In these times of dietary rigour, of a decade that wants to be (or thinks it is?) more virtuous but also more austere, the question almost touches on the intimate, each person has their own measure of sugar for their espresso, "uma bica" in Lisbon, "su tinto" in Cali... right down to the syrupy "café de ollá" from Mexico. Everyone will defend their measure tooth and nail, from those who forbid themselves the slightest gram to the generous portion of 3 lumps of sugar in an espresso. We are then no longer very far from supersaturation... Yes, in sugar chemistry as in life, supersaturation threatens us and we have to master its contours, learn to live with our little drosses and its hazards to stay in the metastable zone and avoid false grains in our journey.
Depending on your location, the sacrosanct breakfast/coffee break is not quite the same. In Mexico, the "almuerzo", a ritual in effect on every sweet shop, corresponds to a XXXL taco break in the morning, everything goes through it: "carne", shrimps, beans, cheese, chilli, avocado, onions... You ingest a caloric bomb to last at least until 15hrs... When I started, I still had breakfast on my stomach but an invitation for the almuerzo is not to be refused! Don't expect to have a work meeting with the boss or to discuss the production output, all are in solidarity with the almuerzo... "Ahorita" will be the terse answer to make you wait...
In North Africa, I used to stand wide-eyed in front of strong guys delighted to share coffee with sweets, sweets at the Plant Manager's meeting... Executives? No, kids, fighting for the last macaroon on the table with no regard for the ladies. At 5pm, to make up for the day, we meet over a pain au chocolat and a glass of mint tea. Can you imagine my Mexican friend with a loaf of chocolate, sweets and a cup of tea in his hand? Even in a parallel universe, this does not exist!
In Paris, religiously, every week, we sent to HR our need for... water for the week, it was as important as his expense management... But not just any water, the choice of brands was vast: sparkling, still, rich in Sodium, magnesium, fine bubbles... Water and Coffee impose themselves on the table of a work meeting or a board of directors. But on the other side of the Atlantic, where soft drinks are cheaper than water, soda is the undisputed leader on meeting tables.
Still, there is at least one unique sharing moment that can be found in any cane factory in the world: "When your teams have fought for more than 12 hours to get a broken mill or an imploded vacuum circuit up and running, the one who returns with the basket of victuals is expected by all. Everyone then shares the victory of getting production back on track. We then leave the oversaturation zone, exhausted but united, the smiles return, and no one will ever reproach you for the 3 sugars in your coffee.