I had an epiphany on a recent morning. The bruised clouds snarled like a baying dog, a chill hung in the air and I – in spite of nine hours sleep – woke up tired; that gross ennui muddled with a glass or five of claret.
Thank God it was Sunday and pyjamas over a lazy breakfast were just the tonic. The grey clouds continued but the holy trinity of smashed avocado, bacon and scrambled eggs was certainly the menu. The orange juice posed as a sweet young priest, the morning radio whistled like a choirboy and the coffee sat there like Jesus.
Hang on – I hear you say – this clown had overdone his metaphor: Jesus as a coffee?
Yes, dear reader the real miracle of any chap’s Sunday is – sadly not making water into wine – but making something that resembles a small tea cake turn into a the perfect double espresso.
Nespresso machines are revolutionary in their quality and ease of use, within 20 seconds one is presented with a sumptuous aroma emanating from a tiny cup with a Caffè crema resting a-top.
Within moments one goes from feeling like Peter O’Toole on a windy Wednesday morning to George Clooney reclining on the Riviera. Nevertheless, I would suggest that Clooney doesn’t wear striped pyjamas.
This was not my epiphany. That arose when I looked in box of pods to discover the vast array of flavours. I stood at the edge of the box, like a nervous diver, and tried work my way through the pretentious twaddle.
One offered me a sweet and fruity flavour, the other promised to be refreshing and full of citrus and wine and the final pod proffered to have the meaning of life. The reality is that once they are blasted through steam, the universal taste is the same: a delightful coffee that wakes you up.
Now I know legions of people that will espouse the virtues of Indriya for a weekday morning, then luxuriate about Rosabaya de Colombia as ‘the only drink to have on a slow, lazy Sunday morning.’
But I don’t see the connection between ‘slow,lazy’ and coffee.
Back to the matter in hand – the miracle – in my kitchen-sized church. This Nespresso gadget is nonetheless light years ahead of the espresso pot that one used to plonk on the stove, which did result in good espressos but, in addition, five grade three burns to one’s palm per serving.
The Nespresso coffee is great but it has lent itself to the alarming disciples to Clooneys amateur baristas. Ask for a coffee after supper nowadays and do expect your host to deliver a reverential lecture about where each pod has come from with the black stuff, which will, of course, be delivered in a bespoke monochrome Scandinavian matt-finished espresso cup that cost about as much as the Viking region.
For a dose of schadenfreude, request a French press or decaf and watch the Clooney-poser’s wires tangle! Rest assured he will have his vast collection of bicycles to fiddle with.
Needless to say, polemic pretentiousness is not exclusive to coffee fans. It has crept into all aspects of consumer life – obsessions with pit barbecue restaurants and Mexican food by men in suits is plainly ridiculous.
A further subject that tickles me greatly is a middle aged man’s claims that he likes ale for its sophisticated taste.
Salty Brew, Mallards Shoulder, Wizards Sleeve and Rusty Seat have become the acceptable tipple of posing chums. Spending six pounds a pop on a coke sized can of ale and, of course, a supercilious air that come for free: you’re having a pint of beer chap, like every other Joe down the boozer.
And what of me this upcoming Sunday, dear reader? Well, I shall unquestionably nespresso myself up to the eyeballs and then, perhaps, walk to Barnes, where I shall nibble on a ploughman’s in a riverside pub and drink wizards sleeve by the gallon.