Monday, February 2, 2015

Mama does, in fact, need coffee

I drink 1-2 shots of espresso every morning, rain or shine, pregnant or not, and it's a fabulous way to start the day.

Before our stint in Rome, I was a Starbucks-guzzling, cheap coffee swilling, all morning long chug-a-long coffee drinker. I sort of liked the taste of it, but honestly, I was in it for the caffeine. I was under slept, overworked, and over stimulated.

I may still be some of those things, but it's no longer the coffee to blame. While we were living in Italy I learned to savor the art and the experience of coffee, not just the results.

I watched in fascination as the entire city ground to a halt multiple times per day while neighborhood bars filled up with impeccably-coiffed businesspeople, priests and bishops, grandmothers pushing strollers, street sweepers and shop keepers, all after one thing: a little sip of luxury in the midst of the chaos of daily life.

Romans do not swig coffee. There are no to-go cups, there are no bottomless mugs, and there are no warming plates holding pots of muddy water, ready to dilute with chemical creamers and sugars.

There are, instead, fat bags of perfectly-roasted beans spilling onto gleaming stainless steel counters. Thousand-Euro machines puffing steam and smudged with coffee grounds, streaming out rich shot after rich shot of perfect, crema topped cups of espresso.

And the counters in every coffee were lined with familiar faces and tiny cups, neighbors and baristos shooting the breeze, sipping their brews, and then heading off to their respective daily business for another couple of hours.

It was eminently civilized, and it ruined me for drip coffee forever.

Want to know another secret about espresso? It's actually less caffeine than a big 'ol mug of coffee, provided you're only drinking one or two of them. Now, order up a Venti something or other at the big green house? You might be doubling down on your jitters.

But rest assured, my heart rate and my baby are safe with one or two sweet little shots of black gold every morning.

A couple weeks before I found out my blog was going to be relocating, I got an email from a company promoting their fair trade, shade-grown, ethically sourced coffee, and would I like to review some and then host a giveaway?

Translation: free high-quality coffee.

Answer: yes please.

So, for the past 2 weeks, through the doldrums of January and the heinous scourge of bronchitis fest 2015, we've been drinking the best coffee we've enjoyed with any regularity on this side of the Atlantic: Camano Island Coffee Roasters.

Y'all, this stuff is good. And the company who sells it is doing good, too. They're a Christian company who believes in the dignity of their workers, the sustainable methods of their famers, and the palates (and pocketbooks) of their customers. And they've offered to give a lucky 2 of you faithful Coffee readers each 2 pounds of some of the good stuff of your choosing, ground (or not) to your preference.

I'm not much of a giveaway gal, but when somebody offers to subsidize my daily life (come at me, Costco) I'd be a silly girl to look the other way. So enter ye all who hope for delicious, and be sure to check out their site and look at the life changing work they're doing in the Third World.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh my goodness! I grew up spending summers on Camano Island! My dad's a big fan of the Costco coffee beans, so I don't remember if we ever tried this local goodness. Regardless of the giveaway, I may have to order some myself :)

  2. I just started drinking coffee at all four years ago when I had to go back to work full time, and it's my weekend luxury at home. If not for myself, I would definitely share the beans with my wonderful mummy as well whose coffee drinking goes back to nursing school.

  3. So what's your technique to your perfect drink...(n)espresso machine or other savvy trick?? I'm a pregnant mama too who is okay with that morning cup (or two)!

  4. I love this post because the way Italy does coffee makes my coffee loving heart happy. I would fit right in. God knew what he was doing in having my neighbor be from Italy, born and raised. I adore the coffee she makes as well as our time over coffee. I love that you enjoy yours too! What do you use to make it? Do you have a moka? I've been wanting to get one since drinking my neighbors rich and creamy coffee.

  5. In all honesty, I've never seen anyone wax about the loveliness of the coffee culture in Rome so beautifully, it makes me miss it that much more! Sigh....

  6. I must stay, your timing is terrible. The coffee maker here at work is broken today. Broken! No coffee! Reading your beautiful words about rich and flavorful espresso... I can smell it. And it's making me miss my cup o' joe even more today. If that's possible. =)

  7. I am curious about how you make your esspresso! Did you get a machine of some description? Please tell. Camano island is basically in my backyard, and I think I might have seen their stuff at grocery stores around here maybe. I would love to try them! My baby doesn't tolerate caffeine well, so I've been reduced to drinking decaf (ugh), but high quality decaf makes life way better.

  8. All of their dark roast look amazing!

  9. All of their dark roast look amazing!

  10. Showing my ignorance here, but can you explain "espresso". Can I make it with a regular drip coffee pot? What is a "shot"? I am not a coffee sipper, I drink my giant mug full in under 5 minutes. Sometimes 2. So this is intriguing to me. What do you add to it?

    And I've also heard about the way Rome does coffee and it's fascinating. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Fabulous giveaway for a fellow espresso-lover!


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