Monday, March 07, 2005

Cup 104: Double Capuccino at Arabica

double capuccino at Arabica
Originally uploaded by matt_leclair.
Where: Arabica, Portland, ME
When: 12:30 pm, March 7 2005
Who: Jessica Brakeley, Lisa O'Quinn
Coffee: Arabica's Capuccino
Mood: content

I usually don't do capuccino. Despite what most people think, the process used to make espresso extracts less caffiene from the beans than coffee does, so really, you're paying more and getting less. But Arabica's coffee, well I make an exception there, because their capuccino is a work of art. It is has a swirly sensuality that would get Georgia O'Keefe excited. The ones made by the owner are truly beautiful, to the point where I almost hate to drink them and make that beauty go away.

I don't know if Arabica is still run by the original people, but I was very impressed by them. I wish I knew their names so I could give them credit. I was a regular when they first opened, so I know the look and feel of the place was all theirs, not something they hired someone to create for them. The tables, for example, were built from old barn boards because they were free. Instead of covering up the bare brick walls, they scrubbed them down. The place has a beautiful, warm, rustic feel to it, and I'm so impressed that it came from creative problem solving. For a while Arabica was open for reduced hours. The owner couldn't find staff that he thought was good enough. Most places would have been content with just any warm body keeping the place open, but he didn't want to compromise the quality.

Again, I am missing... well, not the city, exactly. I don't think I'd want to live in Portland again. I don't miss the traffic, or the crime. I remember the first week I moved to Portland. I put a door mat in the hallway outside the door of my second-story apartment. It said WELCOME in big, flowery letters. Someone stole it. But I miss being able to go to a used bookstore and finding so many books I want that I feel overwhelmed, as opposed to searching in vain for something to buy. I miss caf├ęs. I miss having options of breakfast places.

We were hanging out at Arabica, in the window seat. I had a remarkably awkward moment where I'm sitting, hoping that Jessie isn't noticing me checking out that hot chick walking by, and then realizing that the hot chick is actually my best friend's wife. Double-secret-guilt-whammy!

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