Today I want to pay tribute to my favourite drink of all: coffee.
Throughout the years, I have developed a true relationship with it and like any other relationship, it has its ups and downs.
The drawing – done in ink pens – it’s an illustration of a classic bar and the barista.
I am one of those drinkers that are entirely codependent and addicted to coffee. My brain functions only after I have my morning dose. Like majority of Italians, wherever I am, I have my “Moca” on the stove even before hitting the shower.
When I refer to it as a ‘relationship’, what I mean is that like any other it can be very difficult especially if you abuse it. There have been moments where I would drink up to 15 cups of coffee a day, which is obviously not great for the heart. On average though, on a good day, I drink about 5, if I am well behaved.
The first use of coffee was dated around the 15th century. Over the years, it has become part of our culture. Wherever you go, you can find it.
When I first went abroad, a few things shocked me and they still confuse me.
LATTE: if you translate it, it literally means MILK. How in the hell would I have known that it’s actually the weaker version of the famous CAPUCCINO?!
The first time I came across it was actually in Dublin. I was working in a restaurant (bear in mind my English wasn’t at its best) and a customer asked me for one CAPUCCINO and one LATTE at the end of their meal. So I went with one CAPUCCINO and a glass of MILK. It was really embarrassing but you need to learn to laugh at your mistakes and learn from them.
Now let’s talk about MOCHA, this one is pronounced in the exact way as MOCA. We call the coffee maker or the moka pot as MOCA.
When I saw it for the first time, I remember asking to those who were with me, “Do you actually make your coffee with the MOCA?” – again, the embarrassment was covered with laughter.
That’s how I learnt that MOCHA (which can also be called MOCACCINO) is a coffee based drink, with milk and chocolate.
Imagine an American tourist asking for an AMERICANO in a remote place anywhere in Italy. Try to picture a middle aged person saying in their local dialect “Good for you, that you’re American”. That’s how it was for me.
Recently I have seen CORTADO becoming common, but it’s actually a RISTRETTO. With this one I am lucky that coming from a latin language I can still get the sense of it.
Thanks to my recent trip to Vietnam, the Vietnamese coffee has become my secret lover and sometimes I cheat on my MOCA as I brought the filter back with me.
I close by saying, I love coffee and I’m lucky that I get to taste every country through their coffees.