While all eyes are on the election results here in the States this evening, it also happens to be Cappuccino Day. Last year, on this day, I was celebrating Harvey Wallbanger Day, which seems a more appropriate drink for getting through the impending circus tonight. So much of the previous weeks leading up to this day have just made me sad for this country. With so much hate being encouraged in the past few months, perhaps a little 2-color doodlewash of cappuccino with latte art in the form of a heart is just the right thing to offset it. If not, it’s at least something that can help keep us all awake while awaiting the final results. But I do enjoy a good cappuccino, and the little heart is a symbol that makes me happy. A tiny little cup of love to warm the soul. And that’s definitely something I can happily support today.
While cappuccinos have been around since the early 1900’s in Italy, there wasn’t a surge in popularity here in America until the upscale coffeehouse boom of the 1990’s. That said, it’s more of a breakfast drink in Italy, and espressos are the more popular any time of the day drink. Despite the surge of artisinal coffee brewers and a new Starbucks popping up on every corner here, most Americans prefer to drink bad coffee. Convenience is king and grinding beans and waiting for a pot to slowly drip into a carafe simply takes too much time. While the market for superior whole bean coffee has barely grown over the last decade, the market for ground coffee is rising fast. Much of this is in the form of coffee pods which have exploded in sales, growing at more than 30 percent each year. It’s “bad” coffee, but it comes with the promise of immediate gratification.
I’m not entirely sure when we all started moving so quickly, but somewhere along the line we’ve failed to notice when the coffee just wasn’t good anymore. Maybe it was all the flavorings, milk and sugar that were marketed to help disguise the real taste. But a truly good cup of coffee has become something rather rare here. Although finding the best seems to be a difficult equation, it’s never too difficult to at least know when one is better. I’ll take a better cup of coffee any day over one that’s certainly inferior. Perhaps it’s just because I live in a highly populated city that I have this level of understanding. I have more options here and more exposure to what’s really available in the world. On this Cappuccino Day, my expectations are not terribly high. I just don’t want to be served bad coffee. And I’m hopeful that it’s going to be a day to celebrate after all.
About the Doodlewash
Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.