The Scary Thing about America

The Ukrainian student loves everything about the US. Except for one thing that evokes something akin to sacred horror in her.

“It’s that thing they call coffee,” she says.

It’s true that pretty much nobody in the world understands the weird swill that passes for coffee in North America. I’ll be in Spain in a couple of weeks, and real coffee is what I anticipate the most.

It’s even worse in Canada. I remember staring at a cup of “coffee” in Canada and asking, “why, God, why? There must be a reason you permitted this abomination to come into existence but what can it be?”


8 thoughts on “The Scary Thing about America

  1. I have no idea how you’re supposed to make coffee. I boil mine for ten minutes on low in a saucepan, and then dump it into the coffee press. I’m guessing this is not how normal people do it, because everyone I know is horrified by this 😉


    1. …the chief thing that bothers them is, I think, the large quantity of sludge it leaves in the bottom of the glass. They’re also miffed that I don’t bother with coffee mugs.


    1. @Pen

      “What’s different in how coffee is prepared elsewhere?”

      In European restaurants, when you order a cup of coffee, your coffee is individually brewed just for you in a tiny coffee maker that holds about three cups. In American restaurants, your cup of coffee comes from a HUGE coffee maker that holds over a gallon of already brewed coffee. As a result. European coffee has a noticeably stronger taste.

      That’s why a cup of coffee is MUCH cheaper in American restaurants, and why you get all the free refills that you want.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “individually brewed just for you in a tiny coffee maker that holds about three cups”

        You mean a moka pot?* I have a couple and love them.

        But… that’s not the case anymore. Europe largely uses coffee machines now and fancier stuff might be available at coffee shops or upscale restraurants but it’s not the norm…



        1. There are many problems with American coffee. The beans are always burnt. I have no idea why they are so scorched every single time. As a result, the taste is always somewhat sour. Not every place is as bad as Starbucks that burns its beans into cinder but what puzzles me is that people don’t seem to notice. People use all these unnecessary sweet toppings and flavors to mask the burnt taste, so they do seem to intuit that something is wrong. But it’s never openly discussed. I have no idea why. It’s all quite mystifying.


      2. That, too, yes. In the US, we swill coffee from huge receptacles, trying to get some effects. It’s very watered down but there’s a reason for that. The beans are so burnt that nobody would be able to ingest it if it weren’t watered down.


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