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Old 08-30-2012, 01:37 PM
Roderick Femm's Avatar
Roderick Femm is online now
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On the cusp, also in SF
Posts: 7,310

Small cups of coffee in Europe

I've never been to Europe (sob) but I do watch some TV programs that are made in Europe, mostly France and Italy, and I noticed that coffee is invariably served in small cups that are, perhaps, 6 ounces (180 mls) or less. This isn't espresso or anything like that, just ordinary brewed coffee. They go through the whole adding-sugar-and-stirring ritual, and then have about two or three swallows of coffee.

(Caveat to the question that follows: I don't drink coffee myself, I don't like it, so if the coffee drinking experience is a significant part of the answer, please explain it to me like I was 5 years old).

Here in the land of 24-oz cups of coffee from Starbucks and Peet's, this seems odd to me. Does it come from just habit, or does it make the experience more pleasurable to have it over sooner? Or is European coffee so strong that no-one can drink more than 6 ounces at a time?

I ask because I am curious, and because I think this may be a source of significant insight into European (at least French and Italian) character.