According to yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (London), the tiny Sicilian town of Partinico has defined a social ritual to counter Italy’s struggles with the rising price of coffee: Italians share coffee to beat price rise – Telegraph. Because of the higher prices, and the Italian need for several cups of espresso a day, some Italians have started a rather ceremonious ritual where an espresso is shared among a few people, with each participant partaking in one sip on alternating sides of the cup.

Culturally, this is a rather classic Italian approach to address a problem: create a shared social solution. Meanwhile in Super-Big-Gulp®-guzzling America, we’re still scratching our heads at how the thimble-sized Italian coffee could be enough for just one person.

Meanwhile, in nearby Malta, the Malta Star reported yesterday on how consumers are dealing with various coffee price changes resulting from the tiny nation’s conversion to the Euro this year: Lost in froth: How cafeterias brew their coffee prices – maltaStar.com.