Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cappuccini, anyone?

During my undergraduate summers off from university in Canada, I often waited tables, enjoying the camaraderie with my fellow summering, working chums.

In those early years, coffee--just coffee in a mug--was on the menu, and we could zoom it right out to the diners, offering refills from an elegant silver coffee server.

Somewhere along the way, the specialty coffee craze took over, and the once simple coffee-and-dessert coda became an entire opera.

I remember one evening when a new baristo was manning the espresso machine. "Three cappuccinos, please!" I sang out (we Canadians always say "please," to my memory, as well as "sorry" [pronounced "sore-y"]).

Oops--sorry for the digression.

Anyway, after I politely ordered three cappuccinos, the new baristo glared at me. "Cappuccini!!" he hissed, reprovingly.

Tell me, how is an Island girl with her head full of Chaucer and David Adams Richards supposed to have learned the Italian plural for "cappuccino"? From righteous baristos, I guess.

So for all decades henceforth I have carefully ordered cappuccini, when requesting two or more. The baristas at Starbucks don't know what the hell I want, as they always repeat, "Two cappuccinos?"

But I persist, my wounded dignity ever seeking the barista/o who will "get" my immaculate Italian coffee-speak.

Till then, let me treat you, gentle readers, to four virtual cups of cappuccini, in these delightful cups by PiP Studio, from Amsterdam, available at Liberty of London.

6 comments:

tracy said...

cappuccini...that's something my mother would have said. But she would have giggled afterwards.

aracne said...

Baristos? BARISTI!!!!!

Miss Cavendish said...

Haha--well; there's another one for my oh, so Italian coffee vocabulary!

disneyrollergirl said...

Missed your blog, just catching up now. Capuccini? Who knew?!

lagatta à montréal said...

Dear Ms Cavendish (though I suppose you are probably Dr Cavendish),

The suffix "ista" in Italian corresponds to "iste" in French. It is invariable by gender.

However, in the plural, it becomes "isti" in the masculine and "iste" in the feminine - final "e" sounded.

il barista, la barista. I baristi, le bariste.

Miss Cavendish said...

Merci, Lagatta!