Garcon, coffee!


I’m a simple man. If not Korean food in the cafteria, my lunch is typically something I cooked the night before eaten just before 12 so I can make the most of my time at the café with my coffee. If I have Tim Tams on hand, the real ones not the ones made under license, I’ll order a latte to do the Tim Tam Slam. Every other time I order an espresso. For those times when I want to taste disappointment and sadness, I will order a cake, too.

Apparently, an espresso perfectly describes me; deep and rich. My friends usually say dark and bitter. Methinks I need new friends.

I like an espresso with a glass of water. Starbucks (별다방 byeol dabang, if you prefer) doesn’t have complimentary water so I need to purchase Perrier Lime mineral water. Refreshing? Yes, though too expensive in Korea (I have stefthepastrychef to thank for starting my addiction). Some places, like the nearby Amadeus, class it up by putting a slice of lemon in the pitcher. That there would cost you in Sydney. Amadeus sells mineral water too, because customers don’t buy expensive mineral water only when they are thirsty.

Espresso done right
Espresso done right

That being said, only a savage puts their glass of water in their espresso. Just kidding, that’s called an Americano; Americano is by far the most popular choice for my coworkers between 35 and 55, partly because its cheap and partly because they don’t like espresso. Or this 4-minute coffee.


4 minutes for a coffee? In PR you ain’t got time for that!

You’d be surprised how many coffee experts I encounter. Dude, my way of drinking coffee is the only way to drink coffee! Drinking coffee any other way is stoopid! In the shipyard, the Italians have the best reactions to these zealots. Whatever coffee you drink, it’s just an espresso with something else. With Americano, there’s more water because the American GIs weren’t used to drinking coffee the European way (they preferred sips to shots).

Then there’s the drip coffee tribe, and their subsect the cold-water process hipsters. You want to wait 4 minutes for your coffee, go ahead. But if you try to tell me how much better drip or Americano is than espresso by virtue of not being espresso, or expresso as you insist on calling it, I may get channel Dr. Strangelove and find it really hard to resist the urge to throat punch you.


If you want a cold coffee, go for a Greek-style frappe. It won’t be as good as my mother’s though


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