Coffee Talk

Day 16

Every single day, I wake up and have a
genuine excitement over the fact that I get to drink coffee. There are also occasions
that I get the same excitement prior to going to sleep, the night before. Even
if I could, I wouldn’t want to drink it in the evening; the morning and early
afternoon are appropriate times for coffee and having a restriction on drinking
times makes for all the more excitement in those times I can. As an addictive
personality who has a highly functional mind, and also being an amateur athlete,
it is probably no surprise that the roast ground is something I genuinely
couldn’t live without. So, today’s blog post is my ode to the caffeinated magic
liquid that is coffee.

(me with a Iced Latte – Ghent, Belgium – 2017 I believe…)

Coffee: A brief history.

I was 22 when I first tried coffee properly. Much like most immature pallets, I
couldn’t handle the bitter taste of it. Liquid refreshments had only ever been
something that my taste buds would associate with sweet. At the time, I was
working shifts at a leisure centre as a lifeguard. I wasn’t anywhere near as in
tune as I am now with the early starts and would often wonder into work feeling
tired and lethargic. My manager at the time kept saying that I needed to get into
coffee. He said that it would ignite me in the morning, that no matter what I thought
of the taste, coffee was more about the feeling and what it did to your mental
state than being a refreshing beverage. Intrigued by his enthusiasm, I decided
I would give it another go.

Due to my taste buds swaying to the sweeter
side of life, I started by having my coffee diluted with milk and full of sugar
– obviously not being as much of the health-conscious fitness addict I am now.
It helped me acclimitise to the taste none the less. As I got used to the
taste, I started to notice the affect caffeine was having, especially on those
early mornings and especially in my training – as that also started to get more
serious. Progression was made and I was soon without the sugar – I found it
detracted from the taste and the feeling, plus I’ve never enjoyed the sensation
of ‘furry’ teeth. About a year into my new-found love and I was leaving the
milk aside too, finding that my pallet had caught up with adult life and
deciding that the bitter taste was bitter bliss. Black coffee for the win. 

I then did what anyone does when they discover a new fixation. I dived deep
into the world of coffee. Trying all bean strengths, learning the differences between
a cortardo and flat white, purchasing a filter kit, a French press, an espresso
machine; becoming that beginner obsessive. Bring it right up to the present
day: I am much less of a self-proclaimed connoisseur but I am an addict who
loves coffee. my coffee skill level is just where it needs to be and I have
found a system that has worked for me.

(Yes, that is me in the background, back in my leisure work days)

My day in Coffee:

In my day to day life; I will typically
have a double espresso first thing in the morning as a pre-workout to my
morning run. Post-run I like to have my first sit-down coffee with my
breakfast, which I always eat at work (although it’s not always much of a “sit-down”).
I then like to enjoy another coffee post-lunch to help buzz me into my
afternoon lessons. If it is a strength training day then I like to leave this a
little later to aid as a sort of pre-workout, although this is definitely all
psychological. Anything after 4pm and I tend to leave coffee alone, as I said
earlier, it is good for me to put restrictive times on things because it helps
to keep that daily excitement and the love forever strong.

(Coffee before the run is a game changer.)

Memorable coffee moments:

Through my travels I’ve been lucky enough
to try some magnificent coffee from all over the globe and through my athletic endeavors
I feel like I have reaped full use of some of those highly caffeinated hours.

Here are some of my most memorable coffee experiences:
1. Cold brew coffee in Georgia:
The band were on tour in the USA for the first time and, it being America, we were
subject to advertisements for the “new cold brew coffee at Starbucks”. On that tour,
we did a lot in a very short space of time (as usual). We’d been out there for
a few days and those days had included the Brooklynite Half Marathon, several
rough sleeps and some incredibly scenic long drives. In one of our many pit-stops,
somewhere in Georgia (or maybe South Carolina), we stopped off at a Starbucks
and decided we would endeavor in the advertised refreshment due to it being 30
odd degrees outside. From the first one we tried, I was hooked, now it has
become a staple of USA touring. Cold brews in the USA! 

(Lads in the USA, 2016)

2. Coffee at Midnight in Germany:
Another tour story, this time in Europe. We’d played in Munich and due to some
incredible good (terrible) organization on our behalves, we had a 14-hour drive
for the ferry home the next day. In an attempt to break the journey up a bit
and create less pressure on timing, we decided that we’d stay up and drive through
the night, getting as near to half way as possible. Once booking a questionable
hostel in the city of Frankfurt, our journey was set. We got off stage at about
11:30pm, packed the van and then all shared a coffee and an assortment of
subway cookies that a fan had given us, before heading on a delirious caffeine fueled
adventure into the night. That’s the only time I’ve been to Frankfurt, I was there
for about 5 hours, slept a good 4.5 of those – I sort of hope that remains as
my only time there.

3. Morning Coffee in the Kruger.
My brother and me were on safari in South Africa. Every morning our host/guide
would wake us up at around 4:45am, just as the red sun rose above the wilderness
layered horizon. He would give us coffee and rusks before we set out on our
morning safari. Rusks are a South African crispy sweet biscuit that go hand in
hand with the caffeinated goodness, combined with the sound of wild hippos in
the Sabie river below our hut and you’re in a world of ecstasy. Although you
non-morning people might think that time sounds horrific, when you’re out in
the Kruger – there’s no better time to be awake.

(Kruger National Park, South Africa – 2015)

That’ll do I think. Enough coffee talk on
the blog for one day. Tune in tomorrow for Day 17.

Also, I’ve bought the website domain… it’s happening. coming soon.

Peace & love.

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