Monday, May 5, 2008

Espresso

Like the sound of classic jazz or the brilliant minutes of a sunset, espresso is meant to be savored. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, I join a local group ride for some colorful miles filled with great conversation. As a pre-ride ritual, I stop (en route) to sign in for a shot of the high pressure bean. Some days, a single shot will do it. On other days, the body requires a double. I am not partial to the coffee house, but there's always one rule I honor when sipping espresso: No paper cups. Plain and simple. I am willing to miss sign in and chase for the first two miles if it means my shot of espresso is enjoyed from the heft of the tiny ceramic cup.
No sugar. No cream. Never paper.

Photo courtesy Shane Stokes, www.cyclingnews.com

22 comments:

Jason said...

Wifey got me my own maker a couple years ago. I've been known to rock the Quad-Epresso on my lunch brake. One step below a lunch time crack hit. So I would be led to believe ;)

While I can't say I have the tiny cups. I agree that paper/plastic is not and option for espress (or beer!)

Later.

Pete Morris said...

Ceramic and unadulterated by cream or sugar is my preference, too. But if you want to rock the espresso Italiano authentico, then you're required to spoon in enough sugar to supply all the carbs you'd burn climbing up both the Poggio and the Cipressa.

Radio Freddy said...

I can see the allure of the es-chugar. but for me, it is all about the oxymoron of a sweet bitterness. Great Blog Pete, and I had a feeling you were a crack head Jason. A Quad would put me in the cold sweats catagory.

Baughb said...

The only thing better than pre-ride java is post-ride java. it's why I ride.....

Molly Cameron said...

Did Casagrande take sugar in his espresso? No way!

I've been a fan of BKW for a while.

A tiny ceramic cup pinched between your thumb and pointer finger is THE only way to have your espresso.

I started taking quads before some cx races last season. Yikes! I don't know if there is a relation but, I had my best results post quad.

Bitter sweet brutality.

Radio Freddy said...

"Bitter Sweet Brutality", awesome! Molly - thank you for taking the time to read BKW. I am a fan of Veloshop and I like the way the shop operates.

Mike said...

HA! After a hard week a double shot (in a proper cup of course) is a necessity to get the pistons to turn over. Luckily I am sponsored by a great coffee company with no less than 3 cafes in the first couple miles of my regular route! Gotta take the perks when you can...

Radio Freddy said...

Mike- Indeed, it is all about the perks. 3 cafes, 3 doubles.

Matt said...

I'm almost there, but still prefer 2 shots in water ala Americano.

Sugar or cream is a definate no-no though.

Strangely though I'l even get a de-caff version of this late afternoons in a break from work.

Radio Freddy said...

A true coffee junkie. When it no longer is centered on the buzz you are hooked. In the good old days, we used to break at 3:00 for coffee and treats no matter how crazy-busy. It was then that coffee became about "my time", no matter where, when or what kind. That beverage and the time it takes to enjoy it are all mine.

Kelly said...

A quad? Geesh, just a single shot before a ride is enough to send me to the front of peloton, with arm held high, signaling a nature break. And not the #1 kind :-)

BKW is the best site on the web. I makes my late work hours go a little faster, quad-style!

Greg said...

Bitter espresso is for people who don't know espresso.

Radio Freddy said...

Kelly - Thanks for the nod, I hear you on the #2, that is funny as hell.

Greg - True that. Thanks for taking the time to read.

Anonymous said...

Coffee should be enjoyed "hotter than hell, blacker than night, stronger than the devil, and sweeter than love" as they say in Brazil.

Le Blaireau said...

Am I on drugs or has there been people posting comments for a future post. An alternate universe of blog posting? Could make for interesting reading.

Radio Freddy said...

Le blaireau: Thanks for dropping by. This post was originally run back in March of '07 so that will account for the exisiting comments. - RF

oldFonzie said...

There is a proper way to have sugar with your espresso that I learned when I raced in Italy years ago. You take a sugar cube and hold it with your teeth and dissolve it with the shot as you drink.

On another note, when it's really cold, there's nothing like Finn style coffee -- with cheese melted in the cup. mmmmm.

tys said...

Pre ride beverages are special: for me it's Yerba Mate over ice.
I've never liked coffee in any form, but then I've never tried it with cheese. What do the Finns use?

bikesgonewild said...

...right on, tys...yerba mate is (& has been for 30yrs) my drink (drug) of choice for both waking up & riding...although i felt like i was only a cheap date at a hooker convention, mentioning it here, amongst the hardcores...

Scott Loveless said...

Amen to that!

It seems the larger coffee shops (Star***** and Panera) like to serve coffee in paper cups even when the order is "for here".

Paper cups are for gas stations, not coffee shops.

oldFonzie said...

Hear ya on the paper cups. I especially hate those stupid sleeves. They use as much paper as a cup, but make you feel less wasteful. Ugh.

The cheese to use in coffee is a white cheese like Lappi -- it's sort of like farmer's cheese. It goes down good when it's forty below and gives you the gusto to go out and take on the day.

Hautacam said...

Yes! Espresso done right is the epitome of PRO: fresh, hot, stylish, intensely focused and committed -- and yet timelessly classic, effortlessly cool, and true to its european roots.

I can never think of group rides and espresso without thinking of a classic Phil Liggetism, where he comments on Mario Cipollini's penchant for doubling back to a cafe during team training rides to stop for a coffee and have a chat with the ladies. Ah, to be even 1/4 that PRO . . .