Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tradizione (Tradition)




Look back on a time—a moment in your life that you want to repeat. And repeat that moment. Create a tradition.

That is what happened when I looked back on December 24, 2011. I thought of the day that I set off on a day long journey, in a Santa hat, to enjoy seven cappuccino along the cobble stoned alley ways of Rome. While Italian families were off destroying seven fish, I was drowning my loneliness of the holidays away in foam and bubble baths of Roman coffee. I was on the cappuccino crawl of the century—until I took the opportunity to do it again—only in America, and a week earlier than Christmas Eve this year. And now it’s not just the one time event, but rather the tradition—the memory I can keep living over and over again.

Originally, I had set out on this year’s cappuccino crawl with the idea that I would touch every borough. Seven cappuccino had been rough, and had taken a long time, and I wanted to cater the crawl to my current home—my real home. One cappuccino per borough. But plans—well they don’t always go according to plan—and this one didn’t even pretend to. After finding out that our first stop in Staten Island was closed, taking a random bus, attempting to take an express bus, and ending up on a bus with a driver who hated us—after our first mistake—we returned to Manhattan with a new plan: Manhattancino Crawl. Five cappuccino in five hours—in Manhattan. And while the disappointment of missing out on all five boroughs took a bit to fade, the hike through Manhattan soon unfolded into a wonderfully caffeinated, delicious day—taken over by these five shops:

La Colombe



Ost



Table 12



Via Quadronno



Bourbon



From foamy to decadent these cappuccini were far from disappointment. My mouth is already beginning to water at the thought of the next crawl--maybe a five borough crawl will win out--one of these days. For now...Salute.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stato della California di mente (California State of Mind)


I have officially found a way to teleport myself from New York City to LA in 1 subway transfer and 2 block walk. I didn't go to school for science, but I am pretty sure that all I had to do was walk into the new Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on 39th and Broadway to jet set to LA in an instant.

White cushioned walls, colorful posters on the walls, and an instant photo machine (FOR FREE), I definitely wasn't in any of my favorite New York City shops any more. I was officially in the California-based coffee shop, that recently opened in mid-town Manhattan. I was definitely in a place I could call a vacation on a lonely Saturday afternoon.

And the best part is that upon arriving, ordering, and sitting, I wasn't alone.



I was in the comfort of a foamy, beautiful mix of espresso and milk. I had a hand(le) to hold and I had my number one friend--a mug of cappuccino. I had my best friend Joe (hehe) to support me through my day--through my writing--through my relaxing. And I sipped on that cappuccino slowly, wishing it would never end, because even if it was a tad too foamy, it was still good, and it was still the perfect vacation from a lonely Saturday afternoon.


Science better catch up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Immagine di cappuccino (Image of Cappuccino)


I drink A LOT of cappuccino. I drink it when I am sad--I drink it when I am happy. I drink it when I am neutral. I drink it to get a slight rush. I drink it to take a photo. I drink it to write my blog. I drink it to taste something amazing, wonderful and delightful. I drink it hold a hand. I drink it have a conversation. I drink it so I can always have a "Coffee date" aka date with my coffee. I drink it to inspire myself. I drink it to be happy. I drink a lot of cappuccino.


I recently watched the Matt Cutts in which he inspires people to try something new--for 30 days. I chose drawing. And today...I chose to draw my favorite cappuccino art. I think I'll like this challenge : )


Friday, August 12, 2011

Una preghiera di Cappuccino - (A prayer of Cappuccino)


Our Cappuccino, who art in mug

Swallowed be thy fame

Thy caffeine come

Thy will be drunk

In kitchen as it is in café

Give us this espresso, our daily dose

And forgive us our coffee lapses

As we forgive baristas who trespass against us

And lead us not into addiction

But deliver us to satisfaction. Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Perché Amo il Cappuccino? (Why do I love Cappuccino)




"Everyone needs a tagline. And I guess yours is cappuccino?"

That's what my boss said to me as I pulled out my cappuccino shirt and laughed about my recent purchase.

"You really do love it, don't you?" She added.

Still laughing I told her that I had also created business cards with a cappuccino image on them.

"It really is your tagline."

And then another co-worker chimed in.

"Why do you love it so much?"

