Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Wee Tale in Tucson

Olive had such a terrific time sipping her way through New York earlier this week that it was with regret and a sad glance backward (perhaps also induced by her fear of flying) that she buckled her seat belt and continued her journey towards lattes unknown. Yet, she should not have despaired! Tucson was her next stop and oh! How it has charmed her. Of course, she has had another expert guide to push her through the most delightful of cafe doors, Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist. Whenever Olive desires true originality and magical artistic talent, it is to A Fanciful Twist she turns. Today, Vanessa sweeps us away on a narrative journey of coffee bliss. Do enjoy!

Tucson has many places to indulge in warm sipping delicacies. However, as a special treat I like to visit The Cup Café, located inside of Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson.

For today, one of my alter ego illustrations, Fungi Waitress Girl, is itching to take us there.

In my opinion, The Cup Café has many facets to it. First of all, you access the café entrance through The Hotel Congress lobby, which imparts a vintage/historic quality to the café.

The café embodies a feeling of quaintness and charm mixed with funky and fabulous (all the while offering a wide scale menu, including fine dining and renowned desserts). You can sit out on the patio or sit inside and feel an unusual times past vibe.

I love to find myself alone or with friends, seated at a little table right in this space...

In the past few years I have become an avid coffee drinker, and while I prefer my coffee served black-

I love the cappuccinos at The Cup and will indulge in one whenever possible. Frothy, hot, smooth goodness...

And while you sip, you can sit around and read saying on the wall...

However, if I am feeling extra naughty and long for a hot sip-able dessert -

I will partake in their scrumptious hot chocolate topped anyway you like. My favorite way is with a dollop of sweet cream and sprinkled with cinnamon. Yummy!

Now, if you would like to create you very own decadent hot perfect for chilly nights sip-able dessert chocolate in the privacy of your own home, than I have just the idea for you.

If you make your hot chocolate at home with milk (say 3 cups of milk or so), try popping a vanilla bean into your milk before cooking. Then cook your milk to just below boiling (about 5-6 minutes at medium heat).

Remove the vanilla bean from your milk and scrape out the seeds from inside of the bean, stirring the seeds back into your milk still in the saucepan. Then, let the seeds sit in the milk to infuse it with flavor, covering it for about 10 minutes. Then add your chocolate however you normally do. If you use syrup, turn your flame on to a low heat and add the syrup to the milk mixture, stirring until the chocolate is fully blended.

If you prefer using block chocolate, I like to melt my block chocolate in 1 cup of milk (amount of chocolate to taste 3-5 oz.) in a separate saucepan, while my milk infuses with my vanilla bean seeds in a separate saucepan. Then I combine both mixtures after I have infused the milk for ten minutes in one saucepan and the chocolate has melted in another stirring until well blended. Top with cream and freshly grated cinnamon.

A vanilla bean is a simple way to take your hot chocolate to a whole other level of deliciousness.


Vanessa Valencia {A Fanciful Twist}
A Fanciful Twist {Through the Secret Keyhole}

PS. Olive apologizes for the variety of fonts in this post... She is tempted to retreat to pen and ink!


Cafe Fashionista said...

Wow! This guest post is absolutely stunning! I honestly want to move into The Cup Cafe. It has such an old-time, vintage elegance and charm to it. Gorgeous! :)

rainforestdrip said...

At first I thought this was in Tuscany! Must get my eyeballs checked! Sounds delicious and it is probably hot and sunny there at this moment!

art-and-ghosts said...

aaah! this is wonderful, and so great to see the fabulous fungi girl playing her part:)

Sarah said...

This looks like a great and nostalgic cafe. I really want a cup of hot chocolate now!

frogandsweet said...

I would never think that such a cute and quaint place like this would be in Tucson! Next time I'm there I'll have to pop in for a soothing drink!

a fanciful twist said...

Thank you for having me over Miss Olive ;)

Tucson is so super fabulous, the weather, the antique and vintage shopping. Probably why so many people are moving here. It is funky and wacky and interesting and weird and wonderful, oh and multi faceted too.

I LOVe your place, invite me on over any time ;)


Fair said...

I was so excited to read this! I live a few minutes' walk from the Cup Cafe and it is fabulous. The cappuccinos are indeed the best. And heavenly caramel cake, mmm...

Deborah said...

Oh delightfully yummy!

slommler said...

Vanessa took us on a magical tour and what a treat it was. The Cafe' sounds marvelous! Next time I am in Arizona I will have to stop in there. Thank you for the treats!!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the lovely comment!

Sherin said...

Ooo, this cafe looks so adorable!


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