Sunday, January 24, 2010
Il Caffe' Perfetto
What makes us go crazy for coffee? Is it the aroma of freshly ground beans just done by dad, or the sound of coffee drippings in the glass pot which will be then sipped on leisurely throughout the the morning in a ceramic mug? The option of having it with or without milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla or classically just plain black? My perfect cup of coffee, or should we say espresso, is a caffe' macchiato from a tiny pasticceria (bakery) called Bida in Ferrara, Italy. It comes in a perfectly small square shaped, white porcelain cup and saucer, followed by a small shot of water to chase with. The schiuma (or milk foam) is frothed slightly higher than the rim of the cup, which from the warm espresso that sits beneath it creates a lovely dark brown line around the rim. I always judge a perfect caffe' macciato or cappuccino by the froth of the milk; if the sugar sits nicely on top without sinking, it's perfect. Then, to end the perfect little delight are the little sugar cane morsels that sit at the bottom of the espresso cup, waiting to be scrapped out and slowly savored. This is my perfect coffee, which I think everyone should have the pleasure of enjoying. If in Italy, ask for a caffe' macchiato and if you're in the States ask for the same thing (although you might have to explain): a single espresso (you might have to say short) with frothed milk (I'm sorry to say, but the milk has to be whole or 2% to get the right froth consistency, skim and soy just wont do).