Coffee & Tea
I can hardly talk about food without at least devoting a few paragraphs to coffee and tea. These are obviously my personal opinions, but if you haven't tried them, I suggest you do.
I'm pragmatic when it comes to this stuff, appearances notwithstanding. I enjoy most kinds of tea and coffee - these just happen to be my favourites.
I have many "likes" and few "dislikes" when it comes to coffee, but if I have to select a few favourites, here they are:
Medium-roasted and drip brewed pure Jamaican Blue Mountain is probably the most luxurious coffee I know. I have tried Kopi Luwak but it didn't impress me. A well-brewed cup of JBM can, though. The best one I had wasn't home-made. I got it at the Coffee Club in Holland Village in Singapore, who astonished me by serving the coffee equivalent of "single malts", pure non-blended coffee of various types. I've never seen any coffee bar do this before or after this encounter, and it was pure luck that I had to go back to Sweden two days later, or I would have been ruined by the $9 a cup they charged.
I once did an espresso grind of medium-roasted Jamaican Blue Mountain and brewed it with a small moka pot, and that produced probably the most powerful coffee I've ever had. No bitterness whatsoever and no fruityness or sourness either. Just pure, unmitigated coffee flavor with an aftertaste that lingered for what seemed like a few hours.
Any goodish espresso coffee, like Illy or Lavazza, and brewed in either a moka pot or my low-range espresso machine, is always nice. I usually prefer the bitterness to be kept back a bit, though.
Finally, when I'm in the mood, a nice cup of cappuccino is welcome. I usually use a large moka pot since it can produce more coffee, and I make the froth with a Froth-au-lait milk frother.
Nilgiri Superior or Nilgiri Premium, steeped for exactly 2:30 in the cup with just the right amount of tea leaves and almost boiling water.
Not just for sushi, this is a nice afternoon tea. Just pour some tea leaves in a cup and add hot (80-85 degrees) water, leave for a while and then drink. The tea leaves will stay at the bottom, and you can just refill the cup with more water a few times if you like.
Green sencha tea is just as nice as Genmaicha, and I prepare it in the same way.
Green Chinese jasmine tea, prepared just like the sencha, is lovely.
I prefer my chai to be made with some condensed milk, rather than regular milk. It's a force of habit, I suppose. This is tea that I drink with indian food, primarily, and it's spicy and sweet.