10. Slow starts
A serious coffee drinker’s day is measured in similar terms to a calendar. There is a BC (Before Coffee) and an AD (After Drinking) and the two eras could not be more different. Any time BC and the ignition hasn’t really been switched on. Eyes may be open and movement may be detected, but what you’re dealing with is basically a zombie. Half an hour AD, however, and you’re dealing with a superhero.
9. The shakes
Somewhere around the fourth cup of the day you may start to notice a slight twitching around the eyes. Your productivity will be boosted, you’ll dart around with a quickened pace and experience a cat-like alertness. By the seventh cup, that twitch will have developed into an involuntary full body spasm. Expect people to stare. Take it to ten cups and you could well find yourself curled up in a ball, shaking uncontrollably while babbling a stream of consciousness and realising that you may have over-caffeinated. Again.
8. Decaf is an insult
Don’t waste our time by calling decaf, coffee. By all means make a pot of it. Just so long as you only intend to use it to water plants with or soak dry paintbrushes in. Don’t, ever, under any circumstances try serving it to us.
7. Mood swings
A coffee drinker will be at pains to tell you they function perfectly well without their daily hit. So convincing are their claims that they “choose” to have the black stuff and can survive without it, you almost believe them. But there’s a simple way to find out the truth. Call an espresso an expresso in front of them and just wait for
6. Coffee snobs
While they’re taking a swig of Colombian Black, Ethiopian Rocket Fuel or whatever we’re calling the latest bean of choice, a coffee bore (sorry, enthusiast) is going to look down on anything else. The quest to find more fulsome flavours, we can’t help but think, has gone too far, though. With Dubai cafés now offering kopi luwak coffee, which has passed through the digestive system of an Indonesian cat, for Dhs90 a cup, the snobbery has gone mad.
5. Nonsense varieties
A well roasted bean, some hot water and maybe a bit of milk and sugar are all it takes to make a coffee. Serve it in a normal mug and you’re onto a winner. When did it become the norm for coffee shops to serve a gallon of milk, a few espresso shots, fruit syrup, cinnamon dust, chocolate sauce and call it a mochafrother and charge Dhs50?
4. Loving the ritual
We all know that you’re not paying for the ingredients, but the spectacle of the modern coffee shop. The way the barista steam-cleans your ironically large cup. The way the décor is unique and bohemian and does not look at all like it was bulk ordered from the same retro warehouse every other coffee shop got their jam jar light fittings and mismatched chairs from. That and the fact that you get a biscuit the size of a postage stamp and have to rip open your sugar from a paper sachet
3. Latte art
It is frankly embarrassing how excited we get about the little pictures in a coffee’s foam. Any time we’re handed a cup and the barista has, with a flick of the wrist and a scrape of a toothpick, drawn a smiley face, faint leaf or Burj Khalifa, it makes us want to dedicate the rest of our life to learning the art form. Why is it then, that whenever we try the same patterns at home we end up with a splodge of froth that looks like Donald Trump blowing bubbles in a wind tunnel?
2. Making a sacrifice
A single cup from a high street chain can run to Dhs25 when you’ve factored in that essential espresso shot. Just one cup a day is going to set you back more than Dhs9,000 a year. Put another way, if you skip the coffee, you could have three separate trips to Thailand every year instead. But the real coffee addict never even considers that alternative.
1. The smell
When closing your eyes and just sniffing your drink is more appealing than drinking anything else, you’re taking coffee far to seriously.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. Like an espresso he is short, sweet and strong. (He is only one of those things).