Crazy Over Coffee

Coffee has come a long way since my childhood, when the beans would be roasted, put in a grinder and brewed to perfection. Today, we hear of instant noodles, instant sex (without love) and instant coffee. Like everything else in life, coffee has become complicated. Today, you do not ask just for a coffee. It is black, white, medium, expresso, frappucino, latte, cappuccino, hot, cold, macchiato, frappe, mocha, hazel-nut, walnut and god alone knows which other nutty-flavours! Drives you nuts!!

All you want is a decent cup of coffee (your caffeine-fix for the day) but the sales person at Barista, Starbucks or Cafe Coffee Day puts you through a mensa-like game of twenty questions. The Spanish Inquisition begins: Do you want it black? milky? With or without sugar?

White sugar or demarara? Small? Medium? Large (are we talking bra-cup-sizes or what?) Talk of the pesky salesperson’s commitment to caffeine, boy oh boy that is called job satisfaction!

Coffee has always been a big deal in any part of the world. But now this drink has become a lifestyle accessory. It is no longer as simple as brew up a pot, put your feet up and enjoy your Parsi Times. Globally speaking, coffee is the second most popular drink after water, and I guess the second biggest market after oil. You will be surprised how much it has increased in price in the last five to six years more than double! Strangely, it has never started any imperialistic conflict, but give it time. Just as human beings are fighting over oil-prices and water, soon they may fight over coffee. The recent crash in oil-prices is a temporary aberration. There may even be serious discussions on coffee pricing as there are on oil-pricing. It is going to be a major food (Sorry! Beverage) revolution.

I do not think that it is over-interpretation to say that, if you are looking for ‘that’ drink that says everything there is to say about age, class, gender, identity, social-status, office-life or national-characteristics, it is coffee. Just writing the word ‘coffee’ makes me crave for it, but I’ll make it only after I finish this article.

When we were growing-up, the great debate was between instant and fresh coffee, you will never want to drink a cup of instant. But in today’s age of instant love, instant marriage and instant divorce, instant coffee rules. I still remember, whenever my mother was offered a choice between tea or coffee at her friend’s house, she would say “Coffee, if it’s fresh, tea otherwise.”

We are in 2016 and coffee and tea are interchangeable and easy to make. Maybe it sounds like a south indian restaurant where they ask you ‘Chai Ya Kappi?’ But still you are offering your guest a choice.

Go to any coffee-shop and you will know that coffee has become a boy-girl thing. Most great romances have started over a cup of coffee. Also, most broken hearts have been healed by this drink. Coffee may even have genders. Expresso sounds macho, while cappuccino sounds feminine. It is like blue versus pink, arts versus science or trousers versus skirts. You figure it out while I go and make myself a cup of coffee.

On a more serious note from the point of view of health, a recent survey in USA has revealed that persons drinking a minimum two cups of coffee lower the risk to their liver by 44 per cent and those drinking four cups lower the risk to their liver by 65 per cent.

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