My caffeinated life began before I understood the word caffeine.
My Irish grandmother would serve me Nescafe in evaporated milk when I was barely a 'tween.
It was the culture in the old country and I loved the taste from the first sip.
Fast forward to 20 years of age and I found my first cappuccino in a shanty town outside of Lima, Peru.
I drove to the mountains, I watched the beans roast in the cast iron and I drooled as they pulled the espresso and topped with milk foam.
I drank like a blind man seeing for the first time. Four years later when I returned to Victoria, I knew I was a changed woman. After a few Baby Gaggias, I lucked out on a Nuova Simonelli who stayed with me through my twenties and thirties.
When I sought what I thought were greener pastures in 2006 in California, naturally my Simonelli came with me.
I wept when the the shipper broke my beloved machine for it had survived 2 marriages and many moves. And yet it still worked, even with no housing.
The machine looked sad, exhausted and I knew it's day to retire had arrived. I sold many of my things on Ebay in order to buy another machine for I could not bare to be without espresso.
It was there I discovered the beautiful Atomic. I tried for 3 years to find an Atomic at a price I could afford.
I went to every garage sale, every thrift store but I have not faired well in my effort to obtain this beautiful piece of art.
It is a piece that fits well with my old world soul.
My coffee day is intricate, romanced.
I hand roast my beans in a hundred year old cast iron pan that has such a coffee patina, that it shines.
I steam raw organic milk and I finish with organic maple syrup from my beloved country.
These tastes I have acquired from years of travel, of tasting, of experiencing coffee.
I have a love affair with coffee that no man has rivaled.
Yes, I am in love.
The last cappuccino I had the day before I left Victoria was at 2% Jazz.
And when I return this fall to my beloved Victoria, it will be the first cappuccino I have.
Former publisher of Real Blues magazine, Cheri Lynn loves coffee and music - and really, really, wants to win OTTO!
Double Shot Mama - I want Otto - #5