Tag Archives: coffee

Giraffe meat and coffee breaks for all!

3 Mar
Yum'o'clock!

Yum’o’clock!

When I was in Hungary, I lived with ten other people. There was chaos, there was drama; there was fun being had at all times; but most importantly, there were coffee breaks. We had a coffee break every day at 10 or 11, and it included a side of fruit and a sweet. No matter where everyone was or how they were feeling, we got together for coffee and treats, dangit!

So much of the world revolves around these times of leisure and food intake, but for some reason, it’s not a thing in the U.S. And why not?! I think the working world would be much more productive if they got together in the afternoon to chat and drink hot beverages. But I digress.

One of those “hot beverage break” countries is Jordan. You guys might remember my world-traveling sister who brought me back awesome Middle-Eastern gifts last year.  Well, next she went to Jordan to volunteer at a tuberculosis hospital (no, I’m not lying, and yes, she’s the modern day Florence Nightingale). She said every day everyone got together for tea, and so she recreated the experience for our family.

Mysterious herbs no one can remember the name of.

Mysterious herbs and seeds.

The tea was actually from Jordan: strong, sweet and black with a hint of mint.  We had bread from the Arab market which we dipped into jam or olive oil. If you chose olive oil, you could then dip into some green herbs that tasted like salty wheat (in a weird, yummy way). The bottle the herbs came in is completely in Arabic and my sister can’t remember what it’s called, so we were all eating an unknown substance possibly containing death and/or giraffe meat (technically, anything COULD contain giraffe meat. You never know). But it was good, so…into my mouth it went!

In other news, she also got black, green and red olives, which I adored because my whole family hates olives and I almost never get to eat them.

Said olives.

Said olives.

There was food and there was tea and I still don’t know why America never got into tea/coffee time. I nominate that we start a movement in favor of it! Like:

#TeaTime4America (Oh. Well. Maybe not that one)

#GimmeABreak4Tea (What do you mean it makes you want chocolate?!)

#PeanutButterJellyTimePEANUTBUTTERJELLYPEANUTBUTTERJE… (what was I doing, again?)

Well, I’m still working on it. Suggestions welcome! 😉

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An overdramatic tale of woe (a coffee lover’s nightmare)

12 Jan

The grounds slowly moisten, letting off a bit of steam. The water seeps through them and drains out the bottom of the pour over. You hear a faint dripping sound, like light rain hitting a quiet pond.

Wait. WAIT. Shouldn’t the coffee be hitting the bottom of the cup?!

Yes, dear readers, it should be hitting the bottom of the cup. However, sometimes you wants your coffee to stay hot longer, so you keep hot water in your cup while you’re busy grinding beans and preparing a filter. Sometimes you’re thinking of something else, or singing, or performing the balcony monologue from Romeo and Juliet…so the first precious drops of coffee join the water in your cup, and you just wasted the best and strongest three ounces (give or take) of brew.

Goodbye, three ounces! May you have a wonderful journey down the drain and end up being recycled into some hipster’s tranquility fountain.

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The end.

Ja volim kafu mnogo! (I love coffee a lot)

24 Aug

Everyone knows I love coffee. It’s one of my “things.” Everywhere I go, I search for high-quality and unique coffee. Thus I’m a little ashamed to admit that for the better part of my two months in Belgrade, I didn’t spend much time looking (the bus costs money, okay?!).

Thankfully, the last week I was there, a friend told me about a micro roaster downtown. A place that sells WHOLE BEANS (virtually unheard of in Serbia). A place that, by his description, looked like one of the “destroyed warehouse” coffee houses so popular in American cities.

So obviously I spent some time on my very last day searching for it. My friend Nina and I waltzed down the streets of Belgrade with a shady GPS and flamboyant attitudes, searching for the illusive Pržionica. Our search led us down a shady block in the less trafficked part of town, and we almost gave up.

Luckily we persevered until we saw a couple men under a yellow awning, sipping coffee and exhibiting perfectly the carefree Serb spirit I’d come to love. We entered the café and my breath caught – it was everything I had hoped for it to be!

There was a personal pour over station…

hghh

There were seats made of burlap…

hhh

(old coffee bean bags!)

There was the name of the place in Cyrillic on the wall….

Plus beautiful Nina!

Plus beautiful Nina!

There was an awesome chalkboard menu….

