WisCon good. Trouble…

WisCon good. Trouble sleeping bad. :-( Still having minor panic attacks at night when I try to sleep away from home. V. frustrating. Means that I'm averaging five hours of sleep/night for over a week now, which I know is normal for lots of people, but I've always been an eight hours/night girl, so I am feeling far groggier than normal. If you see me at WisCon and I'm unwontedly quiet, now you know why. And if I'm not quiet, that just means that the fabulous WisCon energy has temporarily uplifted me, but I will undoubtedly crash again soon.

I have a research question. If I have a character in 1979 who is about 20 and has spent a few years wandering around Europe, could he reasonably be expected to have learned how to make foofy coffee drinks and other fancy beverages? I know they weren't big here yet, but surely they've been making them in Italy forever? And if so, what drinks could he have learned how to make, that he could reasonably successfully reproduce in America (without spending gazillion dollars on imported coffee machinery)?

Any help on this will be much appreciated, and may contribute to a new story for the next Aqua Erotica anthology. Which, I reiterate, I'm not editing because they can't afford me. I don't think they're doing an open call either, but if one of you has something already written that they really want to show them, I might be able to pass it along. No guarantees that they'll look at it, though, so please don't write anything new for it. I think they're mostly relying on solicited work.

5 thoughts on “WisCon good. Trouble…”

  1. I am about the same age as your character and wandered around Europe at about that time. I recall no foofy coffee drinks until the early 1980’s, but in the ’70s I did learn to make Turkish coffee in Belgrade. All that was necessary was one of those little brass pots placed on the stove. It was delicious.

  2. I think that you would have learned how to make espresso, but not something foofy (If by foofy you mean lattes and such). That’s a pretty recent, and fairly American, thing.

    If you really want to know, I suggest you check with either the Specialty Coffee Association of America (www.scaa.org) or the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE — I don’t know the website off the top of my head).

    Or, I could ask around for you — I edit a coffee mag, so I have lots of “coffee-smart” people around me 🙂


  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Shanna, if you could ask, that’d be great and much appreciated. I know I should do my own research, but I’m feeling mighty overwhelmed at the moment. But don’t go to too much trouble either — I can always write a different story. I’m just trying to figure out whether lattes, macchiatos, etc. are old drinks that have been around forever, or whether recent American coffee culture actually invented them.

  4. To clarify, I first heard of latte, cappucino, and cafe au lait in 1969 or so from a colleague who was from New Orleans.

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