espresso selection

Choosing the Right Espresso Cups

True espresso drinkers will be more likely to obsess over the cup their espresso is in! You maybe surprised to know that in other countries besides the US espresso cups are actually thought to be more of an art than anything else. For example, in Italy and parts of Europe espresso cups are hand made. If you are enthusiastic about drinking espresso then choosing the right kind of espresso cups is probably an important component of how you drink the beverage. Perhaps you aren’t an avid espresso drinking but interested in purchasing cups for someone you know who is. Here are a few tips that go along with choosing the right espresso cups, though, that pretty much everyone should be aware about:

The Quality of Espresso Cups
The first and foremost issue that you’ll want to be concerned with is the quality of the espresso cups that you buy. There are definitely all different types of espresso cups that can be bought, including sturdy plastic, glass, among other materials, but the best quality material that is frequently chosen for espresso beverage cups is porcelain. Not only have porcelain cups been a tradition throughout many countries down through the ages, but making the cups has been an art in and of itself!

The size of the porcelain espresso cup also makes a big difference as well. Traditionally, however, porcelain cups that are used for espresso usually come in 2- to 3-ounce glasses. This is not to say that you’ll be filling the entire espresso cup with the espresso beverage, but many people like to add toppings such as whipped cream and chocolate shavings as well! Pouring about 1-ounce of espresso mixture and leaving the rest of the room available for toppings is what most people do when they have their typical espresso shot!

The Style of Espresso Cups
As mentioned, many espresso porcelain cups have a personal touch added to them and many people place a good deal of importance on the design on espresso cups. There are all sorts of neat designs that one can choose for their espresso cup, but the digital age has truly revolutionized the way images are put on glasses and other materials throughout the world. For this reason there may be high-tech and colorful espresso glasses around the world thanks to some of these great pieces of technology! Nevertheless, though, espresso cups are traditionally bought with having a good design in mind.

All things considered, the materials of the espresso cup as well as the design are two issues that espresso drinkers consider important and should be considered when choosing espresso cups. Drinking espresso has had a long tradition throughout many countries in the world and part of that tradition rests on just how it is consumed!


6 Tips on Making the Best Tasting Coffee

March is National Caffeine month! Forget Starbucks for a great tasting cup of coffee. You can be a great coffee maker if you follow the tips below.

When your coffee interest extends beyond a region and you are more aware of the quality of beans, you may then seek for information to help choose the brews that give you the greatest sense enjoyment. Here are six ways to immerse yourself in the nuances of finding the best coffee beans and methods of preparing them.

1. Make sure that no air gets into your storage container for coffee. The beans will become stale if a lot of air gets in contact with them. Don’t use plastic or other types of bags that are not air-tight, even if the coffee was originally stored in it. They allow air to escape after roasting while cooling.

2. Clean your coffee pot every time you use it so that any residual flavors do not tarnish the taste of it. There are oils that will stick to the coffee pot over time. Many people do not notice the difference, but true coffee lovers will be able to tell right away.

3. Be cautious of the water that you use when brewing your coffee. Coffee made with terrible tasting water is not going to taste right itself. It is suggested that you use water with minerals. If it does not have minerals, the coffee might taste bitter.

4. Only store coffee in the refrigerator if the container you are using is airtight. Otherwise, you may discover that garlic or other incompatible odors have tainted your coffee. Improper storage can add moisture to your coffee.

5. Buy smaller portions of coffee. Only buy what you will consume in a couple of weeks. It will cost more money than buying a large can and storing it for a while. What you save in money by buying a larger can, you end up sacrificing in taste.

6. Avoid storing your coffee in the freezer. The extreme temperatures of the freezer will destroy the oils in the coffee. Instead, drink what you have or buy smaller amounts of coffee. If you do not buy too much coffee, you will not need to worry about storing it for an extended period of time.

Enjoying a great cup of coffee is no longer a simple “push the button” process on a drip machine in the morning. This international beverage has made its way into the elite corners of specialty cafes and fine dining establishments across the globe. You can easily be a coffee connosieur in no time with the information you have learned. Dive in and start enjoying your coffee, your way.

History of Espresso Machine


Image source: Ebay

Did you know espresso has not always been made from a machine? Some people think that way because that’s how they’ve always seen it made. However, long before there were espresso machines to do our work for us. It wasn’t until the mid 1940’s that people and coffee shops all over began using espresso machines to make the beverage, at least in the United States that is.

Of course, espresso machines were popular in many European countries before the popularity of these machines came to the United States. In fact, the first espresso machine in Europe become known some 100 years before they were actually introduced in America. Louis Bernard Babaut invented the first espresso machine. But it took decades before the espresso machine was as easy to use and functional as the ones we know today. It handled about 1,000 shots of espresso an hour.

If you’re interested in the automatic espresso machine, this concept was later introduced in the first half of the 1900s. An individual known as Illeta actually used compressed air to make the whole espresso-making process faster, which it was able to accomplish successfully. There you have it: everything you have ever wanted to know about how espresso machines came into production!

Check out the full line of coffee accessories from Culinary Outfitters!

Coffee and Health: Reasons to Drink Three or More Cups a Day

Every couple of months a new study comes out that completely contradicts the previous one with relation to our health and well being. If we followed all of these we’d be a constant state of change. So, what’s a level headed person to do? My opinion is to keep things in moderation and try and eat the way my grandparents ate. This means enjoy my coffee and eggs in the morning. And try and eat less processed foods. I drink about 2-3 cups of coffee per day and am glad that the latest study is supporting this for many health reasons.

