Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Ode to Italian Espresso
The tiny cup sits in front of me aloofly with its still cap of perfect carmel crema. Pour the sugar in one place, don't sprinkle it around, they told me. Stir it in a focused circle, not a back-and-forth swish. I should drink it in a fast gulp, but I can't. I sip, savoring its brightness. Back home, bright would mean sour or weak or brewed too fast. But here, somehow, the flavor is strong and deep and still bright like a summer day. It's round and light and rich and smooth and pleased with itself, so I am pleased too. One last swirl gets the crema off the side of the cup, and I finish it, wistful about its small size. I want more, but espresso is a lesson in moderation and loving the smallest of moments. So the cup clinks on the saucer, and I smile at the coming day and the best euro ever spent.