trois petites carafes

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Three little carafes. One with espresso and two with steamed milk. They served us this at many cafes we went to in Morocco. The coffee here is so delicious. The blend is smooth and the atmosphere familiar. Going to each different cafe in Morocco reminds me of the numerous times I frequent my favorite coffee shops in Seattle with friends.

This has been a tradition that started when I moved up here, and I love it. But as I think about how this favorite memory of mine has crossed transnational borders, I also must reflect on the two different scenes. At home in Seattle, I always go to coffee shops to get a quick espresso, or to do a lot of homework. In fact, as I sit here typing this up I am in a coffee shop where the latte was $3 and the pastry $2. I never find myself going just for the pleasure of coffee and friends and sit there for hours. Thats also not the vibe I et when I go to coffee shops either. At times, I even find myself at a cafe where there is a limit to how long you can be there. In Morocco, the culture seems to revolve around the cafes. They are on every corner and all of them vastly populated. Everywhere you turn there are at least two or three cafes packed with people-mostly men, but thats another story-who are sitting and conversing. Everyone greets each other with a hug and kiss, even if they don’t know the other. Men walk through the tables selling cigarettes and newspapers, merrily talking with everyone. The community that has evolved here is incredible.Young people gather to chat and laugh over a cup of tea; old men sit back and read the paper while dozing off between pages. The environment is exhilarating. The time at the cafe in Morocco is more of a cultural practice than a quick stop on the way to work or class.

The globalization of the coffee shop is incomparable. It is such a beautiful thing that I can go enjoy a great cup of coffee with friends at home in Seattle and here in Morocco. The transnational journey that a latte has in my life is wonderful. The tradition of sitting in a community and drinking coffee or tea has come from the east and is something that the West has picked up. The transnational connection of the globalization of a cafe was an unexpected pleasure I encountered on this trip.

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