Monday, October 18, 2010

Barista! A Caramel Macchiato, Por Favor

I have no idea what I just ordered, but it looks something like this. And I did say "please" in a worldly way. The subject of coffee in all its various forms was discussed at my brother's a couple Sunday mornings ago when he asked if I'd like a caffe' latte. "First you'll have to explain what it is," I replied.
Les and Susan have an espresso machine so when they have time on weekends they like to enjoy coffee drinks that take a little more time to prepare. I tasted their lattes - hers plain; his flavored. They were o.k., but I opted for plain black coffee. I'm so boring.
I think Starbucks has to take the credit for the many ways to order their brew. Lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, mochas, macchiatos; iced, flavored, skinny. No wonder it takes me ten minutes to decide what to order when I look at their menu!

There was a time I had my own little barista. She would navigate me through and help me decide what to try. Kari began her career with Barnes and Noble as a bookseller in Edina, MN. When B&N finally opened a store in West Des Moines, Kari transferred "back home". I was so happy to have her in our neighborhood again. (Literally. She lived just down the street from us on 4th.)
In order to move up with B&N, Kari accepted the management of the cafe, even though it meant moving away from her beloved books. She did get management experience. She hated that it was in the cafe.

Remember the Nescafe world globe cups? Ron & Ruthie had a set of these. I'm not sure, but I think they may have been a premium you could get for Nescafe points. I had one which I got at a garage sale. I liked their shape and the globe effect, but found I preferred my coffee out of a mug and let my one world cup go at our farm sale.
Les and I talked about the two extremes in our family - Ron is perfectly happy with a cup of instant coffee - Les is very particular not only about where his coffee beans come from, but how the coffee is prepared from those beans - while I am somewhere in the middle. I can't go the instant route; I prefer my coffee brewed in a drip coffee maker. And I prefer Hills Brothers Columbian (already ground).

There were a couple times I drank instant coffee. One of them was in Ireland. Les and I kidded about how we both soon learned on our Ireland adventures to drink tea at the bed and breakfasts instead of what our hosts thought of as coffee. The word coffee seemed to be synonymous with Nescafe.
The other time(s) were when Bud and I first began taking trips and our accommodations were sleeping bags and tent. Our coffee was instant, made in water heated over a campfire. I remember our trip to Kentucky. We were at a campground at Land Between the Lakes when I realized I forgot to pack the coffee pot we used to heat the water. I had to have my coffee in the morning, even if it was instant. So we drove to a nearby small town (more like a couple stores stocked for the fishing tourists) to buy a little aluminum coffee pot. There wasn't a coffee pot to be found. The only thing we could find to heat water in was a bread pan. We made it work - using a pair of pliers to take it off the campfire.
Les and I both like using a french press for coffee. He is more of a purist, grinding his own coffee beans first, while I am lazy and use pre-ground coffee.

And we both like Gevalia Coffees. I have ordered from Gevalia many times over the years, though not presently. However, I am still using Mom's coffee maker she received for ordering Gevalia Coffee. I "borrowed" it after our sixth or seventh "Mr. Coffee" maker quit working. It must be at least ten years old now. I rely on it every morning for my two cups of plain, strong, black coffee. It's how I begin my day.

1 comment:

  1. Some of the drinks are made up by Starbucks, but the basic stuff (cappuccino, latte) are much older than Starbucks.