I had the honour to take part in Vanfoodster’s Coffee Drink Challenge and I got the opportunity to learn more about each coffee shop and its drink creation. Note: Order does not determine preference.
Participate #1: The Belgian Chocolate Cafe
The Belgian Chocolate Cafe created the Ruby-Blossom Cappuccino where Australian roasted coffee beans paired with earthy Belgian chocolate and fruity, light-hearted ruby cocoa.
This drink surprised me because the use of ruby cocoa helped lightly sweeten the cappuccino without masking the robust espresso flavour. The cappuccino itself was not overly acidic or bitter and the foam did not take over the entire cup.
Participant #2: Shipyards Coffee
I am a fan of the cortado and haven’t had a good one in so long until I tasted this one! This cortado is only extracted for 12 seconds. You mainly taste sweetness with a lingering but subtle acidity near the end of your sip. Without any sweetener, this cortado was very enjoyable. They used oat milk to create it!
How does time affect your espresso?
Espresso is usually extracted for 28 seconds and every 7 seconds, different taste components are extracted. The first 7 seconds extracts sweetness, the next 7 seconds extracts acidity and the last 7 seconds extracts bitterness. So depending on which taste profile you want, you extract your coffee for that certain time.
Participant #3 – Origo Club
This coffee drink was a play on the roasted flavours of coffee and hojicha. The white chocolate curls were beautiful but take a quick snap before the chocolate actually snaps apart. I felt the chocolate wasn’t necessary because it sweetened the drink and masked the hojicha flavour. However, after a few more sips, you will taste the hojicha flavour. Definitely recommend stirring the melted chocolate and drink before taking your first sip.
Overall, this drink brought me back to snow days and the warm comfort of sitting by the fire.
Participant #4 – Incognito Coffee
The Bounty Mocha comes with espresso, chocolate, coconut syrup, coconut flakes and whip cream. I love the strength and boldness of the espresso because it helped balance out the sweetness. The whip cream surprisingly did not mask any of the espresso flavour and was not sweet at all. The coconut flakes added a nice textural component. The only downside was the subtle hints of coconut flavour. It may have needed some coconut milk or an extract to bring out the flavour.
Participant #5 – Carnitas 9 Coffee
This drink will make you feel the heat as cayenne pepper is used! I would recommend for next time to perhaps use pink peppercorn or paprika to give a more mellow spiciness. I enjoyed the pink heart as Valentines is coming close. The mocha flavour was delicate with the espresso flavour being in the forefront.