Liquid gold.

With sugar or without. Black or with milk. Plunger, instant or barista made. Single shot or double. One marshmallow or two. Chocolate or cinnamon. Soy, almond or full cream? Decaf … ok let’s not get too carried away ….

The combinations are endless and new mixes are born seemingly every day. Matcha anyone? Every taste and preference can be catered for. There is never a dull or uninteresting day in the world of that most popular of beverages. There are endless IG accounts devoted to any and all things related to the making and drinking of coffee – cups, cafes, foam art, blends – and I will put my hand up and say I follow a few.  While I will admit to being a lover of this life giving concoction I do try to limit myself – 2 cups a day. Any more and my heart starts racing while my hands begin to shake. You gotta know when to stop!

Anyone who knows me well will say I am a creature of habit, I like routine and this extends to my coffee consumption. But I would suggest like most coffee consumers I do have some self imposed ‘guidelines’ about how and when to drink my brew.


Coffee (barista made) first thing in the morning – you have to start the day right – and one with dinner (plunger OR if I am in the mood from a sachet). If the day has been a particularly hard one I might have an extra dose of caffeine at afternoon tea. Hard times can call for desperate measures!


Coffee by barista: Americano (blisteringly hot) with one sweetener OR a trim Flat White with one sweetener.

Coffee by Sarah: A single cup plunger with 2 level scoops of Robert Harris mild blend with one sweetener. TIP: Don’t be tempted to make it just that little bit stronger. I did once and regretted it when my heart started beating at 90 knots to the dozen. Never again. Or the alternative, as previously mentioned, a pre-prepared flat white in a sachet also hits the right spot.

But I haven’t always been a black coffee drinker. Up until several months ago my first choice was a latte or flat white. Then I did an abrupt 180 and added the milkless Americano to my repertoire. I can’t remember what the catalyst was other than boredom. It was quite a momentous decision. I chickened out several times when ordering but once I took that leap I haven’t looked back. I even tried an Espresso (coffee’s version of kryptonite) but that was a step too far. My head almost exploded after one sip. Not for me I’m afraid.

I have now settled into an alternate pattern of milk added coffee one weekend and the non-milk kind for the next (depending on my mood).

Now all this talk got me curious and I looked up the history of coffee. Fascinating stuff. 

Drinking coffee seemed to emerge in either Ethiopia or Yemen in the 15th century, much later that its counterpart – tea. It’s strange to think that wars have been fought because of the humble cup of tea. Now the battle lines are drawn over the legitimacy of decaf and how much froth or foam is too much. For the record … anything over a thumb nail depth worth in a latte is too much. I want some liquid to drink! And I avoid cappuccinos because of the froth content. Sometimes you have to virtually stick your whole face in your cup before you get to the good stuff!

I should be careful as I know people have very firm ideas about these things. But in all seriousness there really is nothing nicer than a hot coffee on a cold morning. It truly is one of life’s pleasures!

So to all my fellow coffee consumers (and there are a lot of you) …. May your brew always be hot, fragrant and satisfying!

My Weekend Local:

Columbus Café (Mitre 10 Mega – Porirua)

My Work Week Local:

Copperfields (Parliament Buildings – Wellington City)

Auckland Picks:

Adelaide (South Australia):

An extra hot SKIM latte …

(Images: Sarah Kreig)

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