So I’m a bit of a coffee freak and will always order a cappuccino wherever I go – testing to see whose barista actually makes the grade. My worst is when I’m asked if I’d like cream or foam – then I know it’s not going to be a good cappuccino at all, that there’s no understanding of the art. Perhaps I should then just order espresso and pray.
One of the ways to check a good cappuccino head is to time how long it takes the sugar to seep in. If it stays on top for a long while, then you know it’s thick and dense, perfectly creamy and that the coffee will filter through dreamily.
Just about every restaurant gets their sugar packets from the same company, and all those little packets have words of wisdom printed on them – quotes from Einstein to anonymous. I read the words and then only use the sugar packets I agree with.
Sometimes they’re absolute rubbish, but at other times they really speak to me – like a little message that’s just for me on that day. If I don’t find one I like, then I can’t check the quality of the cappuccino without sipping it first, and it doesn’t taste the same because there are no sugar crumbs on top – so overall it becomes a dissatisfying experience. It’s rare though and I wonder if I look a bit like a mad person, sitting alone, reading the words on sugar packets and shaking my head in disagreement, mumbling to myself if something is particularly rubbish.
I try not to spend too much time alone at a table when there’s a full sugar bowl to contend with. Especially since I have a tendency to stack the bags in order of profundity, and that just looks weird.
It’s interesting, though, how profound messages can creep into your life, even when you’re indulging in a coffee addiction alone. Those little sparks that set off a line of thinking, leading you towards change, joy, disappointment, enlightenment or awe.
And then I wonder who else does the same – who else absorbs the words of wisdom that stretch from brilliant minds to the sugar factory and beyond. The silliness and sameness is alluring.