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What's the worst coffee worldwide?

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,734
Location
London, UK
For those who remember, the last 100 years or so, "craft cocktails" have been chic. As a young boy, we went to places like Tonga Room and Trader Vic's for colorful drinks with paper umbrellas.. There were "fern bars" like Henry Africa's. T.G.I. Friday's had a special menu of special cocktails - every bar was stocked with fresh tropical fruit and a blender. T.G.I. Friday's made popular what is now known as "flair bartending". There was also a revival of "classic cocktails" to go along with the revival of swing dancing.

Or maybe it was just me, who grew up drinking in bars. No kidding. Alcohol beverage control laws aside - when I was a kid, teenagers went to bars. Nobody checked ID back then. If you had money, they served you.



London has its cocktail bars, they were a thing really here from the prohibition era in particular, when there was an influx of American cocktail barmen. Always tended to be in the centre of town, though - it's not something we see much in the East End, though a few good places have opened in the last decade or two as the EE has slowly gentrified. There's a few TGIs here in town, though being so central they tend most to attract tourists, not much local trade.
In Asian cultures, they've always had places that served only sweets. One of those delicacies has crossed over into mainstream culture by way of Tea Shops. Boba tea shops.

In my neighborhood, there are several Italian cafes which only serve sweets and desserts.

It's interesting seeing the differences with these things. I remember when I first went to China - dessert cafes, local restaurants; nobody drank in bars (they were for tourists and very much looked down on), but at the table after dinner. Big changes since then as China opened up to Western influences, though that could of course all change again.
There are tea gourmets. It's cultural. There are many different types of tea, and methods of brewing. Some cultures have ceremonies. Tea aficionados are like other niche groups of people who favor cigars, wines, coffee, and such. They would be able to point out the differences between the different gourmet teas of the world, versus a bag of Lipton. At my house, I have Lipton.

One of the great things in Beijing, especially when you find a good local one off the tourist path. Discovered I very much like Chysanthamum tea out there. Tend to stick to the basics here, though. There's a few bubbletea places around, but it doesn't yet seem to have gone beyond a novelty in the UK. Shanefully, that's one thing I've yet to try.


From what I remember, the creators and writers of that show, based the coffee shop on coffee shops they remembered going to as young people. Maybe it was only in large cities in the USA, like Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia. But that model of a neighborhood coffee house, with random second hand furniture, thrift store decor, bookshelves where people could take and/or leave books, a bulletin board, poetry readings, singers, and other unpaid performers, wasn't new. They were around when I was a boy. I guess the television show popularized that type of coffee shop worldwide. What that television show featured, which I had never seen before, was drinking coffee from a soup bowl. Those coffee cups were huge. They looked like they could serve Vietnamese Pho.

Yes, I think it very much did. Funny thing is that at one time - back in the Regency era - London was famous for its coffeehouses, but that culture seemed to die out and then come back in this other form, more as an international influence, rather than a continuity. It's something so commonly misunderstood now that there's even a pretentious hipster cafe down in Vauxhall that makes a show of not serving coffee, affecting to find it "American", "not British", and pointedly marketing itself as a tea place.
 

Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,489
Location
The Barbary Coast
There's a few TGIs here in town, though being so central they tend most to attract tourists, not much local trade.


I went there when I was in high school. By that time, TGI Friday's was already a corporate franchise found in suburban shopping mall locations, and where you could find travelers. The 2 locations in the area were out by the airport, and along Fisherman's Wharf.

This was back when drinking was en vogue. Bars were active all week, with gimmicks and promotions. Big warehouse size nightclubs with over 1,000 people packing the dance floor was where the action was on the weekend. Places like TGI Friday's was a place you would go on a Wednesday or Thursday. In those days, it was still a "singles bar" theme. They had "ladies nights" where girls got free cocktails.

You're not missing much with the food. I recall the bartenders flipping bottles and doing tricks. A lot of colorful drinks with paper umbrellas. Cocktails being lit on fire. After 10, the lights dimmed, a DJ played music, and they turned on the fog machine and disco lights. The kitchen stayed open all night.

Even at midnight, you could order a burger, a chicken salad, onion rings........ a very predictable menu. There was nothing I ate there that was in any way "outstanding". But people still ate there. It was "consistent". You knew what you were getting. And it wasn't bad. It just wasn't anything like what modern foodies expect. No burger with gruyere cheese on a brioche bun. No truffle shavings on the fries. A basic strip steak - not Wagyu. The chicken was not free range or organic. The salmon was not sustainably line caught. The tomatoes were not heirloom.
 
Messages
11,090
Location
Germany
The only explanation, why South Europe held on the aluminium moka pots for so long, could be, that in the older days, they had much more chalk in the water, so the metal aroma didn't transfer into the coffee after a short while of using.
I'm giving my 1 cup Bialetti another chance from time to time, but the metal taste isn't gone, actually. I taste the brew in my mouth, but spit it out, as long as there's no change.

By the way:
The first of my cheap storebrand stainless steel moka pots has the often reported rust now slowly coming through. Somewhere in the future, I will simply waste it.
 
