Revealed: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee

James Proclaims (4)

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Hello, I’m James and this is my blog, ‘James Proclaims’.

I like coffee. I drink quite a lot of it and I’m something of a snob connoisseur.

But in all honesty I doubt I know ten facts about coffee that aren’t already common knowledge. It would be ludicrous to claim otherwise.

Regular readers will no doubt have spotted that this is, once again, my (now apparently regular) Wednesday ‘click-bait’ post. I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and if I’m honest the experiment has rather run its course. I don’t really know why I’m still doing it.

Perhaps it’s because, when all is said and done, disingenuous, low-quality content is still content and given that most media outlets, even publicly-funded institutions like the BBC, allow some pretty low-brow and worthless content on their websites, I don’t see why I should rise above it.

I should probably provide a link to something trite on the BBC website to prove my point, but these days my understanding is that you don’t need evidence to back up the claims you make and also quality is subjective, so it’s really just my opinion rather than an actual fact.

Believe it or not, some people will really like this post and consider it the height of satire.

And who’s to say they’re wrong?

 

May The Eleventh Be With You: The Coffee Is Strong With This One

James Proclaims (4)

The Force is not particularly strong with me today. Or indeed any day, because obviously ‘The Force’ is entirely made up.

And much as I would love to believe I could have the powers of a Jedi, at the moment I would settle for the powers of a human. But I feel I’m lacking in that regard today too.

So while there are still more than enough films and TV shows for me to carry on with my mission to write about Star Wars for many more days to come, and frankly I’ve watched a lot of this stuff already so I’m definitely going to write about it whether or not anyone wants to read it, I’m not feeling like I can do justice to the movie I was going to write about today.

And if I don’t do it justice then no-one else will as it comes very much from the arena of ‘lesser known’ and ‘lesser beloved’ Star Wars films.

Instead, today, I thought I’d share some images of the various Star Wars mugs I own.

I should add, that I did not buy a single one of these. They were all gifts.

And I do own quite a few ‘novelty mugs’. Probably more Star Wars than anything else but it’s certainly not the only theme in my kitchen cupboards.

So, without further ado, and because I’m firmly of the view that ‘underwhelming blog content’ is better than ‘no blog content’, here are my Star Wars mugs:

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The first one I owned, bought for me by my good wife.

 

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From a colleague, when he left the organisation we both worked for. I was his boss and he wanted to say thanks. I’m not entirely sure what I did that merited thanks but I’m not one to turn down a Star Wars mug because I didn’t deserve it.

 

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From my parents for Christmas when I was a fully grown adult, even though I’ve loved Star Wars my entire life. Better late than never…

 

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From another former colleague who wanted to say thanks for something. I must be a great person to work with…

 

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Another from a colleague but this was because I achieved the landmark age of 40.

 

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And not a mug, but a coaster. But it did come with a matching mug, which sadly did not survive my clumsiness. Also from a colleague. This time as a Christmas present I believe…

 

And those are all the Star Wars mugs I own.

Tune in tomorrow when I’ll endeavour to write about an actual film. But in all honesty, the mugs might turn out to have been a better subject for a blog post.

 

Forlornly Fatigued

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Sometimes when I feel tired
I’m not really that nice
And it’s better to avoid me
Or make interactions more concise

I don’t mean to be so grumpy
Like a bear with a sore head
But I’m not very good at coping
When I spend too little time in bed

I’ll be much better tomorrow
When I’ve had a chance to rest
But today will be a challenge
And I won’t be at my best

So I wouldn’t bother trying
To engage with me today
I’ll be morose and sulky
If I cannot get my way

Better just to ignore me
And pretend that I’m not here
I might be a little joyless
But there’s nothing much to fear

Although it might help a little
If you want to cheer me up
To give me lots of chocolate
And pour some coffee in my cup

Ode To A Pod From A Coffee Snob

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What would life be without the pod
From which my coffee doth arrive?
Of all of the cons considered mod
It’s my favourite ogive
For without the pod how could I
Ensure my daily caffeine
Without effort and commitment
Of methods so slow they make me cry?
But I suppose they are still less obscene
Than granules freeze-dried and instant

Scraping The Barrel

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Is there any problem in the world that can’t be solved by a nice biscuit? Maybe a Chocolate-covered Digestive, or perhaps a Jammy Dodger?

I mean obviously obesity.

