‘Three cups of coffee a day, keep the doctor away!’

Experience & short funny story

By Dahlia Tera

This morning, having a coffee with a friend, I was reminded of the memory of a trip to Italy some years ago. It was as part of a collaboration on earthquakes. Italy is like ours, a country at risk from a geological point of view.

But many of you will associate probably Italy with the Roman Empire (from 27 B.C. to 476 A.D.), about 500 years of domination, splendor, and power, whose maximum extension was in three continents, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Maybe the most emblematic monument is the Colosseum in Roma.

Then came the Vatican State, the Pope, and the mighty Catholic Church.

But we are not here now to take a history lesson…. but rather a “coffee lesson”!!

In fact, on that trip, I discovered that coffee in Italy is not just an “espresso”!! There are more or less thirty types of coffees…. And not by the origin of the beans or ways of toasting them ( even if also this is very important!) but by the ways of preparing it, naming it, and serving it!

So, let’s make a coffee culture! It’s good and enjoyable!

And as Sherlock Holmes said: ‘There is nothing better than a cup of coffee to stimulate the brain !’

The basis is ESPRESSO: it is the most consumed and known as ‘NORMAL’! At the bottom of a small white ceramic cup, two centimeters of dark coffee thickened to form a little foam, rather bitter ( connoisseurs drink it without sugar). It is often served at the bar counter and drank standing up, quite quickly, alone or with a friend.

Offering or having a coffee of this type has no timetable: every moment is welcome.

And some people have five, six, seven….. a day!

And now, let yourself have fun with some of the most known and practiced variants!…. ‘All you need is love …………..coffee’!

A RESTRICTED coffee is an espresso with even less water, so very few in the cup and rather strong. It is also called SHORT ESPRESSO.

A DOUBLE or TRIPLE coffee is two or three espressos in the same cup… so there are two or three doses of coffee ( it is as if one drank two or three coffees!!) … when you really need to wake up!

A LONG coffee is different even it seems the same because it is an espresso with more water but with one dose only.

In the STAINED coffee, a ‘cloud’ of milk froth is added. It can be cold stained or hot stained ( with cold milk or hot milk!!) Some call it FROTHED coffee. Italian barmen are very good at drawing flowers or little hearts with foam.

On MOROCCAN coffee, cocoa powder is added, so that, by mixing, the coffee takes on a chocolate flavor.

A little liqueur of your choice is added to the CORRECTED coffee: so it is an espresso with a small amount of liquor that can be Brandy, Cognac, Sambuca ( anise)…

The SUMMER coffee is served in a larger cup than for espresso because it is an espresso with much cold milk froth. So, first, you eat almost all the froth with a teaspoon then you drink the coffee which has become cold in the meantime, with the foam that remains.

The MOCCACINO (untranslatable!) is a hot drink with long coffee, cream, and chocolate, sometimes with the addition of cocoa powder. It is usually served in a glass cup so that the layers are visible…. chocolate, cream, coffee.

A COLD coffee can be prepared in three ways, always on the basis of espresso with ice. It is:

  • cold: adding in the cup one or two ice cubes.
  • iced: bleeding ice and coffee
  • shakerato: coffee, ice, and sugar beat in a shaker!. You can also add a drop of vanilla or hazelnut liquor. A little beige foam must come….

The AMERICAN coffee is a very very long one served in a mug ….. ‘It is not coffee’ someone says!!!

Italian people do not drink it often but for some years it is ‘fashionable’, ‘trendy’…

As BARLEY coffee and GINSENG coffee… a bit of ‘exoticism’, with cinnamon too.

‘Ending’ with the DECAFFEINATED or DECA coffee. For heart patients and nervous people ….ah! ah!

The possibilities of customizing the espresso are countless and it is pleasant and funny to discover them!

There are the variants of the variants, according to the creativity of the bartenders, to some regional differences, to the trend of the moment….

‘Coffee is a cup-sized embrace’ anyway….

The nicest one is called SUSPENDED coffee……What is it? – A gesture of generosity! You pay your coffee and one more for ‘someone’ … the barman, so, has a kind of ‘coffee bank’ and can offer a cup to whoever cannot pay….It is a nice thing! but not done everywhere …..

And now…. Let’s have a coffee .. which one will you choose?

In a large cup? In a small cup? Ceramic or glass?

Now that you know “everything” about coffee or coffees…. Let’s open a coffee shop in Katmandu serving all kinds of coffees?

And anyway remember: ‘Three cups of coffee a day, keep the doctor away!’

Have a very good cup of coffee!

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