Coffee and Latvia

So, before I went to Latvia, someone sent me to a blog that I no longer remember the name of. In this blog, the writer described the gross coffee they were offered in Latvia – black, grainy, barely drinkable.

Fair enough, I said to myself. I will buy good quality instant latte coffee mix (aka, sugary caffeine powder) and therefore have a backup plan. You never know.

My awesome, sweet, kind, long suffering friend Lori came to help me pack right before I left. She, also a mom of young children, applauded my paranoid foresight. Because, priorities!

I brought 110 pounds of gifts for orphaned kids and donations for an orphanage. I brought 3 outfits and 1 pair of shoes…and my backup coffee. Again, priorities.

By way of background, you should know that although I am a 6 cup a day coffee drinker, I am by no means a coffee snob. I’m happy with good ol’ Great Value medium roast in my slow drip coffee pot. Or gas station coffee. Or, honestly, fancy coffee, but only for free, because goooood night.

I seriously cannot function without my caffeine. Hence, necessary back up plan!

So it turns out that the coffee in Latvia is fancy and amazing. I found your basic black American coffee at Lido (a chain of “traditional Latvian food,” more on that later) and added milk and it tasted just like home.

But otherwise, it was fancy and yummy. M always ordered everything for me, because like I said, he took amazing care of all the details. I guess a lot of it was espresso because I had a bunch of energy on this trip, although that might have been due to sleeping in every day for the first time in 5 years.

Nevertheless, I ended up doing the instant a lot because teenagers, no matter how mature and amazing, do not typically enjoy getting out of bed on a mom’s schedule. I used up all my American deliciousness (seriously, it wasn’t half bad) and then went to Rimi, which is kind of like Latvian Wal-Mart but small. Rimi had a big selection of instant coffee with dried milk and sugar in each packet and it was not good, but we drank it every morning anyway, which says a lot about us, honestly.

I can honestly recommend planning a coffee and pastry stop into every single day during a trip to Latvia. You won’t be disappointed!


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