tirsdag, juli 03, 2007

Proof that I am really American

I have a confession to make. Eurosnobs, please stop reading now, as after this revelation, you will undoubtedly want nothing more to do with either me or my blog. The rest of you, are you ready? Are you sure? O.K., here we go...

I actually quite like American coffee. No, really, I think it's a fine beverage.

There, I've said it. I hope you aren't too shocked. I will admit though, liking American coffee is, for me, a dissociative process. Comparing the stuff you get at Denny's to the stuff you get at, say a cafe in Italy or Portugal will get you nowhere. What Denny's serves must be judged purely on its own merits.

Of course, no European I know shares my views. This contrast is clearly shown whenever I travel the states with one, and is manifest in what I have come to know as 'the conversation', recognizable by the continual stream of vocal dissatisfaction with the strength, flavor, and potency of any coffee which is offered. This leads to commentary, such as 'How can they call this coffee?' 'How can you Americans drink this?' 'This is even more watery than the water they tried to pass off as coffee in that other place.'

Thor and his mother brought it to an art form on our April road trip with the hotel in-room coffee makers. First it was just a recitation of the usual lines. Then they doubled the amount of coffee to twice the dose recommended on the coffee maker. This led to apparently slightly less heinous coffee. Later on, they used twice the coffee together with half the water, which led to coffee which was 'almost not too bad.' Sadly, we stopped traveling before anyone attempted to just eat the coffee grounds directly.

Coming soon: Sordid tales of importing General Foods International Coffees into Europe...and then drinking it.

*This in-room coffee maker has a built in grinder. I wonder how much it would cost to get one to Denmark?*

17 kommentarer:

Morose sagde ...

My first response was "I always knew there was something wrong with Europeans," despite there being a good number of them not far up (or is it down? back?) the family tree. There is also something compelling, and I think i have solved this eurocoffee mystery, and will share for your my insights.

Americans must use more water in their coffee than Europeans because we drink SO MUCH MORE of it. Europeans brew it superstrong and sweeten and slurp it out of little demitasse cups. Americans... well, I trust you have seen these gigantic american-size beverage containers, the 80 ounce sodas, the "travel mugs" for coffee that you could smuggle small dogs or pygmy archers in.

If americans brewed their coffee to the strength that Europeans did, two very horrible things would happen.
1) the complete defoliation of every coffee-producing nation. There would be no beans left to grow new coffee plants from, and we would long since have harvested and boiled the very coffee plants themselves to extract any lingering caffenation they might hold. Yes, I am talking the complete removal of ALL plants, first to make room for more coffee, then we'd consume all of that.

2) the rest of the world already thinks americans are loud, brash, and violent. Now imagine if we had MORE caffeine. Other nations would just cease to be. Presidents would steep bruised coca leaves in their morning 80-ounce mugs of Black Death and be so tweaked and paranoid they'd have a good reason to nuke everyone before lunch.

Now, tell your eurosnob pals this: there ARE americans out there who brew their coffee to European strength AND drink American-sized portions of it, and they are feared and worshipped by the rest of the populace. They are dangerous violent undead ninjas with reflexes fast enough to stop time and severe impulse control problems. I appeal to your lingering traces of American-ness and ask you to make them fear us.

Devil Mood sagde ...

Remind me to pack a couple of bags of Delta coffee when I visit the States ;) Well, I have never tastes American coffee, but usually I like mine so dark you can't see the spoon inside the cup.
But Morose makes a great point - it's a different ritual - those big american cups are similar to a refreshing/warming drink while over here you drink one little bit of expresso and you're done, enough caffeine for the rest of the day (well, at least I only drink one per day).
Talking like a real european-snob!

Morose sagde ...

those little cups of euro-brew contain enough caffeine for a couple hours, for me. That's why I brew mine just as dark as Devil Mood's but consume maybe ten times as much.

oh, yes, and I never leave the house without several knives, a pair of pliers, and a tape recorder.

Eurocoffeesnobs need to be taught fear. I declare them all Enemy Combatants trying to dishearten the american people and will report them to the Department of Homeland Security, with a request that I get to interrogate them personally.

Anonym sagde ...

UHH.. well I for one like decaf.. how about that and American decaf at that.

I'm often told whats the purpose, because people at work NEED the caffeine and I don't do caffeine if I can help it.

What are your thoughts on flavored creamers??? French Vanilla is my FAV.

Morose sagde ...

decaf!!?!?!? caffeine wasn't "done" in my house growing up, it was partaken of. It wasn't a drug, it was a staple foodstuff, and we nearly lynched my dad once when he brought home a big can of decaf by mistake.

