Posted by: Megan | July 24, 2007

The Coffee Odyssesy Route …

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‘Coffee Shop’ – Serengeti Park Headquarters/Tanzania.

Throughout my travels I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it is a myth to think my coffee will be the same on the other side of the globe! Given I dislike that ‘at home’ feeling when travelling – it seems somewhat ironic that I should even consider exploring the possibility in my adventures that it will be. The problem is that I have become a coffee snob! Yes, you got it – I’m one of the ones who kindly ask country women in coffee shops to please put some coffee in the coffee. The one who will say when visiting friends: “tea thanks” if instant coffee is spotted in their pantry! The one who considers percolated coffee as bottom line choice. And sadly … the one who thinks that the love heart on top of the latte means something uniquely and individually special – knowing all too very well though it is pure coffee art!

It’s hard at times though – admittedly – to be a true traveller at the same time as have true epicurean appreciation for the fine art of all things coffee – some things have to give – often standards! So my travels these days divert down a ‘coffee odyssey route’ laden with many potholes along the way in the quest for a decent coffee before reaching my destined point! This route often makes for an interesting journey!

It’s quite amazing that one simple word – that being ‘coffee’ – can evoke so much excitement (in me anyhow). But sometimes, I find it simply inconceivable that that very word manages to taunt me in foreign countries. Take China for example. The Chinese may know how to spell it – signpost it outside a small building – but deliver it? A tar black ‘cappuccino’ under a slim lining of creamy froth is a definite calling for assistance – would you not agree? Oddly enough, it wasn’t just places like China that taunted me with advertisements of coffee – alluring me to the front door as excited as if I had found a Tibetan treasure box only to end up disappointed with its’ content. The USA – now there is disappointment for a supposed coffee-drinking nation. And what? Ruled by Starbucks? Questionably owned by those same country women who fail to put the coffee in the coffee? Reality had it though, when travelling (not only in the USA) Starbucks ended up casting the same spell over me as most other Americans (and desperate (travel) coffee drinkers)! Once I finally learnt to order a triple shot latte I stuck with the same predictable crap and actually appreciated that Starbucks was located on every corner! I know, I know – seriously …

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Ah – a decent coffee when travelling abroad – I’m obsessed with the quest! I’ve either been nicknamed ‘Café Con Leche’ (Spanish for coffee with milk) by travelling companions in Cuba or have been in search of a rich Arabian Knight in Dubai to buy me my ongoing lattes as after actually finding a decent one at Dubai airport at USD7 a pop – at that point I didn’t think I could sustain the habit for much longer!

I know that I would have the support of my fellow-coffee-snob-traveller friend Bruce who currently wakes up in Hong Kong to three scoops of Guatemalan gold with water mineralised from the sacred stones of Mt Huangshan in China, and a lovely frothy topping of milk from Hong Kong’s very own Trappist Monastery.

Have I though any other fellow-coffee-snob-travellers out there who travel down the same odyssey route as do I (and Bruce)? Tell me your experiences! Maybe they have been great – and if so I want the full name and address of the coffee shop with detailed directions of how to get there – even if I do have to ride on the hind ass of a donkey en-route in such a pursuit!

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Coffee in a family Cuban home – Myself and fellow coffee addict Kate!

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Myself at a hole-in-the-wall coffee spot – Zanzibar.

Love and Lattes – Megan


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