What I like about coffee

Some musings on the upside of the dark stuff

Coffee’s been around for some time, five hundred years or so. You’ve got to give kudos to anything with that level of staying power. It’s like the Angela Merkel of hot beverages, indeed quite the antithesis of the Trump of the drinks world, Tango.

I like the fact that multiple generations have appreciated the complex depths of the nation’s favourite bean. I say the nation’s favourite bean, but of course you could make that claim about the “baked bean” – who’s counting – nobody it turns out so I can’t validate my initial assessment. Five hundred years of coffee drinking though is quite something. 480 years of straightforward appreciation of a solid drink.

And then, over the past twenty years, we ruined it.

To be clear, we didn’t ruin coffee. We just allowed a wholly unnecessary pretentious haze of smug appendages to mollify the age-old straightforwardness of coffee. See, my vocabulary veered dangerously close to pretentious there just thinking about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I like coffee. Not all coffee of course. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. It must be fresh ground and with some (cow’s – not that I should have to make the delineation) milk. But that’s it. That’ll do me, thank you very much.

Back in the 1980s, when life seemed more straightforward, the most exotic thing about coffee was the fact that a well coiffured Gareth Hunt used to shake his fist-full of beans on daytime telly. Simpler times. Ironically enough this, arguably sexual, gesture was made by one of the only men on telly in the 80s who wasn’t subsequently arrested for sexual deviance.

Today of course, we’ve managed to inflate the simple act of drinking coffee into something far less edifying.

We’ve created a movement, which incidentally, is one of the useful side effects of a decent morning coffee.

In the 80s you associated coffee with the charm and sophistry of Gareth Hunt and his bevy of female visitors. You’d think he would have neither the time nor need for all that fist shaking come to think of it. Nowadays, the association I mostly make with coffee is hipster, smug nonentities trying to own the “art” of coffee making. Without going into all the specifics, it’s safe to say that I’d happily boil all of these smug appendages in a bag to infuse a particularly sour cup of tea.

Yes, I like coffee.

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