Saturday, May 07, 2005

Yeah for Cafe Americano!

I just got back from a Startbucks style coffee house (not Starbucks, I try pretty hard to support the little guys that deserve it) and am now slurping on a big ole cup of mocha with soy milk and splenda... life is grand.

A few thoughts. In Italy I developed a taste for the uber concentrated Italian espresso but did miss having a slurp-able size mug O' (yuppie) joe. My family came to visit me in Rome and my father (one of the few propping up the US coffee industry with his 2+ pots a day habit), who I think I inherited the taste for the super-size me mentality (actually that mentality only applies to a few things, like yuppie coffee). We would go to swank restaurants and my father would sometimes make sure I ordered a "large coffee" (aka "Cafe Americano", which is really just espresso with extra water and milk, added; and is detested by most Italians). While I can understand the want for a larger-than-a-sip serving of coffee is just oozes the I-Am-American-And-Want-Americana-Everywhere mentality. Anyway I would grimace, order, and deal with the raised eyebrow from the waiter that inevitably followed...

But in Italy I could never order a coffee with soy milk, splenda, vanilla with chocolate, etc etc... I won't try to argue that American coffee is better but we do have choices, lots of 'em! There will always be a soft spot in my heart for a German Beer sized cup of foreign coffee with a choice of 5 different kind of milks, 6 types of sweeteners, 3-5 sizes, cold, cold with ice, hot, with or without whip cream and in whatever combination I can think of... yeah, we aren't the coffee connoisseurs but we have the consumerism give-them-whatever-they-can-think of mentality down pat.