Saturday, 8 March 2014

The Coffee Guy, and Forgetting St David's Day (unedited) - South Shropshire Journal 7/3/14

Easy José the Coffee Guy came to visit me recently, because he’s going to supply my little shop in Ludlow with beans and machines and all the paraphernalia one needs to make a grown up cup of coffee. If you want to get serious about coffee (which I do), you’ve got to know a guy like Easy José. Have you ever met a Wine Guy? All “top notes of a wet pavement” this, and “bosky little nuances of tobacco and bog-myrtle” that. Loud corduroys and checked shirts? You must have met a Wine Guy.

Well, the coffee lot are less shouty and slurpy, and more poetic and pretty. José the Coffee Guy ran us through some of the treats that will be coming our way: Sumatran stuff that tasted like sweeties, Kenyan coffee both grapefruity and chocolately at the same time, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe that was a flower meadow in a cup. It was a crazy way to spend the day and by the end of it my heart was palpitating and I didn’t sleep for forty eight hours. But, it was tremendous fun, and we’ll do coffee at Harp Lane like nobody else. We’re getting a little bar in where you can perch and knock back a perfectly constructed flat white. You won’t want to hang around (though you’ll be welcome to) because our coffee will be served at a neckable 65 degrees Celsius, and that’s the temperature to have it. So there.

Here in Ludlow, being fifteen miles away from the Welsh border I feel as if I should have done something about St David’s day last week. Didn’t even cross my mind I’m afraid. Nothing personal, I just forgot. I love Wales, I can just about see it from where I write. For a long time in I went for Welsh girlfriends. I’ve matured since then, but a Welsh accent on a lady can still turn me all wobbly at the knees. My first ever beau in fact was Wewish . Cracking. If you’re able, get you one of them. Jude wasn’t particularly Welsh, or Jewish, but a great combo nevertheless.

Hafod, Perl Las, Gorwydd Caerphilly. Three cheeