Whenever my mom brews herself a cup of coffee, I immediately think of two things: Chocolate cake and New York.
The chocolate cake thing doesn’t have anything to do with New York. It’s just that we have an awesome cake recipe that uses coffee, so coffee gives me this idea that there should be cake to go with it.
I guess the more chocolate cake we bake and the further New York fades into the past, the more I won’t actually associate coffee with New York. But at the moment I still very much do.
To make coffee, we scoop the ground coffee out of the jar and put it into our neat little “one-cup-of-coffee-anaitor”. It is simply a small, black, specially shaped funnel. It fits perfectly over any mug. Inside this funnel you put a disposable paper filter, fill it with coffee, add boiling water slowly and then just wait. The water trickles down into the cup through the coffee. Voila! You have just made a cup of coffee!
In New York my Mom, Franci and Karin used to drink quite a lot of coffee. Of course, it was cold in New York, so deciding that you feel like a cup of something hot isn’t difficult to do. (I just prefer tea.)
The thing about drinking coffee in New York, is that there are just SO MANY OPTIONS! You can go to just about any Fairway (I don’t think I was ever in one that didn’t have it), look for the tea and coffee section. . . and you will the find coffee.
Bags of it.
Roasted coffee beans displayed in big burlap bags. The bags are hip high and open at the top. A smiling assistant wielding a scoop will help you – the poor confused client- to decide which of the many different shades of brown is likely to best suit your taste. Of course, most of the clientele aren’t confused at all – from long experience they know exactly which coffee they want. They just order a set amount to be grounded to a set coarseness and go on their way again, rushing off in true New York haste.
The coffee nook holds a unique charm for us. Our Fairway has the coffee and tea all tucked away in a little alcove. This is virtually the only place you can stand still for any length of time without being in someone’s way.
Have we mentioned how small Manhattan shops are? Great variety, but crammed into tiny isles with ever bustling customers. In the past, whenever we popped into any store to buy a few essentials, it would always be Mom who does the rushing about. We, (as the kids), stay with the trolley.
This is not possible in Manhattan – you will be in someone’s way. The best alternative we could find is to wander the isles randomly, dodging and weaving other customers. You can’t really stay in one place, (unless it is to grab something from the shelf), so the coffee nook was really a nice place to just stand still.
There was one specific employee whom we befriended there. Her name is Faith and her family comes from somewhere in Northern Africa, I think. Whenever we stopped by the Fairway to buy something we would generally go to check and see if she was there, just to say hi. =)
Now my coffee blog has turned into a shopping blog, but I will return to coffee – just as soon as I add one more thing in the shopping category.
The other grocery shop we frequented was named “Trader Joes”. Slightly cheaper with a little less variety, Trader Joes boasted three floors! Okay, not technically true, since one floor is only the entrance to the shop.
But here is the cool bit – the shop front is on street level, you walk in through the glass doors and there is an escalator slightly to your right. It goes down.
The whole shopping experience in Trader Joes is under street level. There are special trolley escalators that takes you cart up and down! Sooooo cool!
Okay, back to coffee. =)
I just want to mention the Starbucks before I end this blog. About a year after we left South Africa . . . I think . . . there was a Starbucks that opened in the mall of Africa. (A shopping mall I personally haven’t seen yet.) Something like that. XP Anyway – what I do know, is that a lot of my friends started posting photos of when they had had a coffee or whatever at Starbucks. So it was cool when we got the opportunity to go to Starbucks in the USA. 😉 We got hot chocolate though, so I don’t actually know what quality their coffee is. 😉 (My mom says it is good.)