Tomorrow when the snow gracefully frolics and swirls among the gelid wind stream, I will admire it from my frosty window with a steaming, aromatic, cozy cup of coffee. There is truly nothing that can bring such elation to my mornings like a well-brewed pot of coffee. It wakes my senses, eases the pain of rising before dawn, and rips me out of a nasty mood.
In my life, there has been few times where I can say that I have truly experienced nirvana while sipping my latte. Quite frankly, I am disgusted by the massacre of this sublime potion by so many restaurants, cafes, and bistros. Most places leave their French presses, drips, percolators, cappuccino makers, and super automatic espresso machines, grotesquely filthy. I apologize to those of you who have weak stomachs, but I feel it is necessary to discuss what is really dancing around under the cloud of froth in your latte. Most food establishments do not properly clean each part of the machines each day. After several days of this, and no routine circulation of scalding water through the internal organs, you get a terrible backup of sludge. A disgraceful concoction of leftover oils, calcium deposits, dirty grinds, and microscopic bacteria fairies from the night before. This creates dull, flavorless, watery, downright crappy coffee.
In Italy coffee is as sacred as the Pope. I visited a REST STOP on my way from Rome to Naples and the cappuccino I ordered there put the cups of coffee I had at the Ritz Carlton in NYC to shame. Ah yes, Italians understand the artistry of this transcendental beverage and they infuse every sip with time, love, and lots and lots of crema! You can walk into any bar (in Italy they use the term “bar” for café) and see people standing, chatting, signaling their slang through their quintessential hand gestures, and undoubtedly sipping their souls to bliss. I love Italy and besides the pleasurable cuisine, their coffee earns my stamp of approval.
If you cannot make it to Italy in the next week, there are two places I can recommend in NYC. One is Kaffe 1668 and the other is Bouley Bakery & Market –- both in Tribecca. Kaffe 1668 offers bold sassy blends of fair-trade, organic coffee and provides lots of seating, free wi-fi and chill music. Bouley needs no introduction as it is owned by the brilliant chef, David Bouley. The coffee, pastries, and other offerings are DIVINE. The seating is cozy, with lots of natural light and is distinctively French.
If NYC is not your cup of tea then make your coffee in the comfort of your humble abode. Brands such as Allegro, Weaver’s, Lavazza , Illy and Café Bustelo are fabulous — and, please, buy the whole damn bean!! Yes home is where it all begins, so tomorrow start your day with a cappuccino, latte, espresso, macchiato, Americano, or whatever you fancy, and be thankful that this humble bean has brought sanity, clarity, and efficacy to human civilization.