Coffee Tips, Espresso Reviews

Espresso that serve my business

Having been a coffee shop owner for over 5 years, I now experience with several brands of espresso machines. I have acquired and disposed several espresso machines, some even before a month was over, due to their lack of capacity to make what my customers wanted. So I acquired the Breville BES920XL espresso machine almost 2 years ago and what I can say is that it is the best semi automatic espresso machine out there. First, it is semi-automatic so I have some degree of control over it. I decide when the pump is on and when it’s off. This allows me to monitor the amount of water pushed through my grounded coffee beans.

Breville BES920XL espresso machine

My Semi Automatic Espresso Machine

I bought the best semi automatic espresso machine at a relatively higher price but it was worth it; it has not only made a return on investment but also made me huge amounts of profit due to the quality of the espresso it makes.

Stunning Features

It has many advanced features. For instance, it has two boilers made of stainless steel so I never have to worry about them rusting. The pumps are also so advanced that the extraction and steaming processes take place simultaneously. This makes my machine able to give the milk I add to every cup such a fine texture that my customers always want an extra cup. The other thing I love about this espresso machine is its auto-start feature. This feature preheats it for a time of my choosing, thus giving it the ability to make espresso faster; my customers don’t have to wait for long before having their espresso. The machine also has audio alerts and LCD backlights, both of which enable me monitor its operations while attending to customers.

I have used before the Gaggia 14101 and the Mr. Espresso BVMC-ECMP1000 Café Barista and they’re likewise great; however, my stand is that the best semi automatic espresso machine is the Breville BES920XL.

Other Best Espresso Makers

The increase in trends of these innovative machines has considerably lessened the cafe queuing. The many brands available in the market make it crucial to do a background research whether getting your first machine or replacing your old one. To top the list is Breville Bes870xl Barista espresso maker. It includes a removable two-liter water tank, in-build grinder and volumetric control. It automatically adjusts brewing temperature to give high quality espresso. However, the control settings and pressure gauge might be hard for first users but it gets better with time.

Programmable and Affordable Espresso Makers

Cuisinart DCC-3200 programmable coffeemaker comes with a state-of-the-art technology to brew best quality and flavors of coffee. It has 1-4 cup setting and it’s a self-cleaning machine. Automatically shuts off and adjust temperatures. Unlike the Breville Bes870xl, its water tank is not removable. Nespresso Inissia espresso maker had to make it in my list. It has a fast preheating time of about 25 seconds and allows insertion/removal of capsules. Through the programmable button, you can choose to make either espresso, Americano, lattes or lungo. The machine automatically shuts off after 9 minutes of being active. This affordable Nespresso has a 24-ounce removable water tank.

Easy Cleaning Espresso Makers

To end my post I include De’Longhi 15 Bar Pump espresso and cappuccino maker together with Nespresso Pixie espresso maker. They offer great coffee flavors and can be easily cleaned. Whether you want to brew an espresso, latte, cappuccino or anything, you ought to consider the machine suitability. Keep in mind that expensive products do not necessarily translate to great performance. With the home espresso makers above considered, the coffee will certainly impress you.

Whether you are having friends over your place or just spending time with family a cup of coffee is always appreciated. Espresso machines are the modern way to make a good tasting, quality coffee. Growing up I was not the coffee type of person. However, moving to college and then joining the working class it grew on me gradually. Now I can brag of being a barista-quality coffee-making guru and as well as a coffee shop owner. I always find an excuse to play barista in my own kitchen except people do not queue. The feeling when everyone compliments the taste of your coffee is priceless. By going through the suggested home espresso maker reviews, you will have a chance to join the elite class of baristas.

Cooking, Recipes

chili source

It all started when we discovered our diabetic mother snacking on instant noodles while we were not around. It dawned on me that we could have been a tad too controlling over her food intake. While it is necessary to make sure that she sticks to low glycemic index food groups, this often means that she will be deprived of her usual hawker favourites and have to be content with my vegetarian sister’s cooking which to me, always seem to taste of vinegar and ginger – irregardless of the dish she may be cooking. I personally shun her cooking and her skill in picking the right kitchen knvies;and if I have the time to cook for my mum, would not hesitate to load up a broth with anchovies for that umami flavour.

