These are just what I need after the holiday frenzy.
I’m enveloped in the quiet cool of the coffee shop. Places like these never fail to stimulate my senses, hothouses they are for creativity, soul-searching, and of course, coffee. I love the stimuli: the grinding of beans, the tapping of a portafilter, the hisss! of pressurized water colliding to form the beginnings of a perfect espresso, the merry yell of the barista calling out a customer’s order.
Like everyone here, I’m sure, my stomach is distended from several days’ worth of eating. Loved every single bite and am not sorry in the slightest but now I’m paying for it. I’m in desperate need of dietary succor and while a coffee shop might not be the best place for it, it’s a good place to start. Dieting will begin in earnest in January.
I like Tully’s for their mochas, especially the Intense Dark Mocha made with Ghirardelli. Coffee seems almost like a muted whimper in this beverage, so indulgent is it. Since I’m in need of repair and not further revelry, I go for a regular Americano, unadorned. There are some cookies on the counter, Oatmeal Crisps made with Splenda. Quaint little things, they’re squat and golden made nubby with whole oats and pieces of an indistinguishable nut – sliced almonds? Whatever, they’re a beautiful pairing with the coffee, the cookie’s inherent buttery and oaty character playing off the rich roundedness of the coffee with just a slick of salt at the end.
Another day, a friend and I are at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recounting the season’s Christmas gifts received. Encouraged by the sugar free cookies I have previously, and trying to slowly ease myself back to more restrained eating, I go for the Guiltless Chocolate Delight. Tasting surprisingly like a soft ice cream minus the massive brain freeze, there’s a resounding chocolate taste. As its flavor notes release slowly, so does the cake’s texture – from soft to mousse-like to whisper-soft cream. There’s an aftertaste of sweet that completes the finish as most desserts made with Splenda possess. I wash each bite down with a sip of searing black coffee, the Viennese brew of the day.
Despite all my merry eating, I’m not ready to give up my sweets, it’s doubtful I ever will. So in preparation for the new year, I’ll back off on the sugar-full stuff and go sugar free for now. After all, who says I can’t have my cake and eat it too.
Other sugar free posts:
Ghoulishly Green Punch
Halloween Shortbread Swirl Cookies
Sweet Alternatives For The Holidays (1st of 2 Parts)
Sweet Alternatives For The Holidays (Last of 2 Parts)
Sweet Alternatives From Cafés & Restaurants