■ 25 March 2013 by James Martin
I’m off to Italy. Just in time. I mean, I’ve just done the search for a coffee drink in San Francisco and I don’t think I have the energy to do it again. I’m happy I’m going to Italy, where just about any bar can produce a fine morning cappuccino that tastes good and is just the right size.
Here’s how to get one in San Francisco:
Stop in at the first place. Inquire if they serve their drinks in real cups or do they foist hot, wet, paper on your precious lips? When they say, “we only got paper cups” you commence searching once more.
For every ten coffee houses, you’ll find one that can come up with a cup. Then you have to deal with big Americans who like big things. You’ll have to get used to the fact that most Italian house painters could use an American coffee cup to hold nearly all the paint they use on a 16th century building. Yes, a “small” cappuccino in America is a double that weighs in at 16 ounces, mostly, of course, water.
But even if you accept this enormous, watered down cappuccino, you still have to wade through a menu with pictures of all the crap they can think of to float on a “cappuccino”, like caramel syrup or bits of sugary glop that looks like a pile of shaved crayons. I went through a whole menu, then had to ask if they had just a regular cappuccino.
I got a yes. Zounds. 16 ounces, but that was the best offer of the morning so I took it.
I can’t wait to get to Italy.
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