I started drinking coffee the summer of 1991, when I spent 4-weeks in Spain. Each morning, I started my day with a lovely cafe con leche and croissants or tortilla. Thus began my love affair with that humble and heart jarring bean.
Since them I've spent way too much money at coffee shops, been through whole bean, french press, drip, Vietnamese style, and even Maxwell House filter pack style coffee. I've enjoyed most of it, but I could never find quite that same magical elixir I knew in Madrid.
After awhile I assumed the flavor I thought I knew didn't really exist. It was an illusion caused by the intoxication of the early stage of that love affair. The coffee I thought I knew was really just a figment of my imagination born of the giddiness of all that was new and wonderful.
I was content with my more mature relationship with the bean.
Then I found it again -- in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I ordered a coffee and got my special one and only cafe con leche. The flavor was the same, and it took my right back to those days on the Gran Via.
It was real. It wasn't my imagination.
And I need more.
Where can I find the traditional, Spanish Cafe con Leche in Seattle? Or elsewhere in the mainland? Is there are way to order it at a coffee shop that I don't know? Or do I just need to go back to Spain or Puerto Rico again?
It's time to brush up on my Spanish.