Are signature drinks necessary?

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
toma

#1: Post by toma »

Are signature drinks necessary in competitions? I guess the idea is that it makes it is easier to sell the competition to the public or the inclusion of the sig drink makes the barista look more creative. But what I'm interested in and of what I can learn a lot is this: who makes the best espresso/cappa and how. I find sig drinks boring. Am I the only one?

User avatar
malachi

#2: Post by malachi »

Have you had a lot of sig drinks?
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

User avatar
Marshall

#3: Post by Marshall »

toma wrote:I find sig drinks boring. Am I the only one?
Definitely.

Here is the espresso part of the original signature drink menu (a little out of date) at LaMill Coffee Boutique in Los Angeles, some of which were inspired by competition drinks:
Orange Infused Cappuccino with Cacao
Espresso dusted with cacao and orange zest, infused textured milk and foam / 5oz

Coffee and a Cigarette
Espresso poured directly over tobacco-infused whipped cream, garnished with slightly sweetened plain whipped cream / 3oz

Coffee and a Jelly Donut
Strawberry essence layered with donut-infused milk and topped with espresso / 3oz

Liquid Tiramisu
Chocolate and grand mariner crème anglais, topped with espresso and garnished with a slightly sweetened whipped cream, then dusted with cacao / 3oz
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
cafeIKE

#4: Post by cafeIKE »

toma wrote:Am I the only one?
No

Marshall, I want a decent espresso, not dessert :twisted:

User avatar
Marshall

#5: Post by Marshall » replying to cafeIKE »

The question was whether he was the only person who found them "boring."
Marshall
Los Angeles

User avatar
Psyd

#6: Post by Psyd »

cafeIKE wrote: Marshall, I want a decent espresso, not dessert
While sweet is pretty prominent in quite a lot of signature drinks, one of mine with really, really dark chocolate and special red pepper, doesn't really strike you as 'dessert'. If you like a good mole sauce, you'll understand why chocolate and pepper compliment espresso, and really don't spell candy to most anyone.

I also make a Bananas Foster espresso that will give you a cavity, but in a good way. That one is *not* for competition, though, as the alcohol is definitely not burned off in the cooking process! ; >
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
cafeIKE

#7: Post by cafeIKE »

You're tempting me to drive to Tucson to see if your Bananas Foster beat Brennan's.
I have no doubt your coffee beats Cafe du Monde :wink:

User avatar
Psyd

#8: Post by Psyd »

Save the gas. Pull a great shot, pour a shot of great rum (may I suggest Pyrat XO Reserve, especially since the price has come down from $60 a bottle to under $20, since the Patron Tequila folk have taken over distillation and distribution without screwing it up) with lots of floral notes and without too much thickness onto a small tumbler. Something like the three ounce Assam from Bodum would be nice. If you're going to start with 151 or Capt Morgans, you've already defeated the purpose.
Layer on a tsp of banana flavoured syrup, a half tsp of chocolate syrup (Hersheys if you have to, but try to find something nice) and a half tsp of cream, half and half, or if you're daring, a gently warmed sweetened condensed milk (see where the cavity is coming from?) and gently lay the shot on top of it all. If that ain't enough sugar, spoon a dollop of freshly whipped cream. Squirting it out of a can is something that Dante wrote one of his punishments about, too!
Or, if you're ever in Tucson, bring a pound of something you think is really special and I'll whip up a coupla real Bananas Fosters. Hmm, I'm thinking I have to do that and try tossing a coupla fresh shots in last minute....
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

User avatar
Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#9: Post by Compass Coffee »

cafeIKE wrote:No

Marshall, I want a decent espresso, not dessert :twisted:
Which indeed is the point of signature drinks in competitions, that espresso can be culinary. Personally my all time favorite most consumed coffee beverage is a straight shot, yet there is a time and place for other expressions of the bean, most assuredly including in a dessert creation. This is not to say a dessert with espresso as an ingredient is better or worse than straight espresso, simply a different culinary expression. I know many people who drink cap's or latte's exclusively. Internally I cry as they don't know how to experience the purest essence, yet I don't call them milk babies (not out loud :lol: ) or condemn them. To me only drinking one expression is quite limiting and yes, boring.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

toma

#10: Post by toma »

Thanks for the answers guys. Seems I'm in minority and I accept this. It's a matter of personal preference.

I didn't mean that signature drinks taste boring. I meant that to me watching the preparation of the sig drinks in competitions is boring whereas I love to watch the espresso pulls.