Today we celebrate espresso which is basically coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. It’s thick and packs a caffeine punch (though less than a big cup of coffee due it’s miniature size) and has crema on top, which is a lovely layer of creamy foam.
This little doodlewash is of a ROK Presso manual espresso maker which requires no electricity. To mimic its simplicity I only used Burnt Sienna and Neutral Tint with a few spots of white gouache. I saw this when looking for things to add to my Christmas wish list, but hesitated because it sounds a bit complex and I’m not sure my little girl muscles would have the requisite strength to press properly. But the idea is still very intriguing to me, so who knows, maybe one day I’ll give it a try.
Philippe and I prefer to use our Nespresso machine with little capsules in various varieties. We each have one after dinner as part of our routine, just after Philippe takes Phineas for his final walk. It’s a lovely way to end the day, assuming you’re not one of those folks who can’t sleep with even a drop of caffeine before bedtime (don’t worry, if you ever come round for dinner, we also have decaf available).
Espresso was at first only popular in America with Italian immigrants in the larger cities. The national craze didn’t really take hold until Starbucks came along and popularized the so-called “second wave” of coffee consumption. Though established the same year I was born, Starbucks didn’t arrive here until the late 90’s.
I’ve always loved coffee, so I was really excited when I entered a Starbucks for the first time. I remember ordering a medium coffee and the barista asking me, “Do you want a flavor?” to which I replied, “What? A flavor? Sooooo… it will taste like coffee?” She looked puzzled at first and then giggled and said, “No silly… so it won’t!”
This was insane to me. Why would someone want to disguise the flavor of coffee? If they didn’t like it, they just shouldn’t be drinking it. But the trend had begun and soon I would hear friends saying, “I want some Starbucks” when we were out and about. I was just happy they had stopped calling it coffee, as they happily walked back to the car with their 700 calorie diabetes-inducing drink while mocking my 5 calorie “boring” beverage.
But today is a day for all the real coffee lovers to come out of the closet and have a drink! Pour yourself a little espresso and enjoy the bitter sweet goodness that only comes from the real thing. Deliciousness in a cup that comes with just a little crema, and not a bit of whipped cream.