While she used to love eating dried wonton or fish ball noodles (tah mee) , she should basically stay away from these noodle dishes. Thanks to the growing demand for organic and healthy food, we are now able to find brown rice vermicelli and mee sua(thin salted Chinese noodle made from wheat flour) but the texture of these still differ significantly from the traditional wonton noodles or Mee Pok. So when I came across a Tah Mee recipe in Wee Eng Hwa’s encyclopedic ‘Cooking For The President’, I knew I have to cook this for my mum. While I knew I can make my own wholemeal mee pok by tweaking a good pasta recipe, a good sauce is what would deliver an authentic Tah Mee experience.

In the heart of a good Tah Mee has to be an outstanding chili sauce and this one…. is to die for.

Made up of a mixture of aromatics, spices and dried shrimps, this chili sauce is so good that I can polish off a bowl of steamed rice with it alone. For those who would try to make this, make a big batch because your whole house will be smoked through with the odour of the spices irregardless of the portion size you are preparing. Another word of caution is to fry the ingredients over low heat and exercise patience. I burnt my first lot with an over zealous flame and the bitterness from the burnt sauce rendered it totally unpalatable.

With the first component of the Tah Mee completed, look out for the next installment of home made wholemeal Mee Pok!

Cooking, Recipes

white butter cake recipes

As the last pineapple tart gets depleted from the ubiquitous red lidded plastic tub, it becomes official, Chinese New Year is over. There will be some who are still working off the CNY left overs but for me, I am eager to stash away my pineapple tart molds and return to something more fundamental. When you are sick and tired of eating the sweet fare day after day for almost a month, you yearn for something more basic, something from good old Tish Boyle’s cake bible.

knife cut cake

It doesn’t surprise me at all when I instinctively reached out for Tish Boyle – after all, I have had happy results with her various pound cake recipes. As I perused over this recipe, I couldn’t understand why I had not tried this before. It is extremely basic and can definitely become the base of many interesting variations to follow. I am always delighted when I discover a good basic recipe which I can potentially work into a cup cake or a frosted layer cake just like Isabella’s Lemon Meringue Cupcake base and Alex Goh’s Jam Topping Sponge Cake base. This one is unique for me as it falls somewhere in between the spectrum of a pound and a sponge cake. With the use of unbeaten egg white, the cake turns out lighter than your typical butter cake but considerably more fulfilling in texture than the airy sponge.

Yielding the fine crumbed cake that I have come to associate so easily with Tish Boyle’s recipe , this one turned out to be even more velvety than the Plainly Perfect Sponge Cake.

White Butter Cake Cut

The clean white finish makes this a perfect base for layering and frosting. Imagine how pretty this would look in a white on white frosted wedding layer cake when you cut it using your knife!

I am certain you will see me use more of this in my future cake postings. For now, I encourage you to give this a try and am sure you will be as delighted as I have been with it.


31/2 cups (325g) sifted cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
2 sticks (227g) unsalted butter
1 cup (300g) granulated sugar
6 large egg whites (about 150g)
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cup (320ml) whole milk


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350F or 175C.
2. Grease the bottom and sides of 2 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour. (You can use any cake mold but beware -this cake bakes best as a thin layer. Baking it to full height in a 9-inch or 6-inch pan will require longer baking time and you will get a browned cake)
3. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter at medium high speed until creamy (30seconds). Add sugar and continue to beat at high speed until light . (about 2 mins)
5. Reduce speed to low and add in egg whites one at a time and mix until homogenous.
6. Add in lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix well.
7. Add the flour mixture in alternating with milk. (add flour in 3 additions and milk in 2 additions)
8. Divide the cake batter evenly into the 2 9 inch cake tins and smooth the tops.
9. Bake the cake for 25 to 30mins until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
10. ( You can also bake them in cup cake liners or muffin pans- they will work with the baking timing suggested above to yield a snowy white cake.)


