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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Ted gets cultured


… coffee cultured that is. It’s a global drink and yet more than almost any other beverage we have totally localised the way in which it plays a part in our daily lives and how we drink it. Small world tour ...

USA - a nation of coffee drinkers, 146 billion cups of coffee a year even – pretty weak and mostly served out of those lovely polystyrene cups (top insult of the day out of the way early there Ted).

Italy - a short very strong shot of espresso, usually downed from a small ceramic cup while standing up at a bar to kick start the morning. The Italians tend not to put any alcohol in their morning coffee which the Portuguese think is a totally wasted opportunity and lace theirs with a spirit called aguardientes.

France - like Italy you can have a milky coffee (into which to dunk your croissant) café au lait (like the Italian latte or cappuccino) but only until lunchtime and then it’s a short black espresso “un café” all the way.

Netherlands - served plain and black but with a small sugar cookie on the side. There is a distinction between a coffee house (koffiehuis) serving coffee, and a café, which also serves cannabis and probably very forgettable coffee but great cookies.  

Ethiopia - and some would say almost the home of coffee, serve Buna, a strong coffee brewed over several hours, then poured in small quantities and flavoured with salt and butter … hmmm yeah …

Indonesia - kopi luwak is highly prized. Kopi beans pass through the digestive tract of a civet (small creature related to a weasel) and are harvested in the animal's droppings ... actually is anyone else starting to feel sick yet …

England - really doesn’t know what it wants tea, coffee, tea, coffee … but the last decade has seen the reverse empire invasion of coffee culture from New Zealand and Australia which has introduced amongst other things a “flat white” where the milk has to be steamed, then drawn from the bottom, rather than the top, of the steaming vessel … and you can drink this all day and night.

Coffee isn’t all about a daytime drink though and some countries see it more in the after dinner mode ... in Turkey it's almost like a dessert, and according to a local proverb: "black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love." The Irish have of course have gone one better with the eponymous “Irish coffee” – start with coffee, add whisky and then add whipped cream to finish ... then dance all night.

6 comments:

Sharon Anck said...

I've never liked the taste of coffee so I'll have to take Ted's word for all of this. I do know that I've stood in a Starbuck's many times waiting for my friends to get their coffee.

joo said...

Inertesting. The best I've ever had was in Madrid:)

LOLfromPasa said...

Enjoyed reading your collection of comments about coffee. Super!

William Kendall said...

I dislike coffee, so I'm outnumbered by a great many coffee drinkers in these parts!

Gunn said...

I LOVE coffee, but here Ted has found out things I had never heard before, so THANK YOU TED!

Jack said...

I am a Starbucks customer, practically a resident. And I really don't think I will have any coffee next time I am in Indonesia, thank you.

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