I have welcomed coffee back in to my life. I began with a quarter-strength yuppified version of the liquid brew (almond milk has replaced soy in Melbourne), and now my veins now pulse with the electricity of a full-strength cup of battery acid. My brain pulses with energy and I’m more productive, sentences flying out of my fingertips and metaphors bending at my whim. I don’t regret our brief hiatus (conscious uncoupling?), but I’m glad to be wrapped up in the caffeine-riddled writer cliché once again.
Even throughout my 6-month coffee-free sojourn, I had always held a steadfast fascination with the mystical brew. I blogged about its alternatives, and when on coffee dates with colleagues and friends would smugly quip, “I’ll just have an herbal tea.” I wasn't the only one, either. Caffeine intake is on the decline in Australia, although that might be due to the rise of the home coffee maker.
But I digress.
There’s something about liquids that is more mysterious than any other substance. Narcotics are an obvious no, and food a little too tactile and indulgent to really warrant my interest as brain fuel. But liquids, particularly this highly addictive fluid, seems to have captured the attention and hearts of most creatives I know. Their wallets, too with the Australian coffee industry is worth $4.3 billion. Perhaps there is a writer or an artist out there who relies upon the magic of cupcakes or brioche or pulled pork sliders to satisfy their muse. In my experience, coffee seems to be the addiction of choice.
For so long I tried to fight the appeal of a tall, dark and handsome breakfast accompaniment. I opted for green teas, for sports-grade stimulants, organic super foods and pre-dawn exercise in order just to feel alive.
And after all of that, I’ve ended up right back where I started.
And I’m not mad about that.
Roy Morgan, 2014. 'The brew crew: Australia’s heaviest coffee drinkers.'
Smart Company 2014. 'Aussies flock to local baristas as big coffee-chains struggle to grind out market share.'