About ambassadors, baroque and baristas

July 22, 2022

I normally get around a lot. There are only a few European countries that I have not yet been able to visit - one of them was Hungary until last 12th of July. The Ecuadorian Ambassador there had invited MishkiYaku at short notice and spontaneously - as we Ecuadorians are - to an ambassadorial dinner at the Aurea Ana Palace Hotel.

 Without thinking twice, I booked my flight, my hotel and set off, so to speak. Unfortunately, I had little time to explore the city, as the reception was announced for the evening of the same day.

 In a baroque ambience, under stuccoed ceilings and between flowing curtains, the guests were served an exquisite eight-course menu - made from exotic ingredients that came exclusively from Ecuador, prepared by a well-known Ecuadorian chef who lives in Spain and had been ordered here especially for this reception. To conclude the dinner, there was a tasting of specialty coffee - my coffee. That evening, the taste buds of the guests celebrated a premiere with completely new taste experiences.

 Like everywhere else in Europe, people in Budapest seem to be used to drinking espresso. It's a coffee that's quick to prepare and quick to drink. Most who consider themselves big coffee lovers have always considered espresso the ideal way to prepare coffee. So when you try a specialty coffee that has been carefully filtered through a fine paper, the taste experience comes as a bit of a shock to most. The MishkiYaku coffees offered that evening were our Typica mejorado and our EcuRobusta. The barista chef presented two recipes for making the coffee. The coffee was weighed and ground to the nearest tenth of a gram, and each milliliter of water he then drizzled onto the V60 was precisely measured. He did it all with quiet but precise movements. Nothing seemed to disturb his concentration; everything followed a timeless ritual.

Before Iventured into the wonderful universe of coffee, the phrase "I'm going to make myself a coffee" meant the same thing it means to most people: put coffee powder in a container, pour boiling water over it, add two lumps of sugar and some milk. Milan and Budapest taught me that "making coffee" is a ritual that requires a lot of time and patience. And that the "recipe" hides  the degree of grinding, temperature and cooking time. The preparation and brewing are as much a part of the pleasure as putting the cup to your lips.

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