Coffee – a love affair

Coffee - a love affair

Coffee: a love affair

by Deborah Taylor

I love coffee. I adore coffee. I think coffee is perhaps the world’s greatest invention. But I can’t, currently, drink it. After seven or eight weeks (I’ve lost count) of constant headaches and chest pains, I’ve decided, finally, to listen to my doctor. So I’ve not had a cup of coffee for somewhere in the region of six weeks.

And I love coffee.

I love the smell of coffee, the earthy, invigorating aroma, whenever you open up a new pack of coffee. The way a handful of coffee beans feel in your hand. Obviously, I’m a coffee snob. If possible, I prefer to grind my own blend of beans, I’ve a nice little grinder that does it so well, if a little noisily. I’ve an espresso maker, with one of those little steamy things so I can froth and steam milk and I’ve ever learnt how to use it properly.

I have a percolator with an insulated jug, so I can carry a jug of piping hot coffee around the house with me. It’s a thing of kitchen beauty. It makes these expressive phut phut sounds as it puts the steaming hot water over the freshly ground coffee granules. It makes a fantastically mellow coffee and lots of it.

I buy Fair Trade coffee, naturally. Usually from Oxfam, but they’ve stopped selling the beans, so I’m reduced to buying the ready ground. The names are the best. Guatemalan Elephant is a name of such innuendo and a fine drink, with a nice kick to get you started in the morning.

I stocked the little chocolate sprinkles, the coffee syrups. Hazelnut, chocolate, caramel, vanilla. Each leading you into different coffee experience. But these are adornments, fripperies which coffee can live and breathe without.

I like the coffee shops, I like the sensory feel of a good coffee shop. Not the bland, plastic aroma of Starbucks, but the good earthy feel of somewhere like CafĂ© Nero. Mellow music and the second best coffee around, make for the perfect place to sit, read, write, and just exist. The best coffee is, surprisingly enough, from those AMT booths that you find in train stations, but they don’t do decent croissants and have poor seating.

I love the silly names given to drinks. The Frappuccinos, the Cappucinos, the Skinny Lattes, Mocha Chocolate double espressos. They are wonderful, a code, a secret language that is scorned upon by the lesser, instant coffee drinkers.

Instant coffee holds only one attraction for me, that of puncturing that little foil cap with a spoon and watching the little wisp of fine coffee granules flutter up and away. Beyond that, you might as well flush the rest down the toilet. It’s poor coffee, cut with who knows what by ignorant and malicious pushers. Never touch instant coffee.

Coffee has fuelled my life, at every step, at every major achievement, every great idea, coffee has been there for me, backing me up. More so than any other stimulant I can name. It was second nature for me to have a cup of coffee in my hand.

I love coffee. But now it’s been taken away from me. Which wouldn’t be so bad, but they’ve taken my rum as well.