Cool Beans & Baristas

What’s better than starting your day off with a steaming hot cappuccino with the perfect blend of espresso and frothed milk mixed with a shot of hazelnut? I’m going to go ahead and say nothing. 

For the past 14 years, Espresso Bella has been flourishing as a successful personal Barista and Espresso Bar catering service, specializing in espresso as well as many other espresso based beverages. Whether you’re brewing Espresso Bella’s beans at home or using them for your upcoming event, I guarantee it will be an unparalleled experience.   

Focusing primarily on providing enthusiastic service to a variety of clientele. From weddings and bridal showers, to holiday parties, Espresso Bella is proud of their versatility.

This personal Barista service goes above and beyond the typical tea and coffee you find at many events. With educated and professional staff, you are guaranteed the perfect cup of espresso – brewed just for you, every time. 

What They Can Do For You

Looking to impress your boss at your next office meeting? Or maybe you want to wow your guests at your wedding?

Trying to please all customers, your Espresso Bar can be as simple or complex as you desire. Delightful machiatto or rich espresso? Both? Espresso Bella offers everything your inner coffee fiend could ever desire. 

The Standard Bar is typically for people looking for a simpler coffee experience. Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, and Tea will help you get your caffeine fix without the extra flavours the Deluxe Bar offers. However, the Deluxe Bar has lots of options to appeal to your more adventurous guests. 

Driven by the importance of enjoying quality products, adding Espresso Bella to any event is guaranteed to provide your guests with an unforgettable experience. 

“Making every cup an Espresso Bella”

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Cannabis Coffee

This past week, Canada became among the list of countries that have legalized the recreational use of cannabis. With the legalization, we got to thinking – “What about cannabis-infused coffee?”. Well, it’s a thing! There are several pros to adding cannabis to your coffee and we’re going to go through them all!

Before we get into the ‘good’ stuff, let’s discuss what it is exactly that you’d be putting into your coffee. We’re talkin’ CBD, or cannabidiol, which is a natural derivative from the cannabis plant. CBD is known for being the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant – those who use cannabis for medicinal purposes usually look for such that has a higher CBD content.

Pros:

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you’ve probably encountered a time or two with the ‘jitters’ and/or high anxiety. One of the first pros of enjoying CBD coffee is that those effects almost disappear and you are more often than not, actually relaxed. If we look at the science behind it, both caffeine (found in coffee) and cannabinoids are adenosine reactants, this means that while the caffeine will suppress your feelings to go to sleep, the cannabinoids will keep adenosine in place to allow for that calming factor.

Now, we know many people simply cannot function without their morning cup of jo; however, there has been a few studies that suggest that CBD coffee can increase your feelings of awakeness without the need for extra caffeine – so no, you won’t have to add that extra shot!

Further, many people feel those aches and pains in the morning and as we mentioned earlier, higher CBD content is mainly found in medical marijuana products – this means, that alongside you being more awake, the non-psychoactive and body calming effects will have your body ready to go in no time!

Wanna try it?

There are several ways to infuse your coffee with CBD: from using CBD oil to buying CBD-infused beans (that’s right, before they’re roasted!). As many know, with the legalization of cannabis in Canada, there were a few ‘terms and conditions’. For instance, edibles and drinkables are not yet legal; however, oils can be purchased and you are more than welcome to make and enjoy these treats at home. With that said, pure CBD oil is not yet available on the government website; therefore, when following at-home tutorials to make edibles and drinkables, please remember that THC does in fact have psychoactive effects and it is illegal to drive under its influence.

We actually reached out to our Facebook and Instagram followers to ask how many people would be interested if we were able to offer a drinkable and this was the response:

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The responses we’re surprising – both Facebook and Instagram had almost identical answers but for the opposite choice! There is still time to choose a side though, drinkables won’t be available for sale until sometime in 2019. Don’t worry though, we’re looking into it!

#NationalLiqueurDay

To celebrate two of our favourite things: espresso and cocktails, we have three espresso-based drinks for you to try. Oh, and just a hint: for each cocktail you’ll need only the finest espresso.

