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From Grande Soy Lattes to Dulce De Leche Coffee – Coffee Culture Around the World

Are you visiting a foreign country for the first time and have no idea where to go or what to do first? Just find a local cafe. Whether it’s right when shops and markets open, during the slow evening hours after busy people have gone back to work, or late at night instead of hitting the bar, there’s always something to learn. in a coffee. In fact, the best way to learn about the country or city you are visiting is by hanging out, having a coffee and looking around.

The coffee lifestyle varies greatly from country to country. The Europeans of the world would not think twice about spending a couple of hours sitting in a restaurant or cafe, drinking only coffee. You see, it is even possible to drink a single espresso for a long time, have a couple of cookies and enjoy leisure time. And with some of the best coffee in the world in Italy, why not indulge in the fine art of beverage making? Most cafes will have an espresso machine that is older than the one in the United States, and that will make the drink taste much better. But more than just the taste, it’s about the idea that it’s okay to relax, in public, over coffee.

That might be news to someone from the United States, where, outside of some big cities, you’d never see anything like it, except among unemployed teenagers. Coffee in the United States, if you’re not in a fancy restaurant, is more about getting caffeine into your body to go to work. Most places that serve coffee don’t serve anything particularly good. The extent to which the cafe lifestyle exists in most American cities is the fact that you can now get something called espresso at a Dunkin Donuts in Boston.

In a couple of cities in the United States you can better see what could have been, or rather, what was before Starbucks made coffee to go what everyone needed and wanted. In a couple of stately cafes in New York, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, for example, you’ll be laughed at if you try to order something “high.” Families who came to the States managed to order great machines from the old country that make really great drinks, so it’s possible to sit down for a while and enjoy a decent coffee and sandwich with other people in the neighborhood who value such things.

Probably the biggest difference from country to country is what comes with your drink. In the US, there won’t be any free snacks with your cappuccino or latte, but in some parts of the world, a cafe would never think to serve you just coffee. You see, the café lifestyle in places like Buenos Aires, Argentina will practically give you an afternoon snack. Order a coffee, any coffee, and not only will you get a nice Italian-style espresso drink, but it’ll be accompanied by a glass of sparkling water, at least three packets of sugar, a couple of tasty cookies, and sometimes a variety of of chips or crackers. Similarly, if you’re in Paris, sometimes it’s cheaper to just go with their special, which means your coffee always comes with a croissant or biscuits.

It says a lot about a country when snacks come with your coffee. If someone is serving you enough food to snack on for a couple of hours, they’re not trying to kick you out. They are asking you to stay, to sit down for a while, to just relax. And that’s an amazing and welcome change if you’re used to a takeout and delivery society. People really do seem more relaxed in places where the cafe lifestyle allows for free time. Everyone from young businessmen to aspiring writers and artists take the time to sit down and chat or enjoy some private time. There is no social sanction, it is just a legitimately enjoyable moment.

Perhaps some of that culture will spread to places where it does not yet exist. Starbucks, after all, has made it acceptable to want something with espresso, and perhaps the slow food movement in the United States will carry over to drinks in public. Various bloggers and internet freaks are making it a bit more acceptable to sit in a public place and still be a responsible adult, as long as you have a computer in front of you and look busy.

But wherever you are in the world, learn a little more about the city you’re visiting by heading to a well-worn place. You can have waiters in bow ties, you can have rickety wooden tables, but all that matters is that you have a nice view of the street and some customers. Now you have the best seat in the whole city to learn how things work. Don’t rush now, do you hear me?

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