Coffee House
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Ice Coffee
There are few places with as much ambiance as the Coffee House at McMurdo Station. When you drum up your ideas of what a coffee and wine bar in Antarctica should look like, this matches to perfection. I enjoyed my time there so much that I also spent numerous hours behind the bar serving up bottles of wine and lattes with an occasional biscotti to scientists, contractors, and several notables who traipsed through the Station as "distinguished visitors." The building was once used as an exclusive Officer's Club, but has since been opened up to the summer population of as many as 1100 people. After a cold day of work or weeks in a field camp, folks can warm up with a coffee or hot cocoa; often with a spot of Amaretto, Baileys, or whiskey thrown into the frothy mix. The fact that dry milk is the staple on station is usually secondary to the use of a 'real' espresso machine, and it also makes special deliveries of fresh New Zealand milk by friends in the Air Force all the more special. The coffee house culture runs deep here where people come to play a game of cribbage, socialize over knitting, chat with the bartender/barista, listen to live local music, watch a movie, or just escape from the weather.
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