Thursday, October 22, 2009


All us addicts like a good rationalization for our nutty behaviour.

And if the Latest Excuse comes from a third party and better yet an authority like a scientist or someone wise and wonderful, well, hallelujah!

Thus, imagine my glee at discovering today that espresso is good for my liver!

You think I'm grouchy sitting here in my p.j.'s in the morning?

You should see me at 3 pm if somehow the day has interfered with my small cappuccino with skim milk, please. Scareeeee...

I'm quite sure that if a day went by without my fix, my head would explode. For sure. Explode.

And while we're on the subject of Coffee Culture.

Some observations.

Almost any one's coffee is better than Starbucks. But, in a pinch...their cappuccino is not bad.

In Vancouver, the Waves chain is inviting for several reasons. The cappuccino's are excellent. There are about 90 three-pronged electrical outlets per shop making it just about the most computer-friendly environment in town. People are by and large friendly and helpful to one another.

Artigiano may keep winning "barrista" awards and their coffee is first-rate, but their staff has that miserable stupid superior attitude of coldness and superiority and there is roughly one electrical plug per store, a deliberate strategy I am told to keep students and old men who like to write in coffee shops from lingering too long. Wrong approach.

The cafe with WiFi has become the New Universal Living Room.

It is amazing how we all now take this for granted like it'd been here since buffalo.

I've seen it in Washington, DC, Venice, Toronto and Salt Spring Island and I think it's a wonderful spontaneous social development. The kind that be neither predicted nor planned.

You leave your basement apartment or high-rise flat or room in someones house or your grand mansion. You throw your light-weight netpad, notebook, whatever in your bag and head to the coffee shop. It's warm, it's well-lit, the cafe is delicious, the date and carrot slice is tasty, the music is so loud and so intrusive that it quickly just becomes a wash behind your consciousness.

Two days ago, I met a delightful and funny couple from Shanghai. They are both scientists. They were suitably impressed that I can utter a few catch phrases in Mandarin. They gave me a Beijing Olympics book mark and key chain. We exchanged e-mail addresses and promptly put ourselves in MSN Messenger contact.

I still managed to write five new pages on the fourth draft of my book.

Afternoons well spent.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you yet again David. A good cuppa is essential on a daily basis -- my drug of choice is a latte or cafe au lait (which I usually make at home with a French press). I enjoy Coco and Olive and Mix makes a pretty darn good, very large latte. My last coffee at Artigiano was a disappointment. Surprisingly, I enjoyed some of my best coffees in coffee shops/pattiseries in Hong Kong and a coffee at the train station in Barcelona stands out in my mind (although I just may have been in desperate need of caffene). Nothing like good cup of coffee in the morning (or afternoon if it doesn't keep you up all night) and all the better that it is good for your liver.

And did the word glee come to mind because you, like me, have become enamored of the new show Glee and one of its stars Jane Lynch?


Jeff Taylor said...

Having moved from Vancouver to Toronto about a year and a half ago, an internet option in a coffee shop is something I miss so much. Toronto has a very limited amount of 'free' internet options in cafes. The very few that do offer it, often it's not free. For such a large urban city as Toronto, the internet access is terrible. For my money, I always enjoyed some of the downtown Blenz locations.

Anonymous said...

As a drinker of chai soy lattes, I can say that Waves and Caffe Artigiano and Elliz (on Cambie) are far superior to Starbucks, which taste far too syrupy and sweet. But Caffe Artigiana routinely either forgets my order or gets my order wrong (I got coffee once!) so I stopped going there. So here's to Waves and Elliz...

Anonymous said...

David, a day filled with friends and coffee. I am a little jealous as my retirment is still a few years away. But I know that a huge part of my retirment will be spent sipping coffee. I like it all fromm Timmies to Starbucks and everything in between.