Thoughts About Coffee Cake

(Originally published as a guest blog for

Coffee connects people.  I’ve enjoyed many sessions of friend therapy and deep conversations over coffee.  Now if we add a delicious accompaniment to coffee, we have absolute heaven. Particularly if that coffee cake is sweet, a little sinful, and spiced with the adventure of travel. My favorite coffee cakes have been enjoyed in different cities around the world and shared with wonderful people that I have met along the way.  

On an unexpected trip to Argentina, I didn’t know a soul or have any idea which places to visit. Every morning I enjoyed alfajores, a sandwich cookie with dulce de leche in the middle, and coffee. A kind waiter would come and sit with me and help me plan my day, drawing elaborate maps on napkins for me.  Alfajores are a perfect combination of a well crafted pastry and a rich history having been brought by the Spanish who learned of them from the Moors. I think they tasted even better because of the waiter’s kindness to a stranger.

Paris in April seemed more like more like a dream than reality. The people, the food, the culture – it was glorious!  I drank amazing coffee imported from Madagascar. I paired this with pain au chocolat, a delicious croissant-like pastry filled with a chocolate that captured the richness of flavor that the French are so adept at creating.  Those were the best mornings, shared with groups of people met at the discotheque, after dancing all night.

In Chile I remember listening to music fused with samba and rock en español while enjoying berlines, doughnuts introduced by the great influx of German immigrants in Chile.  The conversations usually centered around the government, the economy, and Auguto Pinochet, always a controversial topic for Chileans. Berlines are filled with “manjar”, the local name for dulce de leche.  Berlines are a progressive fusion of South America and old Europe, as is Chile.  

Whether it’s at home or abroad, give yourself a slow morning with coffee and a sweet treat.  Enjoy every bite of your next coffee cake. Be present to the silence, or the conversation, and most of all, savor the connection with yourself and with others.

2 responses to “Thoughts About Coffee Cake”

  1. Hello Nicole, What amazing traveling experiences! The coffee and pastries sound absolutely delightful. Although I’m not a coffee drinker, I sure do enjoy the wonderful aroma of coffee while eating a delicious sweet bread.

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