Coffee

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There is nothing like having the coffee maker in your room fail to work to drive all other rational thoughts out of your head. Ah, sweet rationality, I was going to tell you all about the fascinating things I‘ve been learning about the rational mind but all I can think is: Coffee!!!

Coffee is the fuel that drives so much of the world’s enterprise. Novels are written, vast complex financial deals are made, plots are hatched, nations crumble – all because of coffee. What’s a nefarious plot without a dark steaming pot?

You think I jest but no, it is sadly true. One of the most traded commodities in the world – right up there with oil – coffee has indeed had an amazing impact on world history. Tea and chocolate – those other caffeine delivery systems – have had their place but nothing compares to the magic of java.

When the bean first became widely available in the 17th century, it was the drug of choice of almost all of Europe, not to mention those countries where it was grown. As a driver of colonial enterprise – and all the terrible outcomes that brought – coffee competed with sugar and cotton to fuel political and military rivalries and, of course, the slave trade.

Coffee has been mixed with a considerable share of blood over time. But it has its good points, too. It was in the coffee houses of England and especially France where many of the ideas of the Enlightenment were discussed, debated and eventually put into action. Whoops, more blood.

Still, if it weren’t for coffee, people would have no place to go to write their novels during NaNoWriMo. Think of all the great literature we would be deprived of as a result. All those words never written for want of a little bean. Okay, so coffee isn’t coming off so good here.

Still, it is a lovely thing. The aroma, that bitter taste that shocks and revives. Add a little steamed milk and you have a frothy delight. Maybe some sugar or a sprinkle of chocolate or cinnamon. Pure heaven. Or you can go to Tim Hortons.

Ah, yes the coffee snob, the hipster we all love to hate. But really it is a matter of taste. I find TH’s brew oddly sweet as if they added sugar to the beans – I know because I haven’t taken sugar for years so it comes as a strange little shock to drink it from Tim’s. On the other hand I find Starbucks too bitter and too laden with west coast pretention; Bridgehead is nice but has a distinct aftertaste of self-righteousness. So I guess I’ll have to brew my own. Maybe using Civet Cat Scat beans – now that is a truly pretentious evil scam.

Yeah, coffee, can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Better go get some.

And that’s ten minutes.

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