Sunday, November 4, 2012

Half and Half

  Having just come back from Seattle where coffee is king and everyone knows the name and life story of his local barista,  I acquired the habit of going some mornings for coffee with my sister.   At Vita's place I ordered an "Americana" coffee:  a  "grande" composed of two shots of espresso.   (Americans have adapted the Italian names for coffee drinks thanks to Starbucks, a company started in Seattle. ) 

 In my case,  one shot of coffee I ordered was decaffeinated and one was real.    Here is what happened when I tried the same thing the other day in Nice.

For good coffee,  I vote Malongo,  a Niçois success story. 
 I vote for Malongo as the best brand in France, an excellent coffee with a water processed de-caf on offer.  

Since the Malongo coffee bar in Nice is right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral , my friend Roge and I decided to stop and have a cuppa.

And it is here that we encountered another example of the famous "can't do"  attitude which is cultural difference number 117.   

Here is the conversation I had ( in french, of course)  with the server .

"Can you bring me a shot of decaf and a shot of real coffee together as one ?"

 Server: "Let me understand,  he wants a coffee and you want a decaf?"

"No, I want two shots but in the same cup?  Half and Half, one decaffeinated and one real coffee.  He wants a cappuccino.

(Look of stupification from the server... slow shaking of the head, hand over the mouth. )

"No,  it's simple I want two shots but in one cup with some room for cream."

FRench man leaning over from another table: " It's easy .  It's done all of the time elsewhere. You simply put two "dossettes" into one cup. "

Server:  (With a doubtful look)  Well, I will go and ask.  Server walks away.

I turn to the stranger and say:   Can't one do this in France?  What's the problem.?   It's possible , right?  

 French Stranger:  " Yes, of course it's possible but you must have a willingness ( bonne volonté)! ( he laughs) The French have difficulty with this.   But it is not difficult just have to want to . " ( shrugs and shakes his head.) 

Well, our two coffees came according to our order and they were a whopping 9 euros.  Roge kindly left her a "tenner".  

On the way out the waitress smiled happily like a child who has taken her first step.   

  Me:  " Now you will remember me for next time , right? "
Server:   Ah oui, madame.  

But still , Malongo is a great coffee.  

1 comment:

  1. Malongo is great. Proof? St Martin restaurant in Vence, a Michelin 2-star, serves Malongo Grand Reserve.