Buds and I had fantastic memories of our coffee drinking times here in Italy. There is a place to get espresso everywhere, including at the front of the grocery store, in the bus terminal, at the train station, but not at the post office. (More on what you CAN do at the post office later.)
On our drive from Lake Como to The Dolomites, we stopped at a large shopping mall for gas, a snack, and to allow upset tummies to recover from the twisty-turny driving we’d been doing. Buds wandered down to the all-purpose store and found the supplies we’d need to consistently make our own delightful coffee, no matter what our temporary homes had for supplies.
There are two parts to making the delightful cappucino:
1) Making the thick, dark, rich coffee.
2) Whipping the frothy, creamy milk.
To make the thick coffee, first you must start with the burner.
All Most of our Italy homes have had a special mocha pot holder:
Our Lucca Inside-The-Walls apartment didn’t have a ninja coffee star, so we improvised:
Now you fill the bottom of the mocha pot with water.
Then you get just the right amount of coffee into your coffee filter:
All around Italy they sell these cans of coffee specifically for the mocha pot. Plunge in the coffee filter, keep your finger on the end to maintain suction, draw it out with the perfect amount of coffee.
After you fill up the water reservoir and the coffee filter is filled with coffee and dropped into its place, you screw on the top of the mocha pot.
The complete mocha pot:
You screw together the top and bottom as tightly as you can, the set them on a medium flame. The rich coffee perks up through that hole in the top of the center stem. It will give a whistling/hissing sound as it nears the completion of the process.
Once you hear the hissing, if you want an espresso, you may now pour the black liquid into an espresso mug, or even:
If you want the full experience, once the mocha pot has given its whistling wheeze to tell you it has perked as much coffee as it is going to, it’s time for the milk.
When the milk is ready, you divide the coffee from the top of the mocha pot into one, two, or three mugs, depending on who needs cappuccino. We put about 1/4-1/2 tsp sugar in the bottom of the mugs and stir to dissolve the sugar and coffee.
Then divide the foamy milk between the mugs.
This daily ritual has brought such a beautiful start to the day. We were up to having 4-5 cappuccinos/day, but I’ve had to cut back due to heart palpitations.
As a side note, Italians never drink cappuccino after 10 a.m. Espresso can be ordered any time, but not cappuccino. Italians believe the fresh whole milk that makes up over half of the contents of this drink plays havoc with digestion.
Finally, at the delightful mall where Buds found all our necessary coffee-making supplies, we stopped at a gelato stand that also sold fantastic pastries and coffee. Buds and I were set to order espressos (It was after 10 a.m.), but an Italian gentleman in front of me ordered this:
Notice a small candy is included with all the coffee served at this location. Because…why not?
I grinned at our barista and said, “I’d like one of those!”
Then the two baristas and the Italian gentleman taught me how to say “Marocchino.” (mare-ō-keé-nō) One of the baristas even wrote down the word on a napkin for me so I wouldn’t forget.
They said I could order one of those any time of day, but I haven’t found anywhere else that looks like they’d have the flair to do it.
I’ll keep looking.
This coffee creation process is one of the gifts from this trip that will keep on giving.
I realized I didn’t tell about the cleaning process, which is also interesting.
Unscrew the top and bottom which is no small feat.
Efficient and simple.
Rinse all the parts, set them aside until you make your next cuppa in a couple hours.