Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: Fleur on August 02, 2012, 10:58:40 AM

Title: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Fleur on August 02, 2012, 10:58:40 AM


As a favour for a friend, I am hosting two of her US friends for the inside of a week/four days five nights. I expect to provide some but not all meals, and I think my little flat will be comfortable for them. So far so good, but one thing that I have heard is that people from the US don't really drink instant coffee. I don't drink coffee at all, only tea: I can't take too much caffeine. So  I don't know good coffee from a hole in the wall. I'm concerned that these guests might find my hospitality lacking. Would it be rude to just provide instant, and tell them that if they want better, to buy it themselves (obviously I'd put it more politely than that. There is a Starbucks around the corner from me.)
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: O'Dell on August 02, 2012, 11:01:33 AM
I'm American and I need(!!) my morning coffee!! And I think your plan is fine. Having the instant on hand for their first morning or an emergency cup is nice, but it's fine to tell them that they can get "real" coffee around the corner.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Adelaide on August 02, 2012, 11:09:09 AM
I'm American and I need(!!) my morning coffee!! And I think your plan is fine. Having the instant on hand for their first morning or an emergency cup is nice, but it's fine to tell them that they can get "real" coffee around the corner.

This. I would never expect anyone to have coffee sitting around for me, especially if there's a Starbucks nearby. If I was one of the people staying with you, I would think that having instant coffee when you don't even drink coffee was thoughtful. :)
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 02, 2012, 11:11:59 AM
Used to be and may still be available in Canada, not sure if they are available where you are:

Coffee packets that are kind of like tea bags so one can brew one cup of coffee at a time.  I've been told they are better than instant.  If you can find those, great.  If not, instant is fine and they can get brewed coffee elsewhere, if they wish.

I'm not a coffee drinker, either, but I do frequently have guests who are.  So I have a French press (Bodum is the brand name) that allows me to make coffee with grounds and boiling water.  It makes a decent cup of coffee.  But if you never have coffee drinking guests, it doesn't make sense for you to get one of these.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: amylouky on August 02, 2012, 11:15:38 AM
Used to be and may still be available in Canada, not sure if they are available where you are:

Coffee packets that are kind of like tea bags so one can brew one cup of coffee at a time.  I've been told they are better than instant.  If you can find those, great.  If not, instant is fine and they can get brewed coffee elsewhere, if they wish.

I'm not a coffee drinker, either, but I do frequently have guests who are.  So I have a French press (Bodum is the brand name) that allows me to make coffee with grounds and boiling water.  It makes a decent cup of coffee.  But if you never have coffee drinking guests, it doesn't make sense for you to get one of these.

Seconding this, I buy the coffee-bags for our house, because it's usually just me drinking coffee. I think they're really pretty good, as long as you use boiling water. I wouldn't be offended to be offered one of those instead of a pot-brewed cup.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Sharnita on August 02, 2012, 11:18:17 AM
I'm an AMerican and I don't drink coffee at all.  In the morning I am most likely to drink (skim) milk.  I think I would ask them what they like and to the best of your ability provide it 0  without getting something like a coffee maker.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Fleur on August 02, 2012, 11:19:02 AM

Thanks, everybody, for the input :) I think I'll look into the coffee packets. If I'm honest, I don't really want to buy a cafitiere: they are a little expensive for something I would never use myself: I did look at a few when I knew I was expecting guests. I'm glad that the consensus is that my plan is ok.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Fleur on August 02, 2012, 11:20:25 AM
I'm an AMerican and I don't drink coffee at all.  In the morning I am most likely to drink (skim) milk.  I think I would ask them what they like and to the best of your ability provide it 0  without getting something like a coffee maker.

Oh, good point about the milk! I normally have semi-skim in the house, perhaps I should have skim as well. Thanks for reminding me!
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: #borecore on August 02, 2012, 11:20:51 AM
I am a coffee drinker, but many, many Americans are not. You might luck out and your guests aren't.

I am a coffee drinker, but I would not drink instant! It tastes like burnt artificial coffee to me (and yes, I've tried some of the newer ones and the traditional instant, too). I would also be 100 percent understanding if my host didn't have a coffee maker, and I'd either go without or go to the Starbucks. Particularly if my host was a stranger! (And I would appreciate the effort gone to by a host who bought instant -- I just don't think I'd drink it even to be nice.)

