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| WHERE’D ALL MY MONEY GO? OH RIGHT, COFFEE |

I didn’t realize how much money my trip would cost overall. I couldn’t be bothered to really think ahead and budget . . I decided to just go with the flow. Turns out, I ended up spending a little more than planned — surprise, surprise.

I can say for sure that I lived well these past few months for only spending money and not earning any along my travels. I ate well. I stayed in nice hostels. I stayed with wonderful Couch Surfing hosts. I even bought a few clothes. I paid for most of my major transport prior to leaving the US in January, so not much of the money I had went towards that . . which in the end was one of the smarter decisions I made.

Looking back on all my purchases throughout these past three months I can safely say there are a few things I shouldn’t have bothered to buy — but hey, that’s life. But nothing I bought has been useless or not somewhat worth it. The majority of my daily expenditures have been on proper coffees. The way only Europeans know how to make them. Some, better than others, but still ALL better than American-style coffee. Fact.

I’ve embraced the daily cafe con leche, cafe crema, y (ambiguous noise signifying one) latte in all of the countries I have explored. My friend Sadé gave me a journal before I left Maine in order to keep track of all the coffees I was to drink and to rate them — unfortunately, I failed her only task, but there are a few good ones that stick out in my memory. A list of the 10 best coffees I have had the pleasure of enjoying are as follows:

1) Salzburg, Cafe Alchemist : served in a large mug, a lovely steamed milk, two shots of espresso & a half packet of cane sugar

2) Salzburg, Heart of Joy Cafe : served in a large mug, steamed milk, two shots of espresso, a half packet of cane sugar & an inspirational quote on their business card — “Do not enter into the world of compassion. Just dare to better yourself every day without fail. ~Sri Chimnoy~ ”

3) London, Primrose Patisserie : served in to go cups so I could enjoy while laying on Primrose Hill, one sugar melted into the espresso before the steamed milk was added, extremely creamy

4) Glasgow, Artisan: super tiny latte served in a glass cup, one shot of espresso with steamed milk, a heart design in the foam and one teaspoon of cane sugar

5) Manchester, Fuel Cafe : served in a tall glass mug, steamed milk, one shot of espresso & a half packet of cane sugar

6) Juan les-Pins, homemade at Meli’s : large mugs of italian style espresso with a teaspoon of sugar

7) Madrid, homemade at Bruno’s : large mugs of italian style espresso with a little sugar

8) Ancona, homemade at Salva’s : italian style espresso with sugar served in espresso cups

9) La Sepzia, homemade at Matteo’s : italian style espresso with a teaspoon of sugar and boiled milk

10) London, homemade at Libby’s : large large mugs of instant espresso with added sugar & milk

Turns out homemade coffee can be just as tasty as those 1,5 – 3,5 euro cups of coffee. I just need to invest in an Italian Coffee Maker once back in the USA. It’s the only way to make real espresso along with heated milk on the stove. I thought I was a coffee snob before, but now, there’s no denying it. I’ll turn my nose up at any drip coffee the USA has to offer me whether homemade or from Dunkin Donuts, Timmy Ho’s or any other such cafe. I’m sorry, but Europeans know how to do it right. Cheers!

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