Coffee or tea? After all these centuries, there’s nothing else like it is there?  I began my relationship with coffee at 16 and haven’t stopped to take breath since.

The smell of coffee freshly brewed still brings back fond memories of my younger self. Summer or winter, I greeted each new day with a cig in one hand and a coffee in the other.  Usually I’d be sharing it all with the birds and the bees out in the garden. What they thought of second hand smoke I’ll never know, but thankfully for me and luckily for them I’ve given up the former. But I’m still hooked on the latter. Those nearest and dearest to me stay well out of the way until I’ve had my caffeine fix.  I still can’t function without that first hit.

Is coffee another habit I should kick? It depends on which researcher you ask, and when you ask it. They keep changing their minds on us.  Until we know for sure, millions of people world-wide  will be joining me in an early morning caffeine fix.  We don’t intend to give it up.  Coffee has become an integral part of our lives and until somebody offers us something to equal it, we’re sticking with the devil we know.

Coffee  has become a generic term for ‘do you want a drink?’ Even if your guests  end up with herbal tea or milkshakes (or water as in the case of my friend Hazel who refused to follow convention) you will always automatically begin your hosting duties by offering coffee. Coffee breaks the ice in a variety of social settings and stimulates conversation.   And paradoxically while it is said to be a stimulant, coffee also relaxes those first date tensions and soothes down lovers’  tiffs, or at least the adverts tell us so.

Coffee smells like ambrosia should taste, but it falls far short of that, what a shame. I do keep hoping and trying. Whenever I grind and plunge or mix blends and dripolate I anticipate and salivate at the thought that I may have got that particular blend right this time round.  It’s my holy grail, a mission I intend to follow through to the bitter, smooth, bold and playful, organic and fair trade end.

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