Espresso Martini44112854_1029729537195486_4557878565063884800_n

This is probably the most basic of the three, but also the most well-known. You can use this recipe as a base for any other flavours and garnishes.

Espresso Martini Rec

Start by adding the vodka, Kahlua, espresso, and syrup to your shaker. Once you’ve added your ice, shake, shake, shake! The key to a beautiful, frothy Espresso Martini is shaking it until you feel the texture in your shaker change. After rimming your martini glass with caramel (or your sauce of choice) pour your delicious martini and enjoy!

 

Siciliano

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This espresso cocktail is for those that can’t decide if they want a sweet treat or an amaro after dinner. (An amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur typically enjoyed as an after-dinner digestif). This cocktail combines the syrupy, bitter-sweet flavours of the liqueur with rich espresso and sweet vermouth.

Siciliano RecStart by adding your liqueurs, espresso, and syrup to your shaker. Once you’ve added your ice, give your cocktail a few shakes. Pour the contents into a glass and fill with club soda. You can garnish with any fruit you’d like, but with our espresso, cherries pair perfectly!

 

Cafe Don Juan

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The Cafe Don Juan is the perfect espresso cocktail for those with a sweet tooth. It combines spicy rum with sweet Kahlua and of course we top it with whipped cream! This beverage is so good you can almost call it dessert in a cup!

don-juan-rec.png

The directions are quite simple: just add your espresso and liqueurs to your glass and top with fresh whipping cream! To keep things classy, add some cocoa powder on top as well!

 

 

We hope you took some time to celebrate #NationalLiqueurDay! Have fun with these recipes and make them your own!

 

Please drink responsibly. 

Excess Grinds? No Problem

These days it’s all about DIYs and all-natural home remedies and if you have an abundance of expired or leftover coffee grounds then you’re able to do both! Coffee, and coffee grounds, can make a great addition to any skin and hair care routine.

(We also suggest not using coffee grounds that have already been used as their antioxidant properties have already been taken away!)

Exfoliant

Coffee grounds make a great exfoliant because of the abrasive texture and natural 44197110_890449161149886_2910389763846438912_nproperties. Just by mixing a few tablespoons of coffee grounds with your favourite oil (coconut works the best!) you can use this scrub all over your body! This works best for getting rid of that excess dry layer of skin to reveal the beautiful healthy skin underneath.

There’s also a rumor that coffee scrubs can help get rid of cellulite, but there is little evidence to back this up. So instead of suggesting that it works, we’ll tell you that the potential is there as coffee is loaded with antioxidants that can help tighten your skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Facial

Coffee as well as its grounds can also be used in facial products – not just as a scrub like mentioned above but also to rejuvenate the skin. You’ve probably noticed that many skin care companies are even incorporating coffee into their products. This is because coffee has been proven to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles while energizing the skin and improving elasticity. Because of its antioxidants, coffee has also been shown to reduce redness and inflammation of the skin, which is perfect for giving your face an even complexion.

 

Hair Treatment

Coffee is one of the best all natural ‘pick-me-ups’ for your hair. Not only does the motion of rubbing the grinds in your scalp promote blood circulation and therefore hair growth, but exfoliating your scalp helps unclog hair follicles and leads to stronger hair all around. By mixing the grinds with your favourite oil, not only does your scalp become refreshed as dead skin cells and dandruff are rubbed away, but your scalp is moisturized in the process.44245440_2220294811532425_6246123565083525120_n

Coffee can also be used to revive your hair and bring back its shine! Next time you pour yourself a ‘spro, make an extra one just for your hair. Jump in the shower, wash your hair, apply your coffee evenly over your locks and let it sit for up to 20 minutes (so, while your do all your other things) and then rinse it out! This rinse is best for those with darker hair because coffee is also a natural dye and can affect lighter hair.

 

 

Robusta, Arabica’s Best Friend

If you’ve ever been looking to buy or try a new coffee, you’ve probably come across the words ‘Arabica’ and ‘Robusta’ more than once. We know them as the two different types of coffee beans that can be found in any blend or roast, but do you truly know the difference?

