Thursday, 8 October 2009

coffee intake | just my "cup of tea"

We all like a hot drink some time during the day, especially in the morning.  Now with the days getting colder we long for a cup of tea, cocoa or coffee many times a day.  In my case, I prefer a good strong cup of coffee (no milk added please) and definitely not the instant watery type, PLEASE, no, no, no!!!  On that point: we do not drink milky coffee where I come from.  A café au lait is what it is: a coffee with milk and a coffee remains a plain coffee, which is to be savoured after it is brewed just black and simple (sugar is an option).  Depending on a country's customs (eg: French, Spanish or Italian), coffee is also very much appreciated after a meal, for it can help breaking the fat during digestion (so they say).

I have been thinking lately of going on a coffee tasting tour like they do for wine or champagne.  Unfortunately, it does not seem to actually exist around here.  I have searched online but did not come across any such event in Europe.  It would be such a pleasure to go to a coffee place/specialist in order to taste different name it.  I might as well go and sit in one of those coffee chains and order different shots of coffee but that is not the point.  These new trend of chains found in huge amounts mainly in the UK and US do not even offer the traditional size of cups but serve mugs of coffee, where their smallest size takes me about 2 days to drink up (well, almost | it feels like it). Fortunately, there are plenty of independent cafés around the Netherlands where you can still get what I am after in a regular size cup.  The purpose of such a tour would also be social: to be in the company of like-minded people who appreciate the authentic flavour of this beverage and with whom one could exchange thoughts on the matter.  Since I do not drink alcohol, coffee has become more my thing the past few years.  But don't get me wrong,  I am no addict: I do not crave or feel a lack of it.  The only time I have been doing some coffee tasting was when I was playing tourist in Guadeloupe at different point in time when I visited Cafféière Beauséjour, la Grivelière and le Musée du Café (Café Chaulet), all coffee producers.

Over the years, when meeting different people from various countries and whose respective country produce coffee, they all tend to say "our coffee is the best in the world". I also heard it from Jamaican acquaintances when speaking about their delicious well-known Blue Mountain, and I was also lucky to experience myself the tasty Egyptian coffee while travelling in Cairo, or the Italian espresso while waiting for the train at Brescia station in Italy  (Mamma mia, what a taste!)  Well, I don't need to drink it 3 or 4 times a day.  Once a day or sometimes even twice a week does it for me, for I appreciate it too much to spoil it by over doing it.

The type of coffee I am familiar with are the famous Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Although I am piling up a whole selection in my kitchen brought back from Guadeloupe, these days I have been experimenting with Turkish coffee: once in a while, I prepare it in my cezve (Turkish pot)  and I N D U L G E!


Aledys Ver said...

Wonderful, Agnes! You made me want to get up and prepare some coffee - today of all days when I had tea for breakfast as an exception! :)
The other day at the Superstreekmarkt, there were two stalls of two coffee&tea shops from Zwolle and you could taste their their different blends. But you are right, I've never seen coffee tasting tours, like the ones you normally find for wine.
I suppose it would not be a surprise to you if I told you that I prefer "espresso"? I am, after all, of Italian descent; and you are right, for us in Arg. a meal always finishes with a (small) cup of coffee.
Great post!

A g g i e Lap said...

Thanks, Aledys, it's great that you're a coffee lover (of proper coffee) as well, so if ever one day I can find a coffee tasting tour you'll definitely be invited! :) Indeed, sometimes a good espresso not only give you a good kick to keep you alert, but the smell of it and the taste can be just what one needs.

Aledys Ver said...

Sure, let me know if you hear of such coffee tastings and I'll join you.
About espresso - have you also heard/read that it actually contains less caffeine than a normally brewed cup of coffee? I don't know if this is really true, but it's the excuse I always give my husband when I make some after dinner, since he always complains about having problems falling asleep after having coffee :)

A g g i e Lap said...

Oh, I didn't know about the espresso having less caffeine! Indeed that's even a better excuse to give if we want to have one late in the evening, as I often do when I'm dining out :))

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