Coffee became a popular drink in Italy late in the 16th century. The Catholic Church deemed it the "Devil's drink." Luckily, Pope Clement VIII tried a cup and found it yummy and stimulating and bestowed his blessing. From then on the rituals around coffee have grown. According to Wikipedia, "In Turin, in 1933, Alfonso Bialetti invented the first moka pot by observing the lisciveuse,[45] a steam pot utilized at that time for laundry." This simple coffee pot gained wide acceptance in Italian homes and this pot type had a presence in my grandparent's and parent's homes. I continue to use one daily. I love the aroma of freshly brewed espresso that I convert into an oat-milk cappuccino each morning. I adopted this morning ritual in retirement as an active meditation to wake up my senses and help me connect physically and emotionally to the new day. This is a daily habit well worth the time to cultivate.

For a Fun read click on Wikipedia in the paragraph above to read the History of Coffee.

Delicious memories about coffee come in all shapes and sizes, especially in this day and age. While my ancestors enjoyed coffee in different configurations: espresso, cappuccino, perked, dripped and enhanced with with spirits (bourbon being the favorite), they would likely avoid Starbucks' ingenious marketing invention, as my cousin Lou described as a way to extract "money from dumb ass customers." That being said, over last Christmas holiday my sister and cousins, Mary Sue and Gina, visited me in Chicago. On one of the days we enjoyed an afternoon at the World's Largest Starbucks. To our greatest delight the adventure "brewed" up tons of delicious memories. CLICK HERE to tour the Starbucks Chicago Reserve Roastery. The highlight of the visit was watching different coffee brewing methods and enjoying an antipasto and designer coffee cocktails at the bar. We were lucky as we only had to wait an hour or so to be seated! I have shared some photos here of our experience.


Pictured above L-R
Me, MJ (my sister), cousins, Mary Sue & Gina
Cheerfully permitting Starbucks to "extract" lots of money from us!

Customers and partners celebrate during the opening of the Chicago Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Photographed on Friday, November 15, 2019.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is located at the corner or North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the Roastery is five floors and 35,000 square feet, making it the largest Starbucks in the world. They turned the old Crate & Barrel building into a tourist attraction. How clever!

coffee martini

Mary Sue's coffee martini (above). I ordered a coffee flavored Manhattan that went down well with the antipasto that we ordered (left). And my cousin Lou was right, Starbucks charge us a hefty chunk of our retirement savings for the experience!

Antopasto STarbucks