Tuesday, December 11, 2018

It's not the coffee that enslaves us

I’m phoning a friend to arrange a get-together. Yes, he’s available tomorrow, and we agree to meet. But the venue won't be his peaceful, very comfortable house, but a packed coffee shop. 
Later in the week, another friend is coming over to my corner of London and we’ll meet for about an hour. He proposes a well-known coffee shop.
 These breaks with friends could be held at our homes. The host could serve a coffee or tea.
The cost would be in pennies. Yet custom is that we go out for the treat and the order will almost definitely be Cappuccino, plus chocolate, with the price for each cup towards £3.

The main difference

Could it be that the real attraction is chocolate?
That’s the main difference between a hot drink at home and one in the high street. We wouldn’t think to add chocolate to our Nescafe at home.
However, it’s just about a must in a Costa and in our cups.
Almost a lifetime ago, I remember the treat of outings with a grandmother at a Lyon’s Cornerhouse. The hot drink cost sixpence.
Trying to compare the value of an old currency 6d with a present decimal currency £3 is like trying to compare my second-hand bike with a friend’s 200 mph German sports car.

Enlightenment

Then enlightenment landed in today’s inbox thanks to the excellent DelanceyPlace.com newsletter.
It featured an extract from Marcy Norton’s book, Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures. I learned about the extreme attraction of chocolate which Europe knew nothing of before Columbus….

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