That answer is easy. But it requires a story:


It starts with falling in love with coffee. You see, I can tell you the exact day that I began loving coffee. I was sitting in the kitchen with my mother, and she was filtering coffee into a mug that had the Starry Night design on it. I hadn't even tasted the coffee, but just the smell had gotten me. It was a scent like none other. The only competition, it had, in fact, and has ever had has been fresh chocolate chip cookies-which come in second place every time. You see, growing up, each time I noticed the steaming aroma moving through the house, I'd walk upstairs and sit with my mother. "One day this mug will be yours," she would tell me, as she sipped from the Starry Night mug.



The mug now resides on a shelf in our guest room. When I finally have my own place--I'll inherit it. I dream of my own starry night when I can drink a cappuccino from that mug myself. For now, I just have inherited a love of coffee that I am not sure I can ever lose.

In fact--in high school, I wrote a five minute audition speech comparing high school to a cup of coffee that won me the honor of being one of two class speakers on graduation day. Nearly four years later, I had debated re-writing the coffee metaphor to match college. But I think someone told me that the only speech I should be making about coffee again is at a support group for coffee lovers... "Hi, my name is Libby, and I am a coffee addict."


But it wasn't till my junior year of college that I discovered what a cappuccino was. I traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and into Italy. As I looked at a menu of coffee drinks, I felt like Columbus must have felt when he discovered a new world: Lost and heavenly all at once. There was espresso, and caffe Americano, and caffe lungo, and caffe late, and then--there it was--cappuccino. The only problem was I didn't know what any of these were. I hadn't taken an Italian class yet, and I had become accustomed to ordering a large-hot-caramel flavored coffee at the Dunkin Donuts located on the top of my campus. Everything was foreign to me--except the smell of the coffee shop. I nearly ordered a caffe Americano, but after watching my friends bitter expression, following a sip of her first cup of Joe in Europe, I went for the more fun sounding drink--the cappuccino.

It was then that I never looked back. It was then that I discovered bubbles, and foam, and fun latte art, and the pet peeves of Italians to drink a cappuccino after 10 am. It was then that I learned I didn't mind a coffee drink being so small in comparison to the ones I had always drank in America, because I could just buy more--taste more--treat myself more.

It took me two years to go back to Italy to have a cappuccino, after returning to America. Upon returning to Italy in October of 2010, I began my blog, drank up to 7 cappuccino in one day, attempted to make my own cappuccino (failing miserably), and coffee crawled through northern Italy.

And while my love for cappuccino started accidentally, my continued love has been purposeful.

Because my love for cappuccino is in lots of things. It is in the smooth sound of the steamer as my barista or baristo forms the foam. It's in the latte art I receive on each different occasion. It's in the familiar smell of the aroma that fills a room. It's in the smile my coffee shop friends have when they see my look of ecstasy upon receiving my beautiful mug of deliciousness. It's in the hand(le) to hold on each mug. It's in every cappuccino--even if some can't compete with others. It's in every part of cappuccino. And I don't think it's going anywhere--anytime soon.



And that's why I love cappuccino so much.







Friday, July 15, 2011

Prendo un cappuccino con una faccia di un Panda? "No" (Can I have a cappuccino with a Panda face? "No")



It is not every day that I meet a furry friend on my travels through coffee shops. Normally, I find a heart shape design or a leaf, or a flower in the foam of my cappuccino-- a symbol of my barista's or baristo's skill, passion for his or her art, and hope to make my day that much better. But last week, after returning to Via Quadronno for one of their delicious cappuccini, my friend and I were handed what seemed to be the most delicate design I had even seen.


There he was--just staring at us with beautiful details. The cappuccino was actually for my friend Ashley, and I could see the sadness in her eyes as she knew the design would soon be gone when she went to drink the coffee. The panda's eyes almost formed a tranquil look as well--as if he knew his time was short.

For the rest of the day I continued to talk about my run-in with a panda bear at the cappuccino shop. My co-workers were nearly as amazed as we were. So I made it my mission to visit another well-known cappuccino place in Lower Manhattan.

When I arrived, I ordered my cappuccino, hoping that without question I'd receive at least some design. Instead--I received this--rather quickly and sloppily (even though I was the only one in line):



I almost approached the barista to ask what THAT mess was. Is that a half-assed heart, I thought to myself. Was there a failed attempt? But I kept my mouth shut...sipped on what was actually a tasty cappuccino, and thought of kinder ways to approach the situation.

