top of page

3 sips

If you thought I had an issue with the Anglo-Saxon breakfast culture, you have not heard my aghast at the Anglo-Saxon coffee revolution/ culture. I'll make this short.

In France, there are two coffee choices: an expresso (café) and an Americana (alongé). Ok with all the tourists a third has emerged, a latte (café crème) but I don’t know any French who drink that, it’s a pricey option for foreigners. In Italy and Spain coffee categories are similar (café and Americano), but let’s add a cappuccino and a macchiato (cortado in Spain). Voila, a maximum of four choices when you order a coffee in the south of the continent.

In the UK it appears no one actually drinks coffee anymore. Instead, they drink varieties of milk; cow’s, sheep’s, goat’s, almond, coconut, even oat, full fat, semi-skimmed, skimmed. They layer it with sugars, syrups, ice cream, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate sprinkles, creams some whipped some not. They shake and spin the poor helpless shot of coffee so it metaphysically transforms into a froth or a frappe, and the final milky syrupy glumpy solid is served in a vast vat of cardboard with your name scribbled on. I am bewildered by how many questions I am asked when all I want is a straightforward black coffee. Has London gone mad? Put all that crap on top and you could be drinking Bisto gravy and no one would know!

We Anglo-Saxon's wonder why we are twice the size of the French. I see coffee as a microcosm of the issue: they have 3 sips of real coffee in the morning and we gulp back a pint of milk and sugar... and we wonder why the waistline widens.

So far, I have been very pro France, but coffee is sadly not their forté; it is weak and tasteless and reminds me of Café Rouge (sorry dear Café Rouge I seem to always pick you on). So please don’t go to France for good coffee, go to Italy or Spain, or just hit a non-chain boutique coffee shop in London. And for the love of Ford make sure you order a straightforward coffee, that way you might actually smell the beans and stay svelte!

bottom of page