Monday, 12 May 2014

Black is black – not café au lait

There used to be a joke doing the rounds about the incompetent waiter who, when asked for coffee without cream, said, “we don’t have any cream, will you have it without milk?”  Boom, boom!

I drink my coffee black – Americano, filter, (anything but instant) and I don’t add anything to it: no sugar, no sweetener, no milk, no cream no creamer. Yet when I order a black coffee (black Americano, black filter etc) it inevitably comes with milk on the side – in a jug, in a pod but milk.  If I wanted the milk separately I would ask for “milk on the side” or “milk separately” but I don’t.  I ask for black coffee.

I have started to become a bit obsessed with this and I believe that the odds of getting just a cup of black coffee are something like one in ten. This is not only in the UK – I noticed the same phenomenon in Amsterdam.  I worry about all those little jugs of milk where, presumably, once they are returned to the kitchen undrunk they are thrown away.  Of course they may be recycled and given to the next person who orders black coffee .......... 

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