I returned to the counter, with the panda photo ready on m iPhone.

"Excuse me"
"Yes?"
"Do you or any of the baristas here ever create art like this?" I nearly shoved my phone in her face.
"Ha," she laughed... "We don't have time for that--we are much too busy, we'd never get through a line. Plus we don't have the tools to do that."

Now--I may have been perfectly okay with this answer had she not continued, but it was when she continued that I had to refrain from pulling out my business card and telling her "I am no amateur in cappuccino tasting."

"Besides--after you do all that work, the cappuccino doesn't taste good."

I cringed.

'WHAT,' I exclaimed, in my head.

Ashley had declared her panda cappuccino delicious (Ashley was a fellow friend in Italy--so her opinion is as trust worthy as mine); and all my heart, leaf, and face cappuccini before that had been just the same--wonderful. And here, this barista was telling me that with more work, the cappuccino wouldn't taste as good.

But instead of saying this out loud, I nodded, walked out the door, and vowed never to return to La Colombe--no matter how good their cappuccino may have tasted--again.

Edited: November 12, 2011 -- I returned to the shop and had a cappuccino. I couldn't resist how good it tasted---Sigh. : )






Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mi sono innamorata e non me ne frega chi lo sa! (I Fell in Love and I don't Care Who Knows It!)


My palms are sweating. My face is blushing. My heart is skipping beats.

This was my first blind date in...well ever. To be honest, I'd been given a fair description of what was to come, how beautiful it would be--and how lovely it would feel when it met my lips. Yes, this date deserved a kiss on the first one (and in this case--I am all about kissing and telling).

Warm and tender, with a hand to hold. Yes. This date was perfect...It let me stare a little bit too long, take photos like the paparazzi, even video. It must have known how good it looked--oh gosh how good it's warmth felt as my hand touched it's.

It was the perfect, most wonderful, first blind date I could have ever had--my date with a cup of cappuccino at Via Quadronno located at 25 73rd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was a cappuccino for the elite--the ones who know good coffee, and the ones who never have and need to know it...It was delightful, magnificent, and all it's qualities nearly matched, if not, that of a solid, beautiful, tasty cappuccino straight out of Italy. It was the best I had since I returned in February.

Yes the foam was proportionately perfect to the espresso, leaving just a light milk mustache above my upper lip. And. Just like I gave it my heart--it wasn't afraid to give me it's on our initial moments together. Yes. I was in love. Yes. I don't care who knows it. And yes. I am having a relationship with my cappuccino. I bet you never had a blind date as good as this:





Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lei ha preso la posta (You've got mail)


It’s Sunday morning, and the last thing I want to hear is a discrete ringing sound, calling out from my computer, to alert me that I have mail. I ignore my computer, throw on my jeans, and catch the train into the city. The first and only thing on my mind, on this day, is an Upper West Side brunch that comes with a wonderful, delectable, cappuccino—I hope.


And it was the best Sunday morning cappuccino since Cafe della Pace

nearly three months ago.


It was actually my first cappuccino in several weeks. After receiving a pay check the day before, I felt that it was ultimately time to treat myself. As I neared the restaurant, I took note of several photos outside.


Each photo read “You’ve got mail” and had screen captures of the infamous romantic comedy which starred Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks nearly a decade ago.


Suddenly, the once annoying ring of “You’ve got Mail” had turned into a welcomed thought. “Oh. I will have a cappuccino where one of my favorite films was shot. How lovely.”


My friend and I were seated right away, and while we began our conversation, a part of my mind began to wander, “Maybe if they switched the chairs in here enough, I could actually be sitting in a chair that Tom Hanks sat in.”


While in Italy, none of these things ever crossed my mind—probably because the famous people who have graced each and every coffee shop haven’t been advertised on the windows of each and every coffee shop in the country.


“Maybe Meg Ryan practiced her lines in that chair,” I continued to think.


“Maybe some intern got his or her first big shot in this restaurant pouring that one cup of coffee that no one would actually drink, but would sit in front of the two biggest stars in movies. Maybe I am going to drink out of that exact mug.”


A few long minutes after ordering my cappuccino, I was pleasantly surprised to see a decent size mug for one of New York City’s outstanding prices (3.75). This mug was much less amputated than the mug I had to hug rather than hold at Le Pain Quotidien; and it was the perfect most brilliant shade of orange, picking me up from my morning grog.


