Friday, May 10, 2013

The Complainist Fiction: Cafe Bichon

Cafe Bichon
Alden Eagle

I guess what I really feel like is like a latte, but with a little more foam than usual, you know? So somewhere in between a latte and a cappuccino. Can you do that? Just do it the way you would do a latte, but with a little less milk and a little more foam. I used to go to this place on the east side, and the guy there called it a cappalatte which is kind of cute but also kind of dumb. I mean, it doesn’t need its own name, and it isn’t like cappuccino is a compound word that you can split up like that, right?

Thank you for doing that for me. I’m sorry about being so picky, especially when there’s a line like this. Hey just wondering- are you using like, a traditional grind for those beans? Like, a standard espresso grind? This place the east side, my usual place? They do what they call an ultrafine grind, or sort of a double grind that, I mean, I don’t know if it’s the greatest for every kind of drink, but for cappalattes it works very well. Give it a little extra bitterness that you wouldn’t really notice in a latte, and would be a little too much in a cappuccino, I think, but is really nice in a kind of hybrid drink like you’re making me. 

No? Just a regular espresso grind? I mean, that’s fine, yeah. Just do what you usually do. I don’t want you to grind extra beans just for me. That would be crazy, right? Like if I were so needy that I needed you guys to do like a special grind every time I came in here? Just because I got used to them doing that for me at Cafe Bichon? Yeah that would be the worst, right? I’d be like, the worst cafe customer. I’d come in and you guys would be like, “Uh oh! It’s that guy who wants the special grind! They guy with the Guy Fawkes mustache is back!”

You know, Guy Fawkes. The guy who tried to blow up parliament? V for Vendetta? No? It was a pretty landmark graphic novel. Lot of people read it. Especially progressives. People who care about the future of the world kind of people. Like us. Like I assume we both are. No?

Huh. Interesting. You should really Netflix it. I mean, if you don’t want to read the whole book. Gets a little wordy for, you know. For busy people.

Hey can I ask how long you pull the espresso for? 

Actually, you know what would be even better, would be if I could just watch you pull a shot, just the way you normally would, and then I can kind of get an idea as to whether or not you’re doing it the way I like. Is that ok?

No, I don’t want you to throw a shot away or anything like that. Let me just ask around.
Excuse me- yeah. Were you by any chance going to get an espresso drink? 

Oh, perfect! Yeah just let me watch her Americano, ok? That’s great. You make her Americano, and I’ll just sort of check it out, see if you’re doing it the sort of more European way that I like. 

Thanks! You are so accommodating. I really, really appreciate it. It’s not every place that will bend over backwards like this. Bichon, of course, like I said. And you guys. 

Hm. I can’t really see that well from this angle. Sorry. Trying to just peer around while you do that. Yeah.

I think that’ll work, yeah. I usually like a slightly longer pull, but I think at Bichon they needed a little longer pull because of the ultrafine grind, so I bet that’ll work. 

Actually, though, I know this is like a pretty big imposition. But could I just try your Americano? I just want to know kind of what the character of the espresso is here, since  this is my first time? I won’t even put my mouth on it of course. I’ll just like, dip a spoon in, ok?

Wow. Thank you. Thank you. You were gonna put some cream in anyway, right? Is this cream? Or half and half? Good, good. 

Wait. I should really let you do that, shouldn’t I? Kind of crazy of me. Getting ready to dump a bunch of half and half in when this is really your drink.

Oh. You take a lot. Wow. Have some coffee with your cream, why don’t you? Sorry. Dumb joke. Really, who am I to say what the right way of drinking coffee is? None of my business. I mean, I take my own coffee pretty seriously. Kind of a hobby of mine. Kind of a coffeeist, if that’s a word. 

Hmm. Well, I can’t really taste it, because of all the half and half. But I think I get the basic idea. Thank you. Really appreciate it. You know how it is- it’s always a little weird going to a new cafe for the first time, right? No?

Wow. For me it’s like borderline traumatic. Like the first time you go to a new dentist. I just feel like it’s so intimate. I mean, they’re making a drink that’s literally going to go inside your body. Think about that. It’s going to fill your mouth and just warm you up on the inside, and then it’s going to stay with you. That caffeine is going to stay with you, reminding you. Making you relive it for hours and hours.

Oh, sorry. Got distracted. Talking coffee. Happens all the time here I’m sure. Yeah so if you could pull my espresso for my cappalatte just like, five seconds longer than you did for that americano, I think that would be great. 

Do you want me to time it? Yeah let me time it on my phone. No, no, it’s no problem.

Shit, I’m sorry. Did you start already? I didn’t have the app ready yet, so I couldn’t time.

Can we just try one more? I mean, I’m sure someone will want that shot, even if it’s a little weaker than I like. Somebody will want it, I’m sure. I’m sure it’s perfectly good for like, three quarters of people.
Great. Second try. Great.

Annnnnn Stop! Perfect. That is really a delight. 

Thank you so much. Hmm. Is this really less than the usual milk you use? Because that still seems like kind of a lot. It’s fine, though! It’s fine. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic. Just maybe, next time, maybe a tiny bit less milk. Next time I come by, I mean.

Oh, and you made me a little latte art. That’s great. At Bichon they used to draw a lot of different stuff. I mean, the kind of leaf design is great but they did all kinds of stuff. Like one guy started doing this whole sort of devil motif, with like a pitchfork and stuff. It was great! Put so much time into it. And the devil guy was really kind of menacing! Kind of mean looking. I was like, you must be some kind of graphic designer or something, but the barista was like, oh no. Just like coffee art.

Thank you so much. This is really great. Really great. 

And next time? I’m sure we’ll get it exactly right. This is like, so close to perfect, I swear.

1 comment:

mkeagle said...

Sorry, you're not cutting my bagel with a knife that's been in dairy, right? Well not IN dairy, I know you wouldn't do that, but around it? Do you have one that just hangs out more with the soy products? I mean only if it's not a big inconvenience.