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Pondering the mysteries of essential writing fuel – coffee

September 28, 2015

I like coffee, but I’d rather have a glass of water while writing, or occasionally sweet tea.

Matthew Wright

I’ve long held that coffee is an essential writing fuel. Of course, it’s not what it used to be. Luckily.

When I was a kid in 1970s New Zealand, ‘bought coffee’ came in pyrex containers that had been left on the edge of restaurant buffet tables to stew through the day and turn into a kind of funny brown liquid that looked like, but wasn’t, mud.

Writing fuel! Writing fuel!

Today? Smorgasbords with drip-filter coffee bars are long gone and instead we’ve got a bewildering array of Italianate names for different ways of mixing hot water and ground coffee beans at high pressure but only 68 degrees C in a machine that looks like a mutant Dalek and sounds like a K4 class steam locomotive. Of course, really they all lead to the same thing. Viz:

  1. Cup of coffee. What it says.
  2. Espresso. As (1), but less water and more ground coffee…

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