Coffee Caviar: An Explosion of Flavor from Ferran Adrià and Lavazza

Montserrat Barba

They are tiny balls filled with liquid that melt in the mouth. Applying techniques of haute cuisine such as "spherification" the chef Ferran Adrià signs a series of products for the gourmet coffee brand Lavazza.

In his 3 Michelin star awarded restaurant El Bulli, in Catalonia, Spain, recognized by Restaurant magazine, as the best in the world four times – Chef Ferran Adrià says that according to tradition, coffee was always served at the end of every meal. That changed after a visit to Turin, Italy, in 2000, when he had the opportunity to try the Research Center creations of the coffee company Lavazza. “So I began to be curious about exploring new ways to develop the potential of this fascinating and complex product,” he says in his book Ten Years of Coffee Design , which brings together the experiments and products from the Italian brand, all kinds of extravagances such as lollipops, cotton candy, popcorn and even caramelized corn with a base of Turkish coffee.

Coffee caviar

Coffee Caviar

As a result of this visit, Adrià began applying different techniques to coffee that have made him famous in the world of gastronomy, including “spherification” – which he used to create amazing gourmet products like Coffeesphere and Caviar Café. The first is liquid coffee wrapped in a transparent membrane that explodes on contact with the palate. Meanwhile, the caviar is obtained with the same technique for creating small balls from a liquid using two agents: alginate and calcium. The result is a mini-explosion of coffee flavor in the mouth. This product has a newer version: caviar made with brandy or amaretto to add alcohol to your espresso and to give a sophisticated touch to the caffè corretto.

Coffee caviar
Ferran Adrià.

“Together, from Barcelona and Turin, we have revolutionized coffee-based products, a sector that had always been very cautious in regards to innovation,” says Adrià about his collaboration with Lavazza, the Italian company with over one hundred years of history.

Ferran Adrià’s first product for Lavazza was Èspesso, the first solid coffee in history. That happened in 2002, and since then, several cocktails with fruit juice, ice cream, mousses or slush have been created. These include hot egg yolk, coffee raisins (dried using reverse spherification) and the Cappuccino Lio cookie, whose crunchy texture is obtained through a freeze-drying process applied to coffee, milk, sugar and gelatin mousse.

Coffee caviar

Another proposal of Ferran Adrià is the Cappuccino Nito a mi-cuit made with liquid nitrogen at -196 ° C, a process that is also used for the molten chocolate coffee with chocolate frosting.

The Spanish chef has just announced the opening of a new restaurant in Ibiza, Spain, in 2015, which will mark his return to avant-garde cuisine after closing El Bulli in 2011. Meanwhile he continues to collaborate in research techniques to transform any everyday product, such as coffee, into a stunning show.

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