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.


Jeannine said...

I love going to coffee places too! Either with my girl friends or my beloved (but he's not into such "fancy" coffee) or just with a good book. I really like St*rbucks, but just like you I really enjoy the tiny/independent ones. We don't have that many here, but we're catching up :). One of my favorites in the US is in Minniapolis: Uncommon Grounds. Think of me when you drink the next one :)

Lou said...

This is my first time here and I couldn't help but notice that you were from ND! I grew up in Fargo :-) Fun to see someone blogging about it :-)


Threefold Cord said...

What a fun place to work! I would never sleep when I came home! I would drink all of my profits or tips! I love coffee! (Not exactly right now...while pregnant...but usually!)

molly said...

I'm always afraid to take my drink back...I'm too afraid an offended employee will spit in it or something...

Anne said...

Jeanine: Hi! It would be cool to meet you at a coffee shop and chat in real life. And I'm thinking of you this morning- I hope you have a great weekend! :)

Lou: Oh fer fun! Thanks for coming by! I've only lived in ND for a couple of years and will be moving out of it in a couple more. Have you been there lately? Fargo is really booming!

Holly: :) I've cut waaaaay back on caffeine consumption and only drink a little bit when pregnant. And it was a really fun place to work. We got *free* drinks while on the clock- the profit margin on drinks alone is pretty huge. ;)

Molly: LOL! I never would have thought of that! The places I go you can usually see them making the drink.
Don't they only do that kind of stuff at McD*nald's? :)

Annie Crawford said...

I love coffee as well - I worked at 'bucks while in college, and though when I lived in oregon I preferred my favorite little independant places as well, I have found that as you said, here in Texas, they mostly have NO idea how to make a decent drink. Thus, I always go to *$ here, they are very good about being consistant.

You get a free pound of coffee a week and a 30% discount - I got a home espresso maker, retail over $400 for $150 - it was a floor model durring the spring brew sale plus my discount. :-) I have thought about working there again too - if you work a morning shift, you have regulars and can actually build a relationship and have a bit of a ministry.

jettybetty said...

I am trying to play catch-up here--are you still feeling bad? Do you know what's going on?? I am so thankful you are where you have some help.

I LOVE coffee--such a treat! When you are a latte consultant--I want to come have a drink where you are teaching people the *right* way to do it!

I will continue to pray for you!!!