So yesterday we talked a little about what coffee culture looks like in the USA and the UAE. The second part of this coffee date will explore Chile and China.
There is something about South American coffee that really brings me joy. It has a distinctive taste, and it just seems fresher. Cafes are pretty much everywhere you look here in Santiago, so it has been a fun adventure to test and compare. In Chile, coffee is enjoyed at all times of the day from the early morning to the late evening. All of the coffee shops that we’ve tried have either been outstanding or serve Nescafe (or, as I’ve been told, it is referred to as “No es cafe” here – hehe).
Something I just recently discovered is pretty quirky but carries a bit of history. I’ve seen cafes all over Santiago that have completely blacked out windows. While I’ve never ventured inside one, I did find out the scoop. Apparently Chile is one of the only places that has cafe con piernas (coffee with legs). The servers are female and wear “revealing” clothing. The traditional uniform is a mini-skirt with heels, but, at a few, the girls wear bikinis or lingerie.
China really isn’t known for its coffee culture, but I figured I would touch on it either way. We spent most of our time in the northeastern regions of China, so I cannot speak to what it is was like in the south. There were cafes all over the city, but most served Nescafe style coffee. Also, it seemed to me, that the coffee was an afterthought for foreign visitors, because there were usually five pages of teas and about three options for coffees. But, they always had the cutest, tiniest desserts!
That being said, we found some pretty great coffee shops. The eclectic Chinese decor style made these fun, and most had small moleskin notebooks that were left open for doodles and quick messages. It was really interesting to look through at all the different languages in these books. We actually loved one coffee shop so much, that we decided to take our one year anniversary photos there. Thanks again, Kelly, if you are reading this! We love your creative ideas and images! You rule! 🙂