It stands to reason that you aren’t going to solve obesity by eating Shortbread.

But, aside from that, is there any problem in the world that can’t be solved by taking time out to munch on a Malted Milk?

Ok, admittedly, it’s unlikely to solve some of the bigger world problems. The UK’s ignominious separation from Europe is still going to be mishandled by Tory infighting regardless of how many Oreos you stuff into your mouth and the septuagenarian toddler in the White House is still going to spout ridiculous, regressive rhetoric irrespective of your Hobnob consumption.

But on a personal level, is there any problem that can’t be overcome by eating Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Well yes.

Eating excessive Viennese Whirls is not going to make your job any more interesting, your bathroom any more decorated or your utility bills any lower.

Bourbons are certainly not going to finish that novel you’re trying to write.

Or start writing it for that matter.

Consuming Custard Creams, gorging on Garibaldis or polishing off Pink Wafers will not lead to long-term happiness.

But they do make a lovely addition to a cup of tea or coffee and may put a smile on your face for a few minutes.

Which is something.

Jaffa Cakes are nice too, but people are often unsure whether they are biscuits or cakes.

And the answer is clearly cakes.

The clue is in the name.

But regardless of that, they do the job of a biscuit well enough.

And whatever your biscuit of choice, or hot beverage for that matter, you should go and have one of each now.

It would be a better use of your time than reading this.

It might have been better for everyone had I not shifted myself away my own biscuit tin in order to write this banality.

But, for the sake of ongoing blog content, I decided to switch scraping a biscuit barrel for a metaphorical one.

I’m truly sorry.

Have a bourbon on me*.

*I won’t actually be providing the bourbons – you’ll have to buy those yourself. Feel free to switch to another biscuit of choice instead. But do have a biscuit. You’ll feel better for it. Unless that biscuit is a Rich Tea. Because seriously, what is the point of those?

Con-For-Us

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The conference is a noble thing
A day when experts confer knowledge
In allocated slots
To us know-nothing mortals
Who have had the nerve
Up to this point
To work without their wisdom

Although in truth
There is little conferring of knowledge
Or new knowledge at least
Just a purgatory of PowerPoints
Regurgitating redundant recommendations
Everyone has heard before

But in amongst the allocutions
Of stuff we all already know
Sometimes we can dare to dream
For a keynote speaker
With enough charisma
To make the blindingly obvious
Seem like it wasn’t really so obvious

And if the conference
Is a sham
A lie
An illusion of innovative information
If it is indeed a con
It’s a convivial con

It’s a con-for-us

For while orating the obvious
Might be the order of the day
It is still a day
Away
From our average day

And if we’re lucky
A free lunch
Continuous coffee
And maybe some sweets on our table
Will help us pass the time

Oh Dirty Mug

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Oh dirty mug
Tea-stained and forlorn
How long have you sat there
Unwashed
Perchance unloved?

And though my need is great
For a beverage warm
And comforting
To refresh my soul
I shall once again
Eschew you
Ignore you
In favour of your
Cleaner brethren
In their ivory tower
(Or off-white kitchen cupboard)

Though take comfort
Dirty mug
In the knowledge
That once used
A clean coffee cup
Itself becomes
A dirty demitasse
A grubby goblet
A vitiated vessel

So soon
You will languish alone
No more

S Is For Sleep

James Proclaims (4)

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I’m something of an insomniac

Except in the mornings.

When I have no difficulty sleeping through an alarm clock.

In the mornings I drink coffee to help me wake up.

In the afternoons and evenings I drink coffee because I really like coffee.

If I drank less coffee maybe I’d sleep better.

But I’d be much worse at being awake.

 

My New Year Resolutions That I’ll Definitely Be Sticking To

James Proclaims (4)

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Tradition dictates that because it’s the beginning of a new year, I must make lots of pledges to change my way of life, even though I’m perfectly happy with my life for the most part.

It’s mildly inconvenient, because while I accept that there’s always room for improvement, I’m not entirely certain that I’m ready to make any drastic changes to my existence. Continue reading My New Year Resolutions That I’ll Definitely Be Sticking To

A Chicken And Egg Conundrum


I honestly can’t recall
If I started drinking coffee
To combat the resultant fatigue
Of insomnia

Or if the fatigue is born of
An insomnia
That is itself a symptom
Of excessive caffeine consumption

But on a day when I have
An omelette for breakfast
And a Nandos for lunch
There is at least one question
I can answer with certainty

Reading in Reading

James Proclaims (4)

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I’m writing this from inside a library. Not just any library but an actual university library. Where people come to study.