I am a coffee drinker, and I like tea. Your guests might, too!
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 02, 2012, 11:21:35 AM
I'm American and I need(!!) my morning coffee!! And I think your plan is fine. Having the instant on hand for their first morning or an emergency cup is nice, but it's fine to tell them that they can get "real" coffee around the corner.

This. I would never expect anyone to have coffee sitting around for me, especially if there's a Starbucks nearby. If I was one of the people staying with you, I would think that having instant coffee when you don't even drink coffee was thoughtful. :)

I think having instant coffee is very thoughtful too.  I'm a tea drinker as well and while I want to accommodate coffee drinkers who visit, I do not wish to buy any permanent doo-hickeys to make coffee so I keep the instant around.  I *think* Starbucks sells an instant coffee so maybe you can get that for the house and also point out they can get it fresh brewed around the corner if they so wish.  I think they'd be very grateful.  You are already doing so much for them, so I wouldn't worry over this too much.

As a sidenote, I don't know what it's like to be addicted to coffee so I think the opinions of the coffee drinkers here would probably hold more weight and be more reassuring.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: veryfluffy on August 02, 2012, 11:23:50 AM
I wouldn't worry about it, for the following reasons:

1) Instant coffee exists in America, so maybe they do drink that.
2) Not all Americans drink coffee anyway.
3) People who love coffee might want a particular variety or way of making it, so anything you come up with might be wrong regardless. (eg I love very strong filter coffee, but don't like it much out of a cafetiere, and the coffee bags are way to weak for me. Bad coffee is worse than no coffee.)
4) There is a Starbucks around the corner.

Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Miriam on August 02, 2012, 11:31:37 AM
I have some wonderful acquaintances from South Africa who host from time to time. Their solution is to have mugs out and waiting with an assortment of tea or the instant coffee, and when we've greeted and seated one will excuse herself to get the electric kettle and we can pick what we would like to drink. There is also lemon or orange slices in the off chance we just want hot water. I prefer coffee that isn't instant, but for some reason it's just my staple at their home because it's good company.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: QueenfaninCA on August 02, 2012, 11:55:15 AM
If you have a chance to contact them before the visit, let them know you are a tea-person and what they would like to drink for breakfast. Perhaps they have a small french press they can bring which means all you would need to get is some ground coffee. If you want to be really hospitable you could buy a simple french press. They are pretty cheap and don't take a a lot of room in your kitchen cupboard. And using a french press makes so much better coffee than using instant (which I think tastes pretty horrible).
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: TheVapors on August 02, 2012, 12:06:52 PM
I wouldn't worry about it, for the following reasons:

1) Instant coffee exists in America, so maybe they do drink that.
2) Not all Americans drink coffee anyway.
3) People who love coffee might want a particular variety or way of making it, so anything you come up with might be wrong regardless. (eg I love very strong filter coffee, but don't like it much out of a cafetiere, and the coffee bags are way to weak for me. Bad coffee is worse than no coffee.)
4) There is a Starbucks around the corner.

All of the above.

Also, I actually love instant coffee. Also, I love teas. Also, I love lots of hot drinks. :3 *not picky about tasty things*

A lot of the Americans who happen to love coffee in the morning do NOT have a coffee maker, so they either go to a shop (like a Dunkin Donuts, or a Starbucks) or they use instant. And, really, I would imagine (read: hope and pray!) that any American visiting someone else gracious enough to host them would never question the lack of coffee in a place, even if they drink it every morning.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: WillyNilly on August 02, 2012, 12:10:40 PM
I'm a coffee drinker, child of major coffee drinkers, best friends to the Queen of coffee drinkers.

There is no consensus on instant coffee.  Some coffee drinkers like it, some do not.  Some like certain brands (IMO Starbucks Via is pretty good, but Nescafe is so weak I find I need to triple up to make a still watery cup of coffee) some like all brands, some like none.

But hospitality is hospitality.  I, and all coffee drinkers I know, would be touched you tried to be generous with the instant and certainly would make do with one cup just to get me along until I could get to the Starbucks and wouldn't think anything but good thoughts about your effort.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 02, 2012, 02:07:59 PM
I wouldn't worry about it, for the following reasons:

1) Instant coffee exists in America, so maybe they do drink that.
2) Not all Americans drink coffee anyway.
3) People who love coffee might want a particular variety or way of making it, so anything you come up with might be wrong regardless. (eg I love very strong filter coffee, but don't like it much out of a cafetiere, and the coffee bags are way to weak for me. Bad coffee is worse than no coffee.)
4) There is a Starbucks around the corner.

