I gave up coffee because it was the equivalent of taking cocaine and 99% of the time I wasn’t in situations where this would be appropriate. If I do want coffee, there have never been as many opportunities to make my palms sweat and lose my mind as there are in Ireland today. Coffee is the new craft beer/ smoking/ scratch cooking/cocaine
Coffee helped to mark the re-emergence of post recession notions in Ireland. The attention was momentarily taken away from the length of dole queues to focus on people now queueing for Nespresso machines in Brown Thomas. Certain cafés shocked everyone by adding a ‘water tasting‘ option to their menus for those who wanted to experience what coffee water would taste like using different methods of preparation. Legends.
But coffee isn’t growing exclusively out of its own arse, it’s also being grown and distributed on a more mass produced scale which is slightly more alarming. There are now 49 Starbucks in Dublin and 21 of these are in the city centre. The big bad bastards are now opening a premises on Drury street, Dublin’s apparent cultural quarter ( I didn’t know this was the cultural quarter but I think the arrival of McDonalds in Temple Bar might have promoted Drury Street to this ranking by default). Established posh coffee merchants claim that this won’t affect them because they offer two totally separate experiences so Starbucks can bust away.
Fair play to the fancy establishments and their posh confidence but there is a worry that the spread of these chains will turn us into a wet America within a couple of years. Everyone resents the homogenisation but loves the familiarity. The first place you seek out when in an unfamiliar town with 5 minutes to grab food and drink is a Centra/ Spar. The less time we have the more that Starbucks, Heineken and chicken fillet rolls will thrive as they feed off snap decisions and impulse buys made on hangovers.
If this madness doesn’t cease, our children may never hear the words; slightly over-priced corner shop run by drunk family member.