Summer is here and we love a cool treat! I love my local coffee bar — their homemade cinnamon buns are amazing! But I also love recreating my favourite speciality espresso-based coffee drinks right at home– especially when I have friends over.  With the handy KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso maker, I can make my very own impressive and delicious hand-crafted drinks! In the mornings I enjoy a hot Americano or a frothy cappuccino and hubby loves his double shot of espresso all year round. But when it’s nice and hot out we can easily make our own frapp or other icy cool espresso-based treats anytime!KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso We often go to our favourite local roasters de Mello and grab a few bags of roasted beans. Our current favourite is Dead Man Walking — it’s a dark roast that is rich, full-bodied, intense and smooth with a hint of chocolate). They can grind it based on your method of brewing – just let them know! But there’s nothing like being able to grind our own.

Let’s Get Back to The Grind – How do you take your Coffee?

Now, we’ve added the KitchenAid Burr Grinder  – for the coffee aficionado who wants optimal freshness and taste, you’ll love this. What is a Burr Grinder, you ask? On the market today, there are generally two main styles of grinders. A relatively inexpensive one is a blade grinder that essentially uses blades to slice beans into smaller pieces but coffee lovers can attest that the results are not as precise and this method is less consistent. A burr grinder crushes beans with a grinder wheel and static which results in a more even grind. This KitchenAid Burr Grinder machine offers several options (as well as 70 precise settings and dosing) to give you the absolutely most ideal coffee ground for whatever coffee vessel you are using and with less mess.

We have several options in our house from a KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker to a French Press to a percolator right to a simple hand-pour. This option to grind beans has opened up even more possibilities and I can see it being a huge game changer to the number of bags of beans we keep on hand. KitchenAid Semi-Automatic EspressoHey! I’m a barista now!

We’ve been testing out the new KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker (which comes with an Automatic Milk Frother) for a few days now. This compact machine is impressive with its ability to do all the magic a larger machine can but it’s less bulky and takes up less counter space.  Make espresso (single or double), steam, hot water, and add frothy milk all at the right hot temperatures. With the features, you can make more of what you love from espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos, to cold brews and Americanos. We’ve also been using the hot water and steam features to even make tea and matcha beverages. A full review of this handy and expert machine is coming up!

Inspired by the popular beverages found at my neighbourhood coffee bars, I’ve been having fun making a few “cool” espresso-based drinks at home!  The good thing is all the recipes are really versatile and the results never disappoint! You can also control the sweetness according to your taste. Heck, add in extra if you want! Tell your guests it’s “bespoke” or “hand-crafted” and listen to their delight.

If you want to use plant-based milk, my personal preference is plain Oat Milk. It’s the one that most resembles regular milk and the taste is hardly even noticeable to me.

Check out our favourite plant-based milks here with your KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso

I often incorporate an Americano in my drinks. An Americano has a richer and fuller taste than a regular cup of black coffee. You can make it easily with this machine as well. It’s a single or double shot of espresso then, with the hot water feature, add in a 3/4 cup of boiled water — yes, it’s that simple!

Here are a few drinks I’ve made over the past few days. Each of the following recipes makes one scrumptious serving.KitchenAid Semi-Automatic EspressoThai Iced Coffee: This sweet and simple treat is a go-to for those hot summer nights. The not-so-secret dream to creating this is incorporating sweetened condensed milk and cardamom (optional, but it is the magic).

  • 1 cup Americano
  • 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • sprinkle ground cardamom
  • ice

In a tall glass, add Americano-sweetened condensed milk and cardamom. Stir until blended. Add ice.

Iced Caramel and Mocha Macchiato: the word “macchiato” in Italian means “marked” or “stained”. For a traditional (hot) macchiato, it’s created by a clean espresso and topped with froth (you can make this all in one shot with the KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso machine – there’s a steam wand attachment!). In a modern twist that I had discovered at several coffee bars, they “stain” the cup first with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate before layering in the espresso and milk.

  • 2 shots of espresso
  • 3/4 cup milk (your choice)
  • 1 shot of vanilla
  • 1 shot of chocolate syrup
  • Caramel sauce drizzle
  • froth
  • ice

In a cocktail shaker (or drink vessel with a lid) add in espresso, milk, vanilla, ice and shake. Take a glass and line the inside walls with chocolate syrup. Pour in the coffee mixture then add on the whipped cream or froth if desired. Drizzle caramel sauce on top.

Caramel Nutella Blended Frappuccino: a favourite slushy blended creamy-good drink to keep cool with. Make sure you have a solid blender to crush up the ice cubes!

  • 2 shots espresso
  • 1 cup milk (your choice)
  • 1 to 2 tsp vanilla syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Nutella
  • crushed ice or ice cubes
  • fresh whipped cream (optional)

Fill the blender with espresso, milk, vanilla syrup and ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into tall glass and top with whipped cream. Top with shaved chocolate or crushed chocolate cookies (Oreos work!).Sweet Vanilla Cream Americano: This is a dreamy sweet treat that is richly satisfying.

  • 1 cup Americano, chilled overnight
  • 2 tbsp vanilla syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk (your choice)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla syrup
  • ice

Mix together the 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup whipping cream and 1 tsp vanilla syrup in jar to make the sweet vanilla cream and set aside. In a larger mason jar or cocktail shaker, add the cooled Americano, vanilla and ice and give it a shake. Pour into tall glass (or use the mason jar as your glass) and pour in the sweet vanilla cream mixture.

Affogato al Caffe (Ice Cream and Espresso): the term literally translates to “drowned in coffee” and first time we tried this super easy dessert was at a backyard bbq with our closest Italian friends. It’s essentially a scoop of ice cream or gelato and top with a shot of espresso. That’s it! Most creamy ice creams and simple vanilla or chocolate flavours work but I love it  over salted caramel gelato or Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked. Serve immediately!!!! When you delicately pour over the shot of espresso the flavours begin to blend into each other and it’s just so good!  Serve in a small ramekin or your Nonna’s fine bone china tea set that’s sitting in your cupboards. What’s your favourite espresso-based cool-down drink? I’d love to know and maybe I’ll try to recreate it!

 

*All photos are by me.

**The NEW KitchenAid Semi-Automatic Espresso with Automatic Milk Frother and the KitchenAid Burr Grinder (available separately or as a bundle) were provided to me for editorial and review purposes.