LET’S TALK COFFEEMYSTERY

Daughter’s Cafe in Reno, Nevada

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There is a nostalgic feeling that tingles in the bottom of my feet when I step through the backdoor at Daughter’s Café at 97 Bell Street. The two-story house with long windows has been on the corner since 1904. One of those houses, “If walls could talk….” Untold stories seep up through slats in the floor, wrap around the door casings, splatter down the baseboards, and creak in and out of conversations at the nearly full tables anytime after 9:00am.

Four generations of family photos decorate the walls around an antique sideboard and cabinets. Solid tables with chairs are set up in three large spaces that once were a bedroom, a parlor, and a family dining room. Customers feel like relatives visiting with no intention of hurrying off.

Barb Giacomini, the owner and Chef de Cuisine pushes through a swinging door clad in jeans and a flour covered apron, personally greeting customers and carrying two large plates of powdered sugar beignets. There is a pleasant comfort in Barb’s friendly smile. She knows the regulars by first names, like the family has come around for a great meal and a laugh or two.

The full-bodied coffee is roasted over on Wells Avenue at Magpie Coffee Roasters, is always fresh, dark beans called Daughter’s Café Roast. It is served with steamed milk on the side in a wide mouth round solid mug, cupped in both hands on a cold day. My writing barometer throws the gages into dialogue creativity and character personalities fairly quickly. I scribble notes in my journal while I drink more coffee, enjoy my breakfast, and listen in on a few stray discussions.

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Daughter’s Café is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00am to 1:00pm. Barb changes the menu often and it can be found on the website: http://www.daughterscafe.com/home.html

See you there soon!

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Morning Ritual

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Some of the happiest memories from my growing up were being surrounded by the smell of coffee and women’s laughter. My mother had a collection of women friends who came around in the mornings after their husbands went off to work. They sat at our kitchen table, drank coffee, smoked cigarettes, and laughed. They told stories, talked, cried, and solved problems. I listened and learned to love coffee conversation.

On my mother’s kitchen counter was an electric 12 cup Corning Ware Percolator, my mom and her friends would  have 3 pots full before their morning power circles ended and they went to do their chores. This old Corning Ware must have made great coffee because they used whatever brand of coffee was on sale and not a one of those women complained about the taste.

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A while back, I was in Texas visiting my dear friends, Jann and George. They introduced chicory root to me and taught me to chew coffee beans. What a kick. Chicory is very popular in New Orleans and is a native of France. There are many health benefits of the chicory plant and it has a mellow flavor, quite enjoyable as a stand-alone drink.

On a daily basis, first thing in the mornings the smell of coffee roams through our little house like Clair de Lune on a piano calms a crowd. Espresso roast with chicory, and hot milk is the beginning of our welcoming the Sunrise ceremony.

Most recently, we chipped yet, another glass beaker for our manual milk pump.  In searching for a replacement, I discovered an electric milk frother. Our daybreak chats were magically transformed with coffee steeped in chuckles while we witnessed this electric wonder. Coffee was often joined with reflective joyfulness, thoughtful reading, and journal writing juxtaposed ceremonial coffee conversations.  We discussed articles from the Sunday New York Times, Gather the Women topics, antics are families are up to, magazine articles, books, blog posts, music, and yes, coffee.

Below is our new electric frother before milk and the results in my mug.

If you are a homemade coffee lover like me here is a fun recipe for an eight-cup drip pot: In your paper filter put 2 tablespoons of ground espresso beans, 1 tablespoon of ground, roasted chicory, and 1 tablespoons of Teeccino chicory herbal ‘coffee’, chocolate flavor.  Create hot milk foamed and frothed however you like. I use 2 percent milk. Many of my coffee loving friends prefer half and half.  Enjoy and see you next time.

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