Words

The coffee culture we know and love. Guest post Sarah milliken.

May 16, 2015

I am pretty sure today I uttered the words to a friend over coffee “Coffee is my drug”.

Insane I know to use such terminology but that is how I feel on certain days, especially when I want a caffeine “hit” to see me through tired eyes.

This revelation comes on the same day that I stopped to get petrol on the way to a meeting straight after the morning school drop and there was a queue of TWELVE people at the barista coffee machine beside the checkout. I talk about the morning cuppa a bit more over here.

We are part of a society that loves coffee.

The flavour, the association we have with drinking a cup of coffee while taking a break, “me time”, and of course the “caffeine kick” we feel when we’ve had some. Coffee is king. Kind of.

My friend Sarah and I have a few friendship rules; we do a workout and coffee, or a dinner out and espresso martinis.

Coffee is shamelessly at the centre of our friendship, as well as love and a mutual appreciation of each other’s sense of humour,  obviously.

When we were on maternity leave at the same time we started a friday trend of guzzling a cafetiere of coffee while our babies played or ate lunch. This ritual still remains and our boys are very good friends, so when we meet as a four one morning in every week, we do coffee and the lads play. It works for everyone. And as before, coffee is right there at the centre. Sarah also has an awesome milk frother so we feel all  fancy sipping with our foam covered top lips and pinky finger in the air.

I asked Sarah to write about her experience of the coffee culture in Northern Ireland and Australia because she grew up in Melbourne.

I have yet to travel to Melbourne so I am constantly asking her about art, fashion, warmth, lifestyle and of course coffee.

She explains more about Melbourne and how coffee fits into their way of life, but also how the coffee culture in Northern Ireland has really grown into a lovely community.

Places are popping up all over the country  that source fine coffee from all the right places and brew it accordingly. It’s fun to see this development.

Over to Sarah…

Naturally I had to wait for my morning coffee before writing this.

When Aly asked me to write about one of my favourite things I was very excited, then nervous, so let me begin by saying I’m no coffee connoisseur or former barista or anything as worldly as that. I just like coffee.

I had the privilege of growing up in Melbourne, Australia. For those that have been you know what I’m talking about when I say Melbournians love their coffee and for those that haven’t been (why not??) let me tell you Melbourne people are a little obsessed by their coffee! They take it quite seriously, to the point where Melbourne is one of the only cities in the world that doesn’t have a large chain of coffee houses. Melbournians encourage and support their independent coffee retailers which is a good philosophy when it comes to getting the best flat white, latte or long black (Aussie speak for an Americano.)

The coffee culture in Melbourne is quite a thing.

The weather encourages sitting back sipping your latte (in a glass not a cup) and watching the world go by. Serious conversations, catching up with friends, business deals are done; anything goes when it comes to coffee.

So I made the decision nearly 12 years ago to come back to my family roots in NI. 12 years ago if you asked for a flat white anywhere in Belfast you were met with quite the curious look and not just because of my funny accent! Fast forward to more recent times and there is now (hooray) a thriving coffee culture right here in NI which excites me to no end!

I am very lucky to live near SD Bells (4th generation coffee roasters), if you haven’t tried their Blue Mountain Jamaica coffee get on it pronto!

Saturday morning yoga followed by Established coffee, I haven’t decided if my motivation is the yoga or coffee but either way it’s a win:win. Like all good creatures of habit coffee is part of my daily routine. It has helped me through many a long and tired day when my little one didn’t want to sleep. It continues to be part of my social life when entertaining friends, straight up and sometimes rather boldly mixed into a delicious an espresso martini!!

For those that appreciate a good cup, regardless if it’s instant, brewed to just the right temperature or served over ice, enjoy!

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