One of the things they do better in Europe than we do in the United States is the way they drink coffee: in mugs.
In Italy, of course, most coffee gets consumed at espresso bars entirely unlike the typical Starbucks, which drew its inspiration from Italy but has, in one of the great ironies of our, no stores in Italy.
But even in Swinging London, where you can find an entirely American-looking Starbucks on what seems like every streetcorner, unless you ask for one to “take away” you’ll get your coffee, or latte, or triple-yadda-yadda, in a ceramic mug—not a throwaway cup with a plastic lid, a recycled-paper sleeve and one of those thin plastic swizzle-stick-thingies to plug the hole in the lid and bottle up the heat.
Only in America do we provide what amounts to a portable, throwaway thermos every time somebody picks up a cup of coffee.
So ingrained is the “do what I say, not what I do” environmental culture in these United States that right here in La Jolla, California the local Starbucks can’t even provide one large coffee mug for use in its store.
“We’re out,” the manager behind the counter says. “I have to order more.”
So the Starbucks customer must take the portable throwaway thermos bottle, even to just sit in the store and drink a cup of coffee.
We’ll have more observations in these pages on what they do better in Europe, but for now, the way they serve their coffee is one of them.
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