A tip of the hat…to Mark Prince – a caffeinated compatriot and fellow writer of expressions espressi – who picked up some nifty coverage in today’s USA TODAY.

“As with soccer and fermented grapes, coffee drinks are another European import that the cowboys in all of us want to rope and wrangle into submission.

“One thought is that Italy has stalled, that they think, ‘We’ve made the perfect drink, and that’s it,’ ” says Mark Prince, a Web designer by day and administrator of coffeegeek.com by many a late night. (For the record, an Italian barista came in third last year, behind a Norwegian and a winning Dane.)

“So while Italy does live and breathe coffee, I do see this as giving us a little room to sneak in,” Prince says. “And the West Coast in particular is really pushing the envelope.”

And don’t worry, Mark… we won’t tell them you’re a Canadian fighter jock.

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