Tiny Coffee – other countries’ 2 oz coffees
First off, let me say that I love coffee. On most days, I have a large mug. So this is not about my understanding coffee. I get it. For its taste, health benefits, and physiological effects. These are the reasons why I love coffee and drink it.
However, I will always be absolutely dumbfounded by the tiny toy tea cup sized that you receive coffee and tea in outside of the US. These glasses are essentially shot glasses except they don’t get you buzzed. Not only do they give you a paltry amount of coffee they also further lessen the amount of coffee by adding lots of milk and sugar. The first time I was served coffee outside of the US, I thought WTF!
However, to the rest of the world such serving portions of coffee are normal. Whether watching locals stand around a food cart in India watching people taking thimble sized sips of Chai, watching a ridiculously dressed coffee server in the Middle East with a huge pitcher of coffee slung around his back dispensing the precious liquid into little paper cups, the outdoor cafes of Europe where more than 5 pieces of utensils (saucer, tiny cup, spoon to scoop sugar, container of sugar, small picture of milk, and a metal stirrer to mix everything together) are needed to satisfactorily serve 2 ounces that I’ll pound in 2 seconds, to a restaurant in Latin America where much of the world’s beans come from, one thing is certain. Outside the US, nearly everyone is drinking their coffee and tea in tiny cups. Prices range from cheap to unreasonable costing between $0.15 to $5.00 depending on the country! A small daily ritual and for some a small daily luxury even at $0.15 a cup.
So is it a American cultural bias that I can’t understand why people are perfectly happy drinking coffee and tea in 2 ounce containers? Is the average American’s tendency to like big things including servings of food and drink? Is it the super abundance of resources and wealth? Is it that Americans have larger quantities of coffee available to them at cheaper prices because the US is on the doorstep of Latin America? Is it because coffee was initially scarcer and subsequently more expensive to Europeans who had to obtain the beans by sailing vessels from the far corners of the globe? Did other cultures adopt drinking coffee in this manner because of European strength and influence at around the time coffee spread to Europe around the late 1500’s? Or is it my shallow heritage that doesn’t fully allow me to slow down and appreciate every single sip of what I’m drinking even if it doesn’t fill up a thermos sized container?
Whether due to historical events, cultural norms and practices, or wealth, I don’t understand drinking as a 2 year old would at a tea party whenever I drink the standard coffee served outside the US. Don’t get me wrong, the coffee in some parts of the world is incredibly good and potent. I also enjoy trying to experience another culture’s daily life. On this issue though, I’ll stick with Cafe Americano when traveling. This is the only coffee option that if available is made for a full sized person to drink.
Understandability Rating – 2