In fact it’s the main library of the University of Reading. The University of Reading is so-called because it is in the town of Reading in Berkshire, England, rather than because it is a high level academic institution dedicated to the cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning.

You can study things other than reading at Reading although it is possibly ironic that the first assignment for my MA was on the topic of dyslexia.

I have come to study something else today.

I haven’t studied in a library for years. I’m not entirely sure how to do it. Continue reading Reading in Reading

Coffee versus People

James Proclaims (4)

If I can get to the weekend then it will all be ok.

Coffee will help.

Alcohol will not help, which is a shame because I really feel like a nice cold beer right now. Or a nice glass of Chateau Neuf du Pape.

Or that really cheap cider that I got drunk on that time when I was sixteen. Continue reading Coffee versus People

If I were meeting you for coffee

James Proclaims (4)

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Task 10 on Writing 101 was to write a post as if I was catching up with my reader over a cup of coffee. It’s apparently quite a common thing to do in the blogosphere. It doesn’t really sound like my ‘cup of tea’ but I’ll give it a go… Continue reading If I were meeting you for coffee

The Deadline

Rufus could barely keep his eyes open, but unhealthy levels of caffeine and sugar were just about preventing him from falling asleep at his desk.

He took another gulp of his coffee. It was cold. Did he have time to make another?

He looked at the screen. He felt like he had been staring at the monitor for a long time now without actually writing anything. He glanced at the clock in the bottom right hand corner. Continue reading The Deadline

I wouldn’t even bother reading this if I were you…

James Proclaims (4)

I’ve just had an afternoon nap. It was quite pleasant.

It’s possibly the icing on the cake of what has, thus far, been an eminently pleasant Saturday. I’ve done nothing all day. My beloved and I did venture out this morning for breakfast, but that was an act of labour saving delight. Since then I’ve lounged in front of the TV, read a few pages of a novel, eaten some empty calories and nostalgically listened to few albums from the mid-nineties while lying on the bed in the guest room, which is unfit for actual guests to ever inhabit, but which serves perfectly well as my blog-office. Somewhere between Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ and Pulp’s ‘His and Hers’ I dozed off. I have recently woken up and I’m now facing my first crisis of the day.

I’ve run out of pods for my coffee machine.

This is an absolute disaster.

I’m now faced with the dilemma of having to actually go out to buy some and deal with the horrors of the Saturday shoppers at the supermarket, or alternatively to spend the rest of the day drinking slightly-less-nice instant coffee.

This ‘catastrophe’ does raise some questions.

Which I’ll now answer as if being interviewed:

How much coffee are you planning on drinking today?

Quite a lot.

This seems like a bit of ‘first world’ problem. Is this really that bad?

Objectively, no. But it seems bad to me because I’m a bit disorientated after my nap.

The ‘guest room’ situation sounds a bit worrying. What do you do when you have guests?

We encourage them not to stay.

Shouldn’t you just sort out the guest room?

Probably, but it never seems that bad when you compare it to the bathroom.

Well, shouldn’t you sort out the bathroom?

We both know what happened last time I tried to do DIY in there…

Why are you having such a lazy Saturday when there’s clearly so much to sort out in your house?

Who are you? My wife?

No I’m the voice of your subconscious…

No you’re not, you’re just a comic device that I’m employing to make an otherwise uninteresting blog post seem a bit more diverting.

It’s not working very well is it?

I think it’s quite effective actually.

Do you? Do you really?

Well, no.

You seem to be caught in a bit of a creative culdesac. How are you going to end this post?

Like this.

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Seems like a bit of a cop-out. Surely you can do a bit better?

Go away.

An Infusiasm For Tea

James Proclaims (4)

Unlike me, my other half is not a coffee drinker. When I first met her, she mostly consumed diet cola, but she’s moved on from that phase and will now indulge in hot drinks like a proper adult. Most often in polite company, she’ll go for an English Breakfast tea without milk (she doesn’t ask for it like that – she’ll just ask for a cup of tea, but as I’m going to talk about various kinds of tea, I thought it pertinent to make the distinction – although having now just reread the next paragraph it doesn’t really matter and I’m actually just being pedantic. I could go back and edit all of that but I feel that you, dear reader, should know what a pedant I truly am.)

