By marriage, I am part Italian and according to my husband that explains my affinity for strong, dark and richly nuanced…coffee (among other things). We recently discovered Intelligentsia Coffee, namely their Black Cat Project. Upon first sip, a perfectly balanced, syrupy-sweet espresso tasted so delicious I wanted more than my caffeine tolerance would allow. The poster child of the dedicated Chicago-based coffee company (they now have coffee bars in Chicago, L.A. and N.Y.C.), the Black Cat Project stalks the impossible-to-catch perfect espresso. Even if they humbly acknowledge that they can’t attain this elusive idealization, they sure do a fine job of replicating the closest thing we’ve tasted to top of the morning perfection.

Many of us begin our daily ritual with a freshly brewed cup and I think you can squeeze so much more enjoyment out of this everyday experience simply by treating it as one of life’s little pleasures. Enter Droog Crushed Cups by ceramicist, Rob Brandt (whose been making them since 1975). Inspired by Dutch plastic coffee cups—you know you just have to squeeze them! —I discovered these fun little espresso cups at Vertigo Home in Laguna Beach, California. The ingenious design always impresses early guests and they just make me smile. With a super slick eye for hard-to-find, worldly unique designs for the home (and gifts), Vertigo Home also offers upholstery services, including a made-to-order pillow bar, featuring a library of swoon-worthy textiles for instant room makeovers. Check out the totally fun, retro print below—it also has that smile inducing effect.

So, what constitutes a crowning cappuccino? See what Intelligentsia VP of Strategy, Kyle Glanville, has to say about it. And don’t fret the foam; check out the step-by-step instructions for stellar steamed milk below.



Photography and styling by Food That Looks Good.

Intelligentsia Coffee Steam Milk

Intelligentsia Coffee Steam Milk