Will You Be My Coffee Buddy?

My love-hate relationship with coffee took another unexpected twist the other week when I discovered I quite like the espressos our new office coffee machine makes. I’ve even taught myself how to make one. Okay, this involves little more than pressing a few buttons and setting a cup under a nozzle but it’s an achievement for me nonetheless, and I feel like the most sophisticated Italian barista in the land. Anything beyond that though and I’m flummoxed.

I’m not as keen on big mugs of the stuff, that some of my work colleagues guzzle down by the gallon. I’ve tried that and it left me feeling a bit queasy. Nope, short, sharp caffeine infusions appear to suit me better. Anymore than that and I’m prone to moan about an upset stomach and revert sulkily back to my tin of Diet Coke. It’s taken many decades for me to learn what a boundary is and not to cross it. Long may that continue.

The espresso gadget at home is a different kettle of fish. Every time I step within six feet of it, let alone consider using it, something goes awry. Red lights appear and strange noises emanate from it. I’m an utter technophobe at the best of times but this does nothing for my confidence in such matters. The machine obviously despises me and I usually end up having to call Fionnuala to rescue me from its evil clutches. 21st century life is hard.

As for coffee shops, I’m equally hopeless. The immense range of choice and unpronounceable drinks make it a daunting experience that I fear I’m woefully unprepared for. I’m still gathering up the courage to speak to a barista for fear they will look down their noses at me, tut and shoo me from the shop, head hanging in shame. At times like this I yearn for a coffee buddy to show me the ropes and induct me into this strange new world I’ve uncovered.

Just like the beverage, I’m an acquired taste. I’ll dither over choice, ask innumerable stupid questions and pull various faces of disgust as I sample the various brands and blends. On the plus side, I’m reasonably good company, will adhere strictly to social distancing guidelines and pay my way. Interested? Then feel free to comment below and blow me away with your sparkling repartee and love of all things caffeinated

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

59 thoughts on “Will You Be My Coffee Buddy?

  1. Decisions are hard. I myself am paralysed by choice especially when out at an unfamiliar restaurant for dinner. I also have only recently begun to enjoy the occasional coffee. The drink I currently go for in cafes is a vanilla latte. A little bit of sweetness and flavour with enough of a caffeine kick but not too much. Some people think this is a weak choice but I order it confidently, and enjoy the drink so it’s grand for me.

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  2. I’ve been drinking coffee since a fateful day in 1982 when it was very cold out and I had to go to the bus stop to get to school. My old man gave me a cup of the instant coffee he drank at the time, I want to say Sanka but I may be wrong. I havent looked back since. I usually stick with cold brews at this point, its pretty hot here. Winter though my local coffee shop has a “mexican latte” and its got some heat to it in terms of spices. I dont know if they actually drink it in Mexico but on a cold day man thats good stuff. Cheers !

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  3. I’m afraid I won’t be a lot of help here from the other side of the pond. But I’m with you. Starbucks scares me, too. But on the rare occasions when i darken their doorway, I take secret pleasure in ordering a “medium” whatever, blatantly eschewing their fancy Italian size names. Yes, I know… pretty pathetic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all know what a medium is. Let them use their own invented language. I do the same on the rare occasion I go to Starbucks, or at the LIke it, Love it Ice Cream Store where a small is sufficient,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been keto for over a year with great results. One of the rewards for the dietary restrictions of keto is the coffee I enjoy every morning. Brew the coffee as normal (however strong you like it), microwave 1 TBS butter in a coffee cup, add the cup of coffee you have brewed and stir, now using a mini blender bring the coffee and butter and about 2 TBS heavy cream to a frothy delightful cup of energy. I was not enjoying my straight from the pot black coffee, but was not able to give it up. It actually nauseated me.

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  5. Straight up black this morning (24 hour fast)

    Tomorrow (typical): Add a scoop of Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer + Cream+ Salted Butter+ MCT Oil + A splash of Vanilla – Whip with an immersion blender.
    (Supports keto diet)

    When I’m out, I just add some cream.

    I’d have to say that coffee, even just the odor, triggers memories and emotions going way back to early childhood.

