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.