In an effort to let go of my reverse culture shock, I have decided to start a series entitled: Italy vs. America. The first post is in regards to coffee. Italy wins. Hands down.
Quality, quantity, sustainability, and customer service.
My Italian family gave me one of their espresso makers (you get something similar at Target) and a homemade contraption to properly pack the grinds. Every morning I fill the lower pod with fresh water to the bolt, pack the espresso in the middle portion and throw it on the stove. The smell of freshly brewed cafe paired with the sound of boiling water almost brings me back to the foothills of the Italian Alps.
You would think as Fireball lovin’ Americans the idea of a quick shot would get the heart racing. But, bigger is better. Starbucks makes me want to vomit (other than the turkey bacon breakfast sandwich) with the excessive of choices and special “two pumps only” patrons.
Customer service is better when it’s honest. The experience of handing your ticket to a lovely dressed barista, amongst 20 other chattering Italians, is one of its own. They tear your ticket, sprint to the machine and return only to slide your hot cup across the bar. It always lands right in front of you.
A grande latte now feels like a meal. When will they add a plastic knife and fork to the side of the cup? And then, and then and then and then and then you have the hip coffee bars with weak coffee and baristas with even weaker people skills. Stop trying to make fetch happen.
I intend to limit my coffee take away cups to 4 a month. I’d say zero but that’s unrealistic. Check out Get the Facts on Carry Your Cup in regards to America’s consumption: The average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year.
And remember, beautiful cups make room for beautiful coffee.