Saturday, December 08, 2007
Confessions of a 79% Coffee Addict
The terrible truth is that I am a coffee addict. I recently had my suspicions confirmed when I took and online quiz. (See below) My years I'd worked the graveyard shift as a baker had taken their toll.
Now, it's one thing to be a coffee maven, but it's a terrible thing to lose your mind to caffeine.
The signs become clearer when, instead of grinding selected Chiapas beans, you start drinking Nescafé Clásico. Not for nothing is it referred to as "No es café". That stuff used to taste like the condensations of a Mexico City bus' exhaust. Now, it doesn't...taste...so..bad.
I don't drink it for the taste but for the kick-start to my day.
After one mug, I now switch to decaf. Do any of you coffee snobs know that there's a decent decaf with the Clásico label? I'll bet not.
We were introduced to this at the Restaurant del Arcángel, near Tzurumútaro. They have an espresso machine, but at 9:30 in the morning, the only coffee available was Clásico Descafeinado and a tea kettle of boiling water.
Accept no substitutes. Folger's Instant Decaf tastes bad. Very bad.
Real coffee, good coffee, is available for you mavens who scorn instant.
You can hardly get around Pátzcuaro's Centro without bumping into a cafetería. I might go so far as to say that Pátzcuaro Centro is two plazas defined by coffeehouses.
The sight of the Hygeia ice cream cartons of the Palomares coffeehouse fills me with nostalgia, but my Mundo de Café Centro revolves around the La Surtidora, on the Plaza Grande; or at the Gran Hotel, on the Plaza Chica. Those are favorite gringo aggregation social loci.
When I'm on my own, I sometimes get a café cortado at Lilian's Coffee, a tiny place niched into the Hotel Los Escudos, which has its own coffee shop. (We drank there once. Once only.) Lilian's is excellent, maybe a bit over priced, although the coffee is served in a paper cup. They also sell whole bean and ground coffee, but it's prepackaged, I think. I also like having choices of different types of beans, even though I almost always buy the same kind.
La Surtidora has the advantage that you can buy a variety of beans. (They also sell puros (cigars), both marcas nacionales y Habanos. However, that's another story for another day. One bad habit is enough for now. La Surtidora serves a deep cup. It's good, with the occasional trace of grounds to remind you that it's the real stuff.
If you are in Uruapan or Quiroga, you can buy excellent coffee at Café Tradicional Uruapan. The coffee at Café La Lucha is ok, but to me, it lacks that deep roasted flavor I prefer. Their drinking chocolate tablets are very good. Buy some to take home. The aroma alone is heavenly.
In Morelia, Café Europa has very good coffee. (Just not at their Wal-Mart Super Center outlet.)
There are several branches. There's a big café on Avenida Madero, but I haven't tried it. We usually bought coffee beans at a small Europa outlet on Humboldt, near the Casa de las Artesanías. (I haven't been there recently, so I'm not sure it's there.) Another café with food is the Europa on Avenida Enrique Ramírez, just beyond the Superama. They have especially nice service there.
Take The Coffee Addiction Test.