CAFE2U BLOG

Simple Latte Art: A Step By Step Guide

Friday, May 30, 2014

When it comes to latte art, it’s very much all in the pour. It might sound simple, but you’re going to need to develop some serious multitasking skills to get everything just right. If you’re interested in one of Cafe2U’s coffee franchise opportunities you will be trained as a barista, but if you want to have a go before then, read on.

Rather than rushing straight in and getting milk and foam everywhere, it’s a good idea to get your head around just what you need to do first. We spoke to our expert Barista trainer Jon Skinner, who offered plenty of really useful advice to help you get a perfect Rosetta every time.

It’s very much a case of needing to do two things at once, but as you practise more and more you’ll find that it becomes second nature – but at first it might seem anything but!

Before you try using milk, practice with water. You can do this at home before you take on a coffee franchise opportunity. This will let you get to grips with the process without wasting a lot of milk. You will need to pour and shake the jug, gradually and steadily raising it so that the milk (or water) continues to pour at a steady rate even when it’s less full.

As you swing the jug from side to side, you will need to wait for the milk to ‘load’ up in the side of the jug before changing direction and swinging it to the other side. A common mistake made by beginners and people with brand new coffee franchise opportunities is to do this too quickly, panicking and trying to rush the process: this will not work. The side to side motion needs to be more rhythmical, almost lazy; be patient and let the milk set the timing of the oscillations.

You will need:

  • A jug of fresh, cold foamed milk, with micro-sized bubbles and a gloss on top 
  • A freshly made espresso with a good layer of crema (this is a product of the oils and sugars in the bean itself, and the method of drying at the plantation, the roasting process, and how long ago the beans were roasted will dictate how much crema you will get)
  • A wide mouthed cup (a 12oz size works well)

1. Position

Hold the cup at a slight angle, with the back slightly raised up so that the edge of the cup which is closest to you sits slightly lower. This fans the coffee out in the cup and helps in the development of the leaves for our Rosetta.

2. Begin to pour

But not from the edge! You will actually need to start pouring into the centre of the cup, something which is especially important with smaller cups. You can rest the edge of the jug on the cup at this point. You’ll need to keep pouring into the centre until the cup is about three quarters full.

3. Give a wiggle



Now here’s where it gets arty. You’ll need to shake the jug from side to side a little bit, and you should start to see the leaves begin to form. Continue to shake and pour into the centre and you’ll see the leaves move away from you on the surface. After about 4-6 shakes you’ll need to begin to bring the jug back towards you, whilst still shaking, only this time a slightly tighter oscillation.

4. Don’t rush



The speed is a vital part of making sure your leaves are defined and your latte art looks how it’s meant to. It’s an almost naturally slow movement, with metronome like rhythm.

5. Create the stem



As you reach the edge of the cup you’ll want to draw back through them with the milk to create the stem. This should be a slow, more elevated pour which will keep your leaves defined and your stem slim.

And Jon’s last bit of advice? Keep practising! Pro Baristas pour hundreds of drinks a day, and that's their practice time. Use your time wisely and your coffee franchise opportunity will be offering the best lattes around in no time.

The Importance Of The Blend: How Cafe2U Achieves Its Unique Taste

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Cafe2U coffee blend has received multiple Australian and international coffee awards in both the espresso and milk based categories. The business remains as the only mobile coffee franchise opportunity to be recognised in these competitions. However, without the awards Cafe2U’s unique and full bodied blend would still speak for itself, it just takes a cup for the quality to shine through.

A lot of the taste can be put down to the high quality machines we uses, and the highly skilled, professionally trained baristas who have taken on a coffee franchise opportunity and pride themselves on producing high quality drinks every time. But even the best baristas won’t be able to make the most of the beans if the beans themselves are no good to start with. A poor quality blend makes a poor quality cup – but what is a poor blend?

There are three main factors which go into getting the right coffee beans for your espresso based drinks. The sourcing, the blending and the roasting all need to be right in order to give the barista the best possible coffee to work with. Each of these three parts are as important as the machine used, and the training the barista receives.

Source: Wikimedia

Sourcing

Coffee is grown in a lot of different locations across the globe. The bean itself and where it is sourced from has a huge impact on both the flavour and the aroma of the drink (the two elements which go toward producing the full sensory experience we all know and love). The right beans can be considered the building blocks of the blend.

