Tuesday, 4 March 2014


So I know it’s unreasonable, even sociopathic.  But as March 2014 is Caffeine Awareness Month, now seems like a really good time to share my feelings on the subject of ‘to-go-coffee’ culture, or more specifically, the people (by which I mean tosspots) who partake in it.  

I mean, what’s the deal with ‘to-go coffee’ anyway? Is anybody really so busy micro-managing the shit out of everybody else that they can’t SIT THE FUCK DOWN at the table like any other self-respecting human being? Huh? Or is rushing around the place clutching a signature Triple Grande Quad Shot Espresso Macchiato With Ten Extra Shots of Salted Caramel JIZZ Foam seen as proof of one's success? A way of communicating to others that you are too important, too indispensable, to sit still?

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the need for caffeine, of course.  It’s just that as with most things in life, there’s a time, and there’s a place.

Take the other day. There I was, strolling around the place with my three-year-old daughter, when I stepped into the path of a hurrying businessman who looked like Big out of Sex and The City (you know the type gals, likes to engage in hilarious willy-bashing contests with workplace rivals but is also sensitive and likes art, etc.) This ubersexual was taking his first power-gulp of a steaming hot 'coffee-to-go' (judging from the unfeasibly large head on it - it must have been one of those Trenta Ten Pumps Extra Hot Drizzle With Ten Inches of Extra Whip), when suddenly he had to manoeuvre out of my way. The coffee-to-go missed its target, scalding his cheek. 
"Awwww!" he shouted. "Watch where you're going!"  

Afterwards, after apologising, I was fuming. OK, I know I should have been more vigilant. But I wasn't the one running about the place on an accelerated schedule, talking into my smartphone about 'performativity', whilst also attempting to transport a towering cup of boiling liquid from one place to another, when there were little kids about, and human flesh. 

Fucking cockmonkey.  

But, I suppose my real issue with 'to-go' coffee culture is not a concern over the health and safety implications of carrying hot fluids around the place. Neither do I really care if you want to demonstrate your extreme productivity and fast sexy lifestyle with your 'to-go coffee' accessory. (Even though it makes you look like a jerk-off. Just saying). My real beef is with the fact that 'to-go coffee' culture – and our addiction to caffeine in general - is symptomatic of a society hell-bent on promoting the idea that faster is always better.  A society in which people who stick to the speed limit get tailgated; a society that has created speed dating, and one-minute bedtime stories, and guides to achieving an orgasm in thirty seconds, and now Speed Yoga! Grrr. And yeah, I know I'm a bit of a slow coach and a hippie and I prefer tea (which according to a survey by coffee company Nespresso is not the drink of choice for "high achievers".) But I’m also saying it because everyone I know is knackered, because we now have ninety minutes less sleep than we had a decade ago, because  according to Carl Honore in his book In Praise of Slowness, fatigue played a role in disasters like Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Union Carbide, Three Mile Island, and the space shuttle Challenger. And, well, because we obviously need to slow the fuck down - not speed up. 

Or, as my favourite super-tramp and prolific Welsh poet and writer W H Davies put it, in his famous poem 'Leisure':

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Now, I’ll go stick the kettle on. And we’ll have some tea. And a nice biscuit. OK?


  1. Love it, love it, love it! Well said Flossie.
    Was just about to go and run down the hill to get a skinny flat white but I now want a cuppa of something like Chamomile and Vanilla tea.

  2. Or a green tea even? Actually, if you go to that coffee place, I can't remember what it's called now but it started life in Seattle, they do a green tea frappuccino. I won't tell anyone if you don't.

  3. Ummmm salted caramel jizz foam. I'm not a coffee on the go person, in fact a cup of coffee can last, well, 2 or 3 hours. With my thoughtful gifts of a stylish insulated cup and now an insulated cafetiere my coffee stays at a drinkable temperature for up to an hour and a half. A quick blast in the microwave gives me another half hour or so. I put my coffee down if I have to rush any where. I'm enjoying caffeine month are you?

  4. Very pleased to meet another salted caramel jizz foam aficionado. Deeelish! Also, we have a similar relationship with caffeine in general. I, too, never drink a whole cup in one go as I suffer from two very distressing conditions called caffeine-mega-rage and caffeine-induced panic attack syndrome. Although I'm not 100% sure that these are ACTUAL conditions, maybe it's more of a personality thing? Anyway, happy caffeine awareness month folks! x

  5. I can't drink coffee, sends my pulse in a tail spin and then I can't sleep... so mines a chai latte sat in a nice, plump sofa. And speed yoga? You're kidding me aren't you? Speed yoga? I need a valium... X

  6. Caffeine is a strange thing. I can do it in tea, and coke, and even red bull, but more than a couple of cups of the hot dark stuff, and I get an evil headache and start twitching and twerking, and all sorts. It's not pretty.