Other teas she likes are as follows: Earl Grey, Lady Grey, and various fruit teas that tea purists would probably refer to as infusions, because there’s no tea involved in them. But they’re produced in the same way, by introducing a small porus bag to hot water, so the distinction is just semantics really.

Her favourite hot drink, by far, is just hot water. Which makes her quite a cheap date actually, although mostly she’ll go for an infusion when we’re out and about because ordering just a cup of hot water draws far more  blank expressions from ‘baristas’ than either of us feel comfortable with.

She’ll ask for a hot water when we’re visiting family though. My dad, for some reason, still finds her propensity to drink hot water quite amusing, and regularly asks if she’d like another ‘sarsaparilla’. I believe he’s referencing an old Western TV series called Sugarfoot, in which the main protagonist would order  a Sarsaparilla rather than the expected alcoholic drink. I suppose it’s a pertinent enough reference because my beloved isn’t ordering a drink within the ‘expected norms’ although I think my dad thinks that Sarsaparilla is just water, albeit cold fizzy water, and that’s why he thinks it’s funny. I’ve just looked it up (to the best of my knowledge we don’t have it in the UK) and it’s not water, it’s a kind of root beer. That won’t stop my dad from making the joke every time we visit though…

Anyway, as I said, she mostly drinks infusions when we’re out and about and depending on where we go, she’ll have a particular flavour in mind. We went to Costa yesterday, ( I’ve mentioned going to Costa before on these pages, so just to be clear, I haven’t got shares in the place, it’s just that there’s one conveniently close to our house). When we go to Costa she tends to order the ‘Gingersnap Peach’ infusion. Yesterday I ordered this, only to be told that Costa no longer do this flavour and have replaced it with one called ‘Citrus and Ginger Twist’. In other places we’ve been she’s happily drunk ‘Lemon and Ginger’ tea, and this sounded similar enough to that so I ordered it.

When I brought the drinks to our table I informed her of the change.

She looked at me with genuine despair and these were her exact words:

“Why does everything I love get discontinued?”

There was a moment’s silence while we both contemplated this.

I pointed out that I have not, as yet, been discontinued…

After another pause, she conceded that she does love me more than tea.

Baking Bad

James Proclaims (4)

As I’ve stated previously, I enjoy a coffee on my way into to work of a morning. I’ve also shared the fact that I enjoy breakfast. Sometimes I combine these two pleasures and purchase both at the same outlet. I’m quite astute like that.

One of these outlets has a proprietor who reminds me quite a lot of Gus Fring off of the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Rather cleverly I’ve entitled this post ‘Baking Bad’ to reflect that. Although, to be completely honest, I’m not sure if the bread that is used to make my sausage baguette is baked on site. If I was to hazard a guess, I’d say it arrives on the premises par-baked and is finished off in the cafe’s own kitchen. But I couldn’t be certain. It’s probably not the most interesting facet of this story…

Anyway he looks like Gus Fring. Well, he looks like Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who plays the role. But he has the polite, calm, quiet and efficient mannerisms in his little coffee shop that Gus Fring displays when he is working in his own catering outlet on the show. What isn’t clear is whether, as on the show, the catering business is a front for an international drug empire. My gut instinct would be no. That would be a ridiculous tag to apply to a man whose only crime is looking a bit like a TV character.

However on Monday I popped in for my usual baguette and coffee and I found the proprietor chatting to a nondescript man. Well I say nondescript, but really I wasn’t paying him too much heed. He might well have had lots of describable features, but I was in my pre-breakfast primate state and aware of very little. I’d like to say he looked sinister, which would serve the narrative better, but that would probably be untrue.

Anyway, he didn’t appear to be ordering anything, but the proprietor, who we’ll call Gus to avoid any confusion, didn’t serve me as promptly as he might normally. He continued to talk to this other bloke who wasn’t buying anything. This was very much out of character for Gus, who normally has exemplary customer service skills. Nevertheless, the conversation continued for a  few moments after my arrival and then the man made to leave, at which point Gus handed him a large amount of money. I couldn’t see exactly how much it was, but it was a proper wad of cash and the notes I could see were fifties, so it was clearly not a small amount of sterling.

Admittedly, this is not, in itself, proof of criminal activity, but this is a bloke who looks like a criminal off of TV. If that money wasn’t laundered drug money then I don’t know what is. I mean I genuinely don’t know what is, I have literally no experience of money laundering.

