So I returned to Calgary yesterday, only to be rained upon. This city is cold! It’s 8ºC out there, and raining. I really don’t want to walk to the train station for work.

My time in Nova Scotia was good. I had no plans, so I just went with the flow. Played some golf, snorkelled, went to the beach. One thing I did not do was have good espresso. You see, in Antigonish, coffee=Tim Horton’s. So, I went over to a cafe that opened up in the past two years since I’ve been there last, a place where my Mom said she had an alright latte.

I went in to this place, a neo-hippie cafe called the Tall Small (a great name!), and blew all of my previous safeguards against brutal espresso and ordered a double espresso. The girl at the counter looked slightly confused, so I clarified, and she got it, “Ah, a double expresso… of course.” I didn’t really care she didn’t know the proper term. I was on vacation. She told me she did not know how to use the machine, so she had to run upstairs to get this guy who looked like he had just rolled out of bed. Pretty funny stuff. Apparently, he “knew” how to use the machine.

But wait! I missed something! Beside their cute little one group semi-commercial Gaggia TS, there was no grinder! What? Where’s the grinder? Oh well, I had ordered, and whatever I got was likely going to be the very worst espresso I had ever consumed. Big deal. It’s only 2.50.

I got the drink. I couldn’t watch the guy scoop the ancient ground coffee out of some plastic container. I couldn’t watch him fumble about the machine. It was hilarious.

I got the drink, not in a demitasse, but a full blown cold coffee cup. It was probably 6-7 oz… full with a semi-opaque black liquid, with less crema than I get on my moka pot (read: zero crema). And guess what? It actually tasted alright… if I ordered an americano. Haha! No seriously, it was like an americano (hence those people who ask for an americano with the water just being pulled through constantly the group). Still, it wasn’t an espresso, and I sure as hell wouldn’t order an americano like that.

There, that’s my espresso story for my vacation. (NB: I do not wish to offend the proprietor/employees of the Tall Small. I liked the place, and would get food there, with some tea, but if you somehow find this post by googling your business… check out the links to the right on my page, and find out what real espresso is!)

On the other hand, I managed to get a frothing pitcher in Antigonish! They opened up a Superstore there, and they happened to have their houseware brand’s 20oz needlenose pitcher in stock. These things are a steal, when you can find them: $10 for the standard pitcher, at least 60% less in price than some stores I’ve seen carrying a similar product. It’s what I used to learn latte art on. I can’t wait for work today, when I can finally ditch the 32oz pitcher, except for those ridiculous 20oz drinks.

More news: I got my room assignment for UBC. I’ll be in Place Vanier’s Tec de Monterrey, an international house, in my own single room, so I can play whatever music I feel like, drink whenever I feel like it, and just do whatever the hell I want (within limits of course). My great pal Alex is in the same building, so it should be a party and a half. Can’t wait. So if anyone’s in Vancouver for a bit, stop by my place.



2 Responses to “Post-vacation”

  1. 1 Anonymous August 18, 2005 at 10:38 pm

    Heard you were back in town Peter. Hopped on your site to see how you made out for coffee, haha.

    Coincidentally I am looking for a 20oz needlenose pitcher, can’t find one in town… have a spare? Name your price.


  2. 2 Scott August 19, 2005 at 3:21 am

    love ‘long’ espresso stories dude! reminds me of my adventure with alex to mocambo where we recieved a similar ‘espresso’. When i asked her what it was she apologised and said she thought i asked for an maericano….yuck…

    i am coming around to the idea of female barista’s, but if they are asian the bad experiences haunt me…

    speak to you later pal

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49th Parallel El Salvador La Montaña
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

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