How To Make the Perfect Espresso

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CAT WASTE COFFEE A London department store is set to sell the world's most expensive coffee - made from cats' droppings. The Peter Jones department store will sell the shockingly priced beverage at its Sloane Square flagship store for $100 (£50) a cup. The bizarre blend comes from the droppings of the civet cat, which scurries through the jungles of south-east Asia feasting on the best berries from the rarest of bean trees. Indonesian locals treat the droppings like gold, as a kilo of the wanton waste sells for $648 (£324) - after they have been thoroughly cleansed, of course. The coffee, named Kopi Luwak, is produced after the civet cat digests the delicious flesh of the plant's berries, leaving just the beans behind. The blend - which is mixed with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - was created by coffee fanatic David Cooper, who can't wait for posh punters to try his bank-breaking blend. He says, "These rare coffees have been slowly hand roasted for around 12 minutes to ensure that we maximise the potential of each coffee. "The final roast colour is quite dark to ensure that the espresso is perfect for a smooth latte or cappuccino." According to the Daily Telegraph, the proceeds from the sales will go to the MacMillan Cancer Trust. (MJ/WN/TN)Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire Featuring: CAT WASTE COFFEE Where: Ukraine When: 09 Apr 2008 Credit: WENN

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Let’s get real, all coffee is not created equal, and there’s a big difference between the drip junk served in your office and the offerings of artisanal roasters. Wanting the inside scoop on how to make the perfect cup of espresso we consulted with master barista Fritz Storm, who won the World Barista Championship in 2002, and is now a coffee consultant working with restaurants, bars, and hotels around the world to perfect their coffee experiences. His latest project is working with Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts on their new coffee program in its hotels around the world.

Storm shared with us: “Serving a great cup of coffee, cappuccino, or espresso should be a skill required of any good host or hostess … at-home entertainers should think about making a great cup of coffee with the same care they would use in making a great risotto or a fabulous cocktail. It just takes a little more effort and attention to detail, but the result speaks for itself.”

Fritz Storm’s Step-By-Step Guide To Making the Perfect Cup of Espresso
1. The quality of the coffee beans is extremely important. The beans shouldn’t have too many defects, and generally they should be consistent in terms of shape and size.
2. The freshness of the coffee beans is essential for maximum flavor. When selecting or serving fresh roast coffee, it should be a maximum of three-months old.
3. Once you get your coffee beans home, you should grind them with your own personal grinder. This ensures that the coffee will have the freshest flavor. Coffee grinders do not have to cost a lot of money either.
4. Next, you should pour freshly boiled, filtered water over the grinded beans.
5. After the water is poured, the extraction time is key. If the coffee is given too much or too little time to extract, you will be sacrificing the flavor of the final cup. For a French press, extraction time should be precisely four-minutes. Voila, the perfect cup of espresso.

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