As I reached for the hand of my mug, I noticed a chocolate seated adjacent to it. “Am I in Europe?” I thought. And I could have been for that hour and a half that my friend and I spent chatting back and forth about dreams, ambitions, and projects. The room was filled with an ambient light and a French décor; the coffee was in mugs similar to those that I frequently met at the bar of each café in Rome; and there was a distinct unique feeling that I had not met in any other coffee shop or restaurant in New York City. Yes, surely I had warped myself from my apartment in Brooklyn to a tiny European city.


Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, and Europe all in one coffee shop—all at once. Wow. I sat back in my chair, listened to my friend, sipped on my cappuccino, and thought to myself: ‘A Sunday morning doesn’t get much better than this.’

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Una mano di tenere (A hand to hold)


"I'll take a cappuccino, please."

I say it in English, stumbling over my thoughts...realizing how strange it sounds to order a cappuccino in any language--other than Italian.

Despite my disappointment in having to order in English, I suddenly get excited for what it is to come--my first cappuccino in nearly twenty days, my first mug of something other than a Dunkin cup of coffee, my first mug of froth and espresso...my first hand to hold, by an arm that hangs off the side of a beautiful artistic, original, unique cafe mug...

Wait a second.

I look at what is placed in front of me. 'Is that a soup bowl?' My thoughts get disheveled. My friends are speaking, but I don't hear them. I look at it again, and I think, 'At least it's not made of styrofoam, but similar to my Dunkin coffee, something is missing...there is no hand to hold,' I pout quietly to myself. The Le Pain Quotidien waitress has placed an armless mug in front of me--an amputated mug. I almost want to ask if this mug has gone through battle, if the arm had to be removed due to some fight it got in with a teacup in the dishwasher. But I sit quietly.

I manage to get a few words out to my friends, "The foam looks fabulous," I say out loud, and I let my friend, who has ordered a simple cup of coffee to dip her spoon in for a taste.

'But there's no hand to hold,' I repeat in my head.

For $4.15, I want a hand to hold.

I cup my hands around the bowl-like mug. The mug is warm and burns the tips of my fingers. Instead of a hand to hold, a comforting hand that lets my fingers stay cool while a warm pool of espresso and milk touches the insides of my mouth, I am getting a full, blown, on-fire hug. I love hugs, adore them, but this one hurts...this one burns.

I put the mug down, and dip my spoon, in order to indulge in the bubbles that I am faced with.

'Tasty.'

I reach to put my hands, again, around the cappuccino, hoping this hug will be more comforting.

It isn't.

I swallow my words, and continue to dip my spoon in shoveling bubbles into my mouth. On the outside I seem like I am in pure happiness, but on the inside I am calming myself from doing something utterly and ultimately disastrous. 'I could go into the back kitchen and search for a mug that hasn't gone through battle...I could go down the street to buy a new mug--This is Manhattan--there'd have to be a mug store somewhere...right?'

But I sit. And I sip. And I put my hands around the bowl as it begins to cool. And I give it one last hug with my hands, and I think: 'Oh you poor little cappuccino mug...you could have had so much potential.'




Friday, February 18, 2011

"è appena il latte" (It's just milk)


$2.95

$3.00

$3.15

$3.50

The dollar signs and the numbers that follow stare me deeply in the eyes. This is a stark contrast to the 1 Euro that I often read on an outdoor menu at a cute cafe in Tuscany, along a tiny alley-way beside the Pantheon, or below Juliet's balcony in Verona.

"$3.15 for a cappuccino," I think to myself. "We sure aren't in Italy anymore," I add to that thought.

I absolutely dread the idea of walking into a coffee shop or a corporate entity in New York City with the inability to order a simple cup of coffee with a delicious topping of foam. I hate the fact that when I reach to my back pocket to count my money, all I pull out is two crumply ones with 28 cents attached so I can afford the large Dunkin caramel flavored coffee--In Italy that would be 1.5 cappuccino--1.5 cups of deliciousness.

I feel lost without my daily dose of cappuccino. I'm a little more groggy than usual, and I haven't had a steady intake of vitamin D in over half a month.

I haven't had a cappuccino in nearly 20 days.

I don't know if I am going through detox--or withdrawal. Lust...or Loss....Love...or denial.

