Hello everyone and happy World Book Day!
To honour this day I would like to share with you a very special and unique event I had recently the opportunity to attend: a Books and Coffee pairing.
Wait, what did you say? Matching books and coffee? Yes! Come along and enjoy this selection of coffees and books.
A Books and Coffee pairing event.
We all have heard about wine-pairing, the art of matching wine to a meal, or wine and cheese pairing, but this was the first time that I heard about a books and coffee pairing; needless to say that I immediately fell in love with the idea!
This unique and out of the box activity was organized by Tuuu Libreria (read below to find out more about this NGO project) and took place at one of the most emblematic cafeterias of Madrid, the Café Comercial, the place where since 1887 intellectuals, politicians and artists had been gathering together to enjoy the tertulias. On top of this, a professional barista was in charge of the coffees. Couldn’t it be more charming?
About the Tertulia: Similar to a salon, the tertulia is a social gathering as well, though it is normally regularly scheduled in a public place such as a cafeteria and the topics of conversations are more focused on literature, arts and current affairs.
The idea underneath this Books and Coffee pairing was quite simple: to match a proposed book to a specific type of coffee, looking for a connection between the coffee itself and the plot location or the author’s place of birth for the book.
Below you will find the list of the suggested book and coffee pairing; I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I did:
The Flat White coffee comes originally from Australia (and/ or New Zealand, depending on the source) and it consists basically on an espresso coffee topped with a foamed milk called microfoam that has a velvety texture and is formed by micro-bubbles; it is widely used for latte art.
I was quite intrigued by this coffee, as I this was the first time I heard about it. If you are as curious as me, you can find additional information on the following links:
Regarding the book, The Shoes of the Fisherman is one of the most famous best sellers from the well-known Australian writer Morris West. Written in 1963, this book anticipated the election of a Slav Pope 15 years ahead of time.
A Capuccino is one the Italian coffees par excellence. It consists on an espresso with hot milk and topped with milk foam. If you are a coffee lover, you know that the “recipe” is not as simple as it looks, and no other like the Italians can master this art. It was indeed in a little village in Italy where I had the pleasure to taste one of the best cappuccino I ever had.
And talking about Italy and coffees, The Talented Mr Ripley plot takes place in this lovely country, where the main characters indulge themselves in the dolce vita, which includes of course drinking coffee. Written in 1955 by Patricia Highsmith, this psychological thriller transport you to a time where ships where the main mean of transport between America and Europe and hand written letters the usual way to communicate. Isn’t it fascinating how much has the travel industry changed in the recent years?
A Caffè Americano is prepared by adding hot water to an espresso. Although it might appear to be quite simple to prepare, it is actually more delicate than it seems, as it is not just about adding water, but diluting water to the espresso with the right technique.
You can find some more information regarding caffè Americano at the Coffee Info.
I remember, back at my childhood summer break, enjoying a nice time by reading about this swindler boy and dreaming on joining his adventures along the Mississippi River. Written by Mark Twain in 1876, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a novel about the growing up of a young boy in the south states of the 19th century U. S.
William Faulkner considered Mark Twain, who also wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1884, the “father of American literature”.
Would you like to know a bit more about this well-known American writer? You can check the following articles:
Don’t be fooled by its name, as an Irish Coffee is not really a coffee per se but a cocktail…. made of coffee and Irish whiskey, of course! . Add some sugar to sweeten it and some thick cream on top and voilà!
Created in the 40s to warm up a group of tourists stopped at an Irish airport due to bad weather conditions by just adding some Irish whiskey to the coffee, the Irish coffee is well known nowadays. May I suggest you to try this drink next time you visit an Irish pub? (It’s not all about Guinness after all ;)
Née in Dublin in the 19th century, Oscar Wilde is considered one of the most famous Irish playwright’s and intellectuals of the time. He was quite a prolific author and besides plays, he also published many poems, articles and essays. However, he only wrote one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (in 1890), about the downward spiral of a handsome man into the world of vanity and narcissism; while he keeps the same physical appearance, the effects of this journey are reflected on his portrait. What an original plot!
Craving for some more info about this cocktail based on coffee and Irish whiskey? Foynes Flying Boat Museum explains the history behind this drink.
A Frappé coffee or café frappé (not to be mistaken with the blended beverage of a famous coffee chain) comes from Greece, hence that it is also called Greek frappé. Take note that this is not a warm beverage, but a cold one, as cold water and ice cubes are added – Actually, frappé is a French word meaning chilled or iced. - The foamy appearance is achieved by mixing instant coffee, sugar and some water. The frappe is served on a tall glass with a straw.
One cannot dissociate Greek mythology from Greece; after all it has had a great impact on the art, culture and literature of western culture, so what a better pairing to this refreshing beverage than a book on Greek mythology to learn more about their Gods, heroes and the origin of the world?
Wandering how frappe was created? Check this article from food journalist Daniel Young and also this other one from Greek Reporter.
The popularity of the café frappe has trespassed borders, becoming a quite popular drink for the summer season. This has lead to different variations depending on the country; and in the U. S., for example, there is some controversy between a milk shake and a frappé, this article from Nosh On It explains the difference.
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