Nespresso® Alternative Capsules News and Blog / Café Liégeois
It is no surprise that at Café Liégeois we are full-out coffee addicts. All we do is think about coffee, talk about coffee, make coffee and, of course, drink coffee. Our typical routine starts with two Magnifico espressos to get the day going, followed by a single shot of Kivu in the afternoon.
Though that’s three coffees per day, we are quite moderate in comparison to some of history’s greatest celebrities. Philosophers, writers, politicians and even musicians have depended on this beverage to create the work that has since made them a legacy. Who knows, maybe the world wouldn’t be the same as it is today without the help of a few (dozen) coffees.
From composers to politicians, here is a short list of some of the biggest coffee drinkers of the past five hundred years:
Ludwig Van Beethoven
This famous composer was just as meticulous with the creation of his music as he was with the brewing of his coffee. It has been said that Beethoven would count out exactly 60 coffee beans to make his morning cup of coffee. According to him, this was the perfect dosage to make an exceptional cup.
“If there was no Coffee, it would be necessary to invent it”, am I right? French writer Voltaire is known to be one of the largest coffee drinkers of all time. He is rumoured to have drank forty to fifty coffees mixed with chocolate per day. Though many feared this alarming amount would kill him, Voltaire lived into his mid eighties.
Johann Sebastian Bach
It wasn’t for nothing that the composer created a mini opera based on coffee! The Coffee Cantana is a short story about a father who demands his coffee-addicted daughter to give up the drink in order to get married. Luckily for her, there were plenty of coffee-crazed suitors that would agree to marry her!
For those curious to know where the start of the Venti sized coffees came from, it all leads back to former President Roosevelt. The president would drink a full gallon of coffee everyday. Even his son commented on his father’s obsession, noting that his cup was “more in the nature of a bathtub”.
Latte art is the method of creating drawings or patterns on the surface of a coffee. This aesthetically pleasing and edible art was developed by baristas and is becoming very popular among coffee lovers. With a little practice and imagination, the technique can be mastered in a few steps.
Step 1: Find good milk for frothing
To create latte art, the most important step consists in creating good foam. A milk with a higher concentration of fat is ideal because it will keep the milk from separating easily. It is important also to get the milk to good temperature. At the beginning, the milk must be cold and ideally frothed in a pitcher with a spout.
Step 2: Froth the milk
Pour the cold milk into the jug a 1/2 inch below the spout and purge the steamer into the pitcher at a 15° angle to heat. The milk will begin to froth when the liquid begins to turn like a vortex. Continue moving the steam wand up and down to create air and remove the bigger bubbles. When complete, remove the steam wand and clean immediately.
For those who own a professional machine, you can prepare your coffee and to froth the milk at the same time. For other machines, you must first prepare the coffee before frothing the milk.
Step 3: Pour the milk
Next, the milk pouring must be done at the correct distance from the cup of coffee. In the beginning, the spout of the pitcher must be super close to the cup to pour the milk. When the foam comes out, you can begin to draw!
Step 4: Create your drawings!
Now the fun begins! To create a flower, tilt your cup slightly away from you and fill the cup with 1 to 2 inches of milk. Move the pitcher closer to the cup to speed your pour and begin to wiggle your wrist back and forth. To finish the flower, bring the cup back up and draw a straight line of milk through the drawing. If your latte art doesn’t come out “Instagram worthy” the first shot, don’t stress. A bit of practice is needed before making latte art!
Final Tip: There are stencils and toothpicks that can help in the creation of your latte art.
If you are a coffee lover but you do not know which accounts to follow on Instagram, here is our selection of the best coffee accounts. We could spend hours scrolling through their photos filled with trips, art, culture and baristas. There is an account for all types!
Coffee and Traveling with @thecoffeenomad
This account is a traveler’s tale between coffees: one coffee in Norway and another in Seattle. If you enjoy searching for small coffeeshops when you are on the road, this account is for you. Erica Brianna sure knows how to make coffee lovers experience some wanderlust.
Coffee Culture with @manmakecoffee
Andy founds his passion for coffee when he stumbled across a small cafe in Addis Abeba, and drank a cup that he still remembers vividly to this day. Since then, he shares his love for this drink with his Instagram account and his blog. Each coffee drink he photographs looks more delicious than the next. Don’t forget to read up on his blog to sharpen your coffee culture!
Art and Coffee with @bernulia
Giulia Bernardelli knows how to give life to a cup of espresso with the help of her paintbrushes. We can scroll through this account for hours with a Café Liégeois while she transforms little cups into masterpieces. Her poetic drawings have impressed even those who find coffee to be boring (but these people are quite rare).
Baristas with @baristadaily
Powered by Alternative Brewing, this account posts pictures that are sent by baristas to take a peek into the world of espresso experts and beyond. While you’re at it, check out Aternative Brewing’s account as well, you will be blown away by the variety of coffee machines that exist!
