My wife and I just returned home from a trip to Europe. Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Sweden; four different countries with so many beautiful places to visit. Rich with such natural beauty, with kind hearted people, and with deep history. Yet, it is the coffee houses that my wife loved the most!
As we traveled around Europe, both by ourselves, and with many of our European friends, it seems that several times a day, we ended finding a place to sit down, and have a cup of coffee or tea. Whether it was for a morning break, an afternoon snack or even for an after dinner experience, we seem to have found ourselves in small, intimate, and beautiful coffee houses. Whether it was sitting inside in comfortable sofas and chairs next to a heater in the colder parts of Iceland, or at various outside cafes throughout the historic streets of Germany and Denmark, there was certainly no shortage of wonderful settings to be found throughout Europe.
I found the atmosphere so very inviting. As my wife and I, along with our European friends, sat both inside and outside, we not only enjoyed the delicious sandwiches, cakes, and coffee, but also the conversation. I would argue that Europeans have discovered the secret of great conversation, and it is found in their outdoor cafes. Historic buildings, cobblestone and brick streets, riveting history; Europe has always been a favorite destination for my wife and me.
Often full of amazing charm and incredible food, the coffee house is a staple of the European lifestyle, and has a rich history of its own, dating back to 1529. After spreading throughout Europe the next several centuries, it almost seems inevitable that coffee houses opened up in the United States. Indeed, when America was first colonized, these cafes quickly followed suit, and began opening up in the new nation. Apparently, my wife is not alone in her love for coffee, and even tea, in America, as over 50 percent of consumers in the United States purchased coffee, or hot tea. Now, my wife is not just a coffee fanatic, she is also an Espresso lover, as well. Perhaps it is the caffeine shot she needs each day. She never starts a morning without her Espresso. Indeed, Espresso has three to five times more caffeine than coffee does, and helps get her going in the morning.
Now that we have returned from Europe, I find myself a little emotional. Sure, I loved the sightseeing. The history buff in me marveled at the dozens of historical sites we were able to visit. Yet, what I miss the most is my friends, sitting in those small, quaint outdoor cafes and coffee houses. I miss the conversations, and I miss the fellowship. I guess I just need to begin planning my next trip back to Europe.
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