Friday, August 19, 2005

Caffeine Dreams

I don't smoke. I don't drink. I do drink coffee. Actually, caramel lattes are my caffeinated drink of choice.

My hometown has a wide array or coffee places to choose from. My favorite is a hometown chain that I used to work for called Crane Coffee. I've been making a daily outing each morning to get my 20 oz. cup of warm and sweet goodness. The robust flavor of the espresso combined with the sweet syrup and whole milk just rolls over the tongue. I even got a re-chargeable card and now save 10% on each purchase. :)

At home, I make my own lattes using a Swiss-made Solis SL-90 espresso machine with a pre-infusion cycle and non-pressurized basket. I grind my own espresso too with a Maestro grinder. Oooh, that fresh-ground coffee sure smells good.

I love going to coffee shops. One of my favorites here is called "Caffeinated Dreams." It has such a cool vibe going on with brick walls, funky furniture and an outdoor garden area. My DH and I had one of those perfect dates a couple of years ago where we cuddled on one of the sofas and watched a great Celtic/Irish band play in front of the cosy fireplace.

St*rbucks is usually a good and consistent experience. I like discovering those unique places, like Caffeine Dreams better, though they are rare. Many places don't have a clue about making good espresso. I always thought it would be neat to be a consultant and help independent places with espresso bars develop a good training program.

Once we went to a place in Fargo that served the worst lattes! The shots were just totally bad and the milk was scorched. I'm the type that will return things whereas my DH will not. He likes to see me "in action" as he calls it. I'm always polite of course. If I'm going to pay 4 bucks for a latte, I expect to get a good one! St*rBucks is usually great about exchanging a bad drink since they are usually friendly and trained well.

When my kids get a little older, and my DH has a job with consistent hours, I think I'm going to go apply to work at St*rbucks a couple of times per week. I really enjoyed my 5 years working in and managing coffee shops and would like to get back to it.