Coffee

Coffee A shot of energy A lure to wakefulness A breakfast essential A pit-stop on the way A waft of civility A place to go A break in the morning A reason to sit An excuse to linger A lubricant for conversation An opportunity for gossip An expression of taste A moment of beauty A…

Tea

“Tea! thou soft, thou sober, sage and venerable liquid … thou female tongue-running, smile-toothing, heart opening, wink-tippling cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moments of my life, let me fall prostrate … “ Colley Cibber, The Lady’s Last Stake, or The Wife’s Resentment: A Comedy, 1797.

Happiness at the corner café

“No sir,” the 18th century poet Samuel Johnson once said, “there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness has been produced, as by a good tavern or inn.” I am not a man of pubs, and I am not sure Mr Johnson would recognise the taverns of today….

a steamy pentecost

In Eating Heaven, I tried to say something about the café and the role its tables play in our cities and our lives. Then I find the collected poems of Irish poet Michael O’Siadhail, and discover he says it with more beauty and fewer words. I tip my hat. Lunchtime in a London Café Table by…

Gopnik on Cafes and Restaurants

I quoted yesterday from Adam Gopnik’s beautiful book The Table Comes First. As one who tries to write about tables and food, I bow down to writers like this. Gopnik not only writes well and ranges broadly, he sees in food so much more than food. The book is a delight to read. I don’t…

Gopnik on Coffee and Wine

‘French cooking was made not merely in the space between caffeine and alcohol but in the simultaneous presence of both, thus blending, in sequence, the two drugs by which modern people shape their lives. Good food takes place in the head space between them … Modern life is regulated by these drugs, morning to night–one…

The coffee lover’s psalm (with apologies to David)

The coffee lover’s psalm Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze. It maketh me to wake in green pastures: It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses. It restoreth my buzz: It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,…

An ode to coffee

New year’s resolutions are fine, really. But when a friend told me earlier this year he’s resolved to give up coffee, quite frankly he crossed a line. I like coffee. Coffee is good and I’m sure there’s a sacred text somewhere that says so. To imagine my daily round without it is … well, it’s…

The Cafe

Today, the cafe remains a place where awnings, tables and chairs awaite you; a place where you may arrive feeling blue, and then, for no apparent reason, find the mood magically lifting; maybe an idea comes to mind, a friend approaches, the coffee is served. Or perhaps the sun comes out, a breeze stirs, or…