Thursday, September 22, 2011

Down and out Downunder: #2: I'd stop drinking coffee, but I'm no quitter

(It's unlike to me to stay quiet for a long while, so I thought it was about time I shared some more of my verbal diarrhoea with the intermaweb... Plus it will be an amusing distraction from the uni work I should probably be doing...)

To say I love coffee is something of an understatement- the smell, the taste, the fact that it makes even the most of depressing Monday mornings/most infuriating of idiotic people bearable... the list goes on. From the endless pots of strong, black, filtered goodness that kept me company (and awake) at 3am in the morning when I writing my dissertation or studying for finals to the espresso martinis that formed the basis of many a girly night out in Phnom Penh to the hilarity that ensued when my boss discovered his delicious brew was made from my Vietnamese weasel coffee has been a good friend over the years.

If you ever encounter me in a bad mood that has not been treated by my required dose, you would probably agree that I should continue my present prescription, should you retain all limbs and live to tell the tale.

The problem is, my coffee addiction has developed into something of a coffee snobbery. Once you get hooked, you can't help but compare and contrast your own experiences and other reviews. Who has the most flavoursome beans, whose are best ground, who makes the most finessed final beverage? Which cafe has the hottest baristas?

Oh you laugh, but when you have been single as long as I have, starting the day with a sweet little 'heart' crafted into the surface of your latte means a lot ok?!

Furthermore, not only would I now rather lick a freshly excreted weasel coffee bean than drink instant coffee, but my brain has been weirdly re-wired to think that it is absolutely fine to fork out more than $3.00 for a product comprised largely of water. Moreover, it is ok to do so a couple of times a day. Personally, I blame Australia- the coffee here is at least a million times better than in London and the places to drink it in are at least a billion times more appealing. Oh, I'm not including Gloria Jean's in this, I don't care if they severed links with the Mercy Ministries, I don't want to risk being brainwashed by my cappuccino.

Now, I would say I buy, on average, about 12 large coffees a week. This doesn't, of course, take into consideration when lovely friends buy my brew for me or those particularly horrible/heavy/hungover days when I either splash out on an additional cup or feel too bloody sick to leave the comfort of my house and trudge to a cafe. Anyway, by my reckoning, this equates to about $42 a week. Over the course of a year? That's $2,184. Multiply this over a decade (inflation ignored) I could have bought 10% of my own cafe franchise. Five decades? That's a whopping $109,200... Although let's remember that by the time I'm 75 coffee will probably be served to us by baristabots in the form of pills that cost 7000 Intergalactic Megawotsitdoodles each and sing to you as they slide down your newly transplanted giraffe oesophagus.

But I digress... Whatever way you look at it, that is a heckuva lot of money to spend on some ground up magic beans. Think about it- Star-BUCKS, COST-a... even cof-FEE- The clue is in the names, people!

Anyhoo, as I am now a student, unfortunately I am not in the possession of a heckuva lot of money and, but as an ex-fulltime law-whore wageslave, am also not willing to sacrifice some of the other important things in my life, like shoes and wine, for example. Thankfully, some bright spark came up with the idea of the 'coffee card'. My wallet may not be more stuffed with notes as a result, but it is now full to bursting with these nifty little money savers. Assuming I get one free coffee a week, this will result in an annual saving of $182, which in futuristic terms is an incredible 364,000 Intergalactic Megawotsitdoodles...

...Or as I prefer to look at it, a great pair of shoes and an extremely agreeable bottle of wine.