Mission 47- Become Skilled at Making the Perfect Cuppa Cappuccino

Mission 47- Become Skilled at Making the Perfect Cuppa Cappuccino

"I would become the conqueror... the hero... the woman who could grind a coffee bean with a flick of the switch and go where no customers have gone before... behind the coffee counter!"

Leaned up against my kitchen counter whilst sipping on a cuppa tea, I stared at my little humble Cappuccino/ Espresso maker with such discontent. Where did it all go wrong? Why couldn’t the kitchen appliance and I just get along? It was almost like there was a miscommunication between what I wanted and what the machine wanted to produce and this was all about to change... baam baam baam.

I arrived at the ‘Seattle Coffee Company’ in Montecasino, equipped with my trusty pair of heels and my mini portable image capturing unit. This was it... I was going to perfect my cappuccino brewing skills and nothing was going to stop me. I would become the conqueror... the hero... the woman who could grind a coffee bean with a flick of the switch and go where no customers have gone before... behind the coffee counter (crowd goes “oooooo”)! Danny Spence, the proud owner of the ‘Seattle Coffee Company’ greeted me with the biggest smile that made me ponder how many cups of espresso he already had that morning?

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino Danny Spence

If there is one thing I know about manly individuals, they love their gadgets and this personality was not going to hold up the chance of showing me his finest possession... a mega, super coffee maker! It’s almost like at that moment everything went into slow mode and the environment zoomed in on the silver beast in all its magnificence. Seriously this huge, ‘double boiler’ made my little coffee machine at home look like a shrimp compared to it! I think a little voice inside me was whispering, “That’s it; declare defeat right now... shrimp vs. lobster, your call” but I needed to persevere.

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

Danny started explaining the different key factors that presents a perfect cappuccino and I was fascinated! This individual is more than just a business owner; he is passionate about every step in the coffee making process. I asked him what drove him into the coffee making industry and he explained how he was/is a professional cyclist and in 2002 actually won the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. Apparently cycling and coffee go together, I suppose like chalk and a chalkboard;)

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

I was introduced to two amazing individuals, Jessie and Taffazwa who displayed their remarkable coffee making skills and incredible talent at creating latte art. Latte art refers to a picture created on ones cuppa coffee using steamed or frothy milk. Customers were cuing for their morning cuppa caffeine and these two were pulling out 12 lattes in a flash of a firefly!

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

Watching everything in action, I started taking input and used my intelligent sources a.k.a. my womanly brain to take note of all the important aspects in getting this right. Here were a few things I stored:

  • Temperature- I’m not quite sure what the right temperature is but kitchen ‘King Kong’ gets this just right!

  • Coffee Beans- Beans from different locations apparently have different flavours! Coffee beans from Africa have more of a citrus flavour to them whilst beans from South America have a sweeter taste. Asian coffee beans are bolder (whatever that means). The ‘Seattle Coffee Company’ sources the best beans from the farms they use. All the beans have been through tastings and carefully selected to produce the best coffee for their customers.

    Not all of us have access to bean farms and I wanted to know how a person who has a... let’s call it ‘cuter’ coffee machine could get a great tasting cappuccino? Apparently in his opinion the other best coffee bean to use is either ‘Bean There’ or any branded ‘Woolworths’ coffee beans. Obviously it depends on your own personal taste.


  • Grinding the Coffee Beans- This is something that I think allot of us miss... the way your coffee beans are grinded influences the end result. I know... you’re sitting there in front of you screen thinking, “gosh I never knew that”... well now you do! If you’re making an espresso, make sure your beans are grinded super fine and if you’re making a latte then make sure they are a little less fine.

  • LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

  • Compacting the Coffee- When adding the coffee to the silver thingy that you put into the machine... make sure the coffee is pushed down really tight. The idea is if you don’t do this, the water will just run through and not absorb any of the coffee flavours which will ultimately result in watery coffee. The tighter and more compact the granules, the longer it will take for the water to run through it creating a honey like, thick substance full of flavour.

  • LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

    LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

  • The Milk- You want to use milk with a more buttery base so that when the milk is steamed it doesn’t turn out slightly bitter. Best milk to use at home is the ‘Woolworths Ayrshire AH’! Make sure the milk is very cold to give the best steamy results!

  • Steaming- When steaming one shouldn’t hold the frother thingy so close up as you will get what I would call a splatter milk artwork all over your kitchen. Best to make sure it’s more down so that the milk rotates and you get a hissing sound for a few seconds.

Coffee has its very own jargon... its very own communication language and up to this point, I use to order different cups of coffee because it sounded good, not because I actually knew what it was. I can remember back to that day I first stepped into a ‘Starbucks’ at the Hong Kong International Airport and ordered something that sounded like a coffee but turned out to be a milkshake. These mistakes happen to many people and I’m going to attempt at giving more meaning to the terms:

  • Latte- Refers to a tall coffee that’s kinda like a cappuccino but with more milk and less foam.
  • Cappuccino- Refers to an espresso on the bottom and lots of steamed milk or foam on top.
  • Caffe Mocha- This means hot chocolate and coffee... yum yum!
  • Grande- Nothing special... no weird ingredients have been added... it just means Super Large Coffee. That’s it! I think sometimes people say it because they think it makes their coffee sound more important;)
  • Americano- Apparently what my cappuccino has been all along... more like a diluted espresso with lots of water and milk.
  • Espresso- A tot of pure coffee... makes you tingle when you drink too much;)

So much detail, care and preparation goes into making the perfect cappuccino and after Danny showing me a few impressive latte art finishes... it was my turn to give this whole process a bash.

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

You get people who have been born with the barista skill and then you get individuals like me who let’s just say... try! This was it... the moment that I could prove that I had it in me to produce the perfect cappuccino. I pummelled the beans into a fine powder and completed the espresso making part of the workshop and then proceeded to steam up the milk.

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

After Danny’s approval I went into ‘I know what I’m doing’ mode and invented my own technique for pouring the milk. I needed to set the bar here... I needed to show these professionals that I too could be a coffee artist and that this was going to be an art like no other. I held the milk jug away from my mug and started slowly pouring until I finally had the foam to whish around slowly forming the base of my sheep. A few coffee granules completed the face and walla... I had created my very first latte art which I called ‘Escarpment’ or otherwise known as ‘Sheep in a Mountain’. Danny didn’t look so impressed and to be honest I don’t think Jessie or Taffazwa were that moved by it either. After a few minutes trying to convince them that this art indeed should join their menu, I decided to put it to the test and ask some customers their opinion of the masterpiece. I tried explaining to them that not everyone likes the fancy art and some people enjoy using a little imagination. Not one customer chose my cup... I’m not sure if it was the lack of recognising artistic talent or the fact that my cuppa did not look inviting to drink. Hehe! I realised right then that this was something I should leave to the specialists.

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

Obviously it’s all great and well learning all this valuable knowledge but one still needs to put it all to the test. I headed home and tried to redo everything I was taught but it didn’t all work out. By the end of the cappuccino making session, I had more milk splattered everywhere than actually in the cup. Hehe! I must say it tasted better than it looked;)

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

I would just like to thank Danny Spence, Jessie and Taffazwa at ‘The Seattle Coffee Company’ Montecasino for accommodating and allowing me to spend some time with them. I must say if you are in need of a great cuppa coffee than that is the place to visit. Not only is the coffee superb but the people working there for me, make it all worthwhile!

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle The Seattle Coffee Company Montecasino

Next time you go visit ‘The Seattle Coffee Company’, please personally request for them to finish your coffee off with the ‘Eskaapment’ or ‘Sheep in a Mountain’ art;) Hehe

Until next time...

Pace Yourselves

Little MMI



Seattle Coffee Company in Montecasino