Friday, August 1, 2008

Addictive pleasures

They say the first step to recovering from addiction is recognizing that you have a problem.

Well, I have a problem.

Hello world, my name is D and I am a coffee addict.

The thing is, before law school, I never ever drank coffee. I belonged firmly in the group of chai and green tea drinkers. Coffee always seemed too strong, set off weird chemical reactions and generally tasted too bitter.

Oh, how times have changed. Now, without my first cup of the day, I can't even function. I'm this sleepy eyed denizen of the zombie world.

It wasn't just law school. It was also the effect of moving to Melbourne. That town has a coffee joint on every corner, all run by enterprising Italian immigrants with monstrously beautiful coffee machines that hummed and churned out gorgeous little cups of espressos or lattes. Fair trade, organic, kenyan, Gaggia....there is this language of coffee. I had to ask what fair trade was when I first got there. It was so different from the plastic and syrupy Starbucks coffee I'd always seen in Singapore and boy, it was good.

It helped that law school had an Italian cafe on the ground floor, filled with sunlight, cakes and the unbelievable smell of coffee. I'd stumble into class on Monday mornings, late and wild eyed and pray for the lecture break so that I could have my first cup.

Coffee got me through Contracts, adminstrative law and the pain that was civil procedure class. My third year, coffee got me through my break up exhaustion and I'm seriously thinking I wouldn't have survived my post break up third year classes without it. I mean really, when you've been up late arguing with an ex boyfriend and crying, the law of equitable remedies is not going to be the first thing you think about in the morning.

But anyway, so I read this article this morning (over my morning cuppa of course!), on how Starbucks is going to close lots of stores down in Melbourne and Australia and I was delighted. I actually believe in cultural diversity and I think it really really applies to coffee and food. And I think its so wrong, when you have streets full of individual, charming cafes, for you to choose Starbucks' syrupy crap instead.

Look, if there's a Starbucks right downstairs from where you work, I totally understand. It's there and you need a fix bad, I get it. But when you get to choose, when you want a place to sit in the sun and read, Starbucks shouldn't be your first choice. I'm not even sure it should be on your list of choices.

The problem with all this is that I'm now back in Singapore. Where good coffee isn't so easy to find. I like coffeeship style 'kopi', don't get me wrong. But there are days I long for a creamy soothing well made latte and it's actually kind of hard to find one. I'm ruling out TCC because the seriously, their coffee is such a disappointment (FYI, their cake kind of sucks too), Starbucks is all pretty syrups and frappucinos, but the actual coffee is sort of blah. Spinelli's is good, one of the best I've tried so far. Anything else? I'm an addict and desperate SO PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR COFFEE SUGGESTIONS.

Oh and I'll get around to trying Pacific Coffee, but I have to say, based on what friends tell me, I'm not getting any hopes up.

1 comment:

Abused Girl said...

hey, me too. just started law sch.. without a cuppa, i feel like i am still dreaming and whatever happens in class feels like a reverie.. dream-like.. arghh think of salvador dali's art.... you will get what i mean. man, i am so afraid i might get dementia when i am old. my grandma has it now. she used to drink big tins of coffee to stay awake when she was young as her jos was very demanding.
gosh what are we to do?