Still reeling from this ‘unlawful’ activity, I placed my order, whereupon a different gentleman appeared. Gus pulled out a small bag from behind the counter and handed it to the man and the man then handed Gus a £50 note, saying “take twenty-five out of that”, which seemed a lot to be paying for a bacon sandwich. But maybe just the right amount for, oh I don’t know, illegal narcotics? Well ok, £25 is probably quite cheap for drugs. I wouldn’t know, and not just because my mum sometimes reads this blog, but because I’ve never done drugs in my life…

Now it is possible that the man comes in everyday and orders the same thing and that now he and Gus have an arrangement whereby he pays for all his breakfasts at the start of the week, which could feasibly be in the regions of £25. And to be fair, from first impressions, the bag could have contained a bacon sandwich. It was the right shape and size.

Nonetheless, two suspicious financial transactions in a short space of time by a man who looks like a TV criminal, sent me into a reverie of sorts. You know how that happens to people in films, when they sort of drift off into a dream and they can’t hear what the person in the room is saying to them? Well that happened to me for a few moments until I became aware of Gus’ mouth moving. I quickly roused myself from my trance.

“Er, I’m sorry,” I said.

“Would you like milk in your coffee?” he asked.

I nodded, and we continued the transaction in silence. He proceeded to keep me under his gaze.

“He knows,” I thought to myself, “he knows that I know…”

I took my baguette and coffee, which came to less than £5, (which renders my theory about the £25 being for a week’s worth of bacon sandwiches mathematically improbable, particularly when you note that the man had no hot beverage with his order.)

I made my way into work, munching on my baguette thoughtfully. If he really is an international drug lord, then was I now in danger, having clearly rumbled his criminal activities? I thought about some of the brutal acts carried out by Gus Fring on Breaking Bad. I wouldn’t want any of that stuff happening to me. Then I relaxed. I’m not a rival kingpin, I’m not an incompetent underling and I don’t work in law enforcement. I should be safe enough.

But I am a teacher, and before he became Gus Fring’s main supplier of Methyl amphetamine, Breaking Bad’s antihero, Walter White, was a chemistry teacher. Ok it didn’t end particularly well for either party, but they made a lot of money on the way.

So maybe there’s a business opportunity for me with my Gus. I’m not a chemistry teacher though. I’m a maths teacher who can teach French, (or a French teacher who can teach maths, depending on which job I’m applying for). That’s two subjects to Walter White’s one. That’s got to be a useful skill-set for any criminal mastermind to take advantage of.

I’m going to be rich!

Of Retail and Robins

James Proclaims (4)

The walk to my local supermarket is eminently pleasant. It’s a twenty minute stroll through charming green parkland, alongside a canal, complete with lock and canal boats, and at one point a dramatic river crossing, which incorporates a stunning vista of the Thames in all its glory.

It makes me feel a little guilty that I tend to get my groceries delivered to my door. Not that guilty though – however pleasant the walk to the place, the actual experience of navigating around Tesco Extra, is never less than gruelling and the delivery service is very convenient.

Also, if my shopping needs are so small that I’m able to carry the bags home without the need of my car, then I’m far more likely to pop to Waitrose. Not because of any middle class pretentions that Waitrose is a more pleasant experience. It rarely is, but it is quite a lot nearer to my house. Also they give you a free coffee if you have a ‘My Waitrose’ card, which is an added bonus. Although I was a little incensed when I discovered they’ve changed their coffee-giving-away policy to one where you now have to buy something in order to get the cup into which the free coffee goes. It’s now marginally less convenient than it once was and suggests a lack of trust between customer and retailer.

But then I realised that getting angry about stuff as trivial as that is indicative of someone who doesn’t have any real problems, so I congratulated myself on living a relatively trouble-free life and moved on.

This morning I awoke to discover that supplies were a little thin on the ground in my kitchen. It’s symptomatic of the fact that my other half and I are both teachers and it’s currently half term. We’re just a bit less organised than normal. With Reading Bridge being out of action at the moment, it was impractical to drive, but our grocery needs were such that we needed the options of the larger supermarket and so off to Tesco we went.

