Friday, January 18, 2008

The First Frivolous Friday

Although I occasionally maintain an air of calm disinterest on this blog (I'm an academic, y'know), most of you know that I'm secretly silly and easily excitable (and fond of alliteration). So in the spirit of my fun-loving and sugary cheerful side, I'm instituting Frivolous Fridays, where I post about anything unrelated to literature, graduate school, and books (though I reserve the right to be giggly over books, if I want.)

This week's frivolity involves coffee. Mmm, I love the coffee. Since I determined as a freshmen in college that I adored coffee, I've journeyed through various coffee-drinking phases. I started out drinking impossibly sweet coffees, but then discovered my true coffee love was strong and heady, with a bit of cream to make it palatable (not that I don't occasionally dip into the drinks that involve coffee, but more often lots of sugar and milk). Lately, I'd been alternating between lattes (occasionally with a splash of cinnamon syrup), Americanos (with half and half) and brewed coffee.

When we were in Spain, I learned something very important--I thought all along that lattes were my espresso drink of choice, but I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. You see, the problem with a latte is that it involved too much milk, not enough espresso love. I discovered this by drinking cafe con leche every day for my two and half week stay.

The cafe con leche is served in a small white porcelain cup with a tiny spoon and a packet of sugar. Lance and I would sprinkle a little of the sugar in the cup, stir it with the adorable spoon*, and drink it slowly. Most everyone in Spain drinks their coffee like this; in very few places did we see coffee para llevar (in a disposable cup)--you want a cup of coffee, so you buy it and drink it at the bar, then pay and leave**. It was beautiful, really.

So upon returning to the US, I set out to find the proper thing to order at my favorite local coffee shop. I'd been informed that what I really liked was the macchiato, but when I ordered that, it was a shot of espresso with a teeny bit of steamed milk foam. A bit strong for me.

Today, however, I determined that the cappuccino with light foam was my drink (at least at Arsaga's). It's deliciously milky, and although I forwent the added sugar, it was just like being in Spain again, sipping cafe con leche in a little cafeteria. Yum.

*I bought some tiny spoons because I have this thing for the diminutive. I also already own small coffee cups, and have bought other things because they are small and "precious".

**Very few things could be bought para llevar unless it came from a fast-food joint or places specifically meant to sell "take away" food. And the portions were small enough that you didn't typically have left-overs to take home...

No comments: