I’ve always been a coffee drinker. I started off with instant stuff, then graduated to frothy cappuccino, milky latte and now I live in Italy it’s one hundred percent hardcore espresso.
I briefly flirted with tea drinking in my youth, in the anglo saxon tradition of taking afternoon tea, so common in England loving Australia and I still enjoy the odd Earl Grey on a cold winters day.
But now I look down on pussy Nespresso drinkers as I stuff the coffee into my Moka percolator as it squeaks closed, barely closing with the overflowing grains above its rim.
I love the gurgling sound it makes as it boils and the odor of fresh coffee in the morning is heavenly.
I have learnt you never wash the coffee maker with soap or dishwashing liquid, just a rinse under the tap as the suds get into the filter and ruin the flavor. Instead it is important to use the percolator often as every batch of coffee instills it will added taste, often the most battered ancient coffee maker will be the source of an excellent coffee!
An espresso has become a quick cure for a headache, a nifty fix if you are feeling run down.
For me a coffee is well and truly short, no more watered down instant or milky latte, the last time I tried to have a Starbucks I nearly vomited. There is no home, I’ve become customised to the Italian habit of a quick short black, while standing at a bar.
But when is it too much?
I know when I have a coffee too late in the afternoon I’m going to be wide awake all night, but in the morning I’m lost without one or two home made ones. I’ve learnt a coffee at an Italian cafe is three times stronger, thanks to the stronger blend of coffee beans. So if I’m running late, no coffee at home and a quick one at the bar is enough for the whole day.
Sicilian’s have a lethal relationship with caffeine, at my in laws for example the percolator gets a formidable workout during the day, it’s on the stove top at least four times in the morning, again after lunch and is also offered to any guest who randomly arrives night or day.
Combined with the other light drug of choice in Italy, tobacco it creates a myriad of health problems, not to mention unsightly rotten teeth and bad breath.
I once read a short story about a man who did the rounds of his Sicilian relatives and politely ended up drinking ten coffees in a day (it was either that or ending up in a drunken stupor after ten Lemoncello, lemon based liquors, the other choice offering for visitors at Sicilian homes), the man in the story nearly had a caffeine induced heart attack!
As I write this post, wide awake well after midnight, I don’t think I’m going to have a heart attack, but I probably should cut down a little. For the sake of my beauty sleep!