Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coffee Talk

We were spoiled with good coffee in Italy. We don't own an espresso machine, nor do we plan to buy one anytime soon. I reserve having a double cappuccino for Sunday mornings, after a brisk walk to the Southern Village Weaver street market. While in Sienna we purchased a Moka coffee maker for about 14 euros. We buy our coffee (Kenya French Roast) from Southern Season, and we grind it ourselves. Very fine for the Moka. We recently purchased (World Market) two medium sized ceramic cups and saucers for our coffee--not mugs, and not over-sized cappuccino cups. I use Organic Valley half-and-half and raw sugar. And I typically have one cup a day. Maybe two. We are trying to recreate the Italian coffee experience, and it feels pretty damn close.

I find that only the first cup actually gives me a pleasing brain jolt. If I had good sense and better discipline, I'd always use that coffee rush to work on my book. But I often find myself reading blogs, novels, etc. while the coffee works its magic.

So the summertime Sunday morning ritual is to walk with husband and daughter (she rides in a jogging stroller), while my son sleeps in, for about 40 minutes to the cafe at Weaver Street in Southern Village. We go early enough (before 8:00) to beat the heat. Most mornings my breakfast consists of a healthy GoLean cereal with berries, but on Sundays I have that double cappuccino and a freshly-baked almond croissant. DH has a plain or chocolate croissant and dd has a blueberry muffin. This is our effort to mimic the European pleasure of walking to the local cafe. The walk is longer, sweatier, and uphill for much of the way, but the delight of having that pastry and coffee before returning home is inexpressible.

I confess that DH and I have been trying to determine if the bakery quality has changed at Weaver Street since they moved the ovens to Hillsborough. I am a little sad that I'll never again get rustic bread that's still warm, since it now has to ride in the truck for 30 minutes. But we're grateful to be spoiled with some of the best bread in the whole US of A. People who commit the lunacy of the Atkins diet have never tasted really good bread.

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