Say that you sell an intriguing cappuccino cup and saucer set, that you love cappuccino, and that you happen to have an espresso machine at the office. Wouldn’t you want to try it?
I spent a lot of time trying to decide if I should treat Emi and I to the special experience. Finally, in 2013, I decided to do it. We have since treated ourselves to cappuccino in these appealing cups daily, often twice daily. At first, I really wanted to figure out whether the cappuccino tasted better or worse in these cups. It did not take long to settle the question and realize that the cappuccino tasted about the same. I did develop the belief that the cup has to match the quantity of the beverage and that the cup should be at least two-thirds full when served. To achieve that I serve a double shot of espresso with milk foam mixed by a long-dive pour.
For us cappuccino is a ritual that separates night from day. I officially wake up as I have my cup and I internalize the daily task list during the ritual. Nothing before that happens unless I am absolutely coerced into it. Because it is such an important ritual in our lives the Kissa have made it very special. Pleasing to the eye, responsive to the touch, as I raise the cup to my lips something good happens.
In this day and age where we don’t flinch to pay upwards of $5 for a cappuccino at Starbucks, it’s nice to know that this iconic drink is still quite affordable in its birth country. It was our daily ritual during our stay in Italy – as it is for many Italians – get up, get dressed, get a cappuccino (cappuccio, for short) at a local bar, and off you go to start your day. We tried as many different bars as we could during our stay, returning only to a couple of places where the cappuccinos were irresistible, not simply “great” like the rest.
The prices for this cup of heaven ranged from 1.40 EUR on the high end (about $1.86 at the time), down to as low as 1 EUR ($1.32) … interestingly enough, some of the lowest prices were found where we least expected it: remote trouristy areas with limited competition. I guess they don’t embrace the concept of price gouging – or maybe they can’t, because espresso drinks are considered basic essentials there, like water and bread.
In any case, we were thrilled to be able to get two glorious cappuccinos for less than what we’d pay for a mediocre one here in the States: it left more in our caffè budget to enjoy espressos throughout the day!
Today I had a moment when the meaning of handmade became a little clearer.
My wife loves cappuccino and I felt like cutting back a bit. So I thought that increasing her portion a little and reducing mine a lot while at the same time reducing the overall production just a tad would accomplish the goal and go unnoticed.
But I had forgotten a small detail.
Years of perfecting the perfect cups of cappuccino for two using our stove top espresso maker had paid off. And years of daily training of my customer number one had developed quite a connoisseur! She told me exactly what was different without a hint of criticism… But perhaps she would have appreciated some notice before I went in and messed with a good thing.
To me, this section of the blog, is about the attention to details and how details matter to those who can tell the difference. At Marcopoloni we really strive to pay attention to details and I really hope that our customers notice.