Tuesday, November 8, 2011

National Cappuccino Day!

It's National Cappuccino Day!
Cappuccinos are some of the best coffee drinks out there - and for today, I'd like to have a special person explain it to you. I happen to have Na Jungsu here with me; he's been working at the Cafe in my story, and came for a visit. He's 20 years old, and has been working at the Cafe for about three weeks now; he catches on to things very quickly, and is now teaching a new employee about how things work. Without further ado, I'll let him have the seat. If he messes up on his English... don't worry... he'll continue his grammar lessons shortly. ^.^ *smiles at his insulted shout*
Alright, Jung Su - the computer is yours!

Um... hi. Okay, so, cappuccinos. The secret to making the perfect one is the correct ratio of milk to espresso - the classic recipe calls for three equal parts of espresso, milk and froth, but NEVER cream. (nasty stuff...) It is the milk froth that sits on top like a cap - thus the name, CAPpuccino. The froth needs to be firm enough to support the sugar for a moment before it descends into the cup, much in the way as good crema functions in an espresso. Don't EVER burn the steamed milk - you have to be gentle with it. Cappuccinos are the best thing to have on a cold Autumn day (or Winter, if you prefer...) Sad enough, a lot of people don't know how 2 make good coffees - here is a video I found this morning that does it the RIGHT way. The only complaint I have about it is the steaming - you need to move the pitcher around a little and it makes it much more foamy. (Hannah let me borrow the computer at like, 3:50 this morning; could not sleep!)
A really good top for it is shaved chocolate or cinnamon on the foam. Good stuff.

So now I'm off to make one - enjoy yourself a cappuccino; settle down somewhere and read a book. Or browse the Internet... in my opinion. ^_^

Bringing You Love from the Cafe,
- NA Jungsu

  Cafe Excerpt
(When characters are speaking Korean, it's in italics.)

Dae Hyun was standing quietly by the door, glancing around the streets outside. When he heard them come out, he turned to face them, nodding his head in acknowledgment. Jung Su leaned against the counter across from him, pointing a thumb over his shoulder at Erica, who began making a list of the things she needed from the store.
"Alright. So, I'm you're help for today. I'll show you what to do. It is not hard to learn."
He handed him the apron, pulling it out of the pack.
"So," he continued, tossing the bag in the trash. "Over here – first thing's first."
Dae Hyun followed him, tying the apron. He listened quietly as Jung Su explained how the brewers worked, and took him through the steps of making the different coffees.
"The filter comes off like this. When you make the espresso shots, you pack the grounds into it tightly with this tamper at a 90 degree angle in a circular motion, like this..."
He took the small silver tamper and rolled it around in the packed filter basket in a swift movement. "Use your wrist," he explained.
"When steaming milk for whatever you're making, you use this pitcher," he said, picking up a stainless steel container. He bent down and got a jug of milk from the fridge.
"Say I'm going to make a cappuccino," he continued, picking up the filter basket and attaching it to the brewer.
"I'd fit the filter to its holder and turn it on. The water needed is already in the container there, so it's ready to go. While that's brewing, I'm going to froth the milk."
He filled the pitcher with just the right ammount, and inserted the steam outlet just under the surface of the liquid, turning it on. It whirred loudly, and he moved the pitcher up and down in small circular movements; the milk began to foam and encrease.
"Make sure the container is not so hot you cannot touch it," Jung Su said over the noise. Once it was sufficiantly frothy, he turned it off, setting that pitcher aside.
"Alright," he said, getting out another container. "Your turn."
Dae Hyun took the pitcher from him, pouring milk into it.
"How much?" he asked, glancing over at him. Jung Su noticed he was using formal Korean, but let it slip, thinking it was from his nervousness.
"Uh, about six inches for this one. We'll make a latte with it."
He watched him closely, re-pointing to what to do.
"Nah, it goes in like that, see?" he said, adjusting the position of the pitcher. "Now turn it on, that button there."
Dae Hyun flicked it on, and once again it began to whir. Jung Su guided his hand a little, showing him how to move it.
"How long do you do it for?" he asked, watching the milk begin to foam. There was that formal Korean again...
"Depends on how foamy you want it," Jung Su glanced over at him. "For this one, just enough until it is thick."
From her position at the other end of the counter, Erica listened quietly to what was said, smiling to herself as she wrote out her grocery list. Dae Hyun was so nervous, but was trying his best to do things right. She shook her head slowly, a small smile still on her face, wondering just when Jung Su would say something about the formal Korean. She knew very well that it wasn't because her new employee was nervous. 



