Newsflash 21 August 2011: coming soon: Santa Barbara from Honduras
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Here is the formula on how to make the world's best Irish coffee:
Brew a vacuum flask of fresh drip filter coffee using recently roasted medium-bodied handpicked highland Arabica coffee - we recommend the Limu from Ethiopia or the Los Idolos Fairtrade from Colombia (more on brewing here).
Use an Irish coffee glass which has the whiskey and coffee level marks. Failing that, any medium-sized wine glass with a stem will work.
Heat the glass with boiling water and pour the water out again.
Put in two teaspoons of good quality brown sugar - Selati Plantation select tastes good.
Pour in two fingers of a decent whiskey (up to the mark) - use premium quality Irish whiskey like Jameson's if you want to stick to the traditional formula. Don't use cheap whiskey. Coffee amplifies off-tastes in the whiskey.
If you have access to an espresso steaming wand, use it to heat the whiskey and dissolve the sugar - otherwise swirl the whiskey to start the sugar dissolving.
Put a match or lighter to the side of the tilted glass and flame the whiskey - continue swirling gently while some of the alcohol burns off and the glass is heated. Not only does this provide show and ceremony to the creation, but it is a key step that brings the coffee / whiskey / sugar taste into balance.
Pour the freshly brewed Limu filter coffee up to the second line on the glass (the glass should now be about three-quarters full).
Add a dash of fine white sugar to some fresh cold thick cream. Beat to a consistency of custard. The cream should still "run" and not "stand" - it must pour.
Gently pour the cream onto the coffee-whiskey - some people pour over the back of a teaspoon to make sure the cream floats.
Drink and enjoy the world's best Irish coffee!
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