There are many ways to expose yourself as a tourist in London.
Standing on the wrong side of the escalator as locals try to squeeze by on the left is among the most common. The open-mouthed stares on the faces of many people in Parliament Square is another dead giveaway. But perhaps the most subtle marker of non-Londoner status is walking into an independent coffee shop and asking for “coffee.”
In London, there is no such thing as “coffee.” Or rather, it’s a word that describes an incredibly broad range of products without describing any one in particular. And this is not just because of the proliferation of Starbucks beverages with four adjectives for every noun — think “grande triple nonfat caramel macchiato.” Instead, London’s baristas are finding ways to make even the humble cup of black coffee an object of attention for connoisseurs.