Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Strange Case of the Americano

[Image from the facebook fanpage of Café Kawka, Poznań]

Kawa szatan is, of course, very strong coffee, not necessarily espresso. It's the kind you have only now and then, in cases of intellectual emergency. It's best, of course, to have these emergencies in good company, either at home or in a reliable café, where you know you won't get a paper cup with a plastic lid. Kawa szatan needs a comfortable vessel in which to flaunt its aroma and taste.

Kawa szatan is best not had on an empty stomach. It's black and bitter and, thus, breaks very nicely the sweetness of sernik or szarlotka.

How to determine whether your coffee is a szatan or not?

If you're European, the question isn't very pertinent, unless you're a gastric sufferer, in which case the first sip will tell you. For Americans, regular coffee in Europe is bound to have hellish force - but it's not satan if a local person doesn't understand your surprise at its strength.

If the regular coffee is too much for you, order an Americano. It's the opposite of what you think it is: in most places I know in Europe Americano is NOT a coffee with a shot of espresso (like it is in the US), but regular coffee diluted to 'standard American coffee strength.'

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