Christmas is behind us, but I don’t like last minute purchases. Invariably somebody gets forgotten. In any event, we sold old motorcycle last week, so I am left with some money to splurge. If the money remains in my hand, it will be wasted. But I could buy some things such as cookware, which always come handy.

The Perfect High Quality Cookware Purchase

High quality cookware is one of the most important assets in my kitchen. If it’s low quality and defective, cooking will not be efficient. Great cookware means keeping the kitchen shining and stainless, a classy appearance that should welcome every visitor into the shelves the kitchen.

I am going through these kitchen cookware set reviews so that I can find one or two good sets. Nowadays, the choice seems to be between stainless steel varieties and non-stick varieties. In our times, we had many other types like we used earthen pots, copper pots, brass pots, aluminum pots, and iron pots. But now, the battle is confined between nonstick and stainless steel.

Alternative Types Of Cookware

Of course there are more varieties under each of these categories. There is brushed stainless steel cookware which looks good. Some have copper bottom, and yet others may have core layer covered with stainless steel. Indeed there is more variety than what was available in the past, but still it appears the choice is only between stainless steel cookware and nonstick cookware.

While I’m trying to save on my pots and pans, I always consider shopping for cookware sets. The Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-piece cookware set is one of my favorite sets. This set of pots and pans comes with stainless bases allowing effective conduction of the heat from my stove. When I’m cooking for longer times, the riveted handles do not heat up, allowing me to hold my pots at ease.

That’s not all, another of my favorite sets is the T-fal E918SC. My friend recently ordered this set from Amazon and what I have come to like about it, is the non-stick surface that saves oil while you cook. Interestingly, this set features a unique thermo spot heat indicator allowing for regulated heat to the pan. What I love about the technology of this pan is that whenever we are preparing pan cakes and pies, the middle part does not burn up unlike many other brands of pans.

My Cookware Preferences

I always like to have a deep frying pan around and the Nonstick Jumbo Cooker has always saved my days. The price pushed me towards buying this pan and I couldn’t help to notice it’s 2 layer interior which has kept my frying for 7 months now without facing any scratches. I can wash it on my dishwasher together with other metallic utensils saving lots of time especially when I’m in a hurry. There’s plenty of durable pans and pots to choose from but what I love the most about my sets is their unique features and the materials that make them live longer on my kitchen shelves.

I like the idea of buying anodized set though. It is somewhere between the two, i.e., it works like nonstick cookware so oil consumption would be low. And yet, it does not have any harmful compounds lining it.

My Favorite Set Of Cookware

Among the listed cookware, I liked Circulon’s Infinite (Hard Anodized) set of 10 pieces. It consists of 2 skillets, i.e., on of 8 inches, and another of 10 inches. Likewise, it includes a 2 saucepans, one of 1.5 quart, and another of 2 quarts. In addition to these, there is a stock pot of 8 quarts and a saute pan of 3 quarts. Except the skillets, all other pots and pans have lids. I think the set would be perfect for any newly weds. The lids have a handle to lift them up, but there is no plastic on that! Would it not be too hot? Even the handles are metallic. I am not sure that will not lead to some accidents.

14 Piece Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Cookware Set

Perhaps the 14 pieces Rachael Ray hard anodized cookware set is better. This set includes three sauce pans, i.e, 1 quart, 2 quart, and 3 quart. A 4 quart sauce pot has been added to the set, which includes 3 quart saute pan. The stockpot in this set has a capacity of 6 quarts. There are two skillets as well, one of which is of 10 inches, and the other of of 8.5 inches. The best thing about this set in comparison to Circulon’s set is that handles are covered by plastic.

I will go through some more of these cookware options, prepare a list as per my choice and then bargain at the shop to the get the best deal.