Hot coffee. Most particular we are about it.
When we make coffee at home we use boiling water. And even if it’s not the correct way to make coffee, you rather get used to it. You can add a generous amount of cream and sugar and still enjoy a satisfying mouthful of thermal energy that can last a good thirty minutes.
Alene’s morming Americano is nice and hot today. Yesterday, she asked to have it remade. There was no fuss, because the barista knows the hot-water supply has been flaky lately — and he’s been having to steam water in a jug like he does the milk.
But she’s had to strike a lot of coffee shops off the list because their “hot” water is nowhere near hot enough. If you order tea, the longest of steepings yields no taste. And an Americano is lukewarm even before the addition of cream.
At my suggestion, Alene does the finger test — dipping a finger into the coffee — and leaving it in — to show how far from hot the drink is!
We don’t know why coffee shops keep the water so tepid. Perhaps it does save money to set the temperature lower and use less electricity. Perhaps it discourages customers from excessive use of cream. Perhaps it moves people out faster because drinks are consumed in less time. And perhaps it protects staff from getting scalded.
A recent explanation offered to Alene is that if water is too hot it “burns the espresso”.
I’m not sure I buy that. But I do know that when my coffee comes up, I want to see steam!