I ain’t missing you at all.

I don’t often write about REALLY personal things on my blog but lately, I’ve been struggling. You know, emotionally.


You know when you miss someone so much that you stop in your tracks and forget to take a breath?

Or when they’re the first thing you think about in the morning before you even open your eyes?

For a moment when you wake up, it all feels normal, but then you remember they aren’t there – and they won’t be, any time soon – and a gloom settles over you, that doesn’t lift all day.

Every song reminds you of them. Every blog post you try and write ends up being about them.

By the end of the day you feel beaten down, fraught and on the edge of tears.

Oh, coffee. How I miss you. 

It’s true, friends. Having been diagnosed with a non-life-threatening-but-deeply-irritating irregular heartbeat a few months back, I was advised to avoid stress (hollow laugh) and caffeine.


A writer without caffeine is like a pirate without a hook. How is an Evil Overlord supposed to cut a swathe through the virtual world without the benefit of a double espresso in the morning? My metaphors feel less pithy, my snark less edgy. It’s just not the same.

I’ve been experimenting with coffee in the last month or two, working out my tolerances. I can allow myself one coffee a day, but filter coffee has double the caffeine of instant, and my tolerance to it seems to be far lower. One large latte and my innards start doing a samba – and not in the good way.

I don’t know then, what made me accept an invitation to go to Taylors of Harrogate last week to learn all about coffee. Some kind of sick masochism, probably. But actually, I learned a lot. For example:

  • The strongest coffee beans come from Java, while beans from Africa tend to be fruitier and have citrus tones
  • Coffee doesn’t actually come from beans. The ‘beans’ are actually the stone from inside a coffee cherry. I think this is my favourite new fact of the year so far.
  • Arabica beans are considered better than ‘rustica’ beans, which can easily taste ashy, or bitter.
  • When making coffee, the perfect ratio is 45g of coffee per cup, brewed for 4-6 minutes. You can add all the water at once – ‘blooming’ doesn’t make much difference.

One of the best things I learned though, is that Taylors has now started selling a half-caff coffee which I’ve never been able to buy in the UK before, and means I can finally, FINALLY drink proper ground coffee again without ill-effects. This is quite, quite the best news I’ve had in ages. By and large de-caffeinated coffee is a thing that should not be inflicted on any human being with working taste buds.

So now, if you’ll give us some time and some privacy, coffee and I will be spending some quality time together rebuilding our relationship.

PS: Taylors of Harrogate covered my expenses to attend this event. Thanks, Taylors. 



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. Vegemitevix
    23rd October 2012 / 10:01 am

    Hahaha you reeled me in, hook line and sinker. I think coffee is a necessity for a writer and Evil Overlord. I have a fridge magnet that expresses my working from home employment contract terms and conditions, extremely clearly. It says – “No coffee, no workee”.

    • 23rd October 2012 / 11:59 am

      Ha! Writing without coffee counts as a cruel and unusual punishment, in my book.

    • 23rd October 2012 / 11:59 am

      Yes. Yes it is.

  2. 23rd October 2012 / 10:13 am

    My condolences. Unhusband is currently being investigated for the same thing. Trying to separate an Italian from his coffee is probably close to trying to separate a writer from hers. Just off to put the kettle on…… Sorry!
    allotmentmum recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

    • 23rd October 2012 / 11:59 am

      Cripes, I can imagine! Poor thing.

  3. purplemum
    23rd October 2012 / 7:30 pm

    I miss coffee and I have never even drunk it! I don’t like it, and despite trying again and again I can’t get into it. I watch enviously as people clutch their cardboard cups of joy knowing all I can ever handle in one of this babies is a green tea or perhaps hot chocolate. Oh the shame.

  4. 24th October 2012 / 3:48 am

    Wow such an emotional outpouring over a hot drink! Not at all what I was expecting! Now I can live without coffee, I do drink a cup a day, but with far too much sugar. Now if I had to give up tea, that would be serious!
    Nikki Thomas recently posted..We want daddy!My Profile

  5. Jen
    27th October 2012 / 1:19 pm

    Oh I don’t know, for several reasons I’m on decaf! Is not the same and I sneak a real one in now and again! Hope you had a great day. 🙂

  6. 28th October 2012 / 3:13 pm

    I’m planning on switching to de-caff soon in an attempt to be a bit healthier (I drink waay too much caffeine at the mo)… that’ll be testing enough, but being FORCED to give it up, now that would be a nightmare. My condolences..
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