Quality above all

One day an Italian friend came to see me. She was going through a painful breakup, and thus she was in a very bad mood. She slept only a few hours every night for weeks, she hardly ate and she was heartbroken. The first thing I could think of – just as an emergency assistance – is to offer her a coffee. ‘Come on – I was smiling at her encouragingly – ‘ we’ll have a good coffee’. Her face was pale, huge black circles under the eyes. ‘What kind of coffee?’- she asked in a dim sound.

I was puzzled for a moment: I didn’t even consider that the type of coffee could possibly be of any importance to anyone in this state of being. Then I realized that she was Italian and the quality of coffee is indeed of high importance in this culture.

I reassured her that I thought of an espresso prepared in a real Italian moka pot. I could detect apprectation mixed with surprise in her look. Then she noded approvingly. ‘Or the French press if you prefer’ – I was trying to make her smile. She didn’t.

I was amazed! I am not sure I would have refused any kind of coffee after not having slept for a couple of weeks. I do appreciate good quality coffee, but in a situation like this, chances are high I would have said “Any coffee will do”.

Is there an area in your life where there is no room for any compromise?