9.10ish Friday morning and I muse over the idea of grabbing a cup of coffee on my way to work. Arguments against the deed run through my head, of which I’ll list only a few: “It’s too early to have coffee”, “You haven’t actually had breakfast“, “Isn’t there anything healthier you could have in the morning?”
All things that make perfect sense and that seem to knock some sense into me. That is, until the best self-lie that’s ever existed wiggles its way through my head and deceives me one more time: “This is the last time I’m having coffee so early in the morning.
And so I step into the Starbucks shop on Camden High Street.
I look at the coffee offer on the boards behind the counter and struggle to make sense of what’s available. I’m not sure how some do it when they chain 6 different types of coffee characteristics one after the other and tell the baristas exactly what they’d like to have and the baristas know exactly what they need to deliver. I suppose it’s all perfectly understandable parlé for the inhabitants of Starbucksland.
At any rate, I go for my signature-cliché latte, this time with a seasonal touch of toffee nut to keep up to date with season offer, but the-now-always-there soy milk to stay faithful to my vegan convictions. And because the size of a coffee bought in Pret a Manger earlier in the week had not leave me satisfied, I decide to get even and go for a Venti toffee nut latte with soy milk and whipped cream.
It’s delivered very quickly, I grab it and leave the shop. It’s raining the proverbial cats and dogs in London, but the nice light of this warm and gloomy Friday morning makes me want to take one of those casually spontaneous and utterly original citystreet photos, caption it with a witty line and apparently randomly post it on Facebook.
Thankfully, my right hand is holding the Venti, which leaves my left hand unable to cope with the tasks of unlocking the phone, sliding to the photo camera function, activating the photo camera, holding the phone properly in place and getting a decent photo. They don’t call them smartphones for nothing.
I arrive at my desk and in a situation that can only be best captured by the emphase of the French language, je m’attaque à la presentation que je dois finaliser ce matin. The brain is thinking and structuring the content, the fingers are typing it furiously and getting it on the screen; my hand regularly reaches for the Venti and I sip the coffee in a reward of the supernatural effort of delivering this content to the designers downstairs.
10.30amish and, could it be the adrenaline of getting the presentation done in time, could it be the unusual amount of coffee I have been drinking, I start feeling jittery. A numb, soft pain in my chest makes me panic and promise myself that I’m not sipping a drop of coffee again.
Could it be the adrenaline, could it be the size of the cup of coffee, or both working together – but that morning I made the sensible discovery that I can only handle quantities of coffee below Venti. And this is something that I plan on sticking to from now on.