What I do know is:

I haven't had a cappuccino in nearly 20 days.

I sigh as I get through the end of my work day on the 26th floor--as I take one look out the window with quite possibly the best view in all of Manhattan..."I just want a cappuccino," I whisper out loud.

"Do you know any good coffee shops?" I ask my co-worker.

She springs off two names, nearly instantly.

"I want to revive my cappuccino blog...But I'll have to do it in spurts...Unfortunately, lint at the bottom of my pockets doesn't even afford a packet of sugar in the raw."

"It's just milk." She says pondering why a cappuccino could ever be so expensive.

"It's just milk," She repeats. "A cappuccino in New York City--for a little bit of froth--cost the same amount as a gallon of milk."

I laughed.

"It's just milk."

She's right. The price of a cappuccino in New York City is the equivalent of buying a gallon of milk.

But would that gallon of milk be frothed? Would it be so enticing that my rubber ducky would want to swim around in it?

Probably not.

And most of the cappuccino in New York City probably won't provide me with the Sant'Eustachio bubbles--or the Bull Dog chocolate--or the Museum of Cappuccino magic....

But that's why I am taking the opportunity to empty my pockets once a week, to rediscover my Italian love, to engage in fulfilling the hole in my heart where froth used to fill--to find the BEST cappuccino in the city that never sleeps--to find the best cappuccino that helps it to be a city that never sleeps. To find the best New York City cappuccino. To find my love.



Monday, January 31, 2011

Il bar regolare (The Coffee Shop Regular)

"One large hot caramel flavored coffee please," I say to the man dressed in the corporate Dunkin Donuts uniform. After two weeks, in the lower Manhattan shop, he is saying my order to me as I step to the front of the line. Two weeks later, he has it made before either of us can say anything.

Comfort.

In Italy, I have become a regular in so many places that I cannot help but laugh.

At the Museum of Cappuccino, I get, "Hey, you were the one in the Santa hat with the camera!"

Sant'Eustachio? They don't even ask if I want sugar anymore--they just know I don't.

Caffe below my apartment? The cappuccino is in my hands before I have time to take off my backpack.

The Bulldog? They just know what to do as I take my seat in the back room.

When it comes to cappuccino in Italy, I am a firm believer in polygamy, and I am happy to see that the baristi don't seem to mind if I miss a day at their shop, because they know, OF COURSE, they know, I will be back.

That is...until tomorrow when I will no longer be a regular and I will become the daughter of the divorced wife that they never see again.

Tomorrow, I return to America. Tomorrow, I will return to corporate oversized coffee in a styrofoam cup. Tomorrow, the cappuccino journey will end as a 10 hour flight begins. Tomorrow, I take my final cappuccino. But what would the end mean--if I didn't look back.

Here's a video for your viewing pleasure.
video

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Le Ricompense di Cappuccino di Italia (The Cappuccino Awards of Italy)

The 2011 Cappy Awards

AND THE CAPPY GOES TO...

After three months of trekking the tight streets of Italy...three months of cornering caffes...three months of downing deliciousness...three months of sipping slowly...three months of fantastic foam...three months of bunches of bubbles...it is time to bring you the Cappuccino Awards of Italy. Here is your comprehensive Cappuccino Guide to Italy. (Rome and north of Rome).

Best Bubbles: Sant’Eustachio—It is no question in my mind that anyone can deny the bubble bath that is the Sant’Eustachio cappuccino. Simple and delicious, I would fill my bathtub with those bubbles any day.

Where to find it: Piazza di Sant'Eustachio, 82 Rome, Italy

How much: 1.30 Euro

Best Atmosphere: Art Studio Café—Disappointed only to find this one week before returning to America, I was happy to walk into a store that doubles as an art studio where you can watch creative minds at work, listen to hip current music, and sit writing your own Cappuccino awards.

Where to find it: Via dei Gracchi, 187 00192 Rome, Italy

How much? 1 Euro at the bar. 2 Euro to sit (and you’ll want to sit to enjoy the atmosphere)

Best Cappuccino Accompanied by a Baristo: Bar del Cavalierie --Roberto may be the only Baristo who took the time to get to know me—as best he could with my broken Italian. Tears nearly left his eyes when he learned I was moving to Rome—and then again when he learned I was returning home. Roberto.is.the.man.