POD - I love my coffee, and need it before I leave the house but quite honestly, I'd rather wait and get my own as I am a bit fussy about how its done, etc. esp. if there''s a Starbucks around the corner.  This way my host doesn't feel obligated, and I can get what I want.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: DavidH on August 02, 2012, 02:30:12 PM
I think what you are trying to accomplish is very nice. 

As for instant coffee, it's not a perfect analogy, but instant coffee seems rather like ice tea powder. I suppose it's coffee, but it's really not the same as the real deal.  Starbucks brand is, I think, better than most others, but still not the same.  If you don't mind buying some I'd buy the packets from Starbucks since you can buy a limited number of them, alternatively, you can always say you only have tea, but there is a Starbucks around the corner. 
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: buvezdevin on August 02, 2012, 02:46:18 PM
I'm a coffee drinker, child of major coffee drinkers, best friends to the Queen of coffee drinkers.

There is no consensus on instant coffee.  Some coffee drinkers like it, some do not.  Some like certain brands (IMO Starbucks Via is pretty good, but Nescafe is so weak I find I need to triple up to make a still watery cup of coffee) some like all brands, some like none.

But hospitality is hospitality.  I, and all coffee drinkers I know, would be touched you tried to be generous with the instant and certainly would make do with one cup just to get me along until I could get to the Starbucks and wouldn't think anything but good thoughts about your effort.

POD - absolutely.  Also agree with veryfluffy, though I would personally move "there is a Starbucks around the corner" to number 1.  I would be hard-pressed to start a day without any coffee, and when traveling have found that a short cup of instant can get me going, at least as far as the nearest coffee shop for the brewed stuff.

As for various brand preferences on brands of instant, haven't tried a wide range and found no great difference - but I think the individual cup coffee bags sound worth a try where one has a kettle, but no coffee pot/press.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: jpcher on August 02, 2012, 06:08:42 PM
If you have a kitchen funnel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funnel ) and some paper towels, you can easily make fresh coffee the drip way (like any home "Mr. Coffee" http://www.mrcoffee.com/products.aspx?cid=41  type thing.)

Go to your Starbucks and ask for a small bag of ground coffee. Maybe ask them what works best with a drip coffee maker, how much to use per pot, etc. Line the funnel with a sheet (or two, depending on the thickness) of paper towel, fill the funnel with ground coffee beans (maybe 6 tbs. or whatever Starbucks recommends).

Set the funnel onto a carafe or coffee pot or something tall that will take boiling water.

Boil water in your tea kettle, then gently, slowly pour the boiling water over the grounds. Allow it to seep/drip before adding more water.

It might sound difficult (maybe I didn't explain it well  :-\), but it really is easy . . . and, in my opinion, a whole lot better than instant.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: greencat on August 02, 2012, 06:14:46 PM
I don't drink coffee in the mornings except when it's cold outside (so, where I live, like 2 weeks a year.)  I don't think you need to buy a new kitchen appliance to host guests.  I personally grew up with my parents drinking name-brand instant coffee - and actually, I like that taste better than cheap brewed coffee.  I think it's perfectly acceptable to tell them there's a Starbucks around the corner.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: kckgirl on August 02, 2012, 06:44:39 PM
I am also a coffee drinker who would appreciate your hospitality in planning ahead, but would not drink instant coffee. I'd much prefer a non-coffee-drinking host pointing me in the right direction for fresh brewed coffee.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: kherbert05 on August 02, 2012, 07:07:07 PM
You putting up friends of a friend. If they want coffee let them know were the nearest Tim's or Starbucks is located.


Most people I know here don't drink coffee or they pick it up from SB. My sister has a coffee pot that has been used 3 times.  For our Aunt from PEI, a baby shower, and our uncle from PEI (aunt and uncle are married) So, I got a bit of a laugh from this post.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Mikayla on August 02, 2012, 08:51:22 PM
I would very much appreciate the thoughtfulness if someone got instant coffee.  My need for coffee in the morning is so over the top, I'd need something to even *get* to Starbucks!  Seriously. 
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Luci on August 02, 2012, 09:19:24 PM
No one has mentioned freeze dried. My husband will drink that as an equivalent to brewed coffee, but doesn't consider instant as drinkable.

