Coffee … its a few years since I stopped drinking coffee after about 3/4pm on the grounds [haha] that it kept me awake, and I can’t do decaff – after all if I am going to drink it, I might as well get the caffeine too. But I just did not make the connection with coffee addiction, after all, its only coffee and of course I could do without it completely if I had to. Then I began visiting China where as everyone knows, they drink tea.
That first visit was 2004 and I thought I would just do without as coffee was not then easy to get, and so I discovered my ‘need’ for the stuff. Last week sitting in a Costa in Xintiandi, Shanghai, and a bit aware that I haven’t been writing any decent poetry lately, I passed the time with a trip down memory lane. Still not writing decent poetry!
Coffee in China
Now a blend
from all the world
translated according to local taste.
Way west in Guizhou
unless one counts
the supermarket offering instant
already with unwanted sugar
long-ago Belfast bedsits
first real coffee in the Wimpybar
Lonely in Guangzhou
shops and concrete
Wonderful saviour Mopark Starbucks
has a coffee house
customers falling over
sofas low in a dark reek of smoke
I found it near
Lotus at Chebei
Dark Italian in a tiny cup
Imagined Berlusconi transactions behind me
local Coffee 80 and cool quiet UBC
full of flavour and aroma
now highly acclaimed worldwide”
I miss my coffee finding adventures.
and I am still addicted but do enjoy the wandering about ending up somewhere with good coffee and now, often, wifi. I feel like an authority on Edinburgh, Belfast, Palmerston North NZ and New York, Rhode Island, Boston in USA. The winner has to be New Zealand where a really good tasting mug is standard fare, with USA a long way second. And the reason I like Starbucks is that at least I know what I am going to get, but I have just switched that allegiance to Costa.