Sunday, 30 August 2009

Waking Up To The Smell

Soon David Mitchell and Robert Webb will release their book, inventively titled "This Mitchell and Webb Book". I suppose the lack of thought put into the title suggests a quiet humour and the fact that they don't want to gloss over any of their thoughts about various subjects in order to please certain people - nicely refreshing.
Anyways, I've read some of the extracts from the book, including Mitchell's view on coffee. Surprisingly, I found myself agreeing with much of what he says. I'm surprised because I never thought I'd ever have much in common with the slightly odd, chipmunk-like comedian but apparently we share very similar views on one of the world's favourite hot beverages.
British people are very partial to a nice cup of tea (or a brew as I now like to call it in a tongue-in-cheek attempt to make myself seem more common than I really am) - in the past year I have moved slowly and steadily from loving a nice cup of fairly strong coffee to wanting nothing more than a fairly strong mug of tea. Not decaffeinated, as I used to drink my coffee though. Maybe it is the presence of this caffeine that makes me, like Mitchell, think that a coffee is highly unsatisfying. Maybe it's the way that coffee is made in cafes that makes it seem like tea's pretentious and snooty second-cousin. Does anyone else think that adding even the tiniest bit of extra milk to coffee gives it a slightly silt-like texture that sticks to the sides of your mouth?
Now, I still like a cappuccino when I'm out and about but I've never been into lattes or mochas or any of those syrup toppings you can get. I've had a frappuccino out of curiosity - from Starbucks no less, something that I feel highly guilty about to this day. It was disappointing to say the least - ice with cold coffee on the top and although it was refreshing on a warm day during the walk back to work, it was hardly worth the money I paid for it. I have also tried a mocha before but I found that it was the slightly insipid and tedious version of a voluptuous hot chocolate - that's hot chocolate made with water; if I compared the mocha to a full-fat milk hot choc then the mocha would be the resume who is put straight in the bin when applying for a top job. Yes, I found it that terrible.
I don't understand the concept of being coffee-literate either. In this way I would never make a good PA. People who require a PA tend to like complicated coffees, something along the lines of a double triple decaf-caff mocha semi-skim latte with 1/3 cream and almond syrup, whipped on top and a dash of chocolate sprinkles. I know people adjust to the needs of their boss but I couldn't do it - I would spend half an hour writing it down and another half hour ordering it while trying to fend off the questions about what else I would like. By which time I would be fired. And thrown out of the premises.
Yes, like Mitchell I would just like a nice brew. It's simple, satisfying and unpretentious. I don't want to smell the coffee.
PS. Sorry for all of the problems with the spacing on blogger lately - there's nothing I can do but wait for a reply from the Blogger people and hope for the best since I've tried everything else! Hope this doesn't affect your ability to read the articles - I know how annoying it is reading unspaced text!