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You CAN teach an old dog new tricks - coffee

So, after travelling to Europe for 10+ yrs and my husband always wanting his 'American style' coffee (just drip coffee with milk/cream and sugar) and him rejecting trying something like a latte or macchiato - he finally did it!

On this trip when we stayed at an airbnb in Vienna, the host made him coffees in the morning with a Nespresso type machine, but did something along the lines of an espresso with a lot of steamed milk - so prob basically a latte. Well, hubby liked it (I mean, it's basically coffee with just a lot more milk, since the coffee is super strong). He also had some caffe lattes in Verona and machiattos in a few other spots when he couldn't remember what the diff were (which aren't much, when I look up the difference - he would add sugar and stir it all up anyways). He even said (GASP) that'd he'd probably have caffe lattes here at home!!!

And it only took him 10 years (of 35 yrs of coffee drinking)...lol.

Posted by
848 posts

Yay!

When we first started to travel to Europe as adults, espresso and the stronger coffees were not widely known in the US. We loved them instantly and upped our coffee game at home after every trip. Glad he finally gave it a try!

Posted by
570 posts

A Viennese conversion! Do you think he’ll want a Nespresso machine now?

In reverse, I remember there were Europeans (particularly French I know) who used to arrive in America ready to cringe at our bottomless cups of robusta coffee (name your brand here) ... until Starbucks arrived on the scene! I know, we had good local espresso houses before that, and Peets, but they were few and far between outside of the major towns.

Posted by
230 posts

I still want my American style coffee when I’m abroad! I buy the single serve instant coffee sticks here in Europe (one I found in France is “Qualité Filtre Extra” which tastes the most like American coffee) and I buy shelf stable cream to keep in my room when I’m at hotels so I can make my own coffee every day just the way I like it. I have an immersion heater and my own mug, too, so I’m all set anywhere I go.

The shelf stable cream, once opened, is probably supposed to be refrigerated, but I’ve carried opened containers around for a couple of days without refrigeration and they haven’t spoiled yet. Or in some stores I’ve found the little mini creamers (like Mini Moos back home) which are even more convenient.

Alas, this old dog has learned a lot of new tricks, but one comfort from home I’m loathe to give up is coffee the way I’m used to, especially in the morning. However, cappuccinos or caffe lattes are a good substitute when having coffee in a cafe or restaurant.

Posted by
433 posts

Drip coffee is so much brown water.

Espresso is NOT strong coffee and does NOT contain more caffeine than drip coffee. Espresso is a learned experience and it should always be a surprise—but never unpleasant. Well-crafted espresso is the compacted essence of superb coffees.

I was in the biz back in the 90s and have owned several pro level espresso machines for home use. Five or six years ago I got tired of the hassles, sold all my equipment to a friend, and got my first Nespresso unit. Never looked back. Although those tiny Nespresso capsules do not deliver nearly the olfactory and gustatory punch of real espresso, they satisfy most of the time. I take myself out for real espresso weekly.

If I’m not packing light, I take my smallest Nespresso machine and accessories along in a Pelican hardshell case as checked baggage:

https://imgur.com/gallery/5PaOwFt

Posted by
3769 posts

Barbara...we already have a drip coffee maker, a French press, a tassimo and a keurig! I have no more room on my counter...lol.

But if he had a choice between drip coffee and a latte while on holiday, he’s still go for the drip.

Posted by
3320 posts

Nicole P, my husband was always a drip coffee fan - likes it strong. But, one year in Padova, a server brought him a cappuccino for breakfast and he was hooked on those. Interestingly, he only has them when we’re in Europe or if I make one at home. If he stops at a local shop for coffee, it’s still a drip coffee order.

Posted by
20569 posts

After spending three weeks in Italy in 1990, our coffee habit changed forever. First, it was only a shift to grinding our own beans, then a relatively inexpensive espresso machine that worked pretty well but require skill and a little luck to get a good pull, and finally an expensive espresso machine that does a great job. The other big shift is that we have moved totally away from any prepared salad dressings using only vinegar and oil. Saves a lot of money.

Posted by
3904 posts

During our trip to San Francisco a couple of years ago we were having breakfast at the hotel but the coffee I was served so weak and tasteless I asked the server if they had anything stronger. He looked at me apologetically and said that most people find the coffee too strong as it is, I dread to think what they'd think of an espresso.

I know it exists there (just like decent cheese, ham and bread) but I just cannot find a decent coffee wherever I've been in the US. Admittedly it wasn't that long ago that coffee in the UK was almost solely of the instant variety but fortunately we've moved on considerably.

