Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Coffee Talk

I am an avid coffee drinker. I drink it more than most people and perhaps more than I should. The funny thing is I don't drink it because I like coffee. I drink it because of the cream and sweetener I can add to it. My coffee has to be right color when I add the cream (real heavy cream too, not that half and half or Coffee Mate stuff). A nice creamy tan color. If it's not, the experience is ruined for me. If I couldn't add cream and sweetener to my coffee, I would not drink it. Oh, I've sacrificed on occasions when I've convinced myself that I needed to watch my fat intake by omitting the cream. But black coffee with sweetener just doesn't cut it. The cream makes the coffee for me and makes it edible. I have never understood people that drink coffee black because coffee, on its own, tastes quite nasty.

I don't like strongly brewed coffee. I was watching the Barefoot Contessa, whom I absolutely love, and she said that you need 1 tablespoon for every cup of coffee to brew the perfect pot of coffee. I adapted that to 1 teaspoon per cup and it is perfect for me. My mother-in-law is the opposite. There are many wives out there who resent it when their mother-in-laws take over their kitchen but, I love it. I view cooking as a necessary evil. I have to eat to live and if I only ate take out I would be as big as a house, so I must cook. My mother-in-law comes over several times a year and I look forward to sleeping in while she fixes breakfast and any other meal her heart desires. She is the opposite of me when it comes to coffee. She likes it black and the stronger the better. One day, I drank her coffee and it was so strong, it made my face tingle.

This was my experience in Germany. I had to have coffee every morning, more out of habit than anything else, and instead of my usual 3 or 4 mugs, I could only stomach one tea cup of coffee. Americans serve their coffee in mugs. Germans serve theirs in tea cups. One of our companions went to the McDonalds hoping to get a larger cup of coffee. The "Grande" size couldn't even pass for a small coffee in the US. It was the tiniest thing and the source of much ridicule. One tea cup was enough for me because the coffee is quite strong in Germany. I brought back a bag and still struggle to get the measurement right so that the coffee is weak enough for my taste.

I went to get a latte at a coffee shop down the street from the hotel and the size of that cup annoyed me. For Starbucks prices, I need a bbbbiiiigggg cup, people! And they served it with this annoying little, button sized "cookie". One "cookie"! What am I supposed to do with that? Of course the "latte" was quite strong and no amount of sweetener could kill the strong coffee taste. Thankfully, by the last few days of our stay, I had figured out that the "milchkaffee" was right up my alley. It's about 75% milk and 25% coffee and simply delicious!

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