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Coffee Explained (Sorry Starbucks!)

As an American Dad, I know as well as you know, we live on coffee.  I personally need an I.V. inserted in my arm with a pot of coffee attached on the other end.  I drink about 2 pots of coffee a day.  I just love coffee!  Now, we are not Starbucks fanatics by any means, in fact I only drink it when nothing else is available.  I am not saying it is gross, but I am  saying I prefer smaller roasters.  And as my favorite drink, coffee drink is different from the States.

Our first place of Europe was Lisbon Portugal.  Our first coffee in Europe was really surprising to us.  It was late at night, like 8 pm or something on a Friday, and ice air cold.  Being from Florida anything colder than 60 degrees is ice to us.  We needed caffeine to finish the un packing and stuff left to do.  So as great parents, we decided to let our oldest watch the babies. 

We were off to find a coffee in the middle of the 7 hills of Lisbon in the dark.  Did I forget to mention the ice cold air hitting our lungs.  We had no idea which way to go, so we figured let's go up since going down will be easier on the way back.  I feel the 1,000 staircase down on the other side had a factor.  Moving onward we were trying to find big signs that say “COFFEE” or “CAFE”.  Well wouldn’t you know it, they do not do that.  You just find a small cafe that looks like somes front door and walk in.

We found a cafe at the top of the hill with a beautiful view this guy across the streets asked us, in english, if we wanted something to eat.  Yes we are dead giveaways as Americans.  He stopped packing up the patio furniture and lead us into a very small cafe.  We just wanted coffee.  And by chance they had COFFEE!  They asked what we wanted, our response was COFFEE.  With a long blank stare, they asked how would like it.  Me being the coffee expert said how the locals drink it. 

A few minutes later we get these little kids play tea set size cups with a handle my pinky could not even think of going through.  It was like a toddlers size of cup of coffee.  We both look at each other with a dumb found look and said When in Rome, or I guess Lisbon.  We added our jumbo size sugar packet that came with the espresso and in two sips, done!

The drinks that they offer here are quite different from the States.  First, everyone has some sort of espresso maker in there house and restaurant.  So asking for a regular coffee is not going to work.  The closest thing to a regular coffee is an Americano, which is an espresso with hot water.  And it is not even that big of a cup.  Propbale about 8 to 10 oz in size. 

Common drinks in Europe
Cafe Con Leche-
XXXX drink with milk

After we got to Valencia, Spain, we had no coffee maker in the Airbnb or our new flat.  So we went every morning to the cafe on the corner, yes they have them on every corner, crack, and allie.  We ordered our 1.40 Euro Cafe Con Leche, sometimes we got 2, and tried out our spanish.  I will say it was extremely helpful to go in the cafe and try to speak their language.  They are extremely polite about it, and some not many speak english.

We have yet to find a place that offers drip coffee, like from my good old friend the coffee pot.  They have coffee pot brewers on Amazon.es and other Amazon Europe accounts.  However, like I said everyone drinks espresso.  They mostly use this bad mamba jama thing called Nespresso.  It is like a keurig coffee maker but for espresso.  We sperged on ours.  It can do Large Americanos, and can stem milk in the milk genie.  It is great to have a cafe con leche everyday.  The price of the little cups are roughly 0.28 to .38 Euros.  Compare that to the 0.50 to 0.65 cent for the kcups in the States.

Starbuck lovers do not fear.  They have Starbucks, but not many.  They are usually located in the heart of the city and near the tourist areas.  And yes the prices are just as high, but after currency converter, you actual pay more here.  So please try a local cafe and boost at least once.

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