I’m addicted to coffee but recently I’ve got lazy. My wife bought me a Gaggia espresso machine a few years ago (her idea was because it took longer to make I would probably drink less) but it takes quite a while to heat up and so for the last couple of years it has sat in the kitchen gathering limescale while I push the plunger on the cafetiere instead. It’s just easier. But this morning I felt different, and after half an hour of washing, steaming and flushing through a limescale clearer (that I really hope I haven’t drunk too much of) I had a good (although in all honestly slightly burnt) cup of proper coffee.
I’m not ashamed of my addiction. Admittedly no one should ever be proud of cracking open the Nescafe; but other than that in my mind it’s all good. I’m an architect, I need coffee. I can’t understand architects that can survive without it. They must have some kind of superhuman stay-awake gene that I’m lacking, but for me caffeine is fuel.
It started at university. There was a coffee machine in the architecture studio, and in those darkest of times working through first year studio projects, and when I had been in the studio for so long I had no idea if it was day or night, 20p (I’m talking 1997 here) for a strong white coffee with extra sugar seemed like a good idea. It was a good idea. There was usually a queue at the machine. It was the only thing that kept us going; that and Roni Size.
I owe caffeine. I’m not convinced that I would have got through architecture school without it. And I definitely would not have got through setting up my practice, or the first few weeks of fatherhood for that matter. So I won’t be lazy, I’ll go on drinking good coffee, and the occasional bad one in times of desperation.