Stove top espresso

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May 27th 2009
Published: May 31st 2009
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The light floods into the bedroom early here in Venice; through the double window high above my bed, across the roofs of the city, to wake me up (relatively) early.

I sit up on the rollercoaster mattress, stretch my arms, and opps, I've hit them on the beam above; I'm in a loft, afterall. One that would pass no building standards anywhere in the world other than here in Italy, and maybe in Mongolia for reasons more related to average citizen height than any sort of logic.

Deep breath - ahhh, the not so fresco, fresh, Venetian air; the room is the ultimate dust bowl, but not just any dust, I'm talking old dust, 1789 era dust, dust that has been sitting here for a very good while. Yuck, I'm glad I'm not asmatic or susceptible to hay fever attacks as I'd have to hire a moon suit with oxygen tank, and I'm not sure they have many here in the floating city.

Ok, down the narrow, creaking stairs to the main level of the apartment we have rented. The floors here are concrete; it smells delicious compared to the Sahara upstairs.

Into the kitchen. I'm happy, genuinely pleased, to find the Italian 3-cup stove top espresso maker sitting there, waiting for me. I pick it up. Its filthy, basically. But I don't let this dissuade me; into the sink it goes with a good squirt of dishwashing liquid. I scrub; its clean; I'm happy.

I have the same little bambino, baby, at home, and it feels good to know that I know how to make an excellent coffee on my first morning in Italia. The water goes into the bottom up to the pressure value; coffee thingie on and coffee grounds in - no saving here, I spoon it in Italian-style; run my finger along the ridge to make sure its clear of excess goodness; then screw the top on; onto the stove on low gas flame. All done. I am my own barista.

I open the french doors onto the little balcony from the kitchen; the light streams in again and warms my face instantly. As the coffee steams through, I lean against the door frame and just listen, watch.

I'm in Italy.



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