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Posts for January 4, 2019

Italian Coffee is the Best

This post on someone who’s trying to bring Starbucks-style coffee shops to Italy is kind of annoying. Not least for the closing quote:

“It’s not that Italian coffee has always been bad,” Campeotto said. “They have been geniuses. The god of coffee is the Italian espresso. The problem is, they have been stuck there. They stopped.”

If they had already achieved the “god of coffee” (which I happen to agree with), then why would they do anything other than stop? If you’ve already achieved perfection you have no need to improve. Just make sure you maintain that level.

I spent twelve months of 1989-90 in Turin. A cappuccino was 1200 lire, or about 60p (around 45-50 US cents, probably). And it was delicious. The best coffee I had, or have, ever tasted.

The growth of Starbucks and the other chains came after that, and I’ve been looking for coffee as good ever since. I’ve never found it. The closest I ever found in London was Costa in its early days. It has slipped down to the level of Starbucks and Caffè Nero, though.

Which is not to say that any of those are truly bad: not, at least, compared to what was available before they came on the scene.

But nothing matches my memory of Torinese cappuccino.

When I was writing that last post I was confused because I couldn’t copy text from the article I was linking to.

Clicking and moving my mouse across the text did nothing: there was no indication that I had selected anything. Similarly, double-clicking on a single word didn’t select it.

Eventually I saved the article to Instapaper, and copied from there

After initially posting it, I noticed that the URL contained the string “amphtml”. I removed the amphtml/, and the page worked normally.

AMP is Google’s “accelerated mobile pages,” a way for them to control URLs instead of the owners controlling them. At least, that’s how it appeared at first. Clearly that can’t be the case for a page like this that’s purely at the Washington Post’s own site.

But it’s a bloody annoying state of affairs, and makes for a very bad web citizen.