I’m having a heck of a time getting a decent cup of coffee here.

To be fair, I spoiled myself in Van about as much as I could. If you knew where to look, there were a number of places that served truly superb coffee. At work, we were using very good beans, blends, and never more than a week old grind.

On the other hand, all I want is for someone to give me some cream for my coffee. Even milk would be fine, just squirt some cow juice in a cup and hand it to me along with the cup of black tar that people here drink as coffee.

I guess it’s a North American thing, but after I get a cup, I expect to turn and find a small table with cream, milk, sugar and sugar free sweetener. Here, there’s loads of the sweet stuff, but no dairy to be found.

For my first few days around the office, I was forced into machine coffee. The office here just got these new machines that make free espresso drinks. ‘Free’ is new to people and the in thing to do is to go down to the lobby and hang out by the vending machines drinking what tastes like tar cut with lemon juice. Or, tar au citron, en Francaise.

I later found that there is an espresso bar in the basement of the building. Here, I tried in vain to get milk with coffee. I started with asking for a cafe (which is an espresso), then asked for ‘creme’ (this got me a latte). I shook my head, and pointed at the big cup on the machine, and ended up with a cafe double (two espresso), again, I said ‘avec creme’ and the barrista poured out half of my coffee and gave me the same latte I got earlier. I gave up and took what she had. Since then, I’ve found 6 different ways to order a latte, and a few other ways to get black coffee.

I’ve tried a few other places around the city, but still not much luck, until I found what I’d really been craving.

The milk jug was watered down with ice, and they brewed filtered coffee with espresso beans, but it was the best tasting coffee I’d had since I got here.

While searching google for some quick answers, I discovered that there are other people that have had a similar experience. I’m going to keep trying, different places, and different methods of ordering until I get it right. I know that there is good coffee somewhere in this city.

2 thoughts on “Coffee

  1. It’s an ongoing experiment. Some things to try:- café allongé (a long coffee)- café americano (i tried this and got blank stares in some parts of France not to mention Italy)- café noisette (an espresso with a bit of milk)- café renversé (an upside down coffee with creme)- “au lait” and “creme” will generally get you a latte- “creme bien blanc” is a good dose of creme but not a latte- “avec un peu de creme” is worth a shot

  2. I’ve tried a lot of those. The allonge is good, but it’s still black. I think that I’ve settled on Cafe Allonge Noisette. It’s basically an americano with a little milk.I agree with you on the americano, it gets you know where. I tried this in one coffee shop and the lady just looked at me funny and said ‘Starbucks?’

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