As a trained barista – I went to coffee school in Hong Kong of all places and ended up managing a couple of coffee shops, but that’s a whole other story – I know a good coffee when I get one.
One of my pleasures in life is to tuck myself up in a comfy seat, with a good book and a cup of strong coffee and I like nothing better than unexpectedly coming across a quirky coffee shop that prides itself on the quality of its coffee and doesn’t mind if I hole myself up there for a while.
Coffee paraphernalia intrigues me as well. I like small cups and little coffee pots and learning different ways of brewing and serving coffee. I love the way a local Armenian restaurant serves coffee in tiny cups encased in a silver surround with matching silver lid.
When I travelled throughout Sweden two years ago you can imagine my delight when I discovered fika. It’s kind of like elevenses but doesn’t have to be in the morning. It’s more of a national institution than a mere coffee break and partaking of it is almost a cultural obligation. Of course, I obliged.
In many countries coffee comes served with a little extra. In Sweden, fika is always coffee and cake with the cake most often being a little cinnamon bun. In the Netherlands, I’d feel quite put out if my coffee didn’t arrive with a koekje (little biscuit, usually spicy) on the side and in Crete I quickly developed a raki (aniseed liquor) habit as every time I ordered a coffee a shot of raki was would appear alongside it.
Of course, stopping for coffee is always a good excuse to have cake as well. The two just compliment each other so well as you’ll see in the photos below.
Now, I think I need to go and make a coffee. Enjoy.
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