I love coffee in Italy. I’m a light coffee drinker, and enjoy a good espresso from time to time, but more often favor sweeter drinks like lattes and mochas. I try to frequent independent coffee shops, but Starbuck’s is fine in a pinch.
In Rome coffee shops are little bars. You pay the cashier for what you want (cafe espresso, capuccino, etc), then take the ticket to the bar. The barista takes the ticket and whips out a saucer and spoon. A few moments later your drink appears. Drink it up then make way for the next customer. The barista does nothing but make coffee, and never has to handle the dirty money and keep washing his hands.
And the coffee is just so very good. I’ve had one bitter shot the whole time I’ve been here, and even tiny little places make better shots than I get anywhere in Arizona. The cappucinos are my favorite, with a light foam that’s worlds different from the heavy stuff I’m used to. On the funny side, I’m obviously enough of an American that they keep assuming I want “cafe americano” or “American coffee” and I have to clearly ask for the espresso.
I wish we had places like this in the US. Maybe in large malls or some place you could get lots of walk-up traffic to help it catch on. I’d go out of my way for coffee like this regularly, and I am sure others would, too.
I’m also fascinated by how people smoke best e cig and cigarettes here. First, it seems like everyone smokes. Babies smoke. Dogs smoke. Most of the statues smoke. The difference is many of them smoke as an accessory rather than just for a fix. I’ve seen both men and women chain smoking to keep themselves hopping, but I also see many people light a cigarette and just wave it around for emphasis and punctuation, barely taking a puff or two. Women seem to do this more than men, and I’ve found that as much as I dislike cigarettes they can actually make it quite sexy. Freudian metaphor at work on my subconscious? Maybe, but it still connects. I just wish i had a vape pen it wasn’t so stinky. Or so fatal. But other than that it’s pretty cool.