Friday, October 30, 2009

Coffee ranting and ravings..

BooMamma cracked me up last week when she asked what the deal was with Pumpkin Spice Lattes (she'd never had one) and she got over 260 comments in response with people advising her about coffee and coffee shops.

Well.

I happen to LOVE coffee.

I love coffee shops and, in particular, lattes. Or sometimes a chocolate cappuchino. YUM.

I'm a little picky about lattes because I worked at a charming little Italian (genuinely Italian) coffee shop called Torrefazzione that Starbucks bought out and shut down (curses!). At Torrefazzione they taught us how to lovingly make a real latte - how to perfectly steam the milk so it was smooth the whole way through, how to hand press and pull the espresso, how to expertly pour the milk so that the espresso mixed in you could make a cool design like they did at Intelligensia when I was there last week.

From Chicago Fall Trip


Yeah. That is a beautiful latte.

Problem is, Starbucks has absolutely no class with their lattes. They have a machine spit out espresso, they keep steamed milk heated and on hand but NOT smooth the whole way through. So, in the end, you get a cup of hot milk with some espresso and spices in it. That's not a latte! Luckily I still like hot milk with espresso and spices, but it's just not the same.

I do LOVE me a pumpkin spice latte - and have you tried the pumpkin cream cheese muffin? That was one of my favorite pastries in the two months I worked at S-bucks after they bought out my Italian coffee shop. I don't mind most Starbucks drinks, actually.

Ohhhh... you know, I just have to mention that Seattles' Best (which was also bought out by Starbucks, but still exists in Borders bookstores) makes the best tasting mocha ever? There's just something extra special about it.

I make coffee at home most of the time, though, and that's where I feel like a coffee failure. Somehow I just can't make it right. I make drip coffee, I make french press... somehow it's always a little bitter... maybe too strong... maybe too weak? I go to friends' houses and it's always amazing and I wonder what I'm doing wrong! One recent remedy has been sweetening my coffee with sweetened condensed milk. That's Vietnamese and I love it...

And really, when it's been raining here in Texas for what feels like six months, what could be better than curling up with my latest book and a cup of coffee.

And with Stank to keep me company

From small group

She lays like that all the time. Yes, I think it's weird. Yes, I tell her so all the time.

But still, I like her. One more perk that came with gaining two great roomies.... we got two crazy cats in the deal. :)

9 comments:

Jaimie said...

One of the things I loved in Singapore was "Teh." It was an instant favorite. Not sure if you've had that...

I'm not a fan of coffee, but I like Starbuck's double chocolate frapp. I need to try that pumpkin cream cheese muffin. I keep meaning to.

Jaimie said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teh_tarik

(Ugh, and we ate the breakfast pictured too. These pancake things with eggs, dipped in I-don't-know-what. Something spicy/savory. SO GOOD.)

Kacie said...

Yeah so I LOVE roti paratha, but just from eating out and discovering it, since we didn't really have it in Indo. "Teh" is the word for tea but we didn't have teh tarik, and it looks amaaaazing. I haven't yet tried sweetened condensed milk in teh, but I am now going to. SWEET. Man, I just looked at that pic and thought... that is so cool... I would LOVE to sit and have that for breakfast!

Togenberg said...

Being as Stabuck's isn't cheap, you 'd expect excellent coffee and frankly so often the espresso is overly burnt/bitter, lacking that smooth even creamy quality that it should have. Makes me grumpy at them.

CM said...

You all make coffee sound so good, I almost wish I drank the stuff!

Stephanie said...

coffee is gross and you're gross for drinking it. tea is totally the way to go.

*ducks and covers*

:)

and Stank is transfixed. probably by her own awesomeness.

Annie Peterson said...

I have just recently started making lattes at home, because the people I live with have them all the time! I have to say, I have really enjoyed learning how to do it. My friend taught me how to make nice, thick foam the way I like it, but I would so love to know your tricks to making smooth milk and pouring the shots so I could make the pretty designs...I know it would probably be hard to learn over the internet...

My personal favorites right now, I think, are eggnog lattes. J'adore...

Annie Peterson said...

Also, I now absolutely must try the pumpkin cream cheese muffin. =)

This Heavenly Life said...

'Stank.' LOL! That's gotta be one of the best pet names I've ever heard!

I'm also in the land of the lost. But when you talk about a latte with smooth creamy warmed milk all the way through, and a cutesy little piece of art on top...I want to try one. Not a Starbuck's one, though :)