Where to find him and his cappuccino: Via San Gallo 35/R Florence, Italy 50129

How much: 1.10 Euro

Best Deal: Ciampini—During my seven course cappuccino crawl, I stumbled upon this little feeder caffe off it’s larger one up the street. I developed a short conversation with the baristo on how much I enjoy speaking Italian and he mocked my Santa hat. At the end of the cappuccino he blew me a kiss and told me it was on the house.

Where to find this little nook: 21 Via del Leoncino Rome, Italy

How much? I don’t know…he gave it to me for free!

Best Cappuccino with an Imaginary Friend: Piazza delle Erbe in -A square full of shops right down the street from Juliet's house in Verona, It's the perfect spot to invite her out for a discussion on love.

Where can you sit with Juliet: Piazza delle Erbe Verona, Italy

How much will a date with Juliet cost? Somewhere between 1 Euro and 3 Euro if you want to buy homegirl a cappuccino as well.

Best Surprise: Nannini—Going to Siena, I had no idea that I would be in for a cappuccino full of foam. I had very low expectations and those were much exceeded by this classy yet lovely shop in the center.

Where to find it: Via Banchi di Sopra, 24, Siena

How much: 1.30 Euro

Best Chocolate Addition: Bull Dog—All I have to say is Espresso + Chocolate + Foam + more chocolate = absolutely award winning.

AND Most Photogenic: Bull Dog

Where to find it: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 107 Rome, Italy

How much? 3.00 Euro

Least Photogenic: Cova—Maybe the coffee looks pretty good (I think the mug does it) but this photo was not an easy one to capture. Cova doesn’t allow photos inside (ludicrous) so they get the award for lease photogenic. LIGHTEN UP GUYS!

Where to find it: Via Monte Napoleone, 8, 20121 Milano, Italy

How much? 1.60 Euro

Best Accessorized Cappuccino: Hemingway’s. Despite my distaste for the cappuccino itself, the chocolate spoon was quite lovely.

Where to find it: Piazza Piattellina, 9 50124 Florence, Italy

How much? 4 Euro

Best on the Road: Giacosa—This could arguably be the second or third best cappuccino in all of Italy. Situated in Roberto Cavarli’s (sp) store, on a corner in Florence, it offered a mixture of espresso, wonderful bubbles, and a topping of chocolate. It was the only thing I thought about while in Florence.

Where to find it: Via della Spada, 10, 50100 Florence, Italy

How much? 1.30 Euro

Best Cappuccino To Go: Caffe Le Giubbe Rosse– at nearly 2AM this shop served me their last cappuccino of the evening in a to go cup and I was out the door and off to the Duomo to take in, as always, one of the most breathtaking landmarks in all of Italy.

Where to find it: Piazza del Repubblica

How much? Between 1 Euro and 1.30 Euro.

Most Frequented: Museum of Cappuccino (Canova)- This was my go-to spot in Rome. Offering a cappuccino double the size of most, I couldn’t help but visit here twice weekly, especially when I had not received word of another to visit!

Where to find it: Via del Babuino, 151 00187 Rome, Italy

How much? 1.30 Euro

Most Conversational Cappuccino: Bar del Cavalierie -Roberto was not only best baristo, but he served up the best conversational coffee, as I had many good talks and made many good friends with my mugs in his wonderful establishment. Always offering a hand to hold the Jolly Caffe and it’s cappuccino gets Most Conversational by a landslide.

Where to find it: Via San Gallo 35/R Florence, Italy 50129

How much? 1.10 Euro

Cutest Baristo: Bindi. On one of the coldest days of my adventure, I walked through the doors of Bindi to be greeted by the most handsome Italian baristo I had met yet. Embarrased to pull out my camera to snap a photo of him while he was working, I got only a picture of the beautiful cappuccino he crafted for me.

Where to find it: Piazzale Cadorna, 9 20123 Milano, Italy

How much? 1.20 Euro

Best Cappuccino joined by a Cookie: Caffé Venezia – On a search for the best cappuccino in all of Trento, I broke through these doors at the recommendation of my host. When I was given my cappuccino, I was happy to find a cinnamon cookie at it’s side—wonderful for dipping.

Where to find it: Largo Porto Nuova 11 38122 Trento, Italy

How much? 1.20 Euro

Best Mug: Schenardi – One of the best curves I have ever seen in a mug accompanied by a beautiful mug holder with a black and white picture of the ancient city.