Argentia Krystofel said...

Well, first of all, Jung Su-Your English is SUPERB! Keep up the good work. (You're better than most)

And your coffee expertise has officially blown my mind. You're definitely an expert on cappuccinos.

Now, for a question-What's your favorite kind of coffee? We discovered in chapter 8 that Adrianna's is chocolate frappuccino, but I'm honestly very curious; what's yours? And, for that matter...Erica and Dae Hyun's?

P.S. Hannah, as usual I can only complement your story! And the coffee in it sounds delicious, even though coffee itself makes me sick I can still envision everything...and the Cafe just makes me feel warm inside. ^///^

Hannah Leigh said...

Argentia -
Oh, hey - Hannah told me you commented, so, here I am. Shes nice to let me type on her blog! >.<
Yeh, thanks! Wow - for my faovrit coffee? There's so many to choose from! Probably... hm. I'm gonna have to think on that one. I *do* like cappuccinos, but in mine I tend to put a little more espresso. (Stronger stuff, you know?) Dae Hyun tends to like chocolatey stuff, like Adriana. Erica actually likes more simple stuff, like lattes. I have not really asked her. :) You do not like coffee!? Hey, hey - that's not exceptable. We'll have to fix that! >;D

Bringing you love from the Cafe,
-NA Jungsu

P.S. Hey! It's Hannah - THANK YOU! ^.^ (consider yourself hugged - possibly poked by pin badges...) >.<

Argentia Krystofel said...

Strong stuff sounds a lot like you...ah, that's cool!

I *do* like coffee...I mean, I REALLY like it. I've never had a really fancy one, though.
The reason I can't drink it is actually I'm allergic to it. >.< Well, if a night of sickness&throwing up can be called allergies.

But I still drink other warm stuff when I'm craving something like that...hot chocolate, and chai tea are two of my favorites.

Oh, you betcha! ^.^ And, don't worry...I love pin badges. (Mostly thanks to Jung Su...)

Hannah Leigh said...

Jungsu again - yeh, some people get sick. Viktor says he was like that 4 a while, but he got better; he mostly just drinks espressos and stuff; he's not up for fancy things. You know, you might like a frappuccino - they're not strong at all, and very good; kinda like a milk shake, almost (if you put enough cream).
Hot chocolate is very good, too!

bringing you love from the Cafe,
-NA Jungsu

p.s. hannah says she's all up for pin badges for christmas, if you are - she has plans. ^.^ LOTS of plans - she also asks when your birthday is, and how to pronounce 'gif' - i think she's done now... >.>

Argentia Krystofel said...

Ah, I did forget to ask what Viktor, YoungBae and Justin like in the coffee department...

I am very up for pin-badges! I'll have to look around and find her a spectacular one. ;)

My birthday is November 17 (SEVEN DAYS! O.O) and you pronounce gif...if it's a picture/file name/etcetera...I have no idea...I've always said it "JIF" but I don't really know. And if it's something else...I still don't know! Sorry to be unhelpful. >.<

Hannah Leigh said...

Unhelpful? You're helpful, she says. I myself like pin badges, actually. I'm glad I inspired you. ^///^
Youngbae... don't even ask what he likes. It would take years to memorize it. It's something between a *really* fancy latte with the toppings of a frappuccino. :P You have to ask him. Justin - that kid doesn't NEED coffee. Just being around the aroma makes him so hyper Viktor takes him out back.... I'm not sure what he does to him... I'm not sure I wanna ask. ^.^ Whatever he does, it gets him back in line!

-NA Jungsu