Never have we as consumers ever been so obsessed with our coffee. Whether you take it black, with milk, sugar or both, coffee is a very personal drink that many take very very seriously. More and more we are treating it as more than a pick-me-up; we see it as a serious drink with complex flavors and aromas. From the Starbucks and Second Cups to the Café Myriades and Café In Gambas, coffee is experienced in many different ways.
I will politely state that the commercial coffees (Starbucks, Second Cup, Café Depot, etc.) are not my favorites. If I need a coffee, and I mean NEED a coffee, I will actually choose not to drink it from these places. I usually find it burnt, bitter, and/or unsatisfying. Keep walking.
When Café Myriade first opened, I was so happy. FINALLY! Someone who cares about coffee in this downtown area. Enter Anthony Benda and Scott Rao. Two professional baristas who clearly know their stuff. I rely on them to give me my fix and enjoy a cup of coffee for once. They make coffee look goooooood.Watching the perfectly extracted golden espresso, crema and all, converge from the edges of the filter holder into a single tail-like stream is pure bliss. While that is happening, the cold milk begins to steam. Swirling around the stainless steel frothing pitcher, the milk begins to heat up adding sweetness and volume. The result of this is a silky micro-foam poured over the espresso where the barista creates a rosetta design staring at me in the face saying please go ahead, enjoy me. When that first sip is taken, the caffeine flow travels down my spine and then throughout my body. This is the sign that says you’re alive and awake now. Keep drinking.
What ever happened to the coffee break? Where has this little complex bean taken us? Do we really have time to “enjoy” our coffee anymore? For us java addicts, it is important for us to simply have coffee. Baristas remind us that coffee is not just a drink, it is an experience. Ironically, that’s what Starbucks claims their coffee is. I disagree. The experience is what YOU make it. From now on, take a little time. Sit down. Close your eyes and take a sip. Tastes good doesn’t it?