The walk was as pleasant as ever, and even the shopping experience was not overly horrific, given that it’s a normal working day for non-teachers and consequently there weren’t too many other shoppers. We also treated ourselves to a breakfast in the new “Harris and Hoole” coffee shop onsite. It’s much nicer than the cafe they used to have but it’s also quite a lot more expensive. It seems like Tesco are fighting the war against the discount supermarkets of Aldi and Lidl by appealing to a different consumer entirely. It’s almost as if Tesco now wants to be Waitrose…

But in Waitrose the coffee is free…

Nonetheless it was all quite pleasant and on the walk home, things took a turn for the idyllic, when I caught site of a little Robin Redbreast going about its business as if it were the central character in a children’s story. How utterly charming, I thought to myself.

But then I reflected – it’s the latter end of May and all of the maxims from my infancy, as well as a large number of Christmas cards that I’ve received over the years, would have me believe that the Robin is intrinsically linked with yuletide celebrations. Now I’m not stupid enough to think that Robins can’t exist at other times of the year, but I did wonder if the Robin is ever really likely to be seen in the winter months, or if it’s just one of those myths purported by popular culture.

So I did a bit of research and what I found out about the robin’s place in British folklore was truly fascinating.

Obviously I haven’t got the time to go into it all here. This is just a facile blog post about going to the supermarket. But why not look it up for yourself?

Coffee-Counter Culture

James Proclaims (4)

I’ve always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, which perhaps defies the British stereotype. It’s not uncommon though, and truthfully I’m not anti-tea or anything; I like tea too, I just prefer coffee.

I’ve drunk coffee for as long as I can recall; certainly my habit began in primary school. If anything my parents encouraged it, but you have to remember it was the eighties back then and they were preparing me for life as a yuppie.

It started out as instant coffee, bog-standard instant coffee at that, but as I got older my tastes became more refined and I went from Nescafe (or supermarket own-brand equivalent) to Nescafe Gold (or supermarket own-brand equivalent).

Nowadays, if I have to drink instant at all, I’m very much a Kenco Millicano man (or supermarket own-brand equivalent), but really I much prefer ‘real coffee’. My wife bought me a coffee machine for my birthday last month and it’s been in constant use ever since.  I wouldn’t say I’m a coffee connoisseur, because that would imply some sort of knowledge and expertise on the subject, but I am increasingly a coffee snob.

I also like availing myself of an ‘Americano’ from the various coffee outlets in Reading town centre en route to work of a morning. I have noticed there is something of a disparity in both price and quality. There are several venders who profess to sell the best coffee in Reading. It can’t be true for all of them but they do charge significantly more than those who don’t make such outlandish claims. I think it’s entirely possible to pick up a fairly decent sized cup of coffee for around a £1 -£1.50. At that price it’s a little morning luxury. However one retailer recently charged me £2.90 for what was admittedly a very high quality product. But it wasn’t so good that it was worth two cups of coffee from its neighbouring competitors. Plus the £2.90 coffee was served with a cocky swagger by an overconfident youth who thinks the job title ‘barista’ actually means more than just being the Italian word for someone who works in a coffee shop. There’s nothing wrong with working in a coffee shop but don’t oversell it. It’s probably something his mum constantly has to deal with.

“Marge, I hear your boy is a barrister, you must be so proud.”

“Well not exactly a barrister Vera…”

I have genuinely no idea why I’ve used the names Marge and Vera. But I digress…

The £1.20 I paid for what was actually just instant coffee from a kiosk in a town centre park a few weeks ago seems equally offensive on reflection. Because that’s a  40p cup of coffee at best. It’s a lovely park too, but I’ll be importing my coffee from now on.

Last word goes to the behemoth that is Costa Coffee. I don’t tend to frequent the high street giants like the afore-mentioned Costa or Starbucks – I’m pretentious enough to prefer my coffee to be ‘indie’, but occasionally needs must.

In these places the ‘baristas’ are encouraged to upsell you from a small to a medium. It’s a trap I’ve fallen into numerous times.

“Would you like a large or just a medium?” is the loaded question they ask. Sometimes I remember that there is a third, cheaper, option. Sometimes I go with the medium, which is inevitably larger than I need.

For some reason the other day I decided to go for a large. It was first thing in the morning so my faculties hadn’t all kicked in and it was post my £2.90 experience so in the context of that, the £2.40 that Costa were charging didn’t seem too bad.

I was presented with this monstrosity.

Costa

The last time I needed a two handled cup, even my liberal-minded parents thought I was too young for coffee.