Before I climb (or rather scramble - remember, I’m 5ft 2 folks) onto the Vespa for perhaps only the third time in my life, I am trying to explain to my friend Davíd where we are going. Most of our conversations are in Spanish because I never get to use Castilian Spanish back home in California, or really anywhere else in the world.
David was born and raised in Barcelona. His group of friends are the same friends he has grown up with his entire life. They are all fluent in Castilian (Spanish) and Catalan (the language of Catalonia that can sound like Spanish and French combined but don’t tell them that, because they get all upset about it - even though it really does.) They are all mid-twenties approaching early-thirties. It wasn’t until the last year or two most of them moved out of their parents home into their own homes, a very normal custom there. While mainly American culture, people and everything can be bashed on, they can point to more American films, actors and culture than I can. Their lifestyles aren’t extravagant and they don’t party until 5am most nights like the stereotypes might say.
For the most part, they are traditional Spanish, or rather Catalonian, boys. That being said, they don’t care for Starbucks (I’ll give my remarks on that in another post) and paying for coffee outside of the grocery store or the standard café, which isn’t fantastic coffee either.
People have this idea that Europe knows good coffee. This is both true and false. Overall, the average cup of coffee in Europe can outweigh American drip coffee, like Community Coffee incorporate America (worst. brand. ever.) And for a while Europe has been better with espressos. There are two everyday scenes in both cultures. In America, the typical scene can be a man walking into a diner and asking for a cup of joe, no room for cream or sugar. In Europe, it can be a business man on a smoke break asking for a cortado (espresso with milk) or maybe just espresso to throw back.
“I honestly see coffee as just something to drink and give me energy," says Davíd.
“Well, it's more than that. Skye Coffee is a specialty coffee shop Davíd,” as I struggle with clipping my helmet. “I promise you, you won’t need sugar.” Then, I try to run and hop onto the Vespa. It's a no-go.
“Xiqui,” he laughs. (a Spanish word of endearment for a friend, pronounced “Chih-kee.” It’s been a while since I busted out my phonetic spelling skills, so bare with me on that one. )
“Xiqui, come on. You don’t really drink coffee with no milk or no sugar. There is no way.” It was a conversation we would have many times before I took him to Skye Coffee.
“I promise David, once you try the good stuff, you can’t go back."
I was finally seated on the death bike - I mean Vespa - and placed my arms slightly behind myself and held on to the seat for my dear life and told him the address to Skye Coffee. He zoomed off the curb straight into the street, among all of the other death bikes.
May my tomb stone read:
"Did it for the coffee"
The Coffee Nomad