What gets you down to the roots of civilisation and culture in another city? Coffee. The biggest mistake tourists make when travelling is not picking up the finer points of this everyday social ritual. So here is Georges guide to ordering coffee in cities around the world…


The eternal city of Rome is the birthplace of coffee culture, its in an Italians DNA and Romans enjoy their coffee standing at these bars sipping their brews while chatting to the barista. So do like the locals and get some elbowroom at the bar. Cappuccino is an AM drink only- the biggest mistake tourists make is ordering a milky coffee after 11. Want to blend in? Order your cappuccino and cornetto (not croissant!) for breakfast and enjoy a perfectly brewed espresso after 11am. Lastly Add your own sugar (in private!).


The city that never sleeps, probably due to the amount of caffeine it consumes. Forget Starbucks you want to order coffee like New Yorker? Hop on to a stool at the local coffee shop, and observe the true New Yorkers in their natural habitat. Regular Coffee or just "Coffee" - That's coffee plus plenty of milk and sugar. You don't have to say milk and sugar. You'll get that thrown in like a bonus. Extra-lite or "extra-light" - More milk than a lite. Sweet and lite - Lots of sugar, lots of milk. No sugar - Say it twice. Say it loud. Say it clear. The default is "With sugar."


England is a nation of tea drinkers, they love their tea so much that it’s offered to you wherever you go. If you’re a coffee addict you’ll probably have a hard time looking for a high quality cup of coffee outside of Starbucks.  So maybe swap the coffee for a cup of tea!


Take your time with your coffee in Paris, it’s a place to watch the world go by, it is no time to be flipping through your phone or asking for the Wi-Fi password. The French call it 'flâneur' to take your time or to be a loafer. Espresso is the regular drink of the locals but if that is too strong try a Café Crème (espresso with steamed milk) or Café noisette (espresso with a tiny bit of milk)


When the Spanish order a coffee in the morning, they appear to be speaking on code. It's rarely just 'coffee' . These are the terms you're going to have to get to grips with if you want to keep your head above water in a Spanish 'cafeteria. Café solo Espresso, the standard form of coffee in Spain - if you want lots of water in it you could ask for it to be added but you might get laughed at. Café con leche Espresso with milk added. The most popular form of coffee in Spain. Cortado - an espresso cut (from Spanish cortar) with steamed milk, typically 1:1 - 2:1 espresso to milk rations, and served in a short glass. It's similar to the piccolo in Australia, . Popularly ordered around the merienda hours of 5pm-7pm to give a little jolt.


A famous Turkish proverb says that coffee should be “as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love.” This thick brew is usually served after meals from a long-handled copper pot called a cezve, alongside chewy Turkish candy

30 September 2013
Shirt Tales
The Journal Of Pugnacious George
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