Thursday, January 26, 2012

More D.C. Posts Coming Soon!


I realize it’s been far too long since I have enlightened y’all about my caffeinated D.C. adventures.   Not to worry! I have been building a long list of places you will love and will hear about very shortly.   To keep you satisfied in the meantime, I thought I would tell you about my trip to the first shop to ever sell coffee in the coffee culture capital of the world: Italia!

In late September 2009, I took a trip to Venice.  Besides being the most beautiful city in the world with canals for alleys, boats for cars, and buildings in the sea, I read somewhere that it was home to the first coffee shop in Italy: Caffé Florian.

"Caffè Florian Opened in 1720 in Piazza San Marco in Venice, Caffè Florian is Italy’s oldest Café.  While seated in one of the café’s frescoed rooms or outside listening to the orchestra in the Piazza, one can enjoy impeccable service and products of the finest quality.  Famous for its rich history as a crossroads of art, culture, politics and entertainment, today the Florian is also known for its elegant trademark products: coffee, teas, chocolates, cookies, porcelains, and design objects."

Though I did not have a coffee blog at the time, I still adored the flavors and aroma of the drink so much that I jotted down a few notes from my old travel blog (so not as good as this one!)  Before I begin to tell you about il cafe from three year old memories, let me first show you what I wrote during my time in Italia:

September 30, 2009

I just got back from Venice and it was a trip I will always remember. The city is so unique that it is impossible to imagine its charm and splendor if you have never been.

Before hoping on the train back to Roma this morning, the girls and I had breakfast at Caffé Florian, the first place in Venice to sell coffee back in 1720, (that’s a long time and a whole lot of caffeine ago!)

On Saturday, we climbed to the top of the bell tower and the view was sensational. Afterwards, we headed to the island of Murano where all the Venetian glass is created. There I saw beautiful glass rings in a store but when I picked one up it shattered on my hand, cutting a few of my fingers.

The lady in the shop bandaged me up and I went on my way. We went back to the main Island and walked to the Rialto Bridge where we all sat down for dinner outside in a small square. After dinner, the girls and I left for a nighttime gondola ride down the canal and it was as lovely as it sounds. Our gondolier was such a pleasant man and he whistled and pointed out important buildings as we rode along – he even let me wear is hat! It was simply beautiful. 

We docked and left the gondola with smiles and walked back to St. Mark’s Square. It was past midnight by this point but we sat in the middle of the square and laid down on the marble stone laughing and sharing stories about how amazing our night in Venice had been.

As you can see, I did not write about the flavor characteristics of the drink, but sometimes the actual taste is less important than the story behind the cup.  Sitting outside on a patio in St. Mark's Square on my last day in Venice, drinking the overpriced cappuccino at the first Italian coffee shop while watching the pigeons and passerbys was the very way I hoped to spend my last few hours in Venice.  Perfect.

Post Script:
While writing this post I stumbled across a few more pictures from my trip to Venice.  Besides going Caffé Florian, I went to another cafe in St. Mark's Square and indulged in THIS:

Yes, that is what you think it is. Iced (CREAM) coffee.  Iced coffee topped with iced cream, whipped cream, hot fudged, and a chocolate cookie straw.  I don't know where I can get this in America, but if anyone has any suggestions PLEASE TELL ME.

And while my mouth is watering just looking at the photo, the memory of the flavor is not near as vivid as the circumstance.  Sitting on a lovely Fall night in the middle of the square with accordions playing.  Doesn't get much better.

Post Post Script:
I am serious if you know a cafe nearby that will make me one of these, you need to open up gmail right now and get on it! -

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