Advice: Anatomy of a “good” espresso shot

A friend recently purchased an espresso machine and asked me to help teach him how to use it, as he does not know what “good” espresso is supposed to taste like. This got me thinking about how to describe the taste of a properly pulled shot of espresso to someone that has never had one. Let’s talk about orange […]

How to make cold-brew with an AeroPress

Note from Margaret: I’m thrilled to welcome Benji Walklet as a guest contributor to Coffee Cantata! Benji runs The Coffee Concierge, which is a fantastic resource for all things coffee – machine recommendations, coffee reviews, and cool experiments like this one. Check out his writing (and videos) at In the world of coffee, there […]

How to make a delicious cappuccino at home on a budget

Cappuccinos (and lattes, and mochas, etc.) are delicious, but they are rather expensive. There’s a reason for that; they are all espresso-based drinks, and espresso machines are NOT CHEAP. Commercial espresso machines can easily run over $10,000. You’re also paying for (hopefully) top-quality beans and the time and expertise of your barista. But is there […]