Messages
11,090
Location
Germany
But one thing I can say from my experience:
Equally, if some folks with moka pots heat them up faster and say, it makes no difference, I can tell the opposite!
I compared again and again, and the slower way was always the better on my electric stove. Heating up faster brings this mistaste, when the water seethes too fast.
Level 5/ 6 of 9 is best, no need to get higher.
 

Ingramite

Familiar Face
Messages
90
Location
The Texas Hill Country
Waffle House is another tradition of the south. It was probably the last restaurant chain to prohibit smoking. I believe that it was because of local ordnances and not health concerns.

Even today the ceiling in every Waffle House is still painted a wonderful shade of carmel, resembling the exact shade of nicotine film.

One morning I walked in and spied a waitress wearing a Dolly Parton wig with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of her mouth. That's my waitress I thought as she made her way to my end of the counter.

Sure enough, she is pouring me a cup as I decide to ease into a little small talk. "Sure looks like rain" I said with my best smile. Without missing a beat she shot back "Yeah but it tastes like coffee".

My dog went back on the chain.
 

Ingramite

Familiar Face
Messages
90
Location
The Texas Hill Country
Really though, Waffle House coffee isn't all that bad. The chain has enough going for it that it's become sort of cult like thing.

They NEVER close. That means a lot on the Gulf Coast where a lot of places don't fare so well in hurricane season. FEMA tracks Waffle House openings by their restricted storm menus.

I guess that since we are talking coffee, another world famous spot deserves mention. Cafe Du Monde in the New Orleans French Market.

Their menu is primarily Cafe au Lait and Beignets. What? It's a large open air cafe on the banks of the Mississippi River. The French Quarter never closes and neither does this place. A really fun time to go is about 3 in the morning. You never know what you'll see here at that time of the night.

But the coffee?
As someone mentioned in an earlier post, coffee with chicory is a taste all it's own. To me it has a dusty taste. It takes a few sips to recognize the absence of bitterness. Cafe au Lait takes a life of it's own as it is half chicory coffee and half hot milk....and then you add as much sugar as you can stand.

The beignets are billed as "French Donuts". What they really are is a delivery system for mountains of finely powdered sugar that they hide under. Little pieces of dough that are deep fried and dusted while still hot. DO NOT INHALE. The fine powdered sugar will be sucked into your windpipe and you will end up rolling around on the floor gasping for breath.

Anyone who visits New Orleans ends up at Cafe Du Monde....at least once. For some, it might just be the whole excuse for another trip back to The Crescent City.

Two places that I go to drink coffee, but not because of the coffee.
 
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Ingramite

Familiar Face
Messages
90
Location
The Texas Hill Country
I would much rather eat at Waffle House than at any of the other "diner" chains like Denny's or IHOP. Both the food and the coffee are good enough, and you won't go broke paying for your meal.
Admittedly it doesn't take much to entertain me but I like watching my meal being prepared too. I couldn't keep pace with them when they have a lot of customers in the place.
 

Bugguy

Practically Family
Messages
535
Location
Nashville, TN
I would much rather eat at Waffle House than at any of the other "diner" chains like Denny's or IHOP. Both the food and the coffee are good enough, and you won't go broke paying for your meal.
Not the cleanest, but inexpensive, reasonable portions, open all night, and fast. ...and plenty around town and when traveling.
 
Messages
11,564
Location
Southern California
Do the diner waitresses still go around with the coffeepot as shown in the movies? :)
Some do, some don't. You can usually tell which servers are coffee drinkers themselves because they're usually more attentive to keeping your cup filled; non-coffee drinkers don't seem to understand that, and sometimes I've had to track down a manager to tell the server to refill my/our coffee.
 
Messages
10,056
Location
My mother's basement
Do the diner waitresses still go around with the coffeepot as shown in the movies? :)
There’s a reason those commercial coffee decanters are shaped that way. They‘re round (ish), with a narrow opening. That makes them relatively easy to carry without spilling. And the coffee pours quickly and accurately. Very little splashing.

If I were still a primarily drip coffee drinker (we have an espresso machine), I’d consider a visit to a restaurant supply house and pick up a used Bunn-O-Matic.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,871
Location
vancouver, canada
Some do, some don't. You can usually tell which servers are coffee drinkers themselves because they're usually more attentive to keeping your cup filled; non-coffee drinkers don't seem to understand that, and sometimes I've had to track down a manager to tell the server to refill my/our coffee.
My tip % is based on how well the server attends to my coffee mug.
 
Messages
10,056
Location
My mother's basement
I’ve heard “Waffle House Country” used as a sort of shorthand for Middle-American normal folk culture, with a Southern bent. It kinda works because it says something without saying anything too specific. Make of it what you will.

There’s one a few miles from here, where I’ve lived for seven years. I don’t recall ever stopping in. I do recall taking breakfast in a Waffle House in Denton (I think), Texas, however. It was okay.
 
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Fifty150

One Too Many
Messages
1,489
Location
The Barbary Coast
I guess that since we are talking coffee, another world famous spot deserves mention. Cafe Du Monde in the New Orleans French Market.


They probably make most of their money selling retail coffee. Their cans are everywhere. Their coffee is also favored by a lot of people for Cà Phê Sữa Đá.






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Screenshot 2022-11-26 00.32.46.png
 

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