I always hated coffee. We didn’t really drink it at home when I was young (there was always some in the house though) and Dad had some from time to time on a morning. I found the smell made my pre-breakfast stomach turn.

This continued into early adulthood. People I lived with drank coffee; people I worked with drank coffee. We went to places where other people drank coffee.

I drank tea. It didn’t feel as exciting, or as interesting, and this is before the days of baristas and coffee shop chains and points cards and drive throughs and…

Britain has gone a bit mad for coffee, hasn’t it?

“You Drink Coffee I Drink Tea My Dear”

Two things: I have never been to New York (or anywhere stateside) and can therefore not ever be considered An Englishman in New York (thanks, Sting, who can currently be seen in an episode of the excellent Only Murders in the Building). Apparently, you can only call him “Sting,” as silly as that might seem. No one calls him “Gordon,” presumably because that is somewhat moronic…

The other thing: I dont drink tea anymore. I probably stopped earlier this year (when I switched to a dairy free diet, which isn’t good for drinking tea) although the writing was on the wall when I discovered I actually like coffee.

Back in 2017 when baby Daisy was getting up early – and it was around this time of year – I found myself looking around the kitchen for something to keep me going with the 5am starts. It seemed like a good opportunity to get some early work done, if only I could stay awake.

Then I remembered the Bosch Tassimo machine, which had a bunch of rarely used coffee pods. I tried an Americano with milk, first, and hated it. Then I added sugar, and it was worse. For variety, I tried another black coffee, knowing that milk wasn’t going to work. A Colombian was poured, and I tasted it… not keen.

At that point, I dropped two teaspoons of sugar into the mug.


I’m not sure if it has had an effect on my writing, but it certainly helps me to focus during the early hours of the working day.

I drink at least one coffee, always a Colombian. Prepared the night before, this kicks me off at 6.30am or so, although I might top up mid morning or mid afternoon with an Americano. Both are black, and I enjoy the the short break I get for the ritual of making the Americanos.

Ultimately, they’re poured by a £50 machine, but I think they’re better than a Costa or Starbucks. Certainly, the former always tastes like washing up liquid in those recycled paper cups. The only coffee I’ve tasted that is better was at Carluccio’s in York. That might have since closed, though.

So, thank you Daisy, for forcing me to try coffee. And thank you Costa for forcing me to drink coffee at home, thus saving a lot of money.