Another cup of coffee culture Making friends with espresso

Lego model of Central Perk set of Friends

cover artworkLast episode, Jonathan Morris told me about the rise of coffee culture in Italy and how that changed as it made the move to London. Even long after the first proper espresso machines appeared in Soho, the UK was not a huge coffee drinker. Not so the United States, where coffee became an essential drug for the Union during the Civil War. In this episode, Jonathan Morris tells me how the habit lingered and grew into the bottomless cup of diner coffee. Along the way, we talked about Starbucks and about Friends, and the true history of the flat white.


  1. Jonathan Morris’ Coffee: a Global History is available from Reaktion Books. Enter “coffee20” at checkout to get a discount.
  2. Yes, there really is a Lego set of Friends, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
  3. The flat white remains a bit of a mystery. Microfoam? You can search for yourself, but I found What is a flat white?. How much to trust this or his other pronouncements on flat whites and all the rest of it, I leave up to you.

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  • 💬 Jonathan Morris

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