Author Topic: Coffee and American guests  (Read 8243 times)

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Fleur

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Coffee and American guests
« on: August 02, 2012, 11:58:40 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.)

O'Dell

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 12:01:33 PM »
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.
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Adelaide

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2012, 12:09:09 PM »
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. :)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 12:11:59 PM »
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.
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amylouky

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 12:15:38 PM »
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.

Sharnita

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 12:18:17 PM »
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.

Fleur

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 12:19:02 PM »

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.

Fleur

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 12:20:25 PM »
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!

jmarvellous

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 12:20:51 PM »
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!

MacadamiaNut

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 12:21:35 PM »
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.
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paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

veryfluffy

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 12:23:50 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.

   

Miriam

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 12:31:37 PM »
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.
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QueenfaninCA

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 12:55:15 PM »
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).

TheVapors

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 01:06:52 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: Coffee and American guests
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 01:10:40 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.