For a coffee lover, the sight of ‘Robusta’ on a bag usually screams “buyer beware!” but in reality, these beans, if of the right quality, can make a profound cup of espresso with a crema like no other.

So, what’s the difference?

To start, Robusta and Arabica beans are not the only two species of coffee – they just make up most of the world’s coffee growth and selection. However, they are quite different, from the size, shape, and crease to the taste, aroma, and mouth feel.

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This comparison probably doesn’t explain much in terms of why Robusta isn’t something to turn away from, but it does help explain why mixing Arabica and Robusta beans can make an amazing blend, especially for espresso.

High-quality Robusta beans are typically used for espresso blends because they produce a luxurious crema and can pack that bold flavour you expect from a darker roast of coffee. With the right mix of Arabica, these coffees have subtle sweetness and can be enjoyed with anything from your savory morning breakfast to a sweet dessert.

If we take Mokador for example, their capsules are the perfect explanation for how blending these two beans can develop multiple types of espresso.

PiuCrema

Mokador Più Crema consists of species of prized Coffea Robusta from the best plantations in India and Africa. This blend is identified by a dense structure, dark colour and persistent creaminess. The body is described as intensely structured with a decisive taste and pleasant syrupy quality. It is suggested that this blend is ideal for breakfast.

100Arabica

Mokador Crema is a rounded and full bodied coffee blend, consisting of species of Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta. This blend produces a thick texture and dark-brown colour throughout. This blend is described as being a coffee with a spirited and lively personality. It is suggested that this blend is ideal for either breakfast or lunch.

Crema

Finally, Mokador 100% Arabica can be seen having many different flavours and aromas than that of those with Robusta blended. It’s described as a blend of sweet tasting aromatic coffee consisting of a selection of prized varieties of Coffea Arabica from Central and South America. This espresso is identified by a silky mouthfeel and the golden colour. Acidity is prominent which is typical of the best varieties of Arabica Coffee. The body is delicate while the aroma ranges from floral to fruity notes with an aftertaste of citrus and cocoa. This coffee is best for your first break and dinner.

If you’ve ever tried any of these Mokador espresso blends, you know that these flavours are unique, yet specific. The strong, bold flavour of a Robusta bean is quite complimentary to that of the sweet flavours from Arabica; thus, making a perfectly balanced espresso. So next time you see Robusta included in a bag of coffee, don’t stray away – give it a try!

Caffeine and Mental Health

Let’s face it, nowadays, almost everyone is a coffee drinker, whether it be for the taste, the ‘cool’ factor, or for that sweet burst of energy. With all of these coffee drinkers it’s expected that there are a lot of opinions on if coffee is good or bad for you. While there may be quite a bit of health benefits to what you do or do not put in your coffee, such as sugar, cream, syrups or even cinnamon, we should also consider the health benefits of just black coffee itself.

We also often overlook the benefits or impacts on your mental and brain health coffee has. Obviously, there are a few obvious effects that coffee has such as stimulation and alertness, but what about long-term effects such as those towards depression and anxiety? Not to mention, coffee, or caffeine rather, is technically a drug, so what about the effects of withdrawal on your body.

Let’s start with the good.

In recent studies, and one particularly from the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, caffeine has causes the direct response of motivation, alertness, and anti-depressive effects. This is because caffeine is a psycho-stimulant causing your body and brain to want to ‘get things going’. Further, caffeine is known for binding to adenosine receptors and blocking them. If that last sentence was gibberish to you, that’s fine: basically, caffeine stops the hormone that causes drowsiness and a lack of motivation and energy – meaning, your awake, alert, and ready to get shi– I mean, stuff done.

One last thing, coffee is a social beverage. That being said, it’s a great excuse to grab your friends that you may not have seen in a while, meet at your local coffee shop, and talk it all out. It’s a way to keep you out of your room and get you out of the house.

But what about those that battle anxiety? Is coffee good or bad?

The truth is, there isn’t a definitive answer. Those with anxiety tend to feel stress and nervousness at any given time and more often than not, feel almost a weight on their shoulders. Caffeine isn’t necessarily beneficial towards these feelings. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that increases heart rate, blood pressure and can lead to extreme levels of stress hormones in your body.

