What’s in a Cup?

Food & Drink
October 5, 2009 3:04 am

No matter the country, climate, language or culture, every place I’ve visited harbors locals who love coffee. I’d even be bold enough to coin it the drink of the world. What fascinates me about coffee is that countries vary in how they create and take their coffee. This is probably obvious to most, but is a relatively new discovery for me. See, it took me years to get into the bean, and I only came to appreciate a cup when living in Barcelona.

The Spanish Cup

It was café con leche that changed me. Half milk, half espresso, half a packet of sugar and pure bliss. The Spanish keep their coffee simple, because when it’s as good as they have it, there’s no need for any Starbucks-esque remixes and adornments. I never had even a mediocre cup my four months in Spain, but I have to admit my favorite came in a slender plastic cup from the cafeteria of my university, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, for 1,50 Euros.

The New York Cup

I gave up on the hope of a daily cup of café con leceh and gulped down a cup a day of machine-produced hazelnut with skim milk and Splenda (more out of necessity than enjoyment), but that’s not the coffee I remember. About a month into the summer, my friend discovered a small East Village café called Abraço (“embrace” in Portuguese). When I learned they sold the Spanish mineral water Vichy Catalan, I knew I was in love. It’s a European-style coffee bar that also serves small plates and real-deal pastries (such as olive oil cake and my favorite, pain pardu, a thick, fluffy piece of French toast folded in half with ricotta cheese).



Lovely Abraço cappuccinos

Lovely Abraço cappuccinos


Abraço is standing room only inside, but the owners bring out a bench and table in good weather and it’s a no rush environment on one of my favorite blocks in the city (7th Street near First Ave.).  And they swirl hearts in the cappuccinos (see below), which would seem cheesy at most places but instead comes across as thoughtful. No Splenda available, but it’s the closest to my beloved Spanish cup I’ve found this side of the Atlantic.

The Puerto Rican Cup

I wasn’t expecting anything special when I flitted down for a week and a half at the end of August, but came to find their coffee is the beverage equivalent the Spanglish most residents speak. The coffee reminded me of Spain, but they definitely love their Splenda. My newly-acquired tastes fit right in.

Karina for TKGO

Related posts:



Powered by Facebook Comments

This article was written by on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 3:04 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Tags:

Leave a Reply

The Best Travel Instagrammers

March 15, 2013 0 comments

Here it is… We’ve been Instagramming since April 2011, and we’ve developed pretty strong feelings about our favorite traveling Instagrammers. We like to call this the “starter pack”—follow away!

Continue Reading →

Carnival in Trinidad Party Report

February 22, 2013 2 comments
Carnival in Trinidad Party Report

As promised, my coverage of Carnival in Trinidad continues. Below is my “Just Back From” post I penned for Fodor’s Travel that details the Carnival highlights, from whining, liming and feting to everything in between. Also, you can learn what exactly those Trinidadian English terms mean in the Fodor’s post linked here: Just Back From: Carnival in Trinidad I talked a bit about high-energy, have-to-move-your-body, soca music in the post. In the video below you can hear more of the […]

Continue Reading →

Food Tours and Experiences in Buenos Aires

November 13, 2013 0 comments
Food Tours and Experiences in Buenos Aires

There’s a long-awaited and much-welcomed gastronomic revolution happening in Buenos Aires at present, and locals and visitors alike are winning with dinner, lunch and every other bite. My post for Forbes details some of the best ways to get in on it with tours, a chef’s table event and if you’re in town at the right time, fairs and restaurant weeks. Buenos Aires For Foodies   Once regarded as a land for great steak and not much else when it […]

Continue Reading →

Art Classes for Beginners in NYC

January 6, 2014 2 comments
Art Classes for Beginners in NYC

Drawing and painting is a great wintertime hobby outside the typical hibernation routine, and NYC has a plethora of options. These three are my favorites for their attitude, and their relationship to the city and the art world.

Continue Reading →