It’s important to remember that while each type of bean (be it Arabica or Robusta varieties) will have different flavour characteristics, that the area and growing conditions will also influence taste. Weather, growing conditions, and even the soil the plants are growing in will affect the flavour to a degree.

A coffee expert will be sent around varies plantations and sample the beans grown there, picking only the highest quality to become part of the blend. The beans are hand-picked and processed using various methods depending on the plantation as well as the coffee type.

Blending and Roasting

Blending is a process which is pretty much how it sounds: that is, beans from different sources or types are combined to achieve a particular quality in the coffee, whether that’s a bolder or richer taste, a more full body, or an earthier aroma. There’s a lot of different qualities to coffee, with aroma, acidity, body and flavour being the four tasting terms used to compare and contrast different blends.

This method is used to give a better coffee than can be achieved from a single type of bean.

Once the recipe is decided, the beans are either blended before or after roasting. This process helps to release the natural oils within the bean, and unlock the flavour and aroma which makes coffee great.

At Cafe2U, we use traditional Probat roasters for all our beans, ensuring that they’re roasted for at least 15 minutes to maximise the flavour produced.

So what goes into Cafe2U’s signature blend?

Our coffee franchise opportunities are so popular because we offer a truly high quality product. That means that we put a lot of thought into the blend for our signature espresso. By using a combination of single origins roasted perfectly, we’re able to create smooth, full bodied and balanced cups with sweetness, fruit, and even subtle notes of chocolate.

We use: 

  • Honduras SHG for sweet acidy, nutty notes and a soft finish. 
  • Indian Mysore for it’s smooth chocolate note and balanced creamy texture. 
  • Ethiopian with sweet berry like notes, full flavour and earthy chocolate finish, as well as subtle apricot notes. 
  • Uganda for depth, body and a persistent flavour which goes right through milky drinks. 
  • Brazillian helps to balance and compliment the other origins with its smooth milk chocolate flavours, nutty notes and medium body.

To try our unique blends, simply pay one of our coffee franchise opportunities a visit, or drop an email to info@uk.cafe2u.com to order Cafe2U@home.

An Extra Cup: Helping Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Saturday, May 10, 2014

We like nothing more than hearing the things we love are good for us too. Usually the best things in life come with a bit of a bad reputation (such as wine, chocolate and protein), although that doesn’t always stop us. We still love a biscuit with our coffee, whether or not the sugar is bad for us. Our global coffee franchise opportunities are just more proof that we think everyone should have access to excellent espresso based drinks when and where they want them.

Another reason to love coffee

As it transpires, what we always suspected is true: coffee is a bit of a wonder drink, and our coffee franchise opportunities have been proven to be a great thing by extensive academic research. Not only does it get us through the working day, but new research led by Harvard School of Public Health has suggested that our very favourite beverage is also associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. It’s been proposed in the past, but this was a thorough study on a huge scale.

With twenty years’ of data on diet, lifestyle, medical conditions and chronic diseases from multiple studies, this is one of the most clear study to date about coffees impact on Type 2 diabetes risk. In three of the studies used there were a total 95,974 women, and 27,759 men. Every four years for twenty years the participants’ diets were evaluated using questionnaires. Other shorter projects were also used.

How much makes a difference?

Those who increased their coffee consumption by more than a cup a day (1.69 cups per day more on average) between surveys had a 11 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes for the next four years when compared with those who made no changes to their coffee consumption. It means that our coffee franchise opportunities are essentially providing a medicinal service.

"Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk," says Shilpa Bhupathiraju, lead author and research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH. "Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time."

"These findings further demonstrate that, for most people, coffee may have health benefits," adds Frank Hu, senior author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH. "But coffee is only one of many factors that influence diabetes risk. More importantly, individuals should watch their weight and be physically active."

There’s been a lot of studies which have reinforced this: Researchers looked at data from more than 450,000 people in 18 studies, and found that for every extra cup of coffee drank a day, a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes decreased by 7 percent. Conversely, those who reduced their coffee intake by one cup or more per day were around 17% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

For those who prefer a decaf option fear not: it seems that whether your cuppa is caffeinated or not it will still help to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Our mobile coffee franchises opportunities are more than happy to help with the battle against diabetes, and it you want to help us, contact us today to get your workplace added to one of our routes, or to find out more about starting your own franchise journey with Cafe2U. Just one cup a day can help lower the risk, and conveniently, just one cup can help wake us up enough for work.