Coffee is on the other extreme of my caffeine universe. I barely drink coffee. The last time I had it was back in London. I accidentally stumbled upon it during the Malaysian fair (you have got to give their cuisine a try- it is incredibly delicious!). My best friend and I both bought a small box of Hazelnut coffee among other things and whipped up 2 mugs of the brewed drink once home. I genuinely fell in love with it. It was creamy, not bitter and the hazelnut flavor reminded me of desserts.
And I recalled this episode when the folks at Caffe di Artisan sent me a box of their luxury coffee. I was pretty intrigued at the variety that appeared in the box and their claim of luxe coffee that could be prepared at home without a coffee machine. So, I put the pods to the test.
And I was pleasantly surprised. Caffe di Artisan, an Italian brand excels in freshly extracted liquid coffee shots that are offered in protective pods and are ready to consume in 60 seconds. The instructions were straightforward. Open the pod, empty the liquid coffee into the mug, froth it and add milk. I started my coffee experience by choosing the variety that appealed to me the most, the Asmara.
This Ethiopian blend is grown in small plot gardens and is medium bodied. I actually made iced coffee from this. I was astonished at how deliciously rich and velvety it turned out to be. The best part was that I didn't have to use sugar or honey to sweeten the coffee! I was about to put in a teaspoon of honey when I decided to quickly sip and find out what it tasted like. The Asmara became an instant favorite.
The next morning I gave the Vilasita a go. This coffee flavor was a bit too strong for my taste and will appeal to regular coffee drinkers. It has a subtle spice to it, most likely originating from the hint of cinnamon. Nonetheless, I was appreciative of the fact that my kitchen had the aroma of fresh coffee just like in the cafes!
I tried the third variety i.e. Raro while at work during the afternoon. This one has nutty undertones and is medium bodied (just like the Asmara). It boasts of mellow acidity i.e. the aftertaste is a bit dull (I like it that way!) as opposed to the Vilasita's crisp version. While I didn't have a frother at work, I made my drink the standard way and loved it.
Organique was the last variety in the box. The moment you sip this, you will realize the core difference between the Vilasita and Organique. The latter is much more stronger (it is most likely the definition of how a strong cup of coffee should taste like) and you will detect cocoa undertones. This particular version has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of the time spent at my grandma's during the summer holidays! She had the strongest coffee sitting in her kitchen and everyday at 4.15pm, after her nap, she'd make her cup and hand me one as well. I remember being so engrossed in her tales that my coffee would turn cold and she'd make me a fresh new cup.
Having said that, my favorite is still the Asmara. I loved it so much that I made iced coffee again, the next morning. There's something about the way the Asmara tastes- it's soothing and makes you want to drink every drop. The first time I had it with my morning pancakes. The second time was on it's own and I realized the coffee has an extremely subtle caramel sweetness to it thereby eliminating the need for sugar, honey or any other form of sweeteners.
I keep the pods with me at work and always reach out for the Asmara. I have shared other varieties with my team mates save for my favorite.
All four varieties of the liquid coffee are velvety in nature, made to perfection and range from mild to strong. What I loved about the liquid coffee pods is the fact that you really don't require a coffee machine. This is pretty much deluxe coffee made easy and that too, in 60 secs! It's perfect for coffee lovers and those who want to try a different version of coffee almost everyday.
Caffe di Artisan luxe coffee pods can be ordered through their website www.caffediartisan.com; a box contains 10 pods that will cost a minimum of AED 20 and goes up to AED 50, depending on the variety you select. It's worth every penny. In terms of storage, you can either store them at room temperature (but utilize them in a month or so) or in the refrigerator where they will last longer.
I'm delighted to have discovered the world of Caffe di Artisan's luxe coffee and so glad that it didn't turn out to be the run of the mill coffee. I'm off to have the Asmara again and this time, I have pistachio macarons with me!