Mitch Monaghan knows his coffee. As Australia’s Nespresso coffee ambassador, staying caffeinated is part of his job description. We quizzed him on just what it takes to make the perfect coffee yourself, how to nail your takeaway order and – most importantly – his tricks for the ultimate iced coffee and espresso martini.
What kind of milk makes the perfect coffee?
Milk choice is very personal and comes down to preference in taste, texture and nutrition. I would suggest full cream milk for coffee drinkers who enjoy a rich, creamy cappuccino, as the high protein helps to create a velvety and frothy coffee. Skim milk also produces that foamy cup without the intense creaminess, while soy or almond milk drinkers may find that a latte or flat white are better options as they don’t produce as much froth.
What coffee order makes you cringe?
The greatest benefit of coffee is the ability to make it suit any individual’s preference in coffee flavour, milk choice, levels or temperature. However, I have been asked for a half latte, half flat white before, and I’m still trying to figure out what that is!
Can you share your tips for making a café-level coffee at home?
The coffee-to-milk-and-foam ratio is key to bringing that café experience home. Once you have that, all you need is the right machine. The Creatista is the first Nespresso machine that allows users to choose their preferred milk texture and temperature to create silky smooth milk and free-pour latte art.
To impress your guests at home with café quality coffee my best tips include using high quality, consistent coffee extraction, which helps to ensure consistency in your latte art pouring and the right crema in the end-cup. Present the coffee with a saucer, sugar, stirrer and even a bite-sized treat on the side. It makes the presentation of the simplest things seem luxurious.
What’s the next big coffee trend going to be?
I see coffee over ice as the next big coffee trend in Australia. There is nothing more satisfying than a refreshing iced coffee, especially in summer. You can make a quick and simple Nespresso iced coffee at home, which is the perfect summer afternoon pick-me-up, whether it’s with a full bodied Ristretto, creamy Vanilio, smooth Caramelito or my personal favourite a velvety Arpeggio.
My preferred iced coffee recipe at the moment is a raspberry chocolate Arpeggio, the perfect afternoon treat!
Raspberry Chocolate Arpeggio
90g ice cubes (3 ice cubes)
40ml Arpeggio coffee/capsule
90ml cold milk froth
20ml chocolate sauce
Callier chocolate powder
Mix the hot espresso with chocolate sauce until combined and then pour over top of ice. Garnish with Callier chocolate powder and crushed freeze-dried raspberries.
What’s the secret to the perfect espresso martini?
It’s no secret, like any coffee, the key to producing the perfect cup is using quality and fresh ingredients. The perfect espresso martini is no different. I would encourage using freshly extracted Nespresso coffee every time when creating an espresso martini. The coffee will cool as soon as it falls on ice while maintaining its full-bodied flavour.
One extra step that I find really brings a beautiful crema on top of the martini is a dry shake. After you have shaken all ingredients over ice, strain the cocktail in to a second shaker without ice and shake again. This will thicken the crema on top to give it a high quality finish.