Last week a man passed me. He appeared deep in thought, holding the carton to his cheek, almost affectionately I thought. As if it were a necessary friend, or companion. I accept that you will call me fanciful, and I admit it was a cold morning, but as I see more people with either coffee or tea on the go, it strikes me that for them it has become more than just a drink. More like a necessary companion, almost like a friend. That going out for a coffee has given them a focus that will help to make some sense of their day.
This Christmas and New Year is going to be very different for us all. Like many of you, I won’t physically be with my family because of the circumstances we all know about. (Plans are afoot for us to have a Christmas meal via Zoom!) I am sure, like you, I will miss the physical contact so much. But having seen people with their “coffee on the go” and how necessary and how important it is to them, I wonder, perhaps I should think about my coffee and tea in a new way. More like “friends”, companions to be enjoyed, who will be there come what may?
Admittedly two of my friends, coffee and tea, have historically, had an uneasy relationship with each other. Though both were sold in the same Coffee Houses that first introduced them. Over the years, they have achieved their own following and enthusiasts. Sometimes this has become something of a heated rivalry. Of course, when our American cousins threw the tea overboard in Boston Harbour and then wholeheartedly embraced coffee as their first love, while we in Great Britain looked to India and tea, it didn’t foster the relationships
Personally, I love them both. Both are good friends. But, of course, as with some of my human friends, they need to be appreciated and enjoyed, separately.
But there is a third friend, Chocolate. Chocolate, to be enjoyed just for itself, or with either of my other friends. Chocolate when experienced with coffee or tea, neither overwhelms or is overwhelmed by its companion, but can lead us into another world of taste experience. Together they can produce sheer delight.