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I started a business making coffee in paper cups.
Never went far to be honest … it’s a mug’s game.

coffee cup

Photo from Amazon.com

When I was a small child, whenever I was given a drink, even if it was tea, it came in a blue plastic beaker. The beaker had a lid with a small mouth-shaped spout so I could drink from it without spilling the drink all over myself. My mother didn’t trust me with her mugs and feared I would drop the cherished china cups inherited from Auntie Florrie. I loathed that beaker. I wanted a cup like grown-ups. The beaker tasted funny. Of course, I grew up and was eventually allowed to use the mugs and china cups. Well, the mugs, anyway.

Last week, I was in a department store, fiddling about with my reading glasses so I could actually read the label on some stylish clothes. A woman, in her forties, dressed in Armani and wearing Louboutin shoes, strolled past the garments, casually feeling the fabric, then took a large slurp from what looked like my old beaker. I almost dropped my specs in surprise.

It wasn’t my beaker. It was one of those takeaway cups for coffee except it was a bespoke one. It had her name or some logo on it and she brandished it with the same flourish she waved the large diamond ring she sported on her left hand.

The craze to carry coffees about and drink in public is one I find slightly insane. Whatever happened to sitting down at a table, in a café and enjoying a latte? Are we all so busy we have to take our coffees with us? Are we likely to flag on a shopping trip and need a reviving slurp of espresso to help us recharge our energy levels?

It took me right back to my childhood. How can people possibly enjoy it? Coffee or tea never tastes good in those cardboard takeaway cups. It’s usually cool or even cold by the time you’ve strode about clutching it for quarter if an hour. No, I don’t get it.

According to a 2013 article in the Huffington Post, Brits spend a fortune on coffee annually—6.3 Billion pounds to be exact. When I’m out and about, I notice people of all ages buying coffee and the new craze for Baby Chinos (a small drink for children) is spreading like, well, crazy!  According to the Huffington Post, Brits spend 6.3 Billion per annum on takeaway coffee. Britons currently collectively spend £122m a week on their take-away coffee fix, with each coffee drinker spending £393 each year and £15,725 throughout their entire lifetime. Wow! I am astonished. More so, because I only drink one small cup of coffee a day. I figured I’m hyper enough without guzzling coffee throughout the day.

I have concluded that the reason we drink so much coffee is either we are a nation of coffee addicts or it is now fashionable to march about waving our cardboard cups containing caramel latte or a soya cappuccino at everyone. It smacks of decadence. It says, ‘Look at me … I can afford luxury coffee but I am far too important and busy to sit down and drink it.’

Maybe I am a grumpy old so-and-so and possibly I am wrong about all this, yet every time I see someone slurping away at a paper cup, I want to rush up to them with a bib and wipe their mouths for them.  It irritates me. I want to gather up all the cardboard cups with their nasty spouts and bin them all.

Bring back china cups and teapots with teacosies. Bring back afternoon tea with proper cups and patterned plates containing buttered scones or cake, and let’s get back to enjoying our coffees or tea by sitting down with friends or family. Ban the takeaway cup and those ghastly plastic beakers!

Grump rant over. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.