Coffee…

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
unobtainable
unless one counts
the supermarket offering instant

Expensive Nescafe
Individually
pre-packetted, ready,
already with unwanted sugar

Nescafe taste
revived memories
long-ago Belfast bedsits
first real coffee in the Wimpybar

Lonely in Guangzhou
bustling modern
shops and concrete
Wonderful saviour Mopark Starbucks

Guangzhou also
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

Twenty Eleven
Guangzhou, Shanghai
Starbucks, MacCafe,
local Coffee 80 and cool quiet UBC

And Costa
“Italian style
full of flavour and aroma
now highly acclaimed worldwide”

Quite so.
Advertised promise
kept everywhere.
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.

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One thought on “Coffee…

  1. I haven’t travelled all that much … but I did realize how addicted I was after all, one time, when I went with a friend to the ER. We had to wait and wait for hours … I’m used to getting coffee at certain times. The head ache was the worst I’ve had, and when we came back home, I had esperesso… It was a wonderful feeling when the headache vanished rapidly..

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