My staff knows that you don’t address me with more than a, “good morning“, until they have seen a cappuccino or espresso in my hand.  Forgetting this rule can result in defenestration, or, at the least, unemployment.  There is a reason that there is an espresso machine on the console immediately behind my desk.

You can definitely judge the quality of a civilization by the coffee they offer you.  We were appalled by what passed for coffee when we first purchased the house in North Carolina.  It was about as dark as brewed tea, a vile, insipid brew.  Good coffee should be like a black hole – light should not be able to pass through it.

The Americans and Brits are the worst when it comes to coffee, with the Germans coming in a close 3rd.  Canadian coffee is vile, and brewed on an industrial scale à la Tim Hortons. (I think the same equipment is used for oil refining and Tim Hortons coffee, and not washed between applications.) And don’t even think of ordering a coffee in Russia, unless you enjoy a sludge that resembles toxic waste.  Even more disturbing, they combine it with vodka, cheap red wine and simple syrup, with the resulting concoction served in a chilled wine glass.  Stick to the tea!  (Actually, forget Asia on the whole when it comes to coffee.)

Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland all made decent coffee.  I suppose it’s because they need it to get through their interminable winters?  Italy, France, and Belgium are probably the Trifecta of the perfect coffee, while Argentina and Brazil get honorable mention.

Next week we are off to Miami, where one must go to great lengths to avoid Cuban Coffee (Café Cubano), a low-quality espresso brewed with  demerara sugar.  The heat from the coffee-making process will hydrolyze some of the sucrose, thereby creating a sweeter and slightly more viscous result than a normal pull or adding sugar at the table.

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March 7, 2018

Agreed with you on Italy having the best coffee, and also I think, the best coffee culture.

March 7, 2018

@thediarymaster The European Café Society definitely makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

March 7, 2018

I cannot fathom a world without rich strong smooth coffee. I come from a family of coffee aficionados. We have Scandinavian roots and I think it’s in our DNA. We have afternoon coffee everyday. It’s a ritual I love. I married into a non-Scandinavian family and they don’t get it. At all! I have visited Colombia and I have to say I was a little disappointed by the coffee I was served while there.

March 7, 2018

@marathonmama Isn’t Columbia another place where they add the sugar during the brewing process? I’ve never been there, but I seem to recall hearing that, like Costa Rica, they use a chorreador for drip-style coffee?

March 7, 2018

@bedlamhillfarm – yes they brewed it in a chorreador but they did not use sugar during the brewing. Maybe because they knew they were serving a bunch of Yankees from the US.

March 7, 2018

well now I want to just relax with a Greek Coffee and hang out instead of all the things I need to do.

Just sip, enjoy the day. (not going to happen, but I can dream)

have a great time in Miami

March 12, 2018

Now what about the Pacific Northwest? They say they make such great coffee, though I am not so sure. The best coffee I have ever had was in France.