Hands up, I love the coffee culture – and I’m a bit of a coffee vulture, swooping on any place selling the stuff. I rate places I visit by how good their cafeteria is, be that a shop or museum. But then we are spoilt, aren’t we, nowadays? Starbucks, Costa, they are like a home from home, with the comfie furniture and soft music… I was joking only yesterday that if I ever won the lottery, I would buy a mansion and have Costa visit to furnish one of the rooms exactly to their criteria. Then I could work in there all day with my laptop, enjoying all manner of caffeinated treats.
In my Christmas novel, Mistletoe Mansion, I indulge myself in writing about cake. You see my love of cake is one reason I love coffee so much – the two go together like buttercream and sponge. I can never understand people who sit sipping a hot drink, without a muffin or scone or at least a biscuit! In Mistletoe Mansion baker Kimmy rustles up all sorts of festive cakes for a party hosted by her glamorous neighbour, Melissa. Kimmy is in awe of a super coffee machine belonging to Melissa, that uses pods to produce all sorts of flavours, like mocha and Tiramisu.
In fact my family were discussing just this week whether we should buy a coffee machine for Christmas. We decided no, if we did, having a coffee (and cake) out just wouldn’t be as special. Also, I’m easily pleased, my coffee of preference is as pure as it comes, that is without milk, and must be decaffeinated – I am, ironically for a coffee-lover, paranoid about caffeine after a bad spate of insomnia a few years ago.
Not wanting the strong stuff isn’t a problem nowadays, as almost everywhere offers the decaffeinated version. However, imagine my dismay on a recent trip to Japan, to find that decaffeinated coffee there is illegal. The health ministry won’t allow its import – because, I think , a chemical process is used to remove the caffeine. It was torture, as the lovely Japanese have amazing bakeries and coffee shops galore!
This is probably one reason why I lost almost a stone whilst in Kyoto – I just wasn’t eating as much cake as usual because I have no enjoyment in sweet stuff with just a cold drink as an accompaniment. So yes, my name’s Samantha Tonge and I’m a coffee vulture. And safe or not, decaff is my poison of choice 😀
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