Monday, May 26, 2014

Cold Brew Your Way in Summer Time

It's (still) summer. How do we deal with caffeine in this heat?

Iced coffee, of course! Brew the wonderful beans via press, pour over, or even coffee brewer, and then add ice. Voila! Instant refreshing jolt to the system!
Free Benguet coffee!
Then we have something called cold brew coffee. Cold brewing is using room temperature water to soak the ground beans for a minimum of 12 hours (others go as much as 24 hours if you can wait that much) and get coffee "concentrate" in return. You then dilute that with water or milk or ice or if you want, you can take a shot of it in its unadulterated form ala espresso shots. At this rate, patience is truly a virtue. 
It's supposed to be 18hrs for 7AM.
Was so excited I can't count properly anymore!
There are different factors that can be played with. We have grind type, hours of brewing, and of course, kind of coffee bean (and its roast). You can experiment with different combinations and try out which formula tastes best for you.
The coffee "concentrate" plus the cold brew mix with milk. Yum!!
You can also use milk instead of water to make your cold brew even more fun. Adding ice is optional. I prefer not to add ice because it dilutes the concentrate more. 

There are recommendations that say use coarse grind for your brew. I used a medium grind initially with my Bukidnon Hineleban beans (superb) while I used the pre-ground coarse beans from Benguet for my second round. My third attempt got me using a fine grind of Bag of Beans arabica coffee. Amongst all, I enjoyed my Hineleban beans the most but it's probably because I have a bias to medium roasted beans. The Benguet beans are mostly robusta and you can use this if you want a taste similar to espresso. As for the proportion, I encouraged my friends to try different ones so we can compare notes. 

So in a nutshell, iced coffee is coffee brewed with the use of hot water and then with the addition of ice while cold brew is coffee brewed with not hot (can be room or cold) water and then kept in the refrigerator or room temperature (if your place is centralized). 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cannelloni and Mushrooms

Sometimes, I just go over someone's house and try to remember how the food was prepared. Emphasis on "try" because when I taste it, I'm just so happy I can eat food I'm not sure of how to pronounce. Yes, sometimes most of the time I just leech off my friend's fascination of cooking her own food and making those items from scratch. She made pasta from scratch. I can make noodles from a packet. I just add hot water! Who's more amazing now, huh? *smug face*

*Please remember if I say "we" it means my friend as the main doer and me, as the lovely spectator.

Meet the spinach cannelloni with feta cheese drowned in more cheese. There was supposed to be tofu in here but then we were not able to get one so we're settling on feta cheese. So how do you do this? Saute the spinach and mix the cheese while it's cooling. Put it in the middle of a lasagna (lasagna sheet???) and roll your way around. Make loads of those and add tomato sauce like your pasta. Don't forget the truckloads of cheese that's waiting on the corner road.
Photo shows the first pour of tomato sauce. There are a million pours
that happened after this photo. Plus 2 kilos of cheese.
OH YEAH, then there's charbroiled mushrooms partnered with steak sauce (Worcestershire and catsup mix).
That's steak hiding underneath.
And don't forget the wine. Never ever forget the wine. :)

I know. Food is invading my blog. Flog. I want rice now. Huhu.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fisher Cafe - Cheapest Coffee So Far!

So I've been frequenting Fisher Mall lately because of my friend who has a clinic there and of course where there are people, there are coffee shops. So the in-house coffee shop here is Fisher Cafe. There's a Seattle's Best Coffee spot in their Upper Basement part but then SBC drinks are too sweet so let's not talk about them.
Heated pour over drips in the house, yo!
This place has the cheapest coffee. Their cappuccino is good and it's for Php95 only. Then after some time, I saw ceramic pour overs on top of their espresso machine. They're now offering hand brewed coffee! It's only Php85 (the cheapest hand brewed coffee I have ever encountered) and you get to choose the beans you like! I interviewed their barista and although he was gathering some time before he could answer, I saw the cheat sheet at the other side of the place. 

Fisher Cafe has two spots inside the mall.  One is near the supermarket and the other is on the 4F, near the cinemas. And I prefer the latter spot since it has an overlooking view of... Quezon Avenue. Haha. I'm so getting some coffee there the next time I visit.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cafe Vegis

Cafe Vegis. It's that place you always just pass by that you didn't give a chance. Turns out, they serve the best vegetarian food so far. It's one up from Agico because Agico's price range is just a little too steep. There are a number of vegetarian places around, from the usual Bodhi, to the creative Pipino, to my old favorite Greens (Scout Castor), to the expensive Agico (San Juan), and then there's Corner Tree Cafe (Jupiter), too. 

It was interesting to see liempo. I'm wary of these mock meat because they all taste like Spam. Or fine, maling. The texture is a dead giveaway of how much it was trying to pretend to be good. 

I was ready to bash the liempo. However, it was dang good! From the texture to the crispy sides, it was really good! I was already suspicious about it, the strains were like real meat - at least how I remember it. 

And we also tried their Grilled Salmon and sisig. I still believe sisig at Greens is my favorite, while Bodhi's barbecue is top notch. I was able to try Agico's Bacon Burger and it was oh-mazing! Now, I want to try out other dishes from Cafe Vegis because this resto just made me want to try it again even while typing this. o___o

Cafe Vegis is located at Moomba Compound, Mother Ignacia near Don Roces Avenue.