And finally, if you haven’t already, check out our Instagram account (@cafe_liegeois). Our amazing photographer, Chloé Crane-Leroux, will make you wish for a little Liégeois coffee.
A cup of coffee is usually the first thing we grab once we get to the office.
Most employees agree that coffee breaks are important, even essential during the day at work. During your break, usually with your co-workers, you discuss company matters. These mini-meetings promote collaboration, productivity, as well as creativity and the relationship of your workforce.
The coffee break can be used to ease tensions, maintain team spirit, but most importantly as a sense of belonging.
You allow your employees to get to work quicker and arrive earlier because they don’t have to stop at Starbucks to get their fix. You will gain a lot from providing quality coffee or espresso, in order to take care of your staff. Here are a few more reasons why coffee can ramp up productivity at work.
- It helps you stay more alert
Caffeine ramps up your brain’s energy levels. More energy equals enhanced memory, ability to focus, problem-solving, and general cognitive function. So when you need to concentrate on a crucial project at work, you can heighten your focus by sipping on coffee. Your brain will snap to attention, helping you plow through simple tasks or sort out the most complicated issues of the day.
- It gets the creative juices flowing
Coffee and espressos can help people be more creative individually or in a group setting. For others, drinking coffee stimulates their brains, making room for inspirational thinking.
- It helps you learn new things faster
The coffee-fueled brain works overtime to help you learn faster and improves information retention. 200 milligrams of caffeine helps the brain to identify words and phrases more quickly. Drinking coffee leads to improved short-term memory and an increased ability to solve reason-based problems.
So fire up the espresso machine in the morning and afternoon and stay on top of all your important work projects!
Recycling Cafe Liegeois Alternative to Nespresso® Capsules
While there are countless arts and craft projects on the Internet for upcycling used aluminum pods like the Nespresso® ones and companies that specialize in taking care of recycling used capsules, we have a simpler, no-cost idea altogether.
For one thing, Café Liégeois Coffee Capsule reservoirs are made of plastic. They are all the same color and do not crush in the same manner as aluminum does. And let’s be honest, making intricate home décor and jewelry is not for everyone!
As a part of a whole-house recycling program, consumers often overlook or avoid trying to deal with the espresso pods. We get it; it is messy and tedious. However, with a little effort on a regular basis this doesn’t have to be the case.
Store used coffee capsules in a container for the month. Once a month, cut the tops off of each of them and dispose of the coffee inside. Fill the sink with warm water and put all the pods in there and give them a gentle stir. Drain sink and transport the plastic cups to your recycling bin. That’s it!
A little bit of effort can make all the difference in making the Planet a more healthy place.
If you are as serious about your coffee experience as we at Café Liegeois are, by now you have heard a multitude of terms and names for the different styles of brews and beverages. It can get a bit overwhelming (and even discouraging!) as one tries to navigate towards finding what they like to drink.
We have researched and found the most popular ways people are enjoying espresso coffee and compiled simple recipes here.
- Espresso – The beginning of all espresso drinks. This is coffee brewed by forcing approximately 1 ounce of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency).
- Ristretto – Brewed in the exact same fashion as espresso but with just .75 ounces of water. Stronger and thicker!
- Doppio – Again, brewed as a regular espresso would be but with double (doppio=double in Italian) the amount of water; 2 ounces.
- Macchiato – Using either one or two shots of espresso, Macchiato is finished with just a dollop of foamed milk or “froth” on top.
- Café Noisette – Two shots of espresso (or one big one) with an equal amount of steamed milk and a bit of froth on top.
- Americano – A bit like making a full size cup of regular coffee using espresso as a concentrate. Simply add 2 times the amount of hot water to a brewed shot of espresso.
- Latte – If you like a rich espresso with lots of milk, latte is for you. To one shot of espresso add approximately 10 ounces of steamed milk and top with a dollop of frothed milk.
- Mocha – 2 ounces of espresso, 2 ounces of chocolate combined with 1 ounce of steamed milk. Rich and indulgent!
- Cappuccino – 3 equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. Very tasty with nutmeg, cinnamon or cocoa dusted on top.
See any you recognize? Find something new to try? The wonderful thing about using your Nespresso® machine with Café Liegeois pods is you can chose the level of flavor depth or even decaffeinated to make any of the above drinks. Choose PUISSANT® for level 10 flavor intensity, MAGNIFICO® for level 9, DISCRET® (our decaf) for level 7, MANO MANO® (our Fair Trade Coffee) for level 6 or SUBTIL® for a level 5. And this is just the beginning! Play with the above recipes to create your own unique experience. Try using flavored coffee syrups, caramel, chocolate shavings or ice cream. The possibilities are limitless!
