Saturday, 4 January 2014

There is always a little bit of fun

to be had on "Twitter" but, among the writers and others I know there who live in the northern hemisphere, days tend to start with discussion about putting kettles on, making tea or coffee and having outsize mugs of it.  As I am often at the other end of the day when I put a paw in to catch up on the other news this often seems even sillier than it is. Things soon settle down into all sorts of other news. My "work" feed will be filled with all sorts of information and requests and I will keep an eye on the "fun" feed and keep putting the virtual kettle on for people I have mostly never met and probably never will meet in real life. I would put the real kettle on for them in a heartbeat if they appeared at the front door.
In the real world I drink very little of either beverage. I am not really sure I actually like coffee. I know I am not part of the coffee drinking culture.
There are six different venues at which it is possible to drink coffee on the "ground" level of our relatively small local shopping centre. You can also go up to the cinema area and there is more coffee there. Venture a little way out of the centre and there are more places where coffee can be drunk.
People spend hours in these places. They sit there with their partners or friends or, sometimes, alone. They read papers and magazines (thoughtfully provided by the establishment) or they stare into space. Occasionally it is possible to see someone apparently working - laptop on the table - and talking to one of the shop owners or managers.  I have never seen anyone knitting.
And I have almost never sat in any of these places myself. On the occasions on which I have there has been a specific purpose for being there and it has involved work of some description. To just sit there and drink coffee and chat seems strange to me. I never developed the habit in my teens or as a student. Even when I was at law school I would go to the canteen only to eat lunch in inclement weather or to discuss a problem.
I know part of the problem was (and still is) money. I wanted to spend potential beverage money on other things - mostly books. I also had (and have) too many other things to do. I worked at other things all the way through my tertiary education - I had to in order to eat.
But I think there is something else as well. I simply don't understand coffee. I don't understand the long and the short of it, the latte and the cappuccino, the dark and the light roast, the Kenyan or the Brazilian. Are these things really important? Is being a "barista" really such a skilled job? Why don't they make coffee at least warm enough for me to believe I am drinking a hot beverage?
I suppose tea is just as complex - look at the way the Japanese made a ceremony out of it. There are all those flavours. There is the warming of the pot and the necessity for freshly boiling water (preferably rain water) and - if you are the Senior Cat - the necessity for the absence of tea bags.
But, somehow, tea is different. It is there. It happens. Kettles understand tea. They are happily married to tea pots - or so it would seem. Tea pots don't throw tantrums.
Coffee pots sulk and need to be drip fed. I really am not sure I like coffee.


Helen devries said...

For goodness' sake...
I grow coffee...I sell it for bugger all...and I much prefer a cup of tea!

catdownunder said...

Sorry Helen! (And yes, I do know the growers are not the people who make the money.)

Anonymous said...

I am happy to serve tea to anybody, but not before I have my morning coffee ... or three! But I will support the coffee growers much more than those who serve coffee in a mug. That sort of coffee is a special treat to be shared with friends ... but not often!