There's a scene in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire in which we come upon a man who has just been in a motorcycle accident and hear him thinking his last anxious thoughts. As the man leans up against a bridge truss on the side of the road, an angel, Damiel, walks up close, almost touching him, influences his thoughts brightening them; In a deliberate cadence, the man names places, people and things ranging from the existential to the everyday, from the beautiful to the sublime. The film leaves such reverberating traces in us, playing through time.
When we conceived of our spring 2020 wonder menu, this scene, this naming, this cadence played in my head as it has since the first time I saw it in the early 90's, highlighting the act and power of naming. In the past years, we have seen so much ignorance and hatred built upon the fear of the foreign, the unknown. The world of Cocoa Cinnamon and Little Waves Coffee Roasters comes out of the craving for the beauty and wonder of travel, story, culture, language coming to us from coffee, chocolate, tea, and spice. This ritual opens us to wonder at what is out in the world if we train our eyes to see and love beyond what passively comes to us.
We developed our Spring Wonder Menu over 8 weeks and launched it on March 10th. I started with two things playing in my mind - 1. the sound, naming and cadence of that scene from Wings of Desire (Der Himmel Uber Berlin), and 2. the desire to re-assert significance through naming world heritage sites, working against the horror at the suggestion that our nation could bomb such sites in Iran and other places. Like the existential unconcealing in the thoughts of the dying man, we wanted, with an awareness of our current reality, to highlight the places that exude heritage, sounds, flavors, world events that hold significance for us all, beyond any borders within which they lie.
When our shops are open for gathering, we see how these names and objects serve as indicators and touchpoints for wonder and an invitation to acknowledge, allow someone to feel seen, and beyond that to activate the humanity of touching upon the traces of something or someone new. We created a year's worth of drink ideas and narrowed them to 6 drinks for this spring:
- The Shapes on the Map of the Ancient and Modern Cities of Balkh
- The Observatory of Arecibo
- Pillars of Hercules or The Strait of Jabal Tariq
- Jemaa El-Fnaa
- The Dark Sky of Teotihuacan
If you've seen the scene in Wings of Desire, say the names in your mind with the cadence and ethereal gravity of an angel who knows the saturated color immediacy of the feeling of being mortal as if for the first time. Then choose one to savor.
Our Spring 2020 Wonder Menu:
Pillars of Hercules or The Strait of Jabal Tariq
Iced oat milk latte sweetened with agave, spiced with cardamom and topped with cinnamon and orange sugar. The Strait of Gibraltar is the only natural link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, a crossroads and conduit of the interchange of multiple cultures.
The Shapes on the map of the Modern and Ancient Cities of Balkh
A pomegranate molasses and rose water seltzer topped with a double shot of our house espresso. Birthplace of Rumi, “mother of cities,” crossroads of the silk road, ancient multicultural center inhabited by Muslims, Persians, Jews, Turks, and Indians, and one of the major cities of Khorasan. Zoroaster taught here. Sacked by Ghenghis Kahn in 1220. Modern Pilgrimage site.
The Observatory of Arecibo
A refreshing iced drink made with butterfly pea flower, ginger lemonade, and a side of candied ginger. The Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico is one of the most sensitive radio telescopes in the world, researching the universe and scanning for signs of life.
Latte with cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and anise, with date sugar & crushed rose garnish. Palmyra came to prominence as an ancient crossroads for caravans traveling from distant lands along ancient spice routes. The spices highlight the multicultural influences that converged here beginning in the 3rd Millenium B.C.
The Dark Sky of Teotihuacan
A hot (or iced) milk chocolate with cayenne & chipotle powder, topped with vanilla black whipped cream & edible glitter. Teotihuacan was founded circa 150 B.C. and became one of the three largest cities in the world in its time. Its pyramids and roads were laid out to align precisely with the placement of the sun, the stars, and the tallest mountain in Mexico at sunrise on the winter solstice.
The Jemaa El-Fnaa is the main square in Marrakech, Morocco. It is listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This site notably prompted the idea for that designation, which has now been assigned to more than 400 sites worldwide.
“The square attracts the entire spectrum of life in Marrakesh: locals of varying social and ethnic backgrounds, and tourists from across the world. In the morning, stall owners set up their stands selling orange juice, spices, traditional medicines, mint leaves, and snails. The flutes of snake charmers drift across the square, monkey trainers entertain the crowd, and tooth-pullers ready their pliers to pluck out the aching teeth of passersby.” - Atlas Obscura
The recipe comes out of a conversation with one of our contractors, Youssef Zouaine, and his family.
Link for pickup/delivery from any of our three Durham, NC locations:
Images by David Solow art + design - except Jemaa El-Fnaa
Keep an eye out for Instagram posts telling the layered story of each drink.