Archive for March 5th, 2004

Coffee, American vs. Italian

This morning I went to get coffee at Tully’s below my office.As I was waiting for my usual short caffè latte, and eyeing the other customers with their various strange drinks like “grande double decaf soy latte with a packet of equal and two squirts of sugar-free vanilla, light on the foam please” and other such bizarre conglomerations, my memories brought me back to a bar (in Italy, a bar is where you get coffee and sandwiches) in Perugia that I love, called Sandri. They made the most amazing caffè latte…. It’s like sipping velvet.

While watching the nearly acrobatic Seattle barista take care of the lengthy order, I imagined one of the typical Seattle coffee drinkers asking the barista at Sandri in Perugia for a “triple grande vanilla-hazelnut-caramel latte with half 2% milk and half soy milk and ½ a packet of Sweet & Low”.

I imagined the confused (and perhaps annoyed) look on the face of the Perugian barista… “Eh? Sweet & Low?” Whatever drink he would make, he’d serve it in a ceramic cup, much to the confusion of the typical Seattle corporate coffee drinker. (Ceramic cups in Seattle? Ha! Paper cups in Italy? Ha!)

One thing I love about ordering coffee in Italy is that it’s so simple and easy. When in Italy, I never feel the need to specify any type of milk or what size cup I want. I just want whatever milk they have in whatever size (ceramic) cup they have. And it’s so much cheaper than “insert corporate Seattle coffee chain here”. And if I’m lucky, I get a cup of velvet like at Sandri.

Who ever thought that the most simple, basic things could be so satisfying?

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