Cozy pashminas, sparkly rings, or perhaps a glossy postcard or two?
I confess I’m not a big collector when it comes to travel souvenirs. I do have a small, beloved assortment of treasures from various places, but mostly I like to commemorate my adventures with photographs and something I can wear or use.
I love the pashminas I found in Eastern Europe and still swoon at the wondrously gaudy rings I found in Greece and Germany, but my all time favorite shopping find is my dear, battered and much loved red Italian coffee pot.
I’ve been a huge fan of rich, strong Italian coffee since my very first cup. I finally learned how to make it while staying at this Italian country house outside Bologna with my dear friend Maddalena and her family.
I was the early riser of the gang, so Maddalena taught me how to make my own perfect cup of Italian coffee. I would wake while it was still dark, wrap a pashmina around my shoulders and shuffle out to the kitchen. Easing the door closed so my clattering wouldn’t wake anyone, I’d fire up the gas stove and collect everything I needed. Following the steps below, I was soon sitting at the kitchen table with my cold hands wrapped around a steaming cup of Italian coffee.
How to make real Italian coffee:
- Fill the bottom of the pot with cool, fresh water, halfway up the little bolt you see on the inside.
- Place metal filter inside bottom of pot.
- Spoon in real Italian coffee grounds. (In Australia you can buy it here. In America you can buy it here.)
- Fill the filter with coffee and make it level.
- Screw on top of coffee pot.
- Set directly on stove-top burner. (I don’t have a real stove, so I use a hot plate and it works just dandy.)
- Coffee pot will make a racket while it is percolating, and you’ll know it’s done when the noise stops.
- Remove pot from burner, pour directly into cups and serve.
My friend Maddalena only adds a bit of hot water to her coffee to make it perfect, but she said most of her friends and family add milk to weaken the hearty brew.
My perfect cup is hot coffee, a healthy dose of fresh whole milk and the merest hint of raw sugar.
My little red Italian coffee pot makes me smile every morning, and brings back wonderful memories of sunny mornings in Italy talking for hours with dear friends.
What is YOUR favorite travel shopping find?
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