Lets talk about COFFEE - Page 242
It seemed to me that the article was more about the culture surrounding espresso than the drink itself. My (admittedly limited) experience with espresso in Milan is that, while it's a great cultural element, the coffee itself isn't anything special; its roast level tends toward "incinerated" and it's heavy on the cheap robusta beans. It's for good reason that they almost invariably put sugar in it.
It's fast, it's cheap, and you don't drink it for the flavour, you drink it for the buzz.
I know there are some specialty-grade coffee places in Italy too, though; I'd love to find one on my next visit to compare.
Yea I drank a bunch of coffee in Europe and also got some of the high end Esse beans for home use, and my conclusion is for taste (and fun coffee-tourism) Third Wave is definitely more interesting and tastes better.
But when I drink 3+ espressos a day, they all taste about the same and I'm much more in the Italian camp...
So, as a drug: Italian roast. For nerd-ing out: new wave.