2008-06-21

A question about coffee

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.

5 comments:

TotallyPowered said...

I don't know where you can find such good coffee but what i can tell you and you know it already You cannot find good coffee in North America.
(I'm in Toronto,Canada)
I'not a coffee type of person, but I lived 5 years in France and i can tell you that the supermarket coffee is better than what we drink here!
Here Quantity of coffee is more important than taste !

Denis Kanygin said...

The flavor depends on processing of the bean. As far as I know the process is quite different in North America.

There is a good chance that the only way you can get the real flavor is by going to Europe/South America.

Book Calendar said...

Cafe con leche is made a little differently. When I go to a Spanish restaurant, they steam the milk until it is hot, then they add it to the coffee. It is also very dark coffee (arabica or dark colombian beans). So steamed milk with very dark coffee. I don't know why steamed milk tastes different, but it does.

Annie said...

I am very picky about my coffee also. It makes me who I am the rest of the day so I can't start out with crappy coffee. I have a lot of coffee vendors on my site, maybe one of them sells the kind you like.

Condo Blues said...

Almost all Cuban restaurants in Miami, Florida serve cafe con leche. That's how I fell in love with the magical bean called coffee.