Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Good news for the addicted

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The prime time TV show Location, Location, Location features an on-screen husband and wife team who scour urban Great Britain for a house to suit clients who all seem to have one thing in common. They want their new dwelling to be within walking distance of a café. The café culture is one of the great paradoxes of the modern world.

Walk down any main street in New Zealand today - and I may be exaggerating here – and every second shop is a café. I’m probably not exaggerating though if the main street is Greytown’s.

Coffee is the new wonder drug and hordes of people on social media will tell you that if they don’t have their morning fix and regular top-ups during the day they simply can’t function.

In recent times the Epiphany church carpark has become host to a silver-sheathed caravan offering the esoteric elixir and to my great surprise another similar mobile trailer has popped up in Ngaumutawa Road, just half-a-cup away from the Solway Primary School. Cleverly positioned, it will attract those addicts who dare to take the bypass and miss out on the delights offered in Wairarapa’s biggest urban centre.

I suspect both coffee dispensaries are doing a roaring trade.

I sort of understand the café preference where peremptory barista’s will offer up a variety of options and will occasionally throw in a chocolate fish or a marshmallow which for me is the real attraction, but to pick up a lidded paper cup of coffee while in transit seems a strange and expensive distraction.

I suspect if you’re happy with the instant variety you can probably make a cup before you leave home for less than twenty cents. You can pretty much match the barista’s masterpiece with a Nespresso capsule at 97 cents though first you need to invest in a rather expensive machine into which you insert the capsules.

One solar panel supplier is suggesting you can install his product, generating your own electricity, for less than the price of a cup of coffee a day. He’s obviously not referring to instant or Nespresso.

Last week the World Health Organisation came out with the results of a long-awaited study and announced that that there is no substantiation that drinking coffee causes cancer. But it said all “very hot drinks” are probably carcinogenic. WHO commissioned the International Agency for Research on Cancer which had previously rated coffee as “possibly carcinogenic” but has now changed its mind. It now says its latest review found “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic affect and some studies showed that coffee may actually reduce the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer.”

Imagine if the results had shown just the opposite. New Zealand’s retail sector would be full of empty shops and third world countries would be reneging on their World Bank loans.

If I bow to the coffee culture I’ll usually opt for the appropriately named “Long” black or else ask for a mochaccino with enough foam to be aesthetically pleasing, but not so much that it would leave a moustache.

Though to be honest, most of the time I stick to drinking water. I mix it myself. Two parts H one part O. I don’t trust anybody.

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot expect to reproduce.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes Snr.


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