Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ah....Coffee....

Today, as in most days, I woke up thinking about coffee.  Actually, I think I went to sleep thinking about coffee.  Of course my mind is always on K and Sweetie, but coffee is one of my little daily rituals that I look forward to no matter what's going on.



It all started when I was a summertime exchange student in Costa Rica in 10th Grade...I'm pretty sure I had never even tried coffee before then, and if I had I know my father always bought Folgers............not coffee in my opinion........so to arrive in Costa Rica and be served cafe con leche on a daily basis was totally eye-opening.  I remember buying huge bags to send back as gifts and really never having that same experience with any cafe au lait bought in an American coffee shop.

And so an addiction began...continued while I was at West Point (okay, the coffee in the mess hall was NOT good, but I still look back on it with fondness!!!) and the addiction turned into true passion during a family trip to Provence, France.  Previously I had only ever had coffee in the morning but I fell in love with the French practice of multiple espressos daily, especially because I got to share the experience with K.  Since I was not an espresso drinker before France, I had never tasted anything like it.  My passion went even farther during my second deployment to Iraq.  I brought my own electric French Press (I found this Chef's Choice one at Target.com for $89.99--I highly recommend it as it held up for 15 months in the desert!) and had Gevalia delivered monthly (http://www.gevalia.com/).  I may have been living sparsely but I believe in creature comforts!!!

Now that I'm back home, the options for coffee are endless...I still love Starbucks (even though there are a bunch of haters...they're NOT anti-military!) and Dunkin' Donuts, of course (which was my choice this morning) but for home K and I have decided to go with the Tassimo machine.  (http://www.tassimo.com/)  Try it out...it's better than the other pod coffee machines because they actually have milk pods to make delicious cappucinos, lattes, and super creamy hot chocolates, along with all sorts of types of regular coffee, espressos, and teas.  Don't pay more than $130...that's the price we paid at Lowe's and Costco even has it for that price with a bunch of free pods.  They haven't started selling the pods separately yet so let's hope that comes next!
Okay, okay, but who doesn't like to support local, small businesses and who doesn't love a cozy coffee house down the street that doesn't feel so commercial....and what type of "observer" would I be if I didn't give you a suggestion of where to go for some great coffee!?!?!  My choice in the area would be JoJo's Coffee on Pratt St. in downtown Hartford.  (http://cafejojo.com/)  Bottom line, don't go if you're in a hurry, but the coffee's great and they're extremely friendly.  (Tell Bill, Cathy and Dalia I say hi!)  They roast their own beans on site AND they're equally passionate about tea if that's your thing...I was quite grateful for that while I was pregnant as I was shying away from caffeine and they have lots of great decaffeinated tea.  There's also a location in New Haven on Chapel Street.
Alright, that's enough on coffee for now...until tomorrow, have a great three meals (and a couple great cups of joe!)