Today we went to Lille on the Eurostar to celebrate a friend's birthday. We arrived at the station in time to have a cup of coffee before lunch.
The French seem to have avoided the plague of speciality coffees. Instead it seems that every bar, cafe and restaurant, when faced with the words "un café s'il vous plait", seems to offer exactly the same boringly perfect cup of coffee.
It's never too strong. It's never too weak. It tastes of coffee but it won't keep you up for days. Each cup is exactly like the one you had the day before in a completely different establishment hundreds of miles away. It doesn't come from some self-important machine that sits behind the counter like the Albert Hall organ.
It takes seconds to appear. I love every cup. How do they do that?