I’VE OBSERVED the Argentinians took up the Italian tradition of downing their espresso while standing up at tall tables. It’s like a three-minute pit stop. You could say the habit of coffee drinking is very particular to a culture.
Americans practically wake up with the stuff. If it were socially accepted to have an espresso machine on your bedside, Americans would do it without hesitation. Breakfast is usually accompanied by vast amounts of black coffee and once in the car to work, the coffee follows. Most people seems to show up at the office holding another dosage–about 0.4 liters of it–often containing cream, milk, sugar and vanilla, hazelnut or some other odd flavor like pumpkin spice.
The Americans have managed to turn takeout cups into a fashion item. There are ceramic and steel cups that look like takeout cups. You can even get designer cup rings (you know, those cardboard sleeves).
Then, at about 2pm 90% of America will suddenly, collectively stop drinking coffee or else they won’t be able to sleep.
THE DUTCH DRINK TEA or milk with breakfast and wake up by riding their bicycles. Coffee is taken at exactly 10:30am and again at 3:30pm. Some people like to have one more cup (no decaf) after dinner, which is usually mixed with heaps of milk and sugar. I’m unsure how they manage to sleep, but they obviously do.
Taking coffee is a social occasion and accompanied by a cookie (which they call a biscuit) or a chocolate. All retail store personnel will be unable to assist you from 10:30-10:45am and 3:30-3:45pm. My American friend once joked “If you’d want to invade the Netherlands, you could easily do so at 10:30am and 3:30pm sharp, and no-one would notice.”
He’s probably right.