Thursday, December 23, 2010

Simulating Starbucks

Say Starbucks stands for the precise form of coffee you like. When you travel, how can you reproduce that? Starbucks is not found everywhere.

My Starbucks is 8--10 ounces of drip coffee in the morning, not very strong, nearly black. During travels, this is difficult to get and I have to improvise. In Italy, I have to order "due cafe americano, lungo". Each americano is espresso and a separate glass of hot water, lungo makes it more espresso, "due" makes it two, and when mixed in a large cup (if you can find one of those), this will be a reasonable substitute. In India, I am mixing coffees to simulate this. Two Nescafe cappucinos, one with sugar, one without sugar, ... The experiment is still on.

Anecdote: I remember a while ago I was walking back from lunch with Dan Spielman and Ravi Kannan. I was engrossed in my discussion with Dan, and noticed after a while that Ravi was missing. Dan guessed that Ravi must have gone to his favorite coffee shop. We headed there, and indeed there was Ravi, having discovered the substitute for *his* Starbucks: a strong, South Indian, filter coffee!


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