Coffee definitely gives a much needed boost of energy to start my day. It helps me think clearer and is just a relaxing way to begin my day. But there are other health benefits (at least that’s what the scientists are saying) to drinking coffee.

Arabica coffee beans contain antioxidant compounds. By drinking 3 cups of coffee a day you can lower your markers for oxidative DNA damage in just one month. The good news this is a benefit whether you drink regular or decaf coffee.

Mood Improvement
People who drink four cups or more of coffee daily are about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than non-coffee drinkers according to a National Institutes of Health stud. Researchers think caffeine is a minor antidepressant which impacts neurotransmitters such as dopamine.

Not only does coffee seem to aid in cognitive abilities, but in physical activities as well. In a recent study, cyclists were given different drinks: coffee, decaf coffee and a placebo drink. They were then asked to perform a cycling test. The caffeinated group was faster the non-caffeinated group.

Long Term Health Benefits

Better Brain Function
Coffee can reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s. Participants over age 65 that had shown early signs of Alzheimer’s drank about 3 cups of coffee per day, they did not show any more progression of the disease after being tracked for 2 plus years. However, those who did not drink coffee showed signs that the disease was progressing.

Curb Diabetes
A meta-analysis in the European Journal of Nutrition stated that for every two cups of regular or decaf coffee you consume per day, your risk for type 2 diabetes decreases by 10 to 12 percent.

Protect Your Liver
You can protect your live by just drinking two cups of coffee per day. This is especially important for daily alcohol drinkers.

Is Coffee More Popular than Sex?

sex more popular than coffee

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According to a recent survey conducted by Le Méridien hotels, some would prefer coffee over sex for. The survey found that coffee surpasses sex as the ideal wake-up call according to more than half (53%) of the global respondents. Further, 78% of respondents would rather give up alcohol, social media or sex with their spouse for a year rather than forfeit coffee. It didn’t say if they would give up sex with their lover in favor of coffee ;-)

Spilling the Beans:
• A majority of respondents (51%) feel they could go longer without sex than coffee.
• Of all the effects felt from lack of coffee, approximately one-fourth (28%) feel
less creative, 22% cannot get out of bed, and 16% say that they are not able to talk
to other people without it.
• 73% of respondents would give up television and internet in a hotel for the perfect cup of coffee.
• The majority of respondents (63%) would give up alcohol over coffee

These are pretty astonishing results as most would expect nookie to be more popular than java. Le Meridien hasn’t wasted any time on putting the results of this survey to good use for their hotels. They’ve added a Master Barista onsite at each one of their properties. Every hotel will have it’s own dedicated coffee space in their lobby.

father's day gift guide

Father’s Day: Bar and Kitchen Gifts

Father’s Day is just around the corner. It is June 17th, in fact. If you have a dad that is interested in coffee, beer, or cocktails then we’ve got some gifts we highly recommend. So take a look at some of these suggestions and order soon, so your gift arrives in time for Father’s Day.

Craft beer has come on the scene in a huge way. No longer are we limited to the boring domestic brews, but some really creative types of beers are available right now. So, does your dad love Pilsners, IPA’s, wheat beers? Perhaps he likes them all. The perfect gift for him is the Spiegelau beer set. It comes in a group of four glasses, perfect for every type of beer. If you know what his favorite brew is, stop by your local growler store and pick up some for him.

Maybe your dad is more of a cocktail drinker. No problem. We’ve got you covered there too. Check out these amazing martini glasses, that just makes us think of Madmen. Or how about this Bossa Nova Double Old Fashioned glass? There’s a full line of cocktail glasses available from Culinary Outfitters – view them all here.

Not only has there been a renaissance where beer is concerned, but coffee has had it’s own renaissance lately. Rather than pay the exorbitant fees at coffee shops, people are starting to do more home brewing. Check out the incredible line of coffee makers available.

In a hurry? Did you know we’ll even gift wrap the gift for you? Just tell us the message you’d like written in the card and we’ll handle that for you as well.

Show dad how thoughtful you can be and get him something he can use for years to come. Remember Father’s Day is Sunday, June 17, so don’t wait another minute putting off buying dad a terrific gift.

Red coffee carafe

Crazy About Carafes

Alfi is making a line of carafes that are absolutely stunning. This Alfi Eco thermal carafe combines cool style and fabulous function for the kitchen and home. The soft frosted exterior surface of the carafe is in trendy colors lends itself to festive entertaining or everyday use. Choose from white, black, fire engine red or apple. Red or green colors certainly add a punch of color to accentuate any kitchen.

Not only are these carafes functional but they are quite decorative. They make the perfect gift too and are reasonably priced at only around $30. The alfidur hard glass liner ensures temperature control for hours, and the design allows for one-handed operation. This carafe has a 33-ounce capacity and a 5-year warranty on the insulating function.

  • Alfidur vacuum hardglass liner allows beverage temperature control for hours
  • Holds 33-ounce
  • Easy one-handed operation

Check out the full line of carafes available from Culinary Outfitters. Got a wedding or house warming party you need a gift for? These carafes make the perfect gift as they are both decorative and useful. While you are shopping for a gift, why not pick up a carafe for your own home and enjoy warm coffee for hours?