Drinking delicious Café Liegeois espresso made in your Nespresso® machine is way more fun than cleaning the coffee maker, of course. However, periodic deep cleaning and de-scaling of your machine will keep the Nespresso®machine working efficiently and the coffee tasting its best.
Every time you make espresso in your machine, the hot water leaves a calcium carbonate deposit behind called scale or lime scale. Over time this build up will begin to slow your Nespresso’s brew time and take away from the flavor of the espresso. Nespresso offers a cleaning kit for $15 that will allow for (2) deep cleaning sessions. If you are busy and do not mind the cost, this is a great alternative for your bi-annual de-scaling. We at Café Liegeois are all about keeping our coffee budget in check without losing any of the quality we enjoy. To that end, we have two effective home recipes for cleaning our Nespresso machines.
In order to remove lime scale it is necessary to use some sort of acid. Do not be scared! Acid is present in food-safe solutions. We recommend using vinegar or citric acid. Citric acid may be found at health food stores, but lemon juice that is strained of pulp (think of the yellow plastic lemon-shaped container) will work as well. White vinegar works too but consider the smell and extra rinse cycles before you go this route.
Making and Using Your Homemade Descaling Cleaner
If you use citric acid you will need an acid-to-water ratio of about one part acid to 20 parts water. For vinegar and/or lemon juice, the mixture is a 50/50 ratio. Pour either solution into the water reservoir of your machine. Choose the largest volume brew cycle and press start. If your machine will not brew without a pod in place, simply use an old, used pod. IMPORTANT: If you used citric acid or lemon juice you will need to run 2 water-only cycles to rinse the machine out. If you used vinegar, 4-5 water-only cycles will be necessary to thoroughly remove the smell and taste.
Preventing Future Lime scale Problems
Prevention is the best medicine! If you perform this sort of deep cleaning every couple of months you will be way ahead of the pesky scale buildup. The idea is to clean your machine before the scale begins to affect brewing and coffee flavor.
When Not to Use Homemade Solutions
Before using a homemade descaling cleaner on your coffeemaker, check the machine’s manual for cleaning instructions, or call the manufacturer. If your coffeemaker has a built-in descaling process, it’s likely the manufacturer wants you to use a specific, brand-name powder, tablet or cartridge. Do not risk damage to internal parts or voiding your warranty; research first. Generally speaking, if there is NO mention in your product manual of a specific cleaner to be used, it is safe to use your DIY solution. And that’s all there is to it! Happy coffee drinking from your friends at Café Liegeois!
Café Liégeois the dessert drink was not in fact created in Liège, Belgium. It was originally known in France as a Café Viennois, or Viennese Coffee.
When the Germans invaded Belgium and attacked the city of Liège (effectively starting WWI) many French restaurants changed the drink’s name to "café liégeois", to honor the stricken city.
There is no definitive “original recipe” other than the dessert always contains coffee, whipped cream and ice cream. To date, there are many variations on this theme from quick and easy to more involved and time consuming. Some recipes use vanilla ice cream while others use chocolate or coffee flavored ice cream. Below are three recipes we liked using espresso from our Nespresso® alternative pods.
Café Liegeois with Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 pint vanilla ice cream
- 2 servings of Café Liegeois Subtil® espresso (Intensity 5)
- 6 chocolate covered espresso beans, coarsely ground in blender
- Prepare two wine glasses, each with a silver teaspoon to absorb the heat.
- Pour cream into a bowl and beat with a whisk or an egg beater until softly peaked; add sugar as you beat.
- Put 2 tablespoons of ice cream into each wine glass; pour coffee into glasses. Add 1 tablespoon whipped cream to each glass; sprinkle candies over tops. Serve immediately.
Super Easy DeCaf Café Liegeois
- Store bought canned whip cream
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 2 servings Café Liégeois Discret® Decaf espresso (Intensity 7), chilled
- Cocoa Powder for garnish
- Take two well chilled dessert glasses and add two mini-scoops of ice cream to the bottom.
- Next, add one serving of chilled espresso to each glass. Top with whipped cream and dust cocoa powder on top for garnish. Serve immediately.
Dark Indulgent Café Liegeois
- Coffee flavored full fat ice cream
- 2 servings Café Liégeois Puissant® espresso (Intensity 10)
- 1 Pint heaving whipping cream
- 1/8 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons good quality chocolate sauce
- 4 chocolate/hazelnut rolled cookie wafers (such as Pepperidge Farms Pirouette)
- Whip heavy cream with vanilla and powdered sugar until firm
- In two well chilled dessert glasses put 2 tablespoons of whipped cream in the bottom.
- Next place 2 scoops of coffee flavored ice cream.
- Pour one serving of espresso on top of ice cream in each glass.
- Put 2 more tablespoons whipped cream on top of each glass.
- Drizzle chocolate sauce over each glass.
- Place two cookie wafers in each glass. Serve immediately.