A Little Coffee

I caught up with a friend for coffee one morning this week. We met at a local square, wandered along the restaurants that encircle it, and sat down at a quieter one. We perched ourselves on stools at one of the high tables on the terrace outside, the ones reserved for people having coffee, while the regular tables were set for the lunchtime crowd. This is a fairly familiar scene, especially as the weather warms up; people dotted around restaurant terraces to have a quick coffee, or to linger a little and watch life pass by in the square.

Cafe tables in the square Cafe tables in the square

My coffee was an equally typical little espresso. If you order a coffee, or are offered one when visiting a client, you get an espresso. Sugar is usually available to go with it; milk almost never. Of course you can order other types of coffee, with hot milk for example, but it is not the default.

I realise that I have come to take both the little espressos and the restaurant-lined squares for granted. Those tiny cups of coffee were intimidating when we first arrived. I wasn’t sure I liked them. They were strong, and they were gone in a few sips. The idea of sitting to have a coffee seemed almost pointless when you finished it two minutes later. Now, I have come to prefer them. And just because you have finished your coffee, doesn’t mean you can’t stay and finish your conversation while you watch the world go by.