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Re: Coffee

Reading Matthews question regarding European coffee, got me to thinking. I always bring those little packets of instant coffee. They are not great. I always bring a heating coil for making hot water/tea/coffee. What is a better way to bring coffee from home?

Posted by
9110 posts

Well, I can tell you exactly why and how - - strictly hypothetical of course. Suppose, just suppose, that you're staying in the far beyonds of the UK. The damn British pressed coffee plunked out in a B&B or hostel gags a maggot. There's not a Nero within fifty miles and the nearest bakery doesn't open until the day's half done - - six or so. A tupperware jug filled with a mix of half Community with chicory and half Community dark roast, combined with a little stove-top expresso maker gets the day going. And you can still make it carry-on only - - if you don't bring extra socks. No personal experience, however . . . just something googled.

Posted by
11450 posts

Jana, I am not a fan, but some people find that Starbucks instant packages are pretty good, they are pricey (but obviously alot cheaper then buying a real coffee each day) . I personally only have one coffee a day usually so I make a point of going to a cafe to have it , a cafe creme usually.

Posted by
46 posts

Gee, I thought I was asking a nice simple question about coffee. I love European coffee, from Turkish, Greek, etc. Nothing better in the whole world than sitting in a side walk cafe drinking coffee, but I must have my coffee first thing when I wake up in the morning. I usually don't stay in hotels that serve coffee in bed first thing in the morning. So I bring my heating coil and my instant coffee to get me started. My husband has his green tea. Guess I may have to stay with my Nescafe, darn. Thanks any way you guys.

Posted by
31516 posts

Jana, I can usually get my morning coffee with the supplied hotel or hostel breakfast. I have in the past carried an immersion heater and instant coffee, but found I rarely used it. Some of the small hotels I've stayed in, have supplied a kettle, cups, coffee and tea in the room, so I could make it anytime. If you don't mind instant coffee, then continue carrying Nescafe, Maxwell House or Starbucks individual packets. One interesting point about coffee in Europe, is that I've found a few places that served Nescafe instant, and they seemed to consider it a delicacy (something I've never understood as I normally view "instant" as cr@p). If you want better quality coffee, one method I'd consider would be to pack along either a small French Press or a small Melitta Cone and filters. You can buy coffee when you arrive in Europe. Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by
8502 posts

Jana, In France, and probably many other countries, you can find a delicious instant coffee called Carte Noir. We buy it in a pouch instead of the glass jars, making it easier for travel. It's sold in all the grocery stores. So if you choose, you don't need to carry little packets from the States. We usually bring the leftover home with us. Now packets of Splenda on the other hand, aren't found.

Posted by
3696 posts

I am a coffee addict as well... I would have trouble carrying the french press, but the Melita filters are a great idea... at least that way you can have a cup of 'real coffee'... But, then I would have a problem with real cream...just can't use those packets of stuff.
As far as the Nescafe thing... I was also shocked to see when restaurants advertised it (I thought it was a joke) I would as soon drink soda for breakfast to get some caffine.

Posted by
46 posts

I love traveling in U.K. Almost all hotels/B&B's have a tea kettle in the room. Having coffee/tea whenever is nice. But we are heading for Spain in a month and was hoping to get some polite suggestions on what to do about my coffee first thing in the morning. I think I will try the Via Instant by Starbucks (after all I do live in Washington). I have seen Carte Noir while in France. I may buy some while at the CdG airport, if I can find it, before flying on to Barcelona. It comes in Expresso and regular. I have the paper cones that fit over a cup. Anything will be better than instant. Thanks for the entertaining chats!!

Posted by
11450 posts

I have to say the popularity and availablity of Nescafe surprised me too, I remember it was kind of big in the late 60s, early 70s here, sort of like TANG was and now out of favor , but apparently not in europe.

Posted by
8502 posts

This may explain the Nescafe popularity: in France and perhaps some of the other countries a typical breakfast used to be, and may still be, chocolate or Nescafe in a large bowl of hot milk, in other words cafe au lait. I brew coffee in an Italian stovetop pot to mix with hot milk every morning, but my Paris-born husband still mixes in Nescafe, and prefers it.

Posted by
46 posts

Allen: you are so right. I hope no one finds out that I brought instant coffee to Europe. Please don't tell on me.

Posted by
224 posts

This is insanity, people! Do not, I repeat, do not ever bring instant coffee to Europe. There should be a law, I tell ya!

Posted by
177 posts

Well, instant coffee is a European invention. Nescafe was invented by Max Morgenthaler at Nestle in Vevey in the 1930s at the request of the Brazilian government. They wanted to find a way to store coffee beans instead of destroying crops like they used to do when there was not enough demand. Not sure it is a legend but allegedly US soldiers brought back with them that "delicacy" (which was part of their food ration) and helped popularize Nescafe in the US.
It is still pretty popular in Europe. Growing up I had Nescafe. With the European mini-kitchenettes, there was not much space for appliances.

Posted by
791 posts

I'm not sure about the rest of Europe but George Clooney is the Nescafe spokesman here in Italy, his freaking commercials are on tv constantly.

Posted by
3699 posts

Bodum now sells a plastic version of its French Press designed for travllers. It appears to make two to three cups. You will need a source of hot water but you can carry your own ground coffee with you which is sure to give you a better wake-up in the morning. Cheaper, too.

Posted by
3936 posts

I'm sure they must have them in the US...here in Canada hubby bought some Maxwell House coffee that is in a tea bag type thing...so you just let it steep like tea I guess...not instant at least :) I think he used a few of them when we were away and no American type coffee to be found...

Posted by
12040 posts

"I'm not sure about the rest of Europe but George Clooney is the Nescafe spokesman here in Italy, his freaking commercials are on tv constantly." I haven't seen those commercials in Germany, but I have in Belgium and the Netherlands. Is there a reason why A-list American celebrities appear in such commercials in Europe but not in the US?