I am hopelessly dependent on coffee. Not in the way that I consume seven cups a day, but I need my shot of murky delightfulness in the morning. I can’t consume my drug on an empty stomach, and sometimes I think the only reason I eat breakfast is to get my dose of caffeine.
Coffee is enjoyable, especially when sharing it at a trendy, over-priced café with friends. The kind of place that serves drinks in jam jars, as though every other café isn’t already doing that. Their cups and plates are unique in that they were made in a preschool pottery class and painted by blind chimps. Minimalism is hip right now and the chairs look like they came from an Auschwitz canteen. Tables that don’t wobble are immediately thrown out.
It’s Saturday morning, your schedule is empty, the weather is warm and the waiter with a BA degree just served you a steaming Americano with oat milk on the side. That cheap little biscuit they put on the saucer is so small that you burn your fingers while trying to dip it.
You could order one of their “home-made” cookies they keep in a glass jar at the counter, but one of them costs more than your shoes. Everyone knows the biscuits come from the supermarket across the street and were baked on a giant conveyor belt nowhere near anyone’s home. Apparently, they become worth their weight in gold once placed in a transparent container with a hand-written note stating that they’re home-baked.
The waiter puts his university education to good use by skilfully removing the smallest one with a pair of metal tongs and places it on a side plate. You think he’s flirting and giving you his phone number. But no, that’s just the price of the goddamn biscuit.
Returning to your table, the figures run through your mind. One Americano and a factory biscuit has cost the same as two packets of ground coffee beans. That’s about eighty cups of coffee at home, where you make it the way you like it, the tables are level, your arse doesn’t sweat against cheap plastic chairs and the music doesn’t make your ears bleed.
Your hard earned cash could have gone towards supporting coffee farmers in Uganda. Instead you’ve helped Eduardo on his path from BA graduate to aspiring actor. At least the coffee was good.