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Today a friend kindly sent me the second of two links to articles about cutting edge coffee places in London and New York….

http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/travel/28heads.html?ref=travel

  http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/food/2010/03/01/2010-03-01_coffee_wars_new_culthit_java_joints_are_brewing_a_big_city_rivalry.html

I became quite steamed up as I read them, it’s all about Espresso!  The world’s becoming a one brew town! If you read the majority of blogs about coffee there is an obsession with baristas and espresso coffee making. Lovely though the coffee is and great that there is a rise in small artisanal coffee roasters I lament the emerging universality of the espresso and the global dominance of trendoid coffee. Whether it’s an Americano, a flat white, a bumpy brown or whatever, I miss the diversity of brew and culture. In northern European countries coffee was usually taken with milk. Not a bloody latte but café au lait or kaffee mit milch and it was made by filter or cafetiere. The southern Mediterranean countries drank small strong cups of coffee without milk, using the stove top espresso or moka pot and eventually developed the espresso machine. In places like turkey and the Middle East they use the ibrik (also called briki or jesvah).

It was interesting to read a past article by George Sabadosin in a Coffee geek forum  http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/georgesabados/06-12-2007

“What is unique is that, outside Italy, the Australian and New Zealand café markets are the only other 100% espresso-based markets in the world! The US and other countries are dominated by filter style, or brewed, coffee. You cannot give filter coffee away in Australia or New Zealand. “

His article refers to the migration of southern Europeans to Australia, unlike the earlier migration to the States it took place at a time of the development of the mass produced espresso machine and so emerged the dominance of the espresso in Australia and New Zealand.

Sadly there are now few places where the espresso machine has not come to dominate.

 The NYDaily News article finishes nicely……

….….. “I’m not trying to be a hater, but dude, have some fun!” said La Colombe’s Wolfe. “Everyone’s so serious. It’s just coffee. They’re like, this is a single varietal from El Salvador and I’m using a $15,000 machine, and you’re going to give me $7 and we’re going to geek out.”
 
  

Oh what am I drinking today? Yemen Mocha Matari  ……Filter!!!

 

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? Satchel Paige

 

A couple of weeks ago we were meeting some friends and as we hadn’t seen their daughters for some time the youngest was desperate to update us on all the important news since we had last met.

 

“I’ve changed my age!” She announced proudly.

 

This is the most delightful description of having a birthday I’ve ever heard, the sense of being in control of the onset of time and choosing to change….wonderful!

 

It got me thinking about our take on age… what fun to have an attitude towards our age and refer to it as how we feel. How often do we hear people lament that they don’t feel old or are surprised by their chronological age…”

 

“I don’t feel that old…I still feel 25!”

 

It’s interesting that the French language constructs age as “I have age”, rather than “I am an age”, J’ai vingt–cinq ans  (and being French I guess they can do what they like with it – who’s asking?)

 

Maybe we could declare two ages whenever we’re asked… chronological and how you feel at the time….. How old do you feel today?

 

Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now. Bob Dylan

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