“That’s great. I’ll see you at 10.30 that morning then!”
“Er… just one thing”
“Um… I know this might sound like a bit of an odd question…”
“But…, erm… what kind of coffee do you drink?”
Damn, it’s embarrassing.
Here I am, making arrangements all over the place to get photos of people for my exhibition, and over and above having to ask if they mind me thrusting my camera in their faces so I can create an intense portrait of them, I need to be prepared for varying coffee scenarios.
I only have 2 cups of coffee a day – one mid morning; one mid afternoon.
Because of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I only really feel properly alive for an hour or so after a good cup of coffee
If I didn’t restrict myself to 2 a day, I would be drinking it permanently and doing myself all sorts of damage.
So when I do have a coffee, I need real coffee. Proper ground up stuff that goes in a cafetiere or an espresso pot. Coffee with taste. Coffee with strength. Coffee that hits the right spot.
And it has become such a key part of my day – a key part of my surviving CFS – if someone says they happily drink instant, I will make up a flask of real stuff to take with me and, if necessary, down it in the car before I knock on the door of the person I’m visiting.
I feel bad about this on several levels – not least of which is some people I know would be mortified if they felt they’d been what they perceive as a less than perfect host.
And for those who are happy with instant coffee out the jar, it sounds like snobbery. I mean, imagine inviting someone around for dinner and they brought their own wine because yours just wasn’t up to it.
But instant coffee is just an entirely different drink to real coffee, no matter how many adverts would try to convince you otherwise. And my body struggles to cope with it.
Of course, in an emergency, instant is better than nothing. And if I’ve accidentally left my flask at home, then I’m more than grateful for anything with a hint of caffeine in it. When I’m creating portrait photographs, I need my mind to be working sharply.
Perhaps I should just adopt the maxim, “Never apologise; never explain” and just boldly state I will be bringing my own coffee unless they have the good stuff. Then I’d probably just be seen as eccentric rather than pretentious.
The good stuff