Now this doesn’t mean if you’re struggling with anxiety or stress that you should give up coffee altogether, it just means you should know your limit and stay within it.

Last but not least, have you ever tried to give up coffee? Or accidentally skipped your morning ‘spro? You might have felt a few of these things…

The number one effect from caffeine withdrawal is a headache – this is because caffeine narrows your blood vessels in your brain, with the absence of caffeine there is a sudden flow of blood to your brain which can cause a headache until your brain adapts to the change, or until your next fix.

Next is irritability. We’ve all seen those t-shirts and mugs that say something like “give me my coffee and no one gets hurt”. Well, there’s a reason those sayings fall true: without your mood-boosting beverage, you’re most likely going to feel angry or ‘moody’.

If you’re thinking of cutting out coffee, try going slow and not attempting the cold turkey technique. Also, make sure you’re staying hydrated and getting the right amount of sleep!

In the end, it’s important to know yourself and your body – what amount of caffeine you can handle and how much is too much. Because, let’s face it, you can in fact have too much of a good thing.

Beverages to FALL For

We all know that “pumpkin spice” has become it’s own season at this point, but we often forget that there are so many other drinks to consider to get you warm and cozy as you walk through those crunchy leaves. Here are just a few more to consider and try to make at home!

To start, there are many teas that can be turned into lattes and it’s so easy to make them!

LF recipeThis tea latte features a nice frothy texture, a floral lavender taste, and can be sweetened with vanilla syrup as opposed to vanilla extract. Start with brewing your Earl Grey tea – you can brew by filling your cup with just half boiling water because we’re going to fill the rest up with frothed milk. Next, froth your milk until it reaches your preferred temperature or foamy texture. With the addition of the vanilla and a quick stir, the warm flavours of the earl grey tea come through to provide you with the feeling of comfort.

This still falls under the ‘tea latte’ category but with a twist! If you’re soDC Recipemeone who enjoys slight spice to his or her morning brew, you’ll definitely love adding chai to your espresso! The easiest way to make this latte is by using chai syrup so that your espresso isn’t watered down by brewed tea. The rest is easy – just froth some milk and pour on top of your espresso and enjoy! The cinnamon and cloves in the chai syrup make a great pairing with almost any espresso!

 

If you’re not a tea person at all of course we have the perfect espresso-based beverages for you to try!

M RecipeThis flavoured latte-like beverage combines our favourite things: coffee and chocolate! Start by adding chocolate syrup to your cup and pour your espresso on top – give it a quick swirl or stir to melt it up too. Next, just like any other latte, froth your milk! Make sure you don’t make your milk too foamy because you’re going to want to add whipped cream on top and foam definitely gets in the way of that! Last but not least, add a sprinkle of cocoa or a drizzle of chocolate syrup to complete your beveragNL Recipee!

Let’s take it a step further, you’ve got the mocha down, but if we add just a little hazelnut syrup you’ll end up with a beverage reminding you of that oh so gooey chocolate hazelnut spread we all know and love! Finish it off with whipped cream too!

 

Now, if you’re looking for a fall beverage for the kiddos or just something to cozy up with before bed without a burst of caffeine, this hot chocolate is just for you!

CHC RecipeImagine melting down a Caramilk bar and mixing it with warm milk – this hot chocolate is certainly similar! Start with adding equal shots of chocolate syrup and caramel syrup, then add a touch of hot water just to melt the chocolate and stir it with the caramel syrup. Froth your milk, again not creating too much foam and pour it into your cup leaving enough space to layer on whipped cream (and caramel sauce!)! This beverage is perfect to warm you up after playing outside in the leaves, or cuddling up to watch a movie in the evening.

So next time you’re looking for a drink that’s #InstagramWorthy, a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, or just something tasty to try this fall, refer back to these recipes for some inspiration! 

Love is Brewing…

Every bride wants to be different, unique, please her guests, and have that one thing that makes everyone say, “Wow! Such a good idea!”

Let me tell you, the ordinary drip coffee that comes with your venue or catering company might not provide that ‘wow’ factor.