Posted by
64 posts

American here who sounds similar to your husband before his conversion! We love drip coffee and and just can't get into the type you get in Europe. I really try to immerse myself in local food and drink and there's nothing from home I want when I travel except plain, old drip coffee with cream! I really try but I have not been able to convert! I usually go for an Americano but it just tastes so bold and aggressive for me hahahaha. I force myself to drink one and I might have a cappuccino or latte here and there but nothing is like my beautiful cup of drip coffee. Every trip I try to reform myself and haven't been successful yet!

Posted by
3769 posts

Highway 61...I never thought I’d see the day. Before Vienna in Prague the hotel had drip coffee. But I guess in Vienna he didn’t want to be rude since our host made him the coffee, and he was like...this isn’t that bad. At home, he will still do his drip in the morning, but might think of getting a latte if we are out and about, or after a meal.

I, on the other hand, took a sip of his latte and am still a staunch hater of coffee.

Posted by
230 posts

@ Jean

Maybe we have different goals, but I’m not really looking for a “nod of approval” from the locals on my coffee preferences. I AM American, and I’ve been drinking drip coffee for 35 years and I”m not trying to impress anyone by drinking espresso when I don’t like it (it’s an acquired taste that I’ve never acquired.) I drink my coffee according to how I like it so long as it’s available - otherwise I adapt to what is available or just do without. What the locals think of how drink my coffee doesn’t even enter into the equation. (They can be impressed when I speak French, and raise their eyebrows when I order “un filtre” but it’s all the same to me!)

Posted by
609 posts

Coffee - one of the highlights of my European trips! Although it was not as consistent in Ireland in June. JC, yes, good coffee can be found in some places in the U.S. but it is definitely NOT everywhere!

Posted by
570 posts

@Nicole P

Wait, you don’t like coffee at all? Do you have a favorite hot beverage or has all the coffee paraphernalia on your counter crowded you out?

Posted by
3769 posts

Oh Barbara...I think coffee is vile. I don’t even like things like a cafe mocha that’s half hot chocolate!

I love a good cuppa. I tend towards black tea like earl grey (just brought home some Countess Grey from Fortnum and Mason!) or breakfast teas or orange pekoe. I don’t do herbal or green teas. I like it good and strong and proper with a kettle to boil the water and preferably a teapot to steep. (From the tassimo or keurig will do in a pinch. You’ll never find me microwaving water for tea. Blasphemy!).

And I do like hot chocolate as well. But I tend to have hot drinks after supper, and if I’m having a sweet dessert, I like a tea. If I’m just having a hot drink and no dessert I’ll have the chocolate.

Posted by
570 posts

Nicole, you won’t believe it but I had a carafe of Countess Grey brewing this morning...lovely at room temperature all afternoon. Nice way to remember those Fortnum Food Halls. Happy Sunday!

Posted by
3769 posts

Barbara - I have no idea how we've been to London 8 times and this was the first time we've been to F&M! But def not the last. And the first time we went to the Waterstones as well.

Made up the Countess Grey last night - delicious.

Posted by
3904 posts

You can buy F&M Countess Grey tea on Amazon but at $17 for 25 tea bags it's a bit pricey!

There was, until recently, a tea merchant in Portsmouth who created his own blends to suit the water in surrounding areas, his Portsmouth Tea was created for the hard water in Portsmouth and it was a great tea and good value at £25 for 1000 teabags.

Posted by
3769 posts

JC...I figured amazon would have them. We picked up 3 diff boxes (some Darjeeling and Assam), and add onto that all the tea I already have in my cupboards, we will prob be good until we get back to London...planning next May.

1000 teabags...omg...that would last me 2-3 yrs...lol.

Posted by
20569 posts

What is the big deal? We all have preferences and, sometimes, often ??, preferences change over time. For time to time on these sites I find posters who think that their preferences should be your preferences. On the question of coffee, I think there has been a general shift in coffee preferences in the US thanks to Starbucks and other specialized coffee providers. I can remember when the only available coffee was drip stored in an overheated steel pot. That was the standard and we had no choice. Tea drinkers always had more choices though I have the same attitude towards tea as some of the tea drinkers have towards coffee. And can remember a time when MogenDavid was the wine standard in our home. Fortunately moved beyond that. Same for coffee. I will not comment if your preference is "beautiful drip coffee." Or the coffee that was, "Good to the Last Drop." And congratulations to Nicole's husband for seeing the light!