Monday 3 November 2008

The times when I enjoy coffee

Yesterday afternoon, we went to Costa, one of my wife's favourite cafés here. She had a sort of chocolate biscuit flavoured cappuccino that was too big for her, so she asked me to help her with it. I usually don't like coffee, it simply doesn't agree with me, but this one, I have to admit, was quite good. It took me a while to figure out that coffee was not really my thing (my cup of tea?). I used to drink it to wake me up when I had classes early in the morning, but it never did any good to me. It kept me awake, but still terribly tired and unfocused, my mouth dry, my stomach hurting, my heart pumping in my chest as if I was about to get a heart attack and my head stuck with a splitting headache. I also happen to hate coffee breath. As you know, my drink de choix is beer. I have had one drink too many in the past, like all young adults I had my flirt with alcoholism, so I experienced drunkenness and very painful hangovers, but even the agony a hangover can give is not half as unpleasant to me as a that pain coffee gives, that pain which does not hurt enough (and I am paraphrasing Sartre's Huis clos here, so this post is getting more profound than expected). At least, with hangovers, you have the flicking memory of a wild and (at least partially) pleasant night. Coffee is a drug that gives me no pleasure, so while it means the risks of addiction are minimal, it makes its consumption pointless.

Now I drink coffee sporadically, usually to be polite. That said, there are the very odd times when I can enjoy it. Yesterday was an example, because the coffee was fill of cream and sugar and tasted more like chocolate than coffee. It is usually how I end up enjoying it: as long as it doesn't taste too much like coffee. I also had some nice lattes in the past, like that time when I had a gigantic piece of cake and a big bowl of café au lait in the Brûlerie Saint-Denis that was then on the Avenue Mont-Royal. You see, I appreciate coffee so rarely that I can still remember the occasions when I do. Cafés are a big thing in Montréal, we have the big chains but also many local ones that are supposed to produce quality stuff. It makes me very proud and I spent lots of time there just for the atmosphere, I even forced myself to drink their poison, to my great subsequent pain. I will probably still go there in December, because my wife loves them and I still love the atmosphere, but I will stick to tea and their sandwiches (which are often delicious).

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