Prima Colazione: Today’s post the 30 day bloggers challenge must start with a C. Of course I thought of Como but I just posted a story from my adventure in December in Como, Como Local Travel Experts. Or I could write about una chiesa (church) since there are thousands to choose from. But what I love about each morning in Italy is having a cappucino made for me personally and eating cake for breakfast!
Who does NOT love a country that eats CAKE for breakfast?
When staying at a hotel or one of the convent guest houses I frequent I can usually find a ‘coffee’ machine dispensing the most important brew of the day. But the Italians have perfected their coffee machines. They can dispense everything from espresso to macchiato. This method I am sure is for simplicity, speed and the benefit of not requiring a barista.
But the man (and it is usually a man) behind the counter at the local bar is often an artist. He can juggle several orders at one time, knowing just when the steaming water has finished filtering through the individual metal filter for each cup of coffee. What I will never master is drinking an espresso in less than 30 seconds! Sitting over a cup of coffee for 1/2 hour is just not common.
I have seen Starbucks in the large cities but have not observed how the coffee ritual may have been affected.
Those of us who can not drink strong coffee, and every good cup of Italian coffee is strong, we opt for something with milk, usually steamed milk, a cappuccino. This is where the art begins. Each barista might ‘sign’ his work with a particular design in the froth of the cup. I have yet to figure out how this is done, but I am sure it adds to the enjoyment of the drinker. Now as I write this I wonder if cup art is ONLY for tourists? Yes, I always look like a tourist, but once in awhile I can blend in and order without receiving the ‘look’. the look is a universal facial expression of ‘what did you say’? Each bar has a signature and a following. The same locals come to ‘their’ bar for coffee every day. They know the owner and all the their patrons. Even though I tried to make a particular establishment ‘mine’ while staying in town for any length of time, it did not work. Sometimes I was invisible and never served and others just given coffee but no conversation. But all part of the adventure.
When I return to the USA the first thing I miss the next morning is an attractive man making a special cup of coffee JUST for ME.