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Old 08-31-2012, 05:09 AM
The Stafford Cripps is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,379
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
In Europe, espresso is the norm. Drip coffee is basically unheard of, except at American chains.
That's not really true, but it depends on the country. Filter coffee is what lots of people drink at home, and while espresso machines may be becoming more common in northern Europe, filter coffee in cafes has been around for much longer than Starbucks. You don't get these big 20oz coffees in Europe though (except perhaps in places like Starbucks) - people would find them watery and flavourless.

What you need to know though is that no one makes coffee like the Italians - obviously this is subjective, but I've heard lots of people say the same thing. In Italy you can be in some backwoods village that few other tourists will ever see, go into some dusty little cafe and be served an espresso, cappuccino or latte that is better than what you will get anywhere in Britain, France or Spain (in my experience). It's actually mystifying - places in Britain will have the same brand of machines, the same brand of coffee, but it just doesn't taste as good.

When you ask for a cappuccino, they make the frothy milk and pour it into a small cup and then pour the espresso on top of that (they would never sell a double cap). I much preferred these small cappuccinos to the ones you get in other countries that have way too much milk so you can't taste the coffee, unless you have more than one shot, and you end up feeling bloated.

Italians have a big thing about moderation - they don't tend to binge alcohol the way north Europeans do, and I think they might feel the same about coffee.