My Sister, the Coffee-Hater

My sister hates coffee. My addiction to this beverage mystifies her.

“How do you drink this nasty stuff?” she asks.

Today, she called me from Paris.

“You won’t believe this,” she announced, “but it turns out that I love coffee. I discovered that what we get served in North America under the name of coffee is nothing of the kind. The real coffee, though, rocks.”

I remember when I got back to Montreal from Portugal (the place where they make the best coffee in the world), I couldn’t look at the huge basins of strange brownish stuff we got served as coffee.

And don’t even get me started on tea. If you want actual tea on this continent, you have to brew it yourself. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a chemically tasting stuff from a soggy bag.

When I travel to London in May, I’m planning to find out whether they serve real tea at five o’clock.


14 thoughts on “My Sister, the Coffee-Hater”

  1. They really don’t have decent coffee in Montreal? No espresso stores…? You can’t buy Cafe Bustelo or anything like that?

    Tea, home is where I *would* make it … the difficulty I find lately is buying it, decent quality tea has to come by mail order.


    1. I live with a Russian person and my tea is still vastly inferior to his tea. I’m trying but it’s like he’s genetically more predisposed to make better tea than I do.

      One day I will learn, though, and then share it.


  2. Ha, I missed that you were coming to London. Right in exam month though.

    H’mm, England and tea. Well, we certainly drink a lot of it. Mostly from tea bags, although the tea from tea bags here bears no resemblance to tea from tea bags I have had in various places in the US. Which is actually why I started really drinking coffee, so there is a silver lining to everything. If you want proper (loose leaf) tea you will find it, just not in the cheapest of cheap or chain establishments. I do heartily recommend going somewhere for proper afternoon tea; the Ritz is traditional but very expensive and requires booking in advance and smart clothes. It is fun to luxuriate in the purely ridiculous ritual elements of it.


  3. I went to England a very long time ago (1981). They brew their tea strong — it’s as strong as American coffee. You have to add milk. I had problems because I didn’t like milk in my tea and I was always adding water instead. What did I know.

    Also yeah, American coffee. It’s just… well, it’s meant to be drunk by truckers out of thermoses, or reheated in the microwave. At least we now have coffee places that have learned to make proper espresso. Though no one makes it Cuban style — that’s one of the few things I miss about Miami, all the Cuban coffee. They had all these little cafes with a counter onto the street. You’d go up to the counter and order your coffee. They serve it full of sugar. I used to get a cortadito, which is half Cuban coffee and half steamed milk. It’s nothing like a latte.


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