23 June 2010

Taking Your Coffee in Style

We love our morning latte.  Okay, we also love our afternoon macchiato and our evening doppio...even the mid-meeting French press is enjoyable.

It's not (just) the caffeine jolt that is addictive.  It's the ceremony of the coffee.  The ritual we associate with the serving and the sipping of the bean.

One of most social experiences is to share a coffee and a chat - whether at Starbucks, in the corporate break room, at the corner coffee shop, or al bar in Roma.  How diverse can a "coffee break" be? Take a look at 5 Unique Coffee Traditions from Around the Globe - not sure we can check the experience box next to more than two of these traditions.

We also find the offering of coffee to be a significant part of any gathering - whether during brunch or after a luncheon or with cognac following dinner.  There's a trend to get back to basics in our lives - and this means making the time to enjoy the simple things, including each other.

Moral to the story?  Don't underestimate the significance of offering - and taking - your coffee in style.   Add this facet to your plan for organized entertaining.

How you serve and take your coffee is an opportunity to communicate style - do you like oversized ceramic mugs?  Is there a corporate brand on your cup?  Stylish espresso cups & saucers?  Demitasse spoons?  Turkish style in copper pots?  Fine china?  French press?  Carafe?

While it's likely not necessary to break out the silver service when a neighbor drops by to discuss the upcoming block party, we like to think there are so many fun details that can highlight your personal style and add something to the gathering.

Two great examples of establishing distinctive style in caffeine service?
#1 - Morning Glory Coffee & Tea located near Yellowstone Park in Montana - their style & presence in the coffee world is felt daily across Twitter and Facebook.

#2 - Dean & Deluca across the 'Net and in NYC - just take a look at their new coffee items all about service & style.  Their biscotti are an entirely new experience...

These folks understand the ritual of coffee service - and cater to the each level of the experience.

For your entertaining, we offer a few creative caffeine service suggestions-
  • Sugar cubes - especially "in the raw" - add elegance, and great taste, to just about any cup o' joe.
  • Demitasse spoons - teaspoons tend to be a bit large for smaller servings. Using demitasse spoons elevates the average coffee break to something a little extraordinary.
  • French Press - such a very EASY but ever so dignified way to present and enjoy coffee.  We professed our love in Must-Have Cooking Tools Take 3.
  • Cream or milk?  Whatever your preference, it's better served out of creamer, or small carafe.  Leave the carton for cookies & kids.
  • Pinky placement? OK, we think you needn't worry about this too much.
  • Biscotti? Just say YES - embrace the old tradition of offering or enjoying a small cookie or biscotti or chocolattini (small chocolates)...takes the entire experience to a new level!
  • Demitasse or espresso cups - a stately way to sip & savor.  So many affordable styles to choose from - we like an eclectic mix & match!
  • Serving tray - so impressive for an afternoon break! So functional for moving the gathering into the living room after dinner!  Find something useful in a tray - organize the cups, spoons, creamer, sugar & coffee and GO!
And, perhaps the most important part of the experience? Sip your cafe and savor the time with a dear friend - your dinner guests - a special colleague - or simply a small break from the frantic world around to enjoy yourself.

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