I might have had a slight crush :)

And the extremely nice barista 😉

And most importantly, there was coffee. And it was good.IMG_3719

Afternoon delight

30 Apr

Why is WordPress so against embedding media into posts? I gave up on putting in my actual video, but I wanted to share it with y’all via link. Just to make your mouth water.

You’re welcome!

(P.S. Vine is awesome. Coffee is better!)

A waffle ain’t no wafel without stroop

29 Apr
mmmmm

The perfect way to start your day

Two finals down. Three more to go within 72 hours. So obviously I spent my morning on the porch, enjoying the breezy 75 degree weather and definitely not studying.

For a mid-finals treat, I covered my cup of coffee* with a stroopwafel.

A stroopwafel is an ingenious treat straight from the Netherlands. It’s a cookie/waffle crossover filled with caramel that slowly melts into goo from the steam of your coffee.

In a word: exquisite.IMG_0878

I ate my first stroopwafel in Hungary, where my Finnish friend ridiculed me for never having heard of one. I wasn’t annoyed at her, because, hello….she both told me about them and gave me one!

Since my first eating, I am always on the lookout for these heavenly circles. Some I’ve found in out-of-the-way cafes in Nashville. Others came via package from a wonderful aunt. This wafel came straight from Amsterdam, where my dad had a layover recently. Fresh is best, but you can’t really go wrong with melty caramel cookies.

Disclaimer: You cannot drink your coffee with a stroopwafel like an American. As in, grab it and go and suck it down before your 9 a.m. meeting. The wafel is European and you have to drink it like a European. Pour your coffee, fix it how you like it, and spend at least half an hour nursing it and chatting with your friends. Trust me. It tastes better that way.

On its way to disappearing!

*my favorite recently has been Starbucks’ Fair Trade Certified Italian roast in whole bean. Mmmm.

A European hate affair

15 Jan

IMG_0612Everyone knows I love coffee. And you won’t be surprised to discover that I’m fond of chocolate, too.

But I have a bitter hate for the two combined. The word “mocha” makes my mouth water, but it’s less in blissful anticipation than terrified expectation. The only mixture of coffee and chocolate I’ve found palatable is espresso chocolate cheesecake. Yet, then again, I’ve never met a piece of cheesecake I didn’t like.

My point is that the bitterness between the mocha and me is long, complex and hate-filled.

Yet…two days ago it was 70 degrees in Nashville, and now it’s 30. In my quest to find a hot drink to ward off the winter chill, the Italian bicerin caught my eye. It has coffee in it, it’s Italian and I already had all the ingredients. ‘Twas fate.

A bicerin is a tri-layered drink; the base is rich dark chocolate covered with syrupy espresso and topped with freshly whipped cream. Most bicerin recipes require melting chocolate, but I used Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate. It’s thick and European and has just a trace of chocolate liqueur. My espresso was Starbucks Fair Trade Italian (fitting for the occasion) brewed with my lovely AeroPress. Finally I whipped up some heavy cream and covered the top with creamy goodness.

There's a glare, but you can see the separate layers.

There’s a glare, but you can see the separate layers.

Now, bicerins are not my favorite drink in the world. And I’m not going to start ordering mochas anytime soon. But with the chocolate dark and the espresso strong and the fresh cream stirred in, I almost forgot my long-standing hatred towards chocolate in coffee. Buon lavoro, Italy. Nicely done.

TURKEY

21 Dec

Yeah, this post has nothing to do with Turkey or turkeys, but I am curious as to whether your mind went to the country, the animal or the food first!

So you know how a few weeks ago, everyone and their mom were posting on social media things they were thankful for? Well, in my opposite-of-hipster style, I am just now getting around to that. It’s Christmas break and I found myself feeling thankful today:

Thank you, AeroPress, for a consistently awesome cup of coffee.IMG_0233

Thank you, my toothbrush, for somehow protecting my teeth from the stains of thousands of cups of coffee.Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 11.22.33 AM

Thank you, Tokyo, for being the capital city of Cute and Random.

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Thank you, Nashville, for being hip and big enough for lovely foreign food like this sushi (for you locals).

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Thank you, God, for the ocean. And trips to San Diego!

La Jolla, San Diego

Thank you, everyone (but specifically these guys), for random and awesome Star Wars references.

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Thank you, Groupon, for providing sugar highs on a limited budget.

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Thank YOU, people who read my blog all over the world! Believe it or not, you’re a big part of how I keep sane in America 😉

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Parts of the world from where people have read this blog