02 January 2011

Half and Half

There's a kind of coffee in Morocco that I have yet to see anywhere else in the world: The ns-ns. For those of you who don't speak Moroccan Arabic, that means "half-half." It has been explained to me that it means that in this tiny cup (shot glass?), there is half milk and half espresso. Great, that's what I like, because a café creme aka 9hwa hlib aka café au lait aka coffee with milk is too milky for me, and my stomach can't handle 9hwa k7la aka a-straight-shot-of-espresso. This is right in the middle, mmmmm.

The big mystery, however, is how do they always make it layered like that? Is espresso lighter than milk? I mean, do they have some kind of magical ns-ns layering machine in the back of every Moroccan coffee shop. How do they do it? I have, on occasion, been in a café long enough to mix a ns-ns and then wait, to see if it separates back to it's natural state. Definitely doesn't happen, and I will never get those precious hours of my life back.

Can anyone answer the mystery of the ns-ns?

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