Sunday, November 7, 2010

Con Tutto Il Mio Cuore (With all my heart)

I have only had cappuccino two days now, but I think that I will be replacing a majority of my diet--aka veges, bread, and cereal with the wonderfulness that is the Italian cappuccino. It was only moments after finishing my cappuccino on day 2 that a set of strangers offered to buy me a second one. Then, later on a man by the name of Fabio bought me a dessert cappuccino outside of the Duomo. If strangers buy me all my coffee--then it probably will replace my diet! (Scherzo--Joke Joke).

But let's discuss the coffee I bought--the cappuccino that made me fall in love.

As I trekked from the square to the Ponte Vecchio (the most beautiful bridge in all of Florence), and from the Piazza Della Republica to the phone store, all I could think about was my next cappuccino. I had woken up late, 11am (5am US time), so I had missed the 10am
deadline. For hours I fought the urge to buy a cappuccino, but as I turned down my street, I spotted a shop on the corner.

And let's face it--I needed a cappuccino like Wonka needed his Oompa Loompas.

As the doors slid open, I saw many empty coffee cups that had been drank from. It is always a good sign when there are remnants of many people having experienced the same place as you. It means that it must be wonderful.

Ho parlato a Italiano (I spoke in Italian) as I turned to the white haired, plump Florentinian man who stood in front of me: "Prendo un cappuccino, per favore." "Si." As he turned to make my masterpiece, a huge smile formed on my face--he hadn't thought twice about a cappuccino after 10am (I am starting to believe that maybe my friend was playing me on that fact). I added "Grazie" to my request, quite cheerfully, and before steaming my foam, he turned his head to face me and with bright eyes said, "Prego!"

Not before long, il mio cappuccino sat in front of me just waiting to slowly meet my lips. I took this opportunity to stand at the coffee bar, not sit. Before taking my first sips, I realized that the man next to me was having trouble ordering beer for himself and his wife, so I offered my Italian expertise. He asked, "Prendo due birra." The coffee man looked at him awkwardly, so I turned and said "Due Birre. When a word is feminine and plural, you change the last letter to an e." He smiled and said a big thank you before turning back to who I now knew as Roberto and said, "Due birre." "Ah perfetto," Roberto said.

When I finished helping him order, I turned back to my cappuccino with big eyes like that of a dog that has just seen a squirrel leave a tree. But something was missing, and Roberto knew just what it was--chocolate powder--lots of chocolate powders. With his hand on his stomach, he joyfully scattered chocolate.

"Perfetto!" I exclaimed, and he smiled.

Now, now it was time to indulge. Now it was time to focus all my attention on one thing--and one thing only.

I brought the cappuccino to my nose and smelled the fresh chocolate powder that had now made my white foam a pure wonderful mess of cocoa. I then breathed it in, antagonizing my taste buds to come out and play. And then I carefully brought the cappuccino to my lips, melting like the chocolate into heaven. This was my happy place.

I continued to stand at the coffee bar staring at the coffee steamer, imagining one day owning my own and having my own factory of cappuccino. I continued my moment by writing this. And Roberto, the beautiful wonderful, jolly, white haired man looked at my journal and asked me what I was writing.

I described my love for cappuccino to him, almost glowing as I told him that I write about a cappuccino whenever I love that cappuccino. I told him that it was my favorite drink and then used as many Italian words as I knew to describe my love. And he looked at me--first happy--then saddened. He said, (all in Italian of course), "You love cappuccino, but no love me?" I giggled and no, I love cappuccino, and you!

And the truth is I do love Roberto. I love my coffee baristas, each and every one, because my cappuccino would not exist without them.

So Mr. blue sweatered, big hearted, white haired, Italian man...Roberto...I love you...I love you with all my heart! GRAZIE!

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