There is a relaxing ritual I go about every morning when I make my latte. The sound of the milk as it steams, the tamping of the grounded coffee, watching the shot pour. I like it.
The choosing of the mug is also important and so I have several to pick from depending on my mood. Feeling good in my hands is more important to me than how the mug looks.
The very best latte I have every had was in Rome in a tiny little coffee bar across the street from the apartment we rented in the Pantheon district. The Italians take their coffee seriously, but also are pretty simple about it. You don't sit, you just head up to the bar, place your order, usually a shot of espresso, swig it down and off you go to work. No lingering over a tall, double, no foam, vanilla, 180 degree, 2% milk latte here. In fact the only place you are likely to get that in Italy, without an eye roll, is at a Starbucks.
I made my way through Italy drinking cafe lattes, which means there was a bit of milk, whole milk, in with the shot of espresso. And they were little, not very big. Most of the locals forgo the milk but I am not much for straight espresso unless it is poured over gelato or ice cream.
When we were in Florence we rented an apartment above a pottery shop. The owners of the apartment also owned the shop and she was the artist. Her patterns were beautiful and unlike any we had seen in so many of the pottery shops we had been into along our way. And her prices reflected this. Many of her pieces were limited and sold only in this shop. Of course I had to have something!
The pattern I wanted had to be special ordered so we had to have it sent home to the states, which cost a bundle and caused him to moan a bit. But this tiny, beautiful cup with the Tuscan Olive farm on it, along with another piece which sits on our table was waiting for me when I got home. The other piece holds oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. All the same beautiful pattern. All reminding me daily of an amazing trip.
It was my one big splurge. I have resorted back to my American ways however and drink my morning latte from a big mug with 2% milk and a bit of sugar.
And make the day right again.
What do you drink in the morning?