Destination: Zürich (Switzerland), London (Great Britain)
This story is about coffee. And about different habits around this topic. If you’ve been reading my stories before, you might have already noticed that I give great value to my coffee. One of the most challenging parts of moving to Switzerland was finding a good coffee brand. We tried many options and were not happy. Our MoccaMaster was doing its best with the given ingredients but was failing us… and the coffee stress was rising to unexpected levels. I didn’t feel like fitting in. I wanted my coffee because my home is where my coffee is. Our Finnish friends and family who came to visit us were dragging tons of Juhlamokka in their suitcases, trying to help me in my agony. Finally, after endless trying, we did find our brand that was ALMOST as good as Juhlamokka. And our friends could concentrate on filling their luggage with other things such as rye bread, chocolate, and licorice.
Did you know that the Finns drink more coffee than anyone else in the whole wide world? In numbers, this means approximately 10 kg per year per person. We definitely value our coffee moments. This topic came up again when the guys from the moving company, the ones who drove through half of Europe to bring us our furniture, almost fainted in our kitchen when we served them some Juhlamokka brewed in our MoccaMaster. So they said that it was the first good cup of coffee they had during the whole trip so far. And I understood. Oh, after some weeks of drinking this mud they call coffee around here, I could very much relate. This time we had a little Finnish coffee moment with these guys in our kitchen somewhere near Zürich city. Home is where your coffee is.
The worst of all things around here is that Swiss people seem to love capsule machines. Unfortunately, I am all in for Filter Coffee, and I do not like the habit of warming up the milk for the coffee either. For heaven’s sake, if I want a cappuccino, I get a cappuccino, which is another dimension. I drink my coffee with milk, cold milk. Did you know that in Italy they call this kind of coffee American Coffee? Isn’t that strange? As far as I am concerned, it is the one and only my kind of coffee. Call it whatever you want! Anyway, once we were invited for dinner to a very Swiss elderly couple. After dinner, they served coffee and were utterly ashamed, apologizing that at the time being, they had only filter coffee in the house. We looked at each other, our eyes secretly smiling, and said: oh, no worries, that is completely fine, we can live with that. They went to prepare the coffee, and we cheered silently. This couple just made friends for a lifetime…
Some time ago, I traveled to a place referred to as a tea drinker’s paradise, Great Britain. I went there for a conference and was staying overnight in a fancy little hotel somewhere in London. Other people were attending the same conference staying in the same hotel, and we ended up sitting at the same breakfast table. And what do these British ladies do? They talk about different tea brands and start comparing their favorites. One of them tells a story about their holiday trip to the Netherlands and how it was impossible to find good tea from this country. We should have brought our own, she said, shaking her head. The others were nodding and mumbling sympathetically. I sat there in between these ladies and was thinking, Oh my Lord, WHAT are they talking about? Tea? Is there more than ONE tea brand? Is there a DIFFERENCE? You must be KIDDING me… I was trying to become invisible since I realized where this conversation was leading. And bingo! In no time, one of them was asking me what my favorite tea brand was. A moment of silence followed. Ohm, I am more a coffee drinker, I said, knowing that answering “Twining’s” would not have sounded very convincing. A long moment of silence. The ladies were rolling their eyes. Splendid! Said one with British politeness. Amazing! Said another. Then more silence. I concentrated on drinking my coffee, which tasted like crap, by the way.
It was a good trip, but oh boy, was I happy to get back home to my MoccaMaster and my kind of coffee. Home is where my coffee is.
To plan a trip to London, click here
To plan a trip to Zürich, click here