Coffee Drinks

From the fifteenth-century coffee houses of Constantinople to the twenty-first-century coffee bars across the United States and Europe, coffee’s golden age stretches for more than six hundred years. Americans brew 235 million cups of java every day, making it the most popular social drink in the country. What drives our obsession for this beloved brew–the rich aroma of the roast, the peppy caffeinated zing, or coffee’s astonishing versatility? Few other beverages can be served piping hot, icy cold, light and frothy, dense and sweet, or wickedly spiked. And nowhere is coffee more imaginatively explored or more elegantly presented than in this custom-crafted compilation. Recipe contributors include notable coffee purveyors and a highly competitive cadre of award-winning baristas. Each one of the fifty recipes is sure to keep your senses alert and percolating.   

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  1. H. Grove "Errant Dreams Reviews" 30/11/2012 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    Not equal to Turback’s previous books I was looking forward to Michael Turback’s Coffee Drinks cookbook with great anticipation. I absolutely adored his Mocha and Hot Chocolate. They’re adventurous books, and require a willingness to hunt down unusual ingredients or get creative if you’re missing a piece of equipment, but despite that they’re eminently usable by a creative and open-minded cook. Unfortunately, I can’t entirely say the same about Coffee Drinks.When you can get to the finished products in this book, they are quite delicious. So if you have an espresso machine, a frother, and a whipped cream canister that takes nitrous oxide chargers, then you won’t have any trouble making some amazing drinks out of here. That said, there are still other concerns. One is that, while the book does include sources for all of the unusual ingredients and equipment, there’s still the possibility that some things won’t be available for very long or are very expensive. For example, there’s a recipe that uses fennel pollen as an ingredient. In addition, many of these recipes are quite complex—a much larger proportion of them, it seems to me, than in those previous books.I don’t mind a coffee drinks book that’s designed to cater to people with expensive or gourmet tastes. However, the previous Turback books always reined that in with an edge of practicality. That isn’t the case this time, in my opinion.This is also the first of his books where I’ve found anything in a recipe that appeared to be a mistake. For example, the reason why some of the recipes in this book require a whipped cream canister with nitrous oxide chargers is because they make whipped cream out of a mixture that’s mostly half-and-half. One of those recipes says that you can use a mixer instead. However, having tried to do so (and yes, we have a good, high-powered mixer), I can assure you that no matter how long you sit there going at it on the highest speed, it isn’t going to whip up—it simply doesn’t have enough fat content to do so without help.I’m rating Coffee Drinks as highly as I am because of those delicious results, and because it does have one ideal audience—professional and hobby baristas. People who have all the expensive gadgetry that goes with making fine coffee and don’t mind hunting down expensive or rare ingredients. People who don’t mind spending an hour or so on one set of drinks, making a variety of syrups or other components. I’m disappointed, however, that the book doesn’t make it clear on the outside that its value is so limited outside of this audience—and I’m even more disappointed that Turback didn’t write this book to appeal to the wider audience of his other books.

  2. Anonymous 30/11/2012 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Coffee Drinks, by Michael Turback, photos by Leo Gong (112 pgs., 2008). Here is a pleasingly short gift-sized book with many photos for the real coffee lover. The author gives a brief summary of coffee & how to brew the perfect cup & how to keep it fresh (not so easy). The main part of the book is filled with recipes on how to brew various hot coffees, iced coffees & corretto (espresso) coffees. The photos by Gong are mouth watering. The index & resource lists are excellent, comprehensive & simply perfect for the serious coffee drinker. There is even a recipe included from Kaldi’s, one of the premier coffee shops in St. Louis, & my favorite cafe.

  3. Anonymous 30/11/2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I bought this as a gift for my son, who loves coffee. He loved it, we got to be the guinea pigs for a few of the recipes and they were great. Some of the ingredients are somewhat exotic, but a lot of fun.

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