Coffee Swan

If you’re wondering why my waist is no longer discernable and my skin looks red and splotchy, it’s because I’ve eaten so many sausages this weekend that I’m turning into one.
On Friday, a friend and I went for breakfast at the good coffee shop by the train station*. When we got there, we realized that most of the world’s espresso machines were lined up there in all of their shiny glory, ready for the 2011 Deutsche Barista Championship. Cameras were flashing and the cappuccinos were flowing and people were a little jittery. (Although the coffee was delicious and the design in the foam was just so, it didn’t hold a candle to Cassie’s in Delta, CO: she made a latte that had a a swan in it! She’s clearly the Barista of the Decade. A swan!)
We drank our coffee, got filmed drinking our coffee, and decided not to try to eat breakfast there (croissant plus black sweater plus onsite media team to record my major crumboob? No thanks.) We ended up at a very, um, authentic four-table basement restaurant right by the slaughterhouse. Apparently ‘spirulina smoothie’ doesn’t translate, so we ate what was on offer: hard but tasty bread rolls (brotchen) with a smear of butter and various sausagey products on top. There was spreadable liverwurst, a harder, drier sliced liverwurst, blutwurst (blood sausage) and a summer sausage in slices that were easily 8 inches across. This place was so serious about the sausage that they didn’t serve mustard!
Inspired by the breakfast, we then walked to not one, but two butchers. I got roughly 1/20th of the things that looked delicious, and lugged everything home thinking that I was glad that the German’s aunt and uncle were coming the next day to help us eat it all. When they arrived, their hostess gift was, of course, an enormous sausage that they brought from their favorite farmer/butcher/sausage maker. And it was good. So now there are 8 kinds of sausage in the fridge, and I’ve been Googling ‘nitrites + preservatives + youthful looking skin from the inside out’ and ‘amount of fiber in sausage casings’ and ‘high cholesterol is better for you than diabetes, right?’ So far, results are mixed.

I’m off to floss my teeth for the sixth time today. Good night.

*the coffee shop is Elbgold, and they take their shit serious. Their coffee is so good that the decaf is delicious! The last time the German and I were there we were chatting with one of the main coffee nerds. He asked if I was from the U.S. and then quizzed me on coffee: did I know of Stumptown Coffee Roasters (yes, I like their Hairbender,) had I been to the new Stumptown in Manhattan (yes, it opens at 5 am which is super convenient for jetlag-ridden Europeans,) had I heard of Intelligentsia (yes, when they start a new account with a coffee shop they send out their Intelligentsia trainers to make sure that the coffee beans are treated with the utmost care and respect.)
Thanks to Jessica (for introducing me to Stumptown), jetlag (for getting me to the Stumptown in Manhattan oh-so-early of a morn,) and Nancy (for her knowledge of all things Intelligentsia), I am now the proud owner of a modicum of coffee-nerd respect from an entrant in the Deutche Barista Championships. Next time I’m there I’m totally showing him a picture of Cassie’s swan.

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