It is on the same shelf as instant, and as I remember about the same price.

You are being very thoughtful.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: blarg314 on August 02, 2012, 10:01:30 PM

As for instant coffee, it's not a perfect analogy, but instant coffee seems rather like ice tea powder. I suppose it's coffee, but it's really not the same as the real deal. 

That's a good analogy.

I second the idea of single use filters. I've used ones that are basically a single cup worth of ground coffee, in a small drip filter that hooks on the top of the cup. You carefully pour hot water through, and you've got a cup of fresh brewed, real coffee. The single servings are in sealed packages, so you can stick extras in the cupboard for later visitors. 

If your guests are coffee drinkers, they will be very grateful for your thoughtfulness, particularly if there isn't a coffee shop near your place.




 
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 02, 2012, 10:32:16 PM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 02, 2012, 10:57:05 PM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!

I'm really failing to see how this was considered a gift for them... he basically bought something for himself, which is no better than that episode of The Simpsons when Homer bought Marge that bowling ball for her birthday... even though she doesn't bowl... with his own name engraved on it. ::)
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Luci on August 02, 2012, 11:28:38 PM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!

I'm really failing to see how this was considered a gift for them... he basically bought something for himself, which is no better than that episode of The Simpsons when Homer bought Marge that bowling ball for her birthday... even though she doesn't bowl... with his own name engraved on it. ::)

Not quite the same, to me. The coffee makers were to ease the hosting duties and help other guests as well as himself. If they had plenty of storage space, it works.

As the beautiful appetizer lazy susan I recieved - Lucas and I just throw some salsa in a bowl and open a bag of chips for our private cocktail hour, but serving guests required some scrambling.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: AngelicGamer on August 02, 2012, 11:30:13 PM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!

I'm really failing to see how this was considered a gift for them... he basically bought something for himself, which is no better than that episode of The Simpsons when Homer bought Marge that bowling ball for her birthday... even though she doesn't bowl... with his own name engraved on it. ::)

Yeah, but it possibly wasn't their only present that year.  With Marge, it was her only birthday present /and/ it ruined the cake. 

I just watched that episode recently.  :D

OP, as a coffee drinker, I would be very very happy with a Starbucks around the corner.  Especially if I was being put up by a friend of a friend.  I'd probably also go there about twice a day, but I like getting an evening decaf frappe.  :)  When I visit a friend of mine, we make a point to go out for breakfast so I can get my coffee and she doesn't have to get something that she won't use again.

Also, for instant...Starbucks makes instant and, to me, it tastes a lot like a real cup of the thing.  So that might work as well if you really want something in house. 
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Bluenomi on August 02, 2012, 11:47:49 PM
I'm not a coffee drinker and have learnt over the years I can't make it no matter how hard I try. So before DH came along I just had a jar of instant in the house and maybe some coffee bags. There isn't any point buying coffee and trying to brew it if you have no idea how it is meant to turn out.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: O'Dell on August 03, 2012, 08:23:49 AM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!

I'm really failing to see how this was considered a gift for them... he basically bought something for himself, which is no better than that episode of The Simpsons when Homer bought Marge that bowling ball for her birthday... even though she doesn't bowl... with his own name engraved on it. ::)

I'm with you. I mean I like my coffee and all, but I'd really resent someone gifting me with something for their use when they visit with me having to find a place to store the darn thing the rest of the time. Now if someone visited me often and *asked* me if they bought one would I be willing to keep it, I might comply if I really liked the person. But to make it a present as if they were being generous would and has chapped my hide. My MIL has been known to do this sort of thing.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 03, 2012, 09:22:25 AM
I am an American coffee drinker.  Two cups in the morning.  But I'll forgo coffee if instant is the only opton. 

Unless you keep instant on hand, I wouldn't go buy any for them.  It could be a waste of money.  When they arrive, let them know there is tea available and a Starbucks around the corner.  Or they are also free to pick up some coffee and a cheap french press or like a Melitta single cup brew system and some ground coffee from the store.

I would never expect a host to provide coffee in their home if they didn't also consume it.

Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Shoo on August 03, 2012, 10:13:27 AM
I think letting them know about the Starbucks around the corner is all you need to do.  You are already doing them a tremendous favor by allowing them to stay in your home. You don't have to cater to them, as well.  If they need coffee that badly, they'll make their way to the Starbucks.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 03, 2012, 10:51:20 AM
I think letting them know about the Starbucks around the corner is all you need to do.  You are already doing them a tremendous favor by allowing them to stay in your home. You don't have to cater to them, as well.  If they need coffee that badly, they'll make their way to the Starbucks.

I agree that this is a fine option too.  Besides, most Starbuck's fans will have already scoped out the neighborhood for one before they even arrive at your place and you might find them saying they already know about it!
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: bah12 on August 03, 2012, 10:51:58 AM
I'm a big coffee drinker and one of those people who differentiates coffee like some people do wine. 

But even so, when I'm a guest in someone else's home, I don't expect them to have the best coffee on hand...or even any coffee on hand if they are not coffee drinkers themselves.  If I were in the OP's home and all she had was instant and I needed that morning jolt, I'd happily take the instant.  I certaintly wouldn't find the hospitality lacking.  Especially knowing that she doesn't drink coffee at all and was nice enough to have something to offer me.

OP, I think offering instant coffee and letting them know where the closest coffee shop is to get their own coffee is just fine.  I think it's really considerate of you to even think about it.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: WillyNilly on August 03, 2012, 12:32:12 PM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!

This reminds me of me.  I have had more then my fair share of long term but didn't work out boyfriends in my adult life.  And I have left a trail of mini coffee pots in my wake.  So very many of the guys I dated didn't have a coffee pot yet expected me to spend the night.  Well!  I'm just not that kinda girl, I tell ya!  I need my coffee!  So off to Target for the $10 small, "two cup" (really 1.5 large mug) drip coffee pot to live at their houses. 

I never did present it as a present for them (although in every case I left it after the break-up) but I also never got any resistance to co-opting a piece of counter top real estate for it.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: kkl123 on August 03, 2012, 12:39:04 PM
My husband likes coffee; I don't.  He's also picky about coffee (hates Starbucks and similar "over-roasted" types.  At home he uses an Aeropress, which is sort of a giant syringe device with room for a coffee filter, and weighs very little.  When we travel, I just toss it and a bag of coffee in his suitcase so I don't have to listen to the whining.  Your guests may have similar preferences and equipment.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: audrey1962 on August 03, 2012, 12:41:57 PM
I'm American. If a household normally doesn't buy coffee or have the equipment to make it, then all I need is directions to the nearest coffee house. :)
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: EMuir on August 03, 2012, 02:01:31 PM
 I wouldn't buy instant coffee if you don't already have some.  I love coffee, but despise instant!  If you could find a one-cup coffee filter that sits on the mug, you just pour water through, that plus some ground coffee might be cheap and a much better alternative. That would be going above and beyond though, if the coffee shop is that close.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: siamesecat2965 on August 03, 2012, 06:14:17 PM
This thread reminded me of my BFF from college's dad.  Neither she or any of her 4 siblings drink coffee, so one year for Christmas, they all got small coffee makers from him.  For his use, when he came to visit!  I thought that was a great idea!  With this same friend, I actually brought my small coffee maker one time, and coffee, as she didn't have any at the time, and I need my caffeine!

I'm really failing to see how this was considered a gift for them... he basically bought something for himself, which is no better than that episode of The Simpsons when Homer bought Marge that bowling ball for her birthday... even though she doesn't bowl... with his own name engraved on it. ::)

I'm with you. I mean I like my coffee and all, but I'd really resent someone gifting me with something for their use when they visit with me having to find a place to store the darn thing the rest of the time. Now if someone visited me often and *asked* me if they bought one would I be willing to keep it, I might comply if I really liked the person. But to make it a present as if they were being generous would and has chapped my hide. My MIL has been known to do this sort of thing.

Her dad was a big jokester, and it wasn't their only gift.  Apparently he got a bunch very cheap, so each kid got one.  They all thought it was hilarious and a great idea since he was very much into his coffee!  I think its a know your audience type of thing; some people may have been offended to get that type of gift, but no one in her family was.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 05, 2012, 11:02:49 AM
^^^ Well alright, we'll let him off the hook this time ;).  Definitely a 'know your audience' thing.  I agree.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: hyzenthlay on August 05, 2012, 11:31:51 AM
I'm an AMerican and I don't drink coffee at all.  In the morning I am most likely to drink (skim) milk.  I think I would ask them what they like and to the best of your ability provide it 0  without getting something like a coffee maker.

