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Keeping company with
coffee in a cafe
We can be forgiven for thinking that the Southern
Highlands consumes more coffee than anywhere
in the world today.
Most blocks in most villages has a coffee shop or
café, where friends gather to enjoy each other's
company as they sample the roast on offer.
The social aspect of visiting a café or coffee house
dates back to the 17th century, where the intellectual
would gather in Parisian cafés to sample rich roasts and
exchange views on the world.
Something like this occurs many times a day in the
Southern Highlands, although we fall way behind the
country that consumes the most coffee per head of
population in the world today-Finland.
The United States is the single largest
market for coffee products, with Germany
following in second place.
The café was almost entirely a European trend
which spread to the United States and then around the
world. The serving of tea, coffee, sandwiches, pastries
and other refreshments has turned into a highly
profitable industry in the past century.
In areas of the Middle East, Africa, South America
and Asia, coffee is seen as something you drink while
doing other things, such as work or socialising.
In Australia and the United States, coffee
drinking is a form of entertainment itself. Even
in the staunchly "tea-drinking" culture of the United
Kingdom, coffee has overtaken its old rival as the hot
drink of the population.
The Ethiopians hold coffee ceremonies that are an
important part of the social scene and held as most
esteem as the famous intricate Japanese tea
ceremonies. Being invited to an Ethiopian coffee
ceremony is considered high praise and the procedure
can take up to two hours. Sounds just like a typical
Southern Highlands gathering at a local café.
As we become more educated about the
various blends and brands of coffee beans on offer,
we have also become more demanding about the
quality of coffee we drink.
Around the world, large coffee buying companies
sponsor events in small countries, to determine which
growers have the 'best tasting' coffee. Competition for
the top prize at these events is fierce, because victory
can mean not only a regular contract to sell the beans,
but also other farmers wanting to purchase that variety
of seeds for their own fields.
Whether we like our coffee black, milky, foamy or
flavoured, the trend of enjoying a good coffee in a
great café with excellent company, continues in the
WORDS LINDA LAMBRECHTS
Shop 19, Highlands Marketplace
MITTAGONG NSW 2575
Phone 4872 3545
Our look may have
changed but our coffee
and fabulous food will
always stay the same,
relax with a Hojo today...
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