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Drinking coffee is a millennial and globalized custom. All over the world you drink coffee. Americans do it in large glasses and in a hurry . Running around the sidewalks, running over the others and talking on a cell phone. Europeans, like French or Italians, drink coffee looking at others . The chairs and tables in the premises are arranged towards the sidewalk, ensuring that whoever sits and consumes do it permanently looking at others. Finally, in Argentina and, especially in Mendoza, we practice the coffee ritual.
For some, it doesn't matter if the coffee is rich. If it is heavily loaded or softer . If it is machine, espresso or if it is instant coffee. They also do not stop to think whether it gets spotted, tear, cut or dripped.
It's just that, in Mendoza, the coffee ritual is that. It's the act as a whole. It starts with a message, a WhatsApp or a call: “In 15 there? ”. The question can be received by a lawyer in your office, an employee of an electricity company that is 5 meters high fixing a cable or the CEO of one of the largest wineries in the country.
The message does not need any further directions. It responds with an “ok”, and the meeting is already scheduled. The task you were doing is finished and we started, to the cry of “I'll be back in 20.” Coat in hand and walk up “there”, which is nothing more than the usual coffee. Same place, same time.
At that point, when we arrive and sit on a table, the waiter already knows what we're going to ask. He doesn't even look at us. Directly mount two white cups on two plates, fill them with cut coffee, spoon, sugar and sweetener, two glasses of soda and two croissants. By the time drinks are on the table, the coffee ritual has already begun, actually. He already talked about what we did on the weekend, about the coworker who is unbearable, about the boss who can't stand, about next Sunday's match and we already asked the other person what happened to his partner , since his Instagram account no longer uploads photos with her.
That's why coffee is an excuse. The perfect reason to get together with that person, disconnect a little from our responsibilities, stop the ball and have a good time . Coffee arrives. With no more than 3 sips, the cups are empty. At the push we eat the crescent and we finish everything with a drink of soda. We clean as you can our corners with the napkins and return to the ring. Calmer and more relaxed.
The coffee ritual we have just described is common. Every morning, in the 3 or 4 cafes per block that exist in the mendocino microcentro, that postcard is repeated. Adults, young people, teenagers or the elderly. Between men, between women, mixed. In any of its variables, morning coffee lives in Mendoza.
Argentine as asado and football on Sunday. The glass of soda characterizes us in the world. As Argentines (and as Mendoza, especially), we cannot conceive the idea of receiving a coffee without the glass of soda . It is a fundamental element in what we call the coffee ritual. It takes our taste away, bitterness. It makes us thirst. It marks us that the meeting is over.
Publication Date: 07/08/2020
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