Friday, October 14, 2011

Quebec City Part I: Coffee Love


Nick's Capuccino at La Brulerie

Last month, in September, Nick and I had a chance to make a trip to Quebec City for a weekend. Initially we planned to make it a road trip to stop by the Thousand Islands ON on our way to Quebec City and then drive to Mont-Tremblant QC, but we decided to keep this trip simple and stayed in Quebec City for the entire weekend.

I've been to the Old Quebec City as a field trip in Jr. Highschool days, but sadly enough, I didn't remember much except the cobble stones. So we did what we needed, and that was a simple 2 hr walking tour of the Old Quebec City from HERE. With our "passionate" french tour guide who made it clear that she was pro-Quebec independence, we walked for almost 2.5 hr and it was well worth our time and money. I won't be discussing about the history on this post but if you're interested in reading about the history of Quebec City, there's a short summary HERE and HERE.

As a coffee lover (coffee pumps me up and gets me through the harsh days...), I tried to look for different coffee shop/pastry shop/boulangerie in Quebec City to try out.

Here are some photos taken from the lovely shops that helped me charge up for the day:

Their large selection of coffee beans


My Americano at La Brulerie



La Brulerie St Roch was conveniently located near our hotel. Even though I drink my coffee black most of the time and enjoyed it, I haven't gotten into espresso shots yet. At special (or new) places, I like to try Americano... look at that fluffy foam :) That's my Americano!


So what exactly is Americano? I knew that Americano is made with a shot or two of espresso with addition of hot water, but I wanted to find out a bit more about it. I've been enjoying the drinking part.. and now I'm interested in WHY!

According to my sources here and here, the name Americano originated from World War II, when American soldiers in Europe added hot water to espresso to enjoy their coffee in their accustomed style (drip coffee). Americano refers to hot water being added TO the extracted espresso. When the extracted espresso is added TO hot water, it's actually called Long Black! Apparently people who like their foam (crema) undisturbed they would order Long Black. You can still get Americano with proper foam on top by pouring the hot water into the extracted coffee VERY CAREFULLY... like mine :) I've noticed that there really isn't a standard proportion of espresso to hot water and different places will serve it differently. In my experience, when I ask for Americano at shops when it's clearly not on their menu (but they offer espresso shots!), they put too much water. I prefer my coffee STRONG...  and I had just that at these shops I've visited.

Oh, and did you know that when you're buying bags of ground coffee you're actually buying stale coffee? What I mean by stale is no longer fresh. Your cup of coffee is truly "fresh" when the coffee is consumed within 5 days of roasting, 3 hr of grinding and 15 min of brewing. The first sign of stale coffee - BITTER TASTE. Surprise!!! Of course, majority of us do not own a fancy roaster... or have time to roast our own beans at home (I am guilty of this, as when I need coffee I need it NOW). I buy already roasted beans and grind them whenever I make a cup at home though. My next mission is to try roasting it at home.

Anyways, we both loved our coffee at St. Roch La Brulerie and their sanwiches were great too!

What to eat...

yummy!


In house Coffee Roaster! The bags of roasted beans were nicely organized with dates written on them.

We stayed here for a very long brunch, watching people walk, taking pictures of this cozy shop and planning our day.

Notice this is a part I? yes, there will be a part II, showing pictures of two other places we enjoyed getting coffee from: Paillard and Picardie

Happy Friday! Thanks for reading :)








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