One of the highlights of the year at University was the annual college ball, when the college would have been decorated to a secret theme. It was always a thrill to arive and see what has been done and to be transported to another land or era.
I still do love a good pop up, and am always astonished at how you can be magically whisked away to another place or time. To celebrate the launch of the Nspresso Cubania coffee capsules I was whisked off to Cuba for a magical evening. Having been driven to an anonymous garage in a back street in Hackney, I had no idea that I was going to step into another country and was greeted by street musicians, a market stall, coffee shop and barber, it felt like I imagined downtown Havana to feel like, one of the guests who had lived in Cuba reported that it even smelt like Cuba.
A traditional Cuban coffee, drunk Cubano style – consists of a ristretto, mixed with a spoon of Cuban cane sugar and then topped with another ristretto. It is rich, intense, but without bitterness and acidity. I usually do not like sweetened espresso, but the Cubania capsules made in this way were delicious, very morish and unlike other coffees I have experienced.
On to cocktails made with the Cubania and a Cuban themed dinner – chicken mousseline filled with rabbit ragout, lobster with mango, papaya, spring onion, chilli, ginger and coriander; roasted belly pork with a mojo sauce crispy black bean and pulled pork croquettes and a cuban stuffed tomato, followed by a selection of puddings including a Cuban coffee ice cream. All extremely good!
Cubania is a limited edition capsule available along with the sugar from Nespresso. Get some whilst you can.