – of course, also in cocktails.