Japanese food and coffee? A nightmare within the Japanese cuisine or a ”trend” from Japan?
According to our numerous Japanese guests: it’s a new fashion in Japan! It started with a demand for Grappa (Italian grape brandy) after the meal.
Hello! What about a fine sake? “No, no – we would like a grappa”, according to our Japanese guests.
OK!(?) — The guest is the king…
So then – the very next day MIFUNE had Grappa already in its range! That was back in 2013.
End of 2017 starts the order of grappa WITH an espresso (coffee)…
Let’s talk first about espresso coffee in general.
The name ”espresso” is Italian in origin. It was first coined approximately 1900 and, most loosely translated: means a cup of coffee brewed expressly for you. Due different languages, you will often hear that people (incorrectly pronounce or spell it) as ”expresso“. Never mind! We all know what it means… 😉
Drinking espresso for the first time can be a little confusing. ”Is it a bitter and concentrated shot of caffeine?” “Can I use sweeteners?” ”What is the creamy froth on top?” ”How should I drink it?” …
Let’s take a look how the MIFUNE team has its opinion about espresso coffee!
Correctly brewed espresso is made by using a pump-driven or lever operated espresso machine. Every ”barista”* says it proudly and also justified: ”It is an art and a science.”
(* = A ”barista” is a person who prepares and serves espresso-based coffee drinks. ”Barista” – the word originated in Italy, where it means ”bartender”, who serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, AND including coffee and espresso drinks. In Italy is ”barista” “gender-specific”: when plural either the masculine “baristi,” which means ”bartenders” or “barmen”, or the feminine ”bariste“: ”barmaids”.)
Back to ”science”: MIFUNE is using an imported pump-driven ”Nespresso” machine – specially constructed for real espresso, that has a steam pressure much more than 1.5 BAR or 50 PSI! (True espresso machines must produce a minimum pressure of 9 BAR / 135 PSI [pounds per square inch]).And in addition, we using imported coffee capsules from Italy and Switzerland means two kinds of different espresso. We’ll come back later to those brands.
So what makes a true espresso?
Barking sales tactics of coffee producers mainly outside Europe and erroneous word of mouth have given many people an impression that the type of beans determines whether the brew is espresso or not. Actually, this is not true. Any type of coffee beans can be used to make good espresso coffee. And one important point to mention is that strong espresso does not have to taste bitter!
Ok, then it is about the blend! No, and yes: there are blends designed specifically for espresso, but the blend does not make it espresso. The pursuit of the perfect blend for making espresso coffee has led to this common misconception. Even some roasters might argue that you can make a good espresso only with the right blend.
Ahh, the roasting is important! Again a no: popular thought might lead you to believe that espresso must be an extremely dark roast. In the US e.g. California, you would be most likely to encounter a dark “French” roast. On the US east coast, a light roast is often preferred. However, the espresso roast varies from region to region. In the espresso country Italy (northern part), a medium roast is generally used and the Italians know that any roast can be used to make good espresso. It is entirely a matter of taste.
The only ”no-go” with a fine espresso is milk or creamer! Trink it black or you’ll break the hearts of all roasters… 😉
Add a little sugar is quite ok and will tolerate from all espresso lovers.
MIFUNE serves you two kind of espresso brands:
Café Karoma (since 2013/14)
The producer ”Feio” is a leading company in the coffee roasting market. According to Feio: ”… a selection of the best raw materials “green coffee” and our vast experience and know-how combined with consolidated tradition in the roasting process make our products excellent in terms of quality, aroma, and taste.”
TRT espresso (since 2018)
We’ll give the word to our good SKEMA friend Giuseppe Ventre (Torrisi Kaffe) who is so kind to provide us with this special espresso blend: ”It is an Arabica-Robusta blend the ratio is secret, but it is so mixed that the coffee despite high taste does not taste too sour and bitter that has a higher proportion of Arabica and Robusta deeper content. The roasting is carried out in the house according to a family recipe which gives the coffee the handwriting. Only the best beans are used! The company has existed for more than 100 years and is located in Sicily in Catania.”
Besides that two kinds of espresso, MIFUNE offers you also
Cappuccino and Cafe Latte…
… with a MIFUNE dessert – perhaps?