But there are other options to give your guests that extra “pick me up” after dinner that’s guaranteed to get everyone dancing all night long!

Even if you’re not having a late wedding, you could enjoy espresso as you’re getting all dolled up in the morning, after the service, midday, or even making it an ad

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dition to your cocktail hour!

Have you ever wanted a personal barista, someone equipped with all the knowledge and skills, that will make the perfect cappuccino just for you? That’s espresso bar catering.

There are many options to make your wedding unique: the perfect venue, décor, a photo booth, an awesome DJ, and now, your own personal barista and espresso bar.

You’re probably thinking: “I paid for a caterer, they come with coffee and tea.” Yes, but imagine the perfect espresso, that sweet crema and caramel notes – that is the treat your guests should be enjoying after the caterer does what they do best: food.

Also, you have a barista that greets each and every one of 38140409_10156461484021727_8987819297149550592_nyour guests with a smile and friendly service.

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Just like a bar, espresso bar catering can be open for service for as long or as little as you’d like, giving your guests the choice of when they want an espresso – even if that means jumping off the dance floor for that quick extra burst of energy.

We know that your day is all about you, so let’s make it just that! Got a wedding hashtag, or a cute theme? Put that on your lattes! It’ll definitely be Instagram worthy, making your wedding the one everyone is talking about.

Speaking of lattes, there’s so much more to offer! Cappuccino, macchiato, espresso, americano, or any flavour addition…You name it, you can have it!

 

So, why not add this Pinterest pinnable, Instagram worthy service to your wedding and relax knowing your guests are enjoying the perfect after dinner espresso bella.

Beverage Basics

Not everyone is a born coffee-drinker and we often forget that not everyone knows the in’s and out’s of coffee or espresso beverages. For those that may be out of their comfort zone walking into a traditional café or ordering an espresso, I’m going to give you a breakdown of the 4 most commonly confused espresso-based beverages: Espresso, Macchiato, Latte, and Cappuccino.

espressodef

When the perfect espresso is poured, you can distinctly see three layers with the last being a sweet crema. The lowest layer is the strongest tasting, with a full body and roasty flavour. The second layer usually blends into the lowest quickly but contains all of the identifiable flavour profiles of the Espressobreakdownespresso. The third layer is the most beautiful. If done correctly, your espresso will be topped with a rich hazelnut-coloured crema that has a smooth mouthfeel and a sweet finish.

Macchiato

If you’re not a straight espresso type of person, try opting for a macchiato. A traditional macchiato contains a shot or two of espresso and is topped with just a little frothed milk for a richer mouthfeel and creamier taste. Adding this small amount of frothed milk can turn your quick espresso into a lasting beverage.Macchbd

A traditional Italian macchiato is not to be confused with newer, westernized beverages that can sometimes be quite large in size.

 

Latte

One step up from a macchiato is a latte. By just adding a bit more frothed milk, and a layer of fluffy foam you have the simplest yet delicious espresso beverage. Most espresso blends are roasted to create flavour profiles that can not only withstand a large amount of milk, but also compliment the creaminess that frothed milk offers. Lattes are made

Latte breakdown

by frothing enough milk to fill your cup and poured on an angle to allow the milk to mix with the espresso and the foam to be layered on top. As someone that may not enjoy plain espresso and often takes his or her coffee with creamer or milk, a latte is a great place to start. Consider adding flavoured syrups or spiced toppings to your foam as well!

Cappuccino

Not to be confused with a latte, although they are quite similar, a cappuccino is probably the most decadent of these four beverages. Because it only contains a small amount of frothed milk and is mainly comprised of foam, cappuccinos can be described as dessert-like. Cappuccinos are made by frothing the milk for just a tad longer than a latte or holding the frothing pitcher at just the right angle to allow the steam to create a wet foam. When poured, the froth should mix with the espresso and become a canvas of rich brown and goldeCappuccinobdn colours allowing the entire beverage to be a thick consistency.

It’s said that true Italian cappuccinos are no more than 8oz. of liquid and are traditionally stirred after serving to incorporate all of the flavours.

 

Now you’re a pro at determining which flavour, texture, and size of beverage best suits you!