Monday, December 20, 2010

Tutto Voglio Per Natale (All I want for Christmas)

What if inanimate objects could have their way…what if inanimate objects could make wishes…what if all the cappuccino in Rome could make a Christmas list…

Buon Giorno Santa,

I am writing to you because I hear that you are the big man with the extra big heart, and there is a lot I want this year. I am cappuccino and I live in every caffe and bar in Rome. I have never written to you before. But there are some important things I would like to ask for this year.

1. People that don’t rush through their cappuccino—that truly and thoroughly enjoy our company—that would like to have a conversation before a sip—that would like to be friends—even for brief instances.

2. A few designer spoons for people to stir us with would be nice—so that while our drinkers sip in style—they stir in style as well.

3. Clean steamers at each of the caffes so that we don’t smell when we are poured into the cup. We need to be so fresh—and so clean for our patrons.

4. Raw sugar that has no expiration date in the near future—so that we do not taste stale when the espresso portion of our serving has reached the tongue of our drinker.

5. And please—above all and most importantly, send us the ability to always be beautifully dressed—garnished with foam that invites our drinker in like a bubble bath—that makes our drinker want to float around on a blow up tube and sip us up from beneath them with a straw.

Please, Santa, just keep granting us the ability to be delicious—just keep us loved.

And no worries, we know the drill. We will leave biscotti and milk (steamed) on each of our tables! (And if you get tired from your long ride around the world, we will make sure to leave the espresso machines on…We know you need your energy—and that big heart should never stop beating!)


Cappuccini di Roma

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Museo di Cappuccino (Museum of Cappuccino)

Chianti has the Museum of Wine...
Rome has the Museum of Pasta...

Why not the Museum of Cappuccino?

Walking by Canova Tadolini (Via del babuino), you might think it is just a museum with all the statues on display, but it is really a beautiful chic caffe inviting you in for what may be the biggest cup of cappuccino in all of Rome.

Not only is the atmosphere and the size of the cappuccino enticing (almost American sized and only 1.30 Euro), the cappuccino tastes pretty good too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I wish that the inanimate objects in all the places I have visited in the past could talk, because I am interested to hear if they remember me, the same way that I remember them. I never wished this more, than I wished it today at the Bull Dog Inn, where I used to go every day during my Rome Semester in 2008: The same place where I used to study for my Rome Through the Ages tests, where I used to live my mornings at—where I used to take my every cappuccino.

As I sat there, I wondered if the same bench I sat on would tell me that I seemed lighter, or that I should lay off the chocolate. I wondered if the espresso machine and milk steamer would yell in agreement at me for ordering a cappuccino after 10:00am, the way I often did back in 2008—though in myself defense, I never knew the rule until returning just a month ago. And I wondered if the coffee mugs would tell me that they remembered me as their favorite customer—as the girl who loved her cappuccino more than she loved buying leather boots.

I wondered if the tables would yell at me for placing too many things on top of it, if all the spoons that I stirred with would beg me to add sugar so that it was mixing more than just foam and espresso, if the walls would scream at me for not just taking in the moment instead of analyzing it with my video camera, digital camera, and my journal—if my atmosphere would enjoy me—as much as I enjoyed it.

And as I took a sip of the cappuccino that my barista had just stirred with espresso, a layer of chocolate, the fantastic foam, and second layer of chocolate, I wondered if when I left Rome, the Bull Dog Inn counted the days until I returned. I wondered if, today, it jumped with joy as I walked into the side door that I opened countless times in the past. And I wondered if, today, it remembered me as wonderfully as I remembered it…because I couldn’t stand for our relationship to ever be forgotten…I couldn’t stand for this relationship, this wonderful cappuccino union between person and coffee to be broken…because I couldn’t imagine life in Rome…without the Bulldog. And then I wonder…how cool would it be if Rome couldn’t imagine life without me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Il cucchiaio di magia che non era magico (The magic spoon that wasn't magical)

A slotted spoon can't hold much milk--and a chocolate one can't make a bad cappuccino taste much better. But it can fulfill a chocolate craving...

Maybe, just maybe, I built my expectations up about my coffee drink just a bit too much before walking to Hemingway SRL yesterday, a hip coffee shop that my friends had been telling me about for weeks, "You gotta go to Hemingways. They have the best coffee drinks." What my friends really meant was, "They have the best coffee drinks with alcohol." Me, the nondrinker, of course, just wanted the simple treat of a cappuccino. And when I learned that I had the opportunity to drink it with a chocolate spoon, I clearly had to jump at it.
I took a scoop of foam with the chocolate spoon and brought what I believed would be a wonderful creation to my mouth. The combination of the temperature of my mouth and the temperature of the cappuccino melted the chocolate spoon in my mouth--and nearly instantly a sweet, melted, deliciously, delightful feeling filled my mouth. But what was to follow wasn't so
magical. As the spoon melted nearly completely into my cappuccino as well as my mouth, the espresso that I had finally reached, beneath the foamy fantasticalness, proved bitter--a disappointment. Not even the chocolate spoon could do much for this disaster of an espresso. But at least it fulfilled my chocolate craving...Even Hemingway looks a bit angry in the background.