MY FAVORITE ESPRESSO
I can't imagine starting my day without a cappuccino. Two years ago I invested in a Pasquini Livia, an Italian espresso machine. It is a purchase I thought long and hard about, and one I have never regretted. The preferred way to drink my cappuccino is alone with the newspaper. Occasionally I break down and make myself one while I am still running around the house in the morning, making sure the "Frenchie" is fed and my daughter has everything she needs before leaving for school. That is a mistake. The cappuccino is gone and I have little memory of it. I sampled and researched for months and have finally come up with a blend of beans I consider perfect. I am fortunate to live close to DUNN BROS COFFEE, a local roaster, in St. Paul. I initially went there for their "espresso" blend, but for me it was too strong and burnt-tasting. A young man was working the bean counter one day when I mentioned this and he suggested I try combining the same beans he does for his espresso -- half Kenya and half Sumatra. The Kenyan bean flavor is described as "rich with black currant, licorice, and ripe apricot tartness; the Sumatran, "rich deep and lasting, slight sweetness and warm earthiness complete the finish". I haven't changed this combo in over a year, and unfortunately, I have never seen the young man again to let him know how much I liked his suggestion. In my mind, it's the perfect mix.