Saturday, June 21

Cheese and Coffee: A winning combination  

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What was the key ingredient of the winning coffee in the Eastern Regional Barista Championship this week in Montreal?


Mascarpone cheese isn't the first thing that would come to mind when creating an espresso. It would hardly cross anyone's mind putting cheese in your coffee. When you say mascarpone, the first thing that comes to mind is a tiramisu. But Kanata's Laura Perry had her creative juices going and used the cheese to help her get the win.

With the win, she will be the only Ottawa resident to compete in October at the Canadian National Barista Championships, the Grey Cup of competitive coffee-making in Canada.

According to

"Perry beat out eight other competitors from Eastern Ontario to Nova Scotia, who used everything from chili peppers to mint in their espresso-based drinks to impress the judges. "It was very tough competition," she says.

For Perry, the win was the happy result of training that began in February. Endless rituals of measuring, tamping and pouring helped her perfect her craft for the competition, where contestants are given 15 minutes to make four sets of espressos, cappuccinos and signature espresso-based drinks.

The latter category, which allows competitors to show their creativity and skill, is where the mascarpone cheese comes in. The drink, named Mascarpone Macchiato, is a shot of espresso marked with a bit of steam milk. It is blended with a variety of ingredients, including whipped mascarpone cheese, sugar cane and cinnamon bark."

I don't know about you but I have to somehow get that recipe or learn how to do that. As a cheese lover and also a tiramisu lover, I am pretty excited to try this and see if the taste that I am thinking of now is the same with the actual taste. Others might say that the cheese will be too strong for the coffee but Laura Perry uses the cheese like a cream and its taste doesn't overpower the coffee.

I guess we can't argue with that. After all, she is the winner! Congratulations to Laura Perry for her Mascarpone Macchiato!

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