Today I left Tulsa for Fort Worth, Texas. First off, I made it to my destination just fine. I am enjoying an evening on my own, at a friend’s house. She’s out of town but is letting me stay at her lovely place. I admit, when I walked in the door and put down my bag, all of a sudden I didn’t recognize my life anymore. NOTHING was the same! Different house. No people around. I am now self-employed so technically this isn’t even a “vacation.” And the next leg of the journey holds a whole bunch of unknowns for me. Which is difficult, because I’m not really the greatest traveler. As a recovering Desk Hamster, sometimes it’s hard to break out of the routine. Which is exactly why it needs to be done. But it doesn’t make it any easier.
So here I am.
On the way here, I stopped in Oklahoma City for coffee. We had heard from a fellow Coffee Geek in Tulsa that Coffee Slingers was the place to go for espresso drinks when you’re in OKC. I was skeptical, mostly because I thought the name was kind of goofy. But trying new things is part of the theme of the trip so why not add coffee to the theme too…
I discovered that Coffee Slingers is located in the downtown area. Which is a hectic place to drive into at noon on a Friday. I realized that I needed food before I had my coffee but didn’t see much around, so I hoped that Coffee Slingers maybe served something that would pass as an actual meal… which they don’t. By this time I was getting kind of anxious as I could feel my blood sugar dropping so I walked down the street and sat at the bar at The Hideaway (OK pizza chain) and had a salad and some meatballs with marinara. I sat between two younger guys who both had work ID badges on and were drinking beer with their pizzas. I was the only woman at the counter… I just did it because it was FASTEST. By the time I left the place was completely packed. I put the leftover meatballs in the car and headed back to Coffee Slingers.
By this time it was around 12:30 and the tables were about half full. I ordered a latte and asked if there was just one size. The dude said yes but they could put a shot of something-that-I-couldn’t-make-out- what-he-was-saying in it if I wanted something sweeter. I shook my head in horror (and I’m still a little offended that apparently I look like someone who wants some gross syrup in their espresso drink). I even had to request that he NOT put the latte in a paper to-go cup. I mean come ON now!
A few minutes later I got the latte and did the standard coffee geek thing – I took pictures of it before I tried it.
Then I got out my notebook and pencil. And took more pictures. Then I tried it. Really good! As you may be able to see, the crema was quite dark, and it stayed on the surface all the way till the end. Crema is bitter tasting, so I would get a little of this taste with each sip, but it was still good. And I would say the drink was pretty mild. In that it didn’t slap me in the face (like what Starbuck’s does, which always tasted burnt to me, from what I recall. Which is hard to do now since I have refused to drink Starbuck’s for quite some time – no one should be THAT desperate). Anyway. Despite my Prior Anxiety and Weird Lunch, the latte went down pretty easy.
Although I’m starting to wonder if I should maybe switch to cappuccinos at this point… I am going to do more research on the differences before lattes and cappuccinos. The main difference is more milk in the latte, but brew ratios / shot sizes / milk ratios vary so greatly that sometimes it’s difficult to tell for sure. I decided that on the way back to Tulsa, I would stop there again and try a cappuccino, just to see if I could compare them. And what a great excuse to stop again on the way home.
The espresso machine was a Synesso, which I admit, I hadn’t heard of before today. I just looked them up on the interwebs – they are hand-built machines made in Seattle. It was a great looking machine – and based on what it produced, I’m a fan.
It just so happens that Coffee Slingers roasts their own beans, and they had one of the biggest roasters I’ve ever seen. Of course I took pictures of that too.
There were quite a few people working behind the counter, but no one was roasting today. Too bad. Or maybe that’s good because if there was, I probably wouldn’t have left for another hour. There was a woman with a full sleeve tattoo and a big dark braid walking around like she was Boss. I don’t know if she was The Boss, but she was definitely Boss. And as for the customers, there was, of course, a very large proportion of Earnest Hipsters. I was not the oldest person there, but I was one of THE oldest…
Overall, that experiment was a success and I’d give the latte an 8.5/10. I’ll definitely stop there on the way home.
So here I am in Fort Worth, Day One complete. I’m sleepy and my back hurts and I am apprehensive about tomorrow. It’s been a strange trip so far, everything feels different, I’ve been thinking about my Mom a lot, and somehow it feels very final like I’m not going back to Tulsa. I don’t mean this literally (at least I hope not!) but rather, something is changing or being left behind.
Change is good. On to the next adventure.