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Well - I suppose if you buy your coffee in gas stations and the similar places you'd get that impression - possibly get your wish, as well.
Like beer, American coffee's come a long way. Sure, you can still buy Budweiser and Nescafe* Instant, but only because you don't know any better. That's OK.
The Brits still make the tea too damn strong and then can only drink it with milk to neutralize the corrosive effects. If your tea needs milk to make it drinkable then there's no point to it at all. Also, the mainly drink tea from India - and the climate and tea species make for a great aroma and a poor taste.
Not having tasted American beers recently, I can't comment on them. I'll stipulate that I'm not an expert on every coffee blend available in the US, and that some US blends may be palatable.
As for tea, I've drunk many different varieties (South African Rooibos, Japanese green tea, several types of Indian tea, some Chinese tea - I forget which). I've drunk Indian and Rooibos tea with and without milk. Of all the varieties I've tried, I prefer the Indian with milk (or freshly-squeezed lemon).
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-- 6079 Smith W.
Try Lapsang Suchong - you'll love it or hate it. But it's never bitter. I've had some Indian Green tea (not very common, it seems) and it was better than most. Indian tea, however, gets bitter very easily - Chinese tea does not.
If you want tea a little less scrupulously pure, my second favorite (behind lapsang suchong) is Lychee black tea. It's cured with Lychee flowers (which are removed). It smells more like tea than any other tea.
For green tea? Loong Jing (Dragon Well). However, there are a great many varieties. Some are amazing - some? Not so much. That's probably the most "traditional" Chinese green tea, but traditions do vary by region. Taiwan has a lot of Jasmine tea (not high on my imaginary list).
For me, some years ago (I think during graduate school) my tea "taste" kicked in. Suddenly the tea really did matter. It was some cheap India tea that triggered it, Taj Mahal. Nasty stuff by current standards (mine). Around the same time I developed "a taste" for single malt scotch.
Having a taste for something (call it gourmet) is not something I feel lucky about. I can't enjoy the plain stuff. It's actually a loss of flexibility. Luckily, it didn't happen with coffee. I still greatly prefer darker roasts - mostly buying Latin roasts these days (oddly enough, very inexpensive in a Latin-oriented supermarket). The old style taste in American coffee? Too lightly roasted. Often too weak. Still available, but not very common. Even swill-markets, like Drunkin'-Donuts and McDullards are trying to compete with Starbucks by serving real coffee and making much hoopla about it. Luckily, though, only bad and weak coffee bother me. Tel-Aviv espressos went down well. Cafe Turkai - every now and then, the mood strikes (although now I make it without the sugar).
But, continuing the whip-saw, once the "craft beer" craze struck and stuck, you can easily get good beer. IPA's, for me, even before they were in fashion. A good thing because it ultimately increased availability and decreased prices (on some).
Enough of this lecture. My coffee's getting cold.
Ooops. One more thing: how to repair nasty coffee: put star anise in your cup, or if possible, brew it onto the star anise. Takes the edge off and adds richness. Don't use so much that it gets a licorice taste. Also reuse them a lot of times. For a while, due to their thick woody nature, they actually become more effective with the first few uses.
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous - The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 - Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. Mark Twain
Setting up a new laptop for one of my wife’s coworkers.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013