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  6. I think I’m your guy, Stephen. We have a distance issue, but I would enjoy hanging out with you at a coffee shop. I would ask your preference and then boldly order from the barista. It’s hard to wrong ordering espresso. After that it’s a matter of learning what they call the different ratios of milk or water added to the black nectar. I’m too old to let embarrassment stand between me and something I like. I’d thoroughly enjoy hearing your perspective and observations, especially if you were rightly caffeinated.

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  7. I would love to apply, but my wife is insisting I clear out the loft and I have a shed to re-roof, amongst numerous other jobs. Otherwise I’d be first in the queue. Sorry Stephen – I know you will be gutted not to have a Nestlé expert on your side. But good luck with your quest to find a Coffee-mate!

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  8. Some cream and cheap coffee, I’m good to go. I grew up drinking tea, but gradually was exposed to cold brew in my early teens (which I’m sure didn’t help me falling asleep at night). And then in 2017 had my first cup of coffee. May my little Mr. Coffee rest in peace. He was a special friend. Didn’t realize I needed to clean out my coffee machine with vinegar and water about once a month, but it has helped make sure the coffee doesn’t taste burnt.

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          1. No. I took a break from it, and really glad I did. I have started back up. About halfway through the story. Really grateful for the slower pace, I have a lot to set up for the rest of the series.

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  9. As a barista, I don’t look down my nose at anyone who is overwhelmed or confused by the choices and unpronounceable words. I hated anything that tasted like coffee until I was in my early 40’s, so I have been in those shoes, not knowing the difference between a latte, cappuccino, flat white, macchiato, and so on.

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  10. From time to time, I love a great specialty coffee but only do so when I meet with friends for long discussions. Then you just tell the barista you’re a newbie and what would she/he recommend. A good one will ask the right questions and get you started with something fun.

    But for daily coffee drinking? It’s just plain coffee with a splash of half and half. The trick is to figure out the intensity of your brew that you want…mild, medium and strong. For a long time I was a die hard Starbucks coffee drinker because I love the strong, heartiness of their beans. But recently a family member treated me to a bag of Peet’s and I switched immediately. I make mine at home using the French Roast. It’s smooth and full bodied. For the best results, get whole bean and invest in a grinder (cheap one…don’t be seduced by bells and whistles).

    So experiment but start by figuring out your intensity first. Then experiment with different blends. The barista isn’t just an order taker so don’t be shy about asking for advice. I made a lot of friends at Starbucks that way.

    Have a wonderful journey💜

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      1. Absolutely! Started at 17 thanks to my Grandfather. I’m not much into “fancy” coffee. Just a tad bit of Stevia and a splash of Half and Half. I do enjoy a raspberry latte from a local coffee bar. I have two cups each morning and I’m even a “one cuppa” afternoon gal. 😊☕️

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  11. If you need someone with gravitas and confidence to spare at any coffee establishment, then I offer, with no hint of false modesty, my services. My coffee journey as a barista started in the 80’s, got corporate at Starbucks before it was even a public company and has been carrying on in a variety of paths since. My historical fiction novel, Tripio recounts much of those times and comes with benediction from coffee legend, Kevin Knox. With that said, I really don’t take myself that seriously so would make tolerable company. Thanks for the post!

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  12. I love the mention in the first line – ‘love-hate relationship with coffee.’ I am guilty of this too.

    For me, it went from love to an unhealthy obsession to decaf to let’s find common ground, kind of journey. But I still have those moments where I take an ample amount, especially if I have sweets by the side and give myself headaches. Or take a random pause in the middle of a shopping area to follow the aroma of a fresh brew and may I say, shamelessly market coffee shops to the level of the annoyance of those around.

    There is a cliché line I keep quoting – the coffee should be so dark, strong, and bitter that it should burn my soul. 🙂

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  13. there’s just something sentimental coffee from about the way it smells to the way I fill up with with warmth when i drink it. even the different tones that hit my tastebuds as different as they may be are all in the sentiment of java.

    I struggled with my espresso machine too but in time I worked it out… I expect you’re already on your way to advanced barista.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You’re quite right, it’s unbelievable the varieties of coffee there are! I’m a mocha gal for the most part. If I’m feeling daring I might go for a hazelnut latte or chai. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

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