Like most great love affairs, my courtship with coffee began in college. I credit one of my roommates with introducing us. We would make the special vanilla favored coffee that was offered at the local grocery store. At first I would allow the hot liquid to warm my belly first thing in the morning without much thought. I would drink it with sugar to cut the bitterness and help add to the caffeine boost. It worked.
As time moved on, our relationship evolved. I traveled to Italy and discovered espresso. I loved how the Italians warm the milk and add it to the espresso to make the most amazing morning coffee. (Of course today this is commonplace, as Americans ask for Lattes at any corner Starbucks or Peet’s.)
Then about 10 years ago I visited Miami for a work trip. There I was introduced to Cuban coffee. My taste buds were delighted again. My co-workers would take me to the local food truck that would expertly make each Café con Leche for a line of eager locals. It was a wonderful morning ritual.
Today I brew my own special blend. It is a combination of all of my experiences. The coffee is ground finely, just like espresso. I add vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon to the grounds for favor. I warm my milk prior to adding the coffee into the cup. Yes, I am still in love.
[Img.Src: Illy Espresso Machine]