Scandinavians tend to drink the most coffee per capita although specialty, sweet, and flavoured coffees still aren’t as popular as in North America. The coffee here is usually bold, rich, dark and always had for breakfast and after meals (even at 10PM as seen with my mum above in Copenhagen).
However, I was a tea drinker and didn’t have my first coffee until I was 18. Living in England amongst dedicated tea drinkers I had comfortably avoided coffee until I visited with a sophisticated, polished couple that I wanted to be be like. So when they had coffee, I had my first cup and tried to be ever so polite about the horrible taste in my mouth as I sipped it bit by bit.
When I moved to Seattle, WA in 1999, birthplace of Starbucks and coffee snobs, I kept resisting coffee. It wasn’t until a frightfully cold morning commute did I pull into a cafe for a coffee – just to hold. The barista had loaded it up with Vanilla syrup and I found myself finally liking coffee (or perhaps really, just syrup!).
Tea remained my favourite beverage for taste and ritual but when I moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and discovered Urth Caffe’s Spanish Latte, I have to say that coffee began to be a favourite treat and I actually found myself craving a cup on cold mornings or when I was feeling a little sick. The rich, caramel, chocolate flavour of the coffee itself combined with the fact it’s organic and has one of the lowest acidic rates of any coffee won me over. It doesn’t need a lot to be good, which is how most coffee – and food – really should be.
With my mum coming tomorrow and my Danish cousins arriving next week, coffee had to be in the house. So I biked to Urth the other day, picked up a bag of the Italian Roast Coffee for home and I have been enjoying a cup every day since (especially since fall totally hit here and the weather has cooled).
My coffee routine is different than my tea one as is the gear. I love my gear. Here’s what I use to make a great cup:
Bodum Chambord 8-Cup Coffee Press: Looks elegant on a table, cleans up wonderfully, and makes a great cup of coffee for about 4 adults. If you tend to serve more people or want a “kit” the Bodum Chambord 12-Cup/48-Ounce Coffee Press looks great, too, although I haven’t used this size (or those tools). I also have the Bodum Brazil Glass 3-Cup Coffee Press, Black for times when it’s just me and I don’t need to make so much coffee.
Bodum 5-Ounce Milk Frother: When my mum and I were last in Copenhagen, we hit the Bodum Flagship Store in earnest and each bought one of these. I don’t have a microwave so literally put mine on the stove (gas or electric – I’ve done both), warm it up and then pump. Perfect frothed milk every time without batteries or hard to clean gadgets.
Chef’s Choice Cordless Electric 1-3/4-Quart Teakettle: I was always a stove-top kettle kind of girl. I’m not sure why but I just didn’t like electric kettles whatsoever. But I kept hearing rave after rave about this one and I finally converted. And boy am I glad I did. The water heats fast, you can see how much is inside, there is an automatic turn off. The base doesn’t get hot nor does the outside and did I mention it’s fast? When I fill this, it fills the 8-cup Bodum Press
Krups Fast Touch Coffee Grinders: Buying whole beans is better I’ve been told so this little grinder is perfect for grinding at home. You can decide how fine you want your beans, clean up is easy, and it’s small enough to easily be kept in your cupboard.
Williams Sonoma Coffee Scoop: Nothing special, but I like it.