Friday, January 05, 2007

Innocent fun with hot beverages

Needing some fresh air, I took a walk around Oltretorrente, just across the river; BBC Weather said it was foggy and cold. Who can you trust?

I was trying to study some Italian this afternoon when I got distracted by La Stampa's photo pages taken from LatteArt. So if you are good at decorating your cappuccino, you can send your photos in to the website, or you can refer to it for demos on making la foglia (leaf), il cuore (heart) or la mela (apple) designs on your cup at home. All you need is a steady hand. And good luck.

That got me thinking about other hot beverages.
  • Maybe once you've finished messing about with cappuccino you can move on to a spot of tasseography.
  • Did you know you can now earn a Tea Appreciation Certificate? (...Only in Canada you say?)
  • When I first moved to London and worked as a temp, there were still Tea Ladies to be found in many of the offices I worked in; indeed there was one in our company's Johannesburg office as well. It was one of those jobs that should never have been phased out, since machines are lacking in character, sympathy and common sense. I loved meeting these ladies who were always kind to newcomers and who knew everyone in the office, and their drink preferences. It's good to see there are still places in the world that employ them: I found positions advertised in Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Did you know there's a web page devoted to the Ovaltineys? On it you can hear that old standard "We are the Ovaltineys" (once heard, never forgotten).
  • Horlicks has a fun site with interactive information about sleep (hint: the answer to sleep problems is often a nice cup of Horlicks).
  • Sketos, metrios, glykos or vary glykos: how do you like your Greek coffee? Learn how to make it with a series of helpful photos.
  • Long ago I tried mate, after reading something that glamourised for me the gourd and bombilla used to drink it. Now it seems to be everywhere, often known as Yerba Mate, although this sounds slightly redundant as my reading suggests yerba (Argentinian spelling of hierba, or grass) is the raw ingredient, and mate is the hot beverage. I didn't know it had quite so many names though: Erva mate; Congonha; Paraguay cayi; Paraguay tea; Jesuit's tea; St Bartholomew's tea; Hervea; K'kiro; Caminu; Kali chaye; Erveira; Hervea; Erva-verdadeira; Mat├ęteestrauch.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never heard of tasseography but there is a delightful old lady in town who feeds you tea (no oranges) and reads your leaves whenever you stop by. She learned the art from her gramma but I'm not sure if she has passed it on. I'll have to share the term tasseography with her. She'll get a kick out of it.

7:33 p.m.  

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