Where to find it: Corso Italia 11 Viterbo, Italy

How much? 1.10 Euro

Best Alternative to a Cappuccino: Caffe al Bicherin – Though pricey, the Bicherin that Caffe al Bicherin serves up could quite possibly be the most delicious alternative to a cappuccino ever. While not good for your budget – or your health (espresso with a big layer of chocolate and cream), it is well worth the 5 euro.

Where to find it: Piazza della Consolata 5 10122 Torino, Italy

How much? 5 Euro

Best People Watching Cappuccino: Giolitti – Known mostly for their gelato, Giolittis is located in the heart of the city on a small road that leads to the Pantheon. Pedestrian traffic is high both on the tiny road and in the store, so you are bound to see and meet some characters.

Where to find it: Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 4 Rome, Italy

How much? 1 Euro

Best Size: Museum of Cappuccino-Nearly double the size of the rest of the cappuccino in Italy, this one gives you the boost you need for the entire day (which is why it concerned me when I made it my second stop on my cappuccino bar crawl!)

Where to find it: Via del Babuino, 151, Rome, Italy

How much? 1.30 Euro

Best with a Croissant: Caffe della Pace – On a Sunday morning, this makes the prefect brunch. See my article on One for the Table!

Where to find it: Via della Pace, 5 00186 Rome, Italy

How much for both to sit? 6 Euro

Best With Whipped Cream: Checco er Carrettiere – No bigger than a walk-in-closet, this stop offers a spoonfall of chocolate whipped cream to top of your cappuccino. Not usually a fan of lots of sugar, this was the perfect addition.

Where to find it: Via Benedetta 7 Rome, Italy

How much? 1.10 Euro

AND THE ONE YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR….

BEST OVERALL CAPPUCCINO:

This was a tough decision, because I am sure that I have tasted the best cappuccino in the world in Sant’Eustachio, though I didn’t make it a habit to frequent it. Two years ago, the Bull Dog had my heart, but it didn’t take my breath away this time around (though it could have been the 200 percent inflation and the removal of the penny candy in the back room). And Giacosa offered me one of the best combinations of foam and chocolate and espresso I could have ever wanted on the road. But none of these match what I have come to deem the best overall cappuccino. I had to take everything into consideration…from size, to atmosphere, to frequent visits, to the kindness of baristo. I had to choose the one that matches it’s beautiful atmosphere of statues and sculptures; the one that’s baristo has deemed me a regular and that has my cappuccino nearly ready for me before I have even said “Prendo;” the one that I frequent the most; the one that is the best size; the one that I have deemed and etched in stone as ….

The Museum of Cappuccino (CANOVA)

Where to find it: Via del Babuino, 151, Rome, Italy

How much: 1.30 Euro

Thursday, January 27, 2011

WWLD Per un Cappuccino? (What would Libs do for a Cappuccino?)

If there were only one cappuccino left to drink in the entire world…if all the foaming machines would vaporize after that last cappuccino, and all the coffee beans would just disappear, what would LIBS...me…do for that LAST cappuccino in the world?

1. Walk on Fire

2. Steal candy from a baby

3. Stick one finger into boiling hot water

4. Sleep on nails

5. Steal the cane from an elderly person to the cup first. The tortoise isn’t winning this one.

6. Jump over the rooftops of all the skyscrapers in NYC.

7. Listen to the Jonas Brothers on repeat for six weeks straight (YUCK)

8. Go into a life of solitude after (both the cappuccino and the Jonas Brothers!)

9. Burn (in a fire) all her NSYNC CDS

10. Never sing Bye Bye Bye at karaoke again.

11. Seduce the baristo

12. Swim the English Channel (with floaties)

13. Break all her One Tree Hill DVDS

14. Give up the opportunity to meet Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, and Johnny Depp.

15. Pass on the chance to date Jake G, Toby M, and Leo D.

16. Get an I LOVE CAPPUCCINO TATTOO Across my face.

17. Get a lower back tattoo of a cappuccino spoon

18. Go tanning and get a tan so that a cappuccino pattern developed on my back in all white…

19. Give up tickets to a Betty White episode of SNL

GIVE UP ALL DIGNITY…just for that last bubble bath of foam