I just got back from Brazil last week. It might be considered the best vacation of my life. It was incredible to see a people group that truly valued coffee, or caffe, the way it should be. We had a cup of wonderful Brazilian Espresso after every meal, and a full cup of full bodied Brazilian Mild Roast for breakfast.
In the United States we pride ourselves on our refined sense of coffee. We each add a little twist at the coffee shop because we swear we can taste the difference. It might just be a cry for individuality in a world were a Tall Mocha just won't do it. The thought of drinking the same cup of coffee, even if it is Gourmet Coffee, as the next guy just doesn't seem appetizing. I found that in Brazil the coffee was so good that no one cared. Two packages of sugar and a touch of milk and everyone was happy. It was nice to be somewhere that the coffee consistently tasted good and made you feel even better.
The other cool experience was the fact that everyone drank the coffee together. It was a group experience. I never thought of coffee as a party drink but the Brazilians do. I look forward to using some of the customs I learned abroad and teaching them in the office and at home.
As always, Happy Brewing!