Friday, December 28, 2007


This coffee falls into your stomach,

and straightway there is a general commotion.

Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the

Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place.

Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind.

The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a

magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry

up with their train and ammunition,

the shafts which start up like sharpshooters.

Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink;

for the struggle commences and is concluded

with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.

Honore de Balzac, "The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee"

This is how we start our day.
A simple double espresso.
Most days two doubles.
Sometimes with a dollop of whipped cream,
which is called a "con pana."

Despite the rumor, the caffeine content
in espresso is less than drip coffee. Really!

Other days other ways, such as an
"americano" which is a couple shots of espresso
with some water, and perhaps a small amount
of flavor (Torani), perhaps hazelnut, almond, vanilla.

Other days a latte or cap with soy milk,
and even a mocha, but we use Guittards
chocolate, which we used at the store also.
Makes more a European style, rich mocha.
Not overly sweet like you get in most places.

Last but not least, when we like to try and enjoy
varietal coffees, we make a French Press.
The only way to savor the flavor from
coffee from around the world.

When we closed our coffeehouse we wanted to
keep our little Cimbali machine, but it needed
to be plumbed. We have moved and decided
since we couldn't take the chance of having to leave
a machine, we bought a Jura Capresso, automatic.

Once you are able to make a very good espresso,
you are spoiled and can't accept anything less.

Click here to read Balzac on Coffee.

13 comments:

pissed off patricia said...

I just make my plain old coffee, pour it, add a bit of cream and sugar and I'm good to go.

Now after a great dinner, I love a wonderful cup of Irish coffee. That's my coffee sin. :)

annie said...

we have a wonderful thermal french press that has served us beautifully. lately, we've enjoyed big river coffee co.'s north beach roast.
other than that, he enjoys a dry cap and i like a latte--when we go out for our coffee.

Sharlene said...

Black without sugar or creme mostly. If I splurge which is rare but usually on the weekend if I do, a soy latte from Peet's.
I used to go to Abuche', but it is closed up now.

If my Big Bro lived locally, I would be at his house every morning before work for coffee!

Coffee Messiah said...

pop:Sounds very good. Nothing FuFu about this, alas, until you have to recite a tome to order flavored,watered down coffee at SB! ; (

annie: It does not surprise me you make your own also! ; )

sharlene: Set us up with a place and I'll do it! ; )

d. chedwick bryant said...

Wow--thank you for the Balzac! Balzac & Zola are two of my very fave authors. I also start my day with espresso. I have never used cream or sugar unless it is a Cafe Au Lait-- a rare treat...The best cafe Au lait I ever had was in Vienna. It was ...words can't describe. Vietnamese Coffee with sweetened condensed milk is another treat I get sometimes in winter when I visit my favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

I am feeling somewhat better today. Meow.

ps Maeve Brennan has a short story where she is searching for a book at the Strand--it was a book that mentioned how Balzac prepared his sardines. She wanted to make the snack for herself, but could never find the little recipe again.

Hemingray 9 said...

Yr right. One good shot with crema and all else is rank n file.

Coffee Messiah said...

dcb:Vienna and chocolate (and coffee) sound divine! We too enjoy Vietnamese coffee with our noodle dish (Ft Wayne has a place called the Saigon that we go to. Will have to take a pic next time.)

Glad to hear all is well.

And will have to look into MB. Looked her up as I'm not familiar with her work. She sounds like a good read.

hr9: I hope you enjoy the coffee. Your pic looks great!

enigma4ever said...

oh thank you for the wonderful coffee ....me..I will drink anything hot....green tea, black tea, strong coffee, expresso and of course....cappucino....Lattes...I love it all..and after Seattle I got a bit spoiled hooked on caffeine...

Coffee Messiah said...

e4e: ; )

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