Since I’ve been off for a few days, today is like a Monday to me. And what jumpstarts our Mondays like a good cup of Joe. Java. Cafe. Venti. Grande. With foam. Without. A dash of Madagascar cinnamon, anyone (a great request from Niles on Frasier)?
As my friends and coffee-mates can attest to, I have begun the habit of trying to savor my coffees when I frequent any coffee shop. No more paper cups for me. No more slurping on the fly. I’d like that caffeinated elixir of the Gods in a ceramic cup, please. I’m stayin’! It’s just one way of trying to slow down my days a tad when I can…not have everything be such a hustle-and-bustle. I’m totally serious here. Take 15 minutes to slooooow down. It’s not going to kill you or send the world spinning off-orbit, will it? No, in fact, it will enhance your life for those few minutes, probably even refresh you and put a smile on your face. All that from a cup of coffee. Nice! Even if it’s just 10 minutes, or..sheesh…5…whatever you need. For a few minutes today, focus on one thing. Maybe it starts with your coffee (or tea. You get where I’m going with this). Smell the beans…smell it brewing. Take that first sip, have it touch your lips and actually taste it. Savor it. Breathe it in. Ahhhhh. Maybe you add a dollop (is there really any word better than “dollop”?) of foam. A bit of cocoa powder. Ah, sweet beginning to my day, I have found you. And you know what, those 10 minutes didn’t wreck your day…they added to it. And you are quite possibly not even out the door yet.
I now feel inclined to share some of my fave coffees with you. These have become staples in our cabinet and our cabinet is better for them. Yes, you can get your coffees from the grocery store or The ‘Bucks or Dunkin’s, but life is all about those little things, isn’t it? And if that means ordering your coffee from other states (how ridiculous does that sound-I know) but having it thrill you just a little bit more, then I say go for it.
First…I haven’t been to New Orleans yet (it’s on the ever-growing list) but if this stuff, this coffee, is any indication of the delights in that city, get me there toute de suite. Cafe du Monde coffee. Made with chicory. It’s been around forever, the Cafe itself is known throughout the universe, it’s not something new. BUT, to your palate, that blast of chicory is something you won’t want to be without ever again. Cafe au Lait is coming your way and it’s magnificent. My husband is generally a pretty low-maintenance guy, but once he started with the authentic cafe au laits whipped up in our very own little kitchen, he scampered up that maintenance ladder a bit. Foam it and foam it good. Order it, foam your milk and laissez les bon temps rouler. www.cafedumonde.com
The other coffee I have to tout is one that we discovered while on vacation in New Hampshire. One generally doesn’t think New Hampshire and think java, now do they? Pine trees, canoes, camping-yes. Coffee-no. We (husband, kids-the usual vacationees) ambled into a favorite little bookstore of ours one sunny, summer afternoon and discovered that they were now selling coffee and pastries. Had to hop on that ol’ book-and-coffee-bandwagon, I guess. After thumbing through books, we ordered up two iced coffees….Iced “Sins”, to be exact, and within an hour of leaving had circled back to the bookstore for Round Two of Sin. Yes, Sin. The Black Bear Micro Roastery (www.blackbearcoffee.com) located in Center Tuftonboro is responsible for mixing religion…and coffee. And they do it so well, I might add (watch for lightening bolts). We can thank them for cups of Sin, Cardinal Sin and Dark Sin. C’mon, who doesn’t want to order a cup of that? Just saying “I’ll have a cup of Sin” will bring a devilish smirk to your face and you haven’t even lifted it to your lips yet. This is coffee with some hints of cinnamon, hazelnut and/or chocolate, depending on which Sin you are committing that morning. It is also something amazing when iced. Go for it. Sin a little. I dare you.