October 14, 2013

Enjoying an Espresso with Chef Joe Barza

Last week, Nespresso welcomed a few people to its beautiful location at ABC Achrafieh to come and enjoy a good cup of coffee with Master Celebrity Chef Joe Barza. A unique experience where good coffee was enjoyed with a selection of freshly prepared bites by Chef Barza. During the event, Nespresso has launched a new machine, the Umilk which I acquired. To tell you the truth, with its simplicity and milk function, this machine is a must have. It has changed the way I appreciate my espresso. Espresso_Joe_Barza51
During this event, Chef Barza prepared a special Nespresso drink with a Lebanese twist
Latte Special Arabia: The Kazaar Nespresso prepared with the Umilk machine and mixed with milk. A Halawa cream previously prepared by the chef comes on top adding a rich flavors to this preparation specially with the rose water and blossom water it contains. Decorate it with some crushed pistachios and enjoy - what a coffee... it's more of a tale of 1001 Arabian Nights... Espresso_Joe_Barza59
Kazaar and Dharkan: The two new permanent addition of intense blends to its range of Grand Cru coffees. You are introduced to a whole new level of intensity which reflects the depth of the roast... Strong and intense, Kazaar and Dharkan are the perfect pairing for fresh milk-based beverages, including Cappuccinos and Lattes. We all thought Ristretto (10) was the strongest until Kazaar (12) and Dharkan (11) were introduced. These are really not for the faint hearted.

Kazaar

Kazaar is authentic and powerful with a raw intensity of 12 – the strongest in the Nespresso Grand Cru collection. Its powerful bitterness and notes of pepper, nutmeg and cloves are balanced by a full and creamy texture. The intense coffee is a daring blend of two Robustas and a separately roasted Arabica from South America. Its unusual origins and blending method, together with its strength create a one-of-a-kind taste experience.

Dharkan 

Dharkan is exceptionally intense, yet distinctively silky.  This Grand Cru is a complex blend with hints of bitter cocoa powder and toasted cereals, comprised of washed Arabicas from Latin America and Asia.  Dharkan was created using a technique of long roasting at low temperatures unveiling the powerful, seductive and velvety character of the blend.  Its silky and smooth texture creates a subtle balance of bitterness that lingers on the taste buds.  Dharkan also breaks the existing Nespresso scale with an intensity of 11.

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Bites prepared by Chef Joe:
  • Red fruits tart: Colorful bites filled with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries stuffed into a puff pastry bowl in bite size. Slightly chewy with a hint of crunchiness, this bite is tasty specially with its soft cream and sugar powder decoration on top that add the needed finesse to this simple creation
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  • As simple as it can be: A slice of bresaola rolled around a rocket leaf and decorated with half of a cherry tomato
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  • A non oily premium smoked salmon rolled around itself and filled with sour cream than topped with lamp fish and decorated with a tiny slice of unpeeled lemon. I liked the crunch of the lemon peel that we usually tend to remove.
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  • In the middle of the tray, dried plums filled with Roquefort cheese and a walnut. This is indeed a good creation where cheese and dried plums blend together in a fine and classy bite
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  • Goat labneh bite covering a piece of pate a choux and decorated with a slice of sun dried tomato and an olive. Softness and a slight chewiness of the sundries tomatoes with a light lemony feel of the labneh ending the experience with a tiny mint leaf that makes a difference. Nice.
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  • Chocolate truffles: Crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside with dark chocolate I expected to feel. These truffles are very good
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  • Macarons: Flavors include pistachio, rose water and red berries, presented in a bowl with biscuits. These were my least favorite as the macarons are too sweet for my taste.
Espresso_Joe_Barza09 A pleasant morning spent enjoying good coffee in the company of Master Celebrity Chef Joe , while learning more about the U Machine. Espresso_Joe_Barza60 Offering convenient and sophisticated technology, the U machine model range has been designed to suit modern life and its demands as it allows you to prepare in one single gesture your favorite Grand Cru. With clever, modular design, U can change its shape to fit contemporary living spaces and interiors, while its cutting edge technology delivers a perfect coffee, time after time.  A pleasure to use and display, U is the machine for those who seek ultimate simplicity, the highest quality coffee, and pure design. Espresso_Joe_Barza55 Umilk has an integrated fresh milk solution providing coffee and milk lovers with further flexibility and convenience. Umilk is the most accessible fresh milk solution to date with the new Aeroccino3 milk frother, incorporated into the Umilk machine, delivering smooth and finely textured milk froth for hot and cold milk recipes, while also offering improved cleanliness. Espresso_Joe_Barza62 In addition to a quick heat up time of 25 seconds, the Umat and Umilk feature automatic brewing, so your coffee begins the second you drop your Nespresso capsule and effortlessly close its neat slider.  This same process creates an ideal coffee extraction, delivering an optimum result as Umat and Umilk stop automatically when desired. The immediate cut-off is the new drop stop feature making them some of the cleanest machines – stopping any coffee drops and automatically ejecting each capsule.  Alongside all the cutting-edge functionality, however, users’ consciences can rest at ease as Umat and Umilk possess the optimum energy profile for its class of machine. I now have it at home and assure you that it's worth having.
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