Coffee Crawl

Day one out and about.  I woke up this morning with my throat worse and my body achy – especially my hips and shoulders.  We are switching hotels a lot, and the one we were in last night was the only night we were there, so I had to leave when the boys did.  I decided today was as good as any then for a coffee crawl, and set out.

I didn’t know where to go, so I just started walking.  I turned a corner to head downtown and came face to face with a sign displaying tampers.  That wasn’t the logo.  They were advertising tampers for sale.  My heart fluttered.  I turned into Sigfred’s Kaffebar, where the walls were lined with home brewing equipment from pour overs and chemex to high end grinders and espresso machines.  Jazz music was playing in the background and one of the baristas was beboping along as he worked.  I found a seat at the back of the bar, after admiring the several types of tamps available for sale (for 669 K!) and started chatting with the other barista.  What’s the best you have to offer?  A short cappuccino.  It was delicious. Full and smooth, with sweet undertones and a dark finish.

I mentioned working in a shop in Chicago, and they were very interested in the coffee crawl, even writing down several local shops I should visit.  I wrote down the Brothers K info to satisfy their curiousity, and as we were chatting, someone approached a window from the street and ordered a drink.  I was highly amused by this, because it was entirely unexpected – but seemed so obvious.  Commuters were stopping to order drinks, not coming in to the small shop, and paying through the window.  It was perfect.

I continued walking through downtown, but it was hardly 9 yet, and no one was quite moving.  I sat in the square, sketching pictures of trees and birds and then moved on to Mocca City.  I found this one by accident.  I turned down a street that looked intriguing for it’s lack of polish, yet small shops dotting the pavement.  I started my trek up (because in this city, everything is up) and discovered several wool shops, which hadn’t opened yet.  So, I went into the cafe, ordered an americano and a raspberry sweet (I didn’t get the name of it) and sat down to knit for a while.  It was very relaxing, sitting in there not doing anything, voices creating a white noise around me.  I stayed there, zoning out for a bit, until 11, then went next door.

I wish I had gotten a photograph of one of the walls of wool.  It was amazing, and made so much sense.  There were spools of wool that you would purchase by the gram – much like you purchase fabric by the yard.  You pick out your colors and decide how much you want/need and they wind it into a ball and measure it for you.  So, if you are trying to substitute yarn for a project, and the project calls for 50 grams of a specific weight, you can go into the shop and purchase 50 grams.  You don’t have to hem and haw about which substitution to make or how much yarn to buy.  Or, if you just want to sample a yarn, you can purchase a small amount, play with it, and decide if you want more.  You’re not spending unnecessarily to end up with more yarn than you really need.  I asked the ladies about wool spun in Denmark, and they brought up a box of chunky weight wool in several colors.  I loved what I saw, and they assured me that it grew softer as you washed it, and it was on sale.  My problem was that there was so much of it.  It would take up all of the extra room in my suitcase.  One of the women drew me a map of two more yarn stores I wouldn’t have otherwise found, and told me they carried a nice yarn smaller than what they had.  So, I started walking.  I found the first easily, tucked down a little road away from downtown.  I have to be careful not to get lost around here.  I will be heading back before I leave, because they had a Danish wool in beautiful colors.  I just have to get over the exchange rate – it’s so bizzare; something like 5 Kronor to the dollar.  So, I’m paying 34 K for a cappucino and 120K for a skein of yarn.  I spoke with the woman in the second shop for a bit, and she was directing me to an atm, since my debit card isn’t accepted anywhere around here.  I then looked at the map and realized that one of the coffee shops from the list the first barista gave me was on the same street, and she directed me there.

This was actually a roastery opened by an American, and called Altura Kaffe.  I did not get a chance to talk to the owner because he was very busy.  I ordered a cortado and sat in the back people watching and knitting.  This cold has made me very lethargic and unproductive.  I stayed there for a while, watching the women coffee clutch and the owner work.  I realized at this third shop that not once was I asked if I wanted it for here or to go.  Everyone had just assumed that I wanted it at that minute and would drink it there before leaving.  It was refreshing.  I don’t have to think about wasted paper or hurried consumption.  I sat back and enjoyed it.  The cortado was a little too hot, but the espresso blended smoothly with the milk and had a sweet aftertaste.  I did not finish it all, unfortunately, because I began to feel run down from the cold.

Now I am sitting in a chain coffee shop downtown.  This is the meeting place since we don’t have phones or hotel.  It has been a long, yet fun, day for me, and all I want is a nice bed to sleep in.

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