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We'll drink to that: Fun facts about your favourite beverages
06 October 2020 @ 19:07

THERE'S an International Day for just about everything, and if there isn't, it'll soon be invented – and this week, on Thursday, it was the turn for probably one of, if not the, most-consumed beverages on earth: Coffee.

If you were in Spain on October 1, you were in a great place to celebrate with a coffee, given that ours is universally acknowledged to be among the best in the world. And it remains cheap – wherever you are in the country, prices are fairly standard and you'll rarely have to ask how much it is before committing yourself to ordering.

It helps to know the standard varieties in Spain, all of which are typically under €2 in almost every bar, café or restaurant – and if you're not a fan of the strong stuff, ask for it flojo ('weak') or corto de café (literally, 'short on the coffee'). Otherwise, Spaniards are largely fans of a full-bodied cup, so you may find it a little OTT if you're new to it.

A basic white is a café con leche, which is normally quite milky and comes with the foam on top, or a basic black is a café americano, an espresso is a café solo, and two other common varieties are the café bombón (sometimes referred to as a café biberón), which is espresso on the top half of a small glass and condensed milk on the bottom half, and it's up to you whether you mix them to get a sweet, creamy cupful or whether you down the extra-strong black coffee on the top in one and then spoon out the condensed milk separately; or the café cortado, in a small glass with half espresso and half steamed or cold milk (they'll usually ask you first; if they don't, it'll be steamed), which is milky but very strong indeed – although, surprisingly, low on the caffeine, because the dried, ground coffee only filters through the machine in split seconds, rather than being left to percolate.

You can ask for any of these descafeinado, however, or if you prefer, a glass or cup of hot milk with a sachet of instant coffee is a café con leche de sobre or café cortado de sobre.

Of course, coffee isn't, by a long way, the only pep-up drunk in Spain; Spanish people are fond of their wine, beer, fizzy drinks and, in the Valencia region, horchata, or sweetened tigernut milk.

So we've found some fascinating headlines about some of these, as well as about coffee, which attracted our attention.


Is coffee the secret to a long life?

Ask anyone over 100 or even over 90, or their younger relatives who know them well, and they'll all have a secret or two which they maintain has kept them on the planet, often in reasonably good health, for the best part of a century or even more – secrets that vary from diet to attitude. The longest-living woman, and actually, person, on earth was Jeanne Calment, who was well into her 123rd year when she died – this amazing French lady gave one of her keys to longevity as a glass of wine a day and eating a kilo of chocolate a week throughout her life. So, if you needed an excuse, there it is.



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