Oh, good point about the milk! I normally have semi-skim in the house, perhaps I should have skim as well. Thanks for reminding me!

I wouldn't bother. I personally use skim, but am fine with semi-skim.  Many people find skim milk to be undrinkable.  I don't drink coffee myself, and since Diet Coke is my caffeinated beverage of choice I ususally plan to buy my own. I certainly don't expect my ousts to have it on hand.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Dindrane on August 05, 2012, 01:02:21 PM
I think you are being very thoughtful.

I am also an American coffee drinker, but I don't drink coffee every day of the week when I'm at home (I don't bother with it on weekends, usually).  I am also quite happy to substitute strong black tea (with milk and sugar) for coffee, if that's what's available.  I'd much rather good tea than bad (or instant) coffee.  I drink coffee mostly for the taste and the comfort of it (it is nice to start the day with a hot drink), rather than the caffeine.

Since you don't live in the US (I'm assuming), I will also point out that many American travelers know that food/beverages aren't going to be exactly what they are used to when they travel elsewhere.  Especially if they have done any traveling outside the US before.  Even those who aren't aware of it would, I think, be more than fine with knowing there's a Starbuck's nearby.

I think that if you (or your friend) have the ability to contact the houseguests before they arrive, just mention that you are not a coffee drinker, but you do have tea, you could acquire instant coffee, and there is a Starbucks right around the corner.  That will alert them to the fact that you don't have drip coffee in your home, but that there are some options if they feel they need it first thing.  And if they are the type of people who really won't drink instant coffee, they have the opportunity to say something before you've actually purchased it.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Winterlight on August 06, 2012, 08:16:29 AM
I hate the taste of coffee and normally drink water or occasionally soy milk in the morning. If you want to have something on hand, I'd just ask them what they like, otherwise, there's always your local Starbucks. It's kind of you to think about it, though.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: MERUNCC13 on August 06, 2012, 08:35:34 AM
I am echoing the other posters and saying that you are so sweet to think of your guests.

I am a big coffee drinker (and I consider instant coffee to be a VERY pale version of the drink) but I would not inflict my preferences on my hostess if he or she is not into coffee.  I would ask for the nearest coffee shop (local) and head that way - I can't drink Starbucks coffee).
 :)
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Arista on August 08, 2012, 11:30:48 AM
I love coffee, and am very particular about it at home.  However, when I travel and am a guest in others' homes, I don't expect my hosts to provide it, especially if they don't drink it themselves.  I think providing instant is a lovely gesture, but I'd probably personally prefer to visit Starbucks or the equivalent as instant is not strong enough for my taste.  I'd touch base with your guests ahead of time and let them know that while you don't own a coffeemaker, there is a Starbucks nearby in case they'd like coffee, and they can plan accordingly.

I'm taking a trip next week and I'm planning to pack my own freshly ground beans along with a travel French press, so it's possible that your guests might also be planning to provide for themselves on the coffee front.  It's also possible that I'm too attached to my coffee, lol!   ;D
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: Shea on August 20, 2012, 04:54:34 PM
I wouldn't worry about it, for the following reasons:

1) Instant coffee exists in America, so maybe they do drink that.
2) Not all Americans drink coffee anyway.
3) People who love coffee might want a particular variety or way of making it, so anything you come up with might be wrong regardless. (eg I love very strong filter coffee, but don't like it much out of a cafetiere, and the coffee bags are way to weak for me. Bad coffee is worse than no coffee.)
4) There is a Starbucks around the corner.

I agree with all your points. My grandparents (both American) drink instant coffee every morning. I'm American and I prefer tea with milk and sugar. And the people I know who do drink regular coffee tend to be particular about it. Better just let them know about the Starbucks.
Title: Re: Coffee and American guests
Post by: katycoo on August 20, 2012, 08:31:54 PM
I'm not sure where you live Fleur, but I hear USA instant coffee is quite different to what is in other countries.

So, from an Australian perspective, I think instant is powdered like International Roast, and 'freeze dried' is the granular stuff we more commonly consider instant.  Cna anyone confirm?