Forgive me, Gods of Caffeine

There is something I need to clear from my conscience.  But first, the context …

Shanghai (and China in general) has really terrible coffee.  For a country that invented pretty much everything – including the printing press and pasta (originally known as noodles, stolen back to Europe by Marco Polo and rebranded) – and that discovered practically the whole world including America (just read that highly reputable and totally undisputed book ‘1492’ for more details), the Chinese are yet to make a decent cupofchino.

In my short time here, I have experienced all sorts of mangled versions of what I call coffee (OK, it’s probably payback for my own mangling of the people’s language).  I have experienced a “cappuccino” that is nothing more than a bitter black coffee topped with whipped cream and sparkles.

A pitch black “latte”.  A sweetened sludge of coffee paste called a “mocha”.  Coffee burnt to every degree imaginable, from bushfire-grade to “Sir, would you like some milk with your charcoal?”

So now, each morning on my way to work, I take a slightly longer route than necessary and go to Starbucks … the very place that I would avoid like the plague in Sydney, but unfortunately the only place I can depend on to provide a coffee that would consistently rate as ‘drinkable’ or above.  My brain tells me it is all wrong, but my caffeine receptors are loving it.

In my defence:
_ at least Starbucks is owned by real capitalists, not those hiding behind Hillsong Church (ahem, Gloria Jeans)
_ they use organic soy milk
_ I avoid paper cups by drinking-in
_ I take the time to study some Chinese, thus addressing my own shortcoming and encouraging this wonderful country to do the same…

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2 Responses to Forgive me, Gods of Caffeine

  1. Julia Borghesi says:

    Dr, i so know where you are coming from. For the first little while we were in Jakarta there were no mainstream coffee shops and hence no semi-decent coffee. After about 2 years Starbucks came to town and it was bliss! Similar to yourself we diverted as needed just to get there … added hours onto any trip but hey you do what you do. Needless to say i haven’t touched the ‘Bucks since being back in Australia, so have faith. xx.

    • Is that because almost all of them have closed down? Do you think I should try one here just to check if it is indeed a universal taste? Was your mention of faith a reference to Gloria Jean’s? Look at all my questions!!!

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