It’s the little things in life that make a difference.  Nothing is more important than the way you start the day.   For me it is my perfect cup of café au lait.    Like Goldilocks’  search for perfection in  the fairy tale encounter with Three Bears I have searched for the perfect cup.  It has to be able to hold one and three-quarter cups of liquid.  I found the right size cup but the lip of the cup was two thick.   I tolerated that cup until   I found a cup with a thinner lip,  but the cup was so thin my coffee cooled  too quickly.   I really didn’t have time to enjoy it.    My dear friend Ellen has given my fairy tale search a happy ending.  Knowing my love for all things French  she arrived at my door with a pair of perfect café au lait cups.


My morning ritual begins when I spoon the  mahogany coloured French roast beans into the grinder.   I stop and inhale the rich, heady aroma of the beans.  This is the way to begin your day.  I grind the beans exactly 7 seconds – to get my perfect grind for  pour over coffee.


I very slowly pour the boiling water over the coffee.  Then tuck a coffee cosy around this fragrant wake-up elixir.    The timer is set for exactly 5 minutes.


I pour boiling water into the perfect cup.  One simply does not pour hot coffee into a cold cup.  Meanwhile the milk is heating.


It is this perfect cup that makes my perfect café au lait.  It is exactly the right size for equal parts of coffee and milk.


I pour the dark, rich coffee.  Add the very hot milk and savor the milky coffee fragrance.


In the quiet early morning light I sip my coffee.  The perfect beginning for my  day.   Coffee in the perfect coffee cup.  C’est bon dear Ellen.  Thank you for my perfect cups.



  1. What a lovely morning ritual! I’m a tea drinker, even though I love the smell of coffee. I do, however, enjoy either a mocha (preferably with dark chocolate) or a cappuccino every so often.


    • For a million years I drank tea. It started when I was very young and would get up early with my very English Dad. He would make me a milky cup of tea with a little sugar. Seventy years of drinking Tea, Janet. Now I’ve become a one cup a day coffee drinker. Cheers, Virginia

    • Dear dear Tinny – The love is returned my handsome Tin Man. The inhabitants of the Emerald City are always in our hearts and in our minds. We seize each glorious moment – even the mundane daily grind is a joy if you take pleasure in the small things. That first cup of coffee savored in the quiet of the morning is very important and now like Goldilocks I have the perfect cup to enjoy it. Our arms go around you and August.

  2. So heavenly! For us it is a stove top italian expresso pot that makes us our perfect cappuchino. You are so right about the ritual and the cups. We must use our favorite cappuchino cups or the coffee is just not the same. Your writing resonates with me…you make me feel that I am sitting in your kitchen.

    • A stove top Italian espresso pot! That is what we use to make late evening coffee is our restaurant. That was eons ago before all the magical instant espresso machines were available. AND NO restaurant in our city made espresso, so our loyal customers really appreciated the effort we made to give them a lovely cup of coffee to end their dinner.

      • Sigh what I would give to go back in time and eat there! I had my first expresso at Frank’s place on Commercial Drive in Vancouver in the early 80’s I could not believe it and fell in love with coffee…I had been a diehard tea granny prior to that,even though I was about 21. Lol.

      • If was a “diehard tea granny” up until a few years ago. My son-in -law made the most divine coffee – that he found in the Italian area of Toronto – and I was hooked.

  3. I should have known you would prefer a French press for your coffee. You relish every detail of your day and life. Husband gets up before I do and grinds the coffee beans so coffee is ready when I get up. I have to have more than one cup of black coffee. Cheers, Virginia!

  4. “Wake-up and smell the coffee!” is what I always say and pray at the crack of dawn. Dear Virginia, I loved your nod to the morning coffee ritual and the quest for the perfect coffee cup. I completely agree. Getting all Goldilocks, it took me three months to find a replacement after I dropped my beloved ruby red-colored mug. I love your cups. The handles also look comfortable. So important. Happy you found your match. Fairy tale and Hollywood ending! Cue the music! ~ Theadora

    • We do recognize these things we treasure are inanimate objects but they do give us such pleasure. Having my fairy godmother Ellen turn up at the door and grant my wish was pure magic. I had never told anyone about my search for the perfect coffee cup, and voila – she had them tucked in a gift bag along with a package of savory herbs. XX Virginia

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