Marco Tabini writes about growing up in Italy around a coffee shop as the son of a barista. Making a good espresso is an art form, and Tabini details the process from bean to machine. It's more than just a drink. It's a symbol of culture, adulthood, and joy:
The common link was espresso. The shop sold pastries and savories, and drinks of both the soft and hard kind; there was enough variety to please just about any taste. But everyone who walked in the door — save a handful of tea drinkers — ended up with coffee in some form. And when Italians say “coffee,” especially in a café, they mean “espresso.” There is no other kind.
So far, one of my favorite articles in The Magazine.