But First, Coffee

22/05/2023 | 0 comments


A friend of mine popped over the other day for a catch up and I flicked the kettle switch down as I heard her footsteps coming up the path. I had two of my favourite mugs on a little tray and a couple of pastries and my milk frother at the ready. The anticipation of my first coffee of the morning and a chat with my friend had me buzzing before the caffeine even hit my blood.

Then she uttered the chilling words….
“No thanks. I’ve given up coffee. I’ll just have water….”
Well, that burst my frothy bubble. Where’s the joy in that? Could we even still be friends?


​Don’t get me wrong. I love a nice cold, glass of water…after a game of cricket or a long bout of gardening or housework or when I’ve just done my teeth and can’t shake the minty fresh tongue thing but at 11 o’clock, when you have already done what feels like half a day’s work – is there anything better than coffee???

pic from Fields Farm Shop & Café, Suffolk

Most of the world agrees with me. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (after oil) with over 2 billion cups consumed every day and 98 million of those in the UK (according to the British Coffee Association. )

​Coffee shops have been multiplying on our high streets exponentially for at least 20 years and we are seeing more and more of our fabulous farm shops introducing coffee machines, expanding their footprint with coffee shops and cafés, and selling beautiful, roasted beans alongside their fresh milk stations.

The green barn farm shop’s new café, Essex

We know that we drink coffee to help us wake up, to motivate us to get on with the day, to keep our eyes open when the snooze creeps up on us but the social side of drinking coffee is the real pull for me. Meeting for coffee, hands clasped around a big mug, those glorious aromas wafting around you whilst you chat and re-connect make this drink a bigger part of our lives than anyone could ever have guessed when it was introduced into England in the 17th Century.  


​A warm, delicious alternative to hating everybody every morning forever

Coffee has filtered (sorry!) through our lives and created a fragrant backdrop to business meetings, first dates, break-ups, favourite sit-coms, friendships, reunions and farewells. As American romance writer J. Lynn writes:

“the key to the start of any good relationship is to remember how the other person likes their coffee”.

​Nowadays some 700 million people are estimated to rely on coffee in one form or another for their employment, you can get a master’s degree in coffee at a university in Italy, attend various barista training courses, enjoy coffee tasting experiences, have quotations about coffee framed on your wall at home and buy “coffee lovers” gift sets for Christmas … you can even spread the old grounds on your garden and use it to improve your roses or burn it on your log burner.

​Not bad for a little bean!

pic from Hooga Coffee, Somerset

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