Passport to European Espresso

I think you can really tell how smooth of a traveler someone is
by how they order their coffee when abroad.

It sounds silly, I know...
but, in my opinion, if you notice the slight nuance 
of how a culture drinks their coffee,
you're pretty smooth.

When at cafes, most of our visitors clam up upon ordering
and, without fail, always default to ordering a cappuccino.

Which is a European drink... just not after breakfast.

I'm going to introduce you to a fail proof option
that is not only delicious,
but will help you feel a bit less like a tourist...
and a bit more local when traveling.

Since most European cultures shoot back small cups of espresso throughout the day,
blending in to the culture will call for drinking smaller drinks more often.

{Editor's note: Big drinks for breakfast, small drinks for the rest of the day.}

Though, if you are like I once was, the taste of straight espresso 
probably is a bit bitter and strong for your Americanized taste buds.

When learning to drink "un caffe" the Italian way,
I discovered this tasty drink that served as my training wheels
until I could sail smoothly down the espresso trail like a big kid.

Though it has different names in different places,
this concoction is a shot of espresso
finished off with a bit of foamed milk.

It's like a mini cappuccino, if you will,
and it's perfectly delicious.

While I was out at the market today,
I saw these little espresso glasses and grabbed six...
two red, two white, two blue.

Yes, the colors of France.

I'm feeling equally inspired by warm drinks in this cold weather
as I am by the gorgeous Parisian setting.

And what better way to celebrate Friday than with a fun little contest?

To enter to win these cuties
 comment below with your favorite cafe setting...
in real life or your imagination!

Make me dream, make me laugh...
either way just leave a comment 
and I'll pick my favorite on Sunday evening. 

Image via/ Contest open to Aspiring Kennedy subscribed readers only (GFC, Feeburner, Bloglovin, Email.)
No purchase necessary. 
Void where prohibited. 
Name of winner will be posted on Sunday, February 12, 2012.


  1. I'm pretty sure I want to be you when I grow up. So, I'm pretty sure that makes me the Aspiring Aspiring Kennedy, yes?

    You're way more fun than the lady my parents paid cash money to teach me etiquette lessons. WAYYYYYY more fun. Thank you for culturing me.

    Favorite cafe setting, well, let's just say it involves a tall, dark, & handsome French man. And I mean, we don't even need to be in France. (:

  2. My real life cafe tends to be the Caribou near my house. I'm studying for the MCAT (and am completely unable to focus at home) so my credit card statement looks like I live here. And yes, I am writing this in that particular Caribou.

    My dream cafe isn't actually a cafe. My favorite place to enjoy coffee is on the roof of the Duomo in Milan. It just might be my favorite place in the whole world. Laying on the roof in the sun with the entire city spread out in front of you (on a clear day you can even see the Alps). That place haunts my dreams, and my bank account.

  3. My favourite cafe is a little place in Phnom Penh by the river. Its a french patisserie that served the most creamy, delicious cafe au lait. I would have fresh bread for breakfast or tiny petit four at afternoon tea, but no matter the time of day, the coffee was always luscious and served by very sweet Khmer girls. The perfect place to watch the craziness of Cambodia float by.

  4. My favorite cafe setting is at home, with my mother sitting next to me. We're both espresso junkies, and my dad bought her an espresso machine a few years ago. Now, whenever I go home, we always start our day with a big mug of espresso and milk and have girl chats. When I'm home for my birthday, I get my latte delivered in bed, and when I'm home in the spring or summer, we sip our lattes out on the front porch with our puppy dog at our feet. It's better than any coffee shop!

    I hope you're having a wonderful time in France!

  5. As unglam as it is, I have to say the coffee shop in the town where I grew up. It's nothing special, but I have the most wonderful memories of hours spent there with high school friends. They have the most amazing chocolate chip scones the size of your face, and *bonus* I interviewed for my very first grown-up job there. It's a happy place for me.

  6. i have way too many to count, because i simply adore breakfast. it's like settling into a warm bath in the morning to drink a luxurious cappuccino and split an apricot-jam cornetto (croissant) with someone you love. there's a little cafe' here in barletta with wrought iron tables on cobblestones and a view of some ancient buildings across the street. they give you a little spice cookie with your coffee, and it's pretty much perfect.

  7. My favorite cafe setting is on the corner blvd de la tour maubourg across from the metro station. It's afternoon, so classes are finished for the day, and it's warm and sunny so they've opened the windows and set the tables outside. The waiter takes my order. If I'm starving, in a very American-like fashion, I spread the dijon mustard on the fresh bagguette pieces he brings. (I guess in the ideal setting, i wouldn't be famished and shoveling bread in my mouth). Then my perfect salade nicoise comes with a petit perrier. It's amazingly delicious, like they can only be in France. After savoring my salad. I order un cafe and une tarte aux framboises (it's calorie free - it's my fantasy!). The raspberries are tart and the creamy custard and buttery crust perfectly melt on my tongue. How Paris can make the the act of eating lunch blissful is one of its greatest gifts.

    Hope you're enjoying yourselves! xx

  8. My favorite cafe?! Pick just one? That's like asking Shakespeare to pick his favorite street in London or Jane Austen to pick her favorite pen to write her papers with, asking Monet to pick his favorite flower...all of this is to say it is very difficult. ;)

    So I guess I'll have to pick a cafe in my imagination...the cafe I would sit at to drink coffee, catch up with friends and scribble in my notebook (Moleskin of course) would be on the Trocadero in Paris. Beautiful view of la tour Eiffel and le Seine. Perfect for people watching, but also out of the chaos enough that I could enjoy myself in seclusion or with a friends.....but then agin if you asked me tomorrow I would probably say the cafe in the Victoria and Albert museum in London. sigh. :)

    i know you're loving france lauren! you and tyler have so much fun!

  9. i'll have to forward this onto h, he is the coffee/or cafe! drinker in our house. my dream cafe would sell lots of fresh bread, pasteries (nutella croissants!) and maybe a mimosa subsitute for the coffee :) ---funny cafe story. while we were in madrid last year h went into a cafe and asked for a coffee... the little hippie brought his own mug and the barista filled it up with about 10 shots of espresso. the drink cost about 10Euro and h was wired for the rest of the day. you might call that a cafe communication fail :)

  10. Following all of these glamorous cafe settings, mind might seem a little backwoods and countrified, but when I imagine myself in a cafe, I go straight back to Midnight Oil, the little coffee shop built into a house in Searcy where I went on frequent dates with my now-husband. We'd sip on espressos and share about ourselves, and it's one of the places I associate with the early, "falling-hard-in-love" part of our relationship. We still go back there whenever we get a chance :)

  11. there's a café called "Le Grand Métro" near the Alma metro station in Paris - I used to go there every Sunday before singing for breakfast! I would just get an espresso and a croissant (milk is bad for the voice, you know, but the butter seemed okay!) and I would watch the sunrise become morning over the Seine from the right bank with the Eiffel Tower on my right and thwo whole of the left bank and St. Germain over the river on the left - it was magical and, at the same time, it felt like MY PLACE because it was my life. an incredible experience!

  12. Spunky Monkey in northeast Portland, OR. My son and I are diehard coffee drinkers. We only see each other about once a year :( and on our last visit he brought me there. Their lavender coffee is the BEST! Very hip, very cool, very Portland!!!

  13. yah i am a huge frappe drinker though hehe simply love it!!

    xoxo hanz :)
    Google plus :

  14. Bar de la Marie, Aix-en-Provence, France. Three years ago I did my study abroad for my French major in this charming town and often found myself sipping on rose wine (or tea depending on the time of day) both inside and outside this cafe on the plaza outside the town hall. Just steps away from my school, it became a meeting point for my friends and I. One day a week, several of us trekked across town to sing in a local choir; before beginning our journey we would linger over a glass of wine to help us build up some courage to perform ;)

  15. Hum.....that would have to be Laduree in Paris or just hanging out at Bistro Jeanty like a regular in Napa Valley. Yep, could happily stay there forever drinking espressos and taking in the fabulous scene.

  16. London in the spring!

  17. London, a cafe, around Sloane Square, a summer breezy afternoon. nothing to do, nowhere to go but be there and drink that coffee, enjoy the sun on my face. :-)

    Here's another one for you - bica pingada, in Portuguese (literally an espresso with a drop).


  18. I didn't drink coffee until my late 20s. And I learned to drink it in Brazil. So my favorite cafe would be a little spot in Rio: under a blanket of shimmering sky, the air rife with thick sea breezes, bossa nova matching the rhythm of my heart as a tall Carioca shares a sweet, hot cup of espresso with me. Erm...this didn't exactly happen but as I sat in my favorite little cafe with my coworkers, I certainly dreamed of experiencing it this way!

  19. I just recently discovered latte's and i'm in love--thank you for inspiring me to sit back and relax with a good cup of espresso -

  20. If I am giving a boring answer, I will say sitting on my "comfy chair" with my computer and furry orange baby cuddled in my lap. If I am going to try to be fancy and exciting, I will say in my tiny hotel Remvi's restaurant that overlooked the caldera in Santorini, Greece. It was actually where I learned to love coffee and would spend at least an hour every morning I was there enjoying my newfound love for coffee (while consuming baskets of bread) and marveling at the beauty of Greece and life in general. :)

  21. My cafe setting in reality is at a local cafe called Two Story Coffee House. Going to a large university (University of Georgia) can make me feel frazzled when I'm either trying to study or just catch up on me tyime by reading and drinking a nice latte. Whenever I'm feeling particularly nostalgic, my dream "cafe" would be on the front porch of the Dining Hall at John Island Camp on Lake Huron. The memories of sitting on that porch with all of my camp friends and feeling like the "big kids" is a memory I hope to never forget. Otherwise, my dream cafe would be on a random street in the middle of Paris, watching Parisian life at its finest-- the kids playing with each other, couples walking & holding hands, with the smell of coffee and the near-by patisserie.

  22. This might not count as a "cafe" but my favorite place that I have drank an espresso or their equivalent to a very strong coffee drink was in Ethiopia. Sitting around with new friends and precious little children while sipping on dark coffee and hot tea is one of my fondest memories of my time there and has been very difficult to duplicate in Dallas since then!!

  23. Favorite cafe experience: Cool but bright Belgian morning on the aptly named Koolstraat with a great view of Notre-Dame du Finistre. The best hot chocolate I've ever had - steaming milk, sugar, and chocolate chips. Stir it yourself. Not coffee, I know, but what else but chocolate are you supposed to drink in Brussels?

  24. Hmmm...lots of good options - the awaroa lodge in Abel Tasman, New Zealand. Sitting on the porch with a warm coffee overlooking the ocean with baby blue penguins popping up on the shore or seals swimming in the crystal clear ocean. [wild life determined by season- not complaining]

  25. Love this! I remember my first trip to Italy years ago for a business trip, I had a severe case of culture shock because I was constantly being offered coffee and it was really espresso which I had a hard time getting down. But I didn't want to be rude so I drank it anyway and eventually developed a taste for it :)

    Hope you had a great weekend! xoxo

  26. I'm just catching up but this is good info to have! I have a very weak coffee taste that usually involves Starbucks.... this sounds good to ease me in!

  27. I love this!! Hope you're having a good Monday!

  28. How to Make a Doppio (Espresso Coffee). Two shots of espresso concentrated into approximately the same volume as a regular espresso. delonghi esam3300 problems


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