Quest for the Best : Coffee

I grew up with parents who drank tea so very rarely was coffee a part of my life, and when it came up, it was almost always of the instant variety.  When I went to college, I had a friend who loved to meet at “the diner” for coffee or our lunch would often be a piece of cheesecake at Juniors and coffee – I was lucky enough to attend college across from the iconic cheesecake restaurant’s original location.  I drank decaf at first but slowly converted to full test as my schedule allowed for less and less sleep and the caffeine became necessary.  When I entered the working world and also attended graduate school at night, I found myself drinking more than a dozen cups of coffee per day until my doctor finally told me I needed to cut back.  Since I have a tendency to do everything in extremes, I quit cold turkey.  At the time, I didn’t care for the taste of tea.

Several years later, I married someone who drank tea and I began to do the same.  While I have always preferred the taste of coffee, I continued to drink tea (with the exception of an occasional espresso after dinner) until my recent trip to Europe.  I’ve been to Europe before, but always stuck to my tea, primarily because one can get a great cup of tea there unlike in the U.S.  On this trip, I opted to drink coffee, primarily because there was a Nespresso machine in every home and hotel room we stayed.  I was hooked all over again!! #juniors #nespresso #coffee

The coffee I drank everywhere, from the Nespresso machines in friends’ homes to cups expressed from fancy machines, was so much better than anything I’ve ever had in the U.S. especially Starbucks and other chain coffee shops.  Even better than my American favorite, Stumptown Roasters in Portland Oregon.  It was smooth, flavorful, balanced; not bitter & acidic.  And thus began this quest to find the best coffee.  I drank espressos, americanos, cappuccinos, cortados and marocchinos over a course of three weeks in three countries.  My favorite style – the Cortado (2 parts espresso, 1 part steamed milk).  My favorite Cortado, or Tallat as it’s called in Catalan, was the one in the lobby cafe at the Renaissance Hotel Fira in Barcelona.  Runner up was the Marocchino (dark chocolate, espresso & a shot of milk) at Fabrique du Cafe in Limoges. #stumptown #cortado #tallat

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The Winner – Tallat at Renaissance Fira Hotel Lobby Bar

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The Runner up – Marocchino at Fabrique du Cafe in Limoges France

And all the coffees I loved along the quest……..

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