I use Coffeemate for creamers, and Equal for synthsweetener.

decaf-people are subversives and are not to be trusted. Next thing you know they'll want nicotineless cigarettes, sugar-free candies, and it's not far down that slippery slope to oxygenless air or dehydrated water.

daphnewood sagde ...

I am not a coffee drinker but I find it amazing how passionate people are about their drink. I sometimes have the "dessert" coffee. You know, the things they sell at starbucks but since they started selling passion tea I hardly ever drink a mocha anymore. I have had turkish coffee once and thought I would puke. I think if you can put a spoon into the cup and the spoon can stand up on its own, It shouldn't be called coffee :)

Devil Mood sagde ...

Flavoured creamers? ughhh
What is that? :P

Vanessa sagde ...

I enjoy my American Coffee as well. I've also enjoyed the coffees that I've had in Europe, except Ireland, I didn't care for the coffee I had there. Everyone said that after going to France I would be spoiled for life as far as coffee was concerned and while I did enjoy the coffee there, I still like my American drip coffee.
As for the coffee machines with the built in bean grinder - you can get one at Target and even set the timer so that it freshly grinds the beans and brews the coffee for when you first wake up - I believe its less than $50.

Greg Mills sagde ...

My grandfather-in-law drinks Postum, and only Postum, by the gallon. Postum is a nut-based coffee substitute. Delish!

Kim -- I have tagged you with a meme dealy. Go to my blog for your assignment.

Marion sagde ...

I ordered an Americano yesterday, in your honour, and I have to admit that I really liked it. There goes my Eurosnobbishness... ;-)

theblackscorpio sagde ...

I think, we have a Starbucks, does that do?

theblackscorpio sagde ...

Also, Morose, you win :o)

kimananda sagde ...

Morose, you have some great points, but I must sadly confess that I do on occasion drink decaf coffee. I suppose that if I keep this sort of thing up, I can alienate everyone, just through careful revelation of coffee habits.

Ms. Mood, flavored creamers are, if I'm thinking of the right item, pretty cool. However, if the coffee is strong enough, it masks the flavor part, and might as well not be there. Also, I miss the Delta. I brought some back in July, and we went through it very quickly. And on a side note, though he doesn't otherwise know any Portuguese, Thor is able to indicate if he is making, or would like me to make, a bica or a galão. Which makes me very proud.

Day, I'm not actually sure I've tried flavored creamers, but I have had flavored coffee (I wasn't kidding about the General Foods), and I quite like it. Vanilla especially, in fact. As for decaf, I do it when I want to have coffee in the evening. Coffee is not just a caffeine drink, it also tastes good.

Daphnewood, I can see what you mean about the Turkish coffee, but I would probably like it. I like both the American and the European kinds. I like my weak coffee weak and my strong coffee strong, if that makes any sense.

Vanessa, I should have gone to Target. But actually, I like my little stove top espresso maker that I have here. I like my coffee European strength when I am in Europe. As for France, I don't remember being impressed by the coffee there. I mention Italy and Portugal in the post because that's where the best brew is, in my opinion and experience. Spain is pretty good, too.

Greg, I have never tried Postum, but it frankly sounds like the kind of thing I would like. And the meme is up! Thanks, it was a fun one.

Marion, thank you I'm honored. :-) And you didn't need that Eurosnobbishness anyway. Or conversely, let's be honest. An Americano is still made with espresso, which is far stronger than American coffee, and qualitatively extremely different. So, I'd say you can have an Americano and keep your snobbishness.

Ms. Black Scorpio, Starbuck's in Denmark? That's horrible. Starbuck's is evil, which doesn't mean I don't go there when I'm at home, by the way, but I actually do feel guilty when I do. How about the still evil, but not quite so evil Baresso for when we next coffee? Or better yet, a one-off indy place?

phish sagde ...

I laugh. heartily. and pledge to be back.

theblackscorpio sagde ...

Yes, I think I saw one. But I'm glad, that we don't go there :o) Just tell me, when you want coffee :o) No Sunday evening, also no Monday, Tuesday entire days or Wednesday during the day.

Simple American sagde ...

European coffee is way too strong. Starting to develop a taste for Malaysian white coffee.

kimananda sagde ...

Phish, I rejoice in the hearty laughter, and welcome your eventual return. :-)

Ms. Scorpio, coffeeing (for you), and other beveraging (for me) was fun...when do we do it again? :-)

Mr. American, I can see what you mean...though I like both the European and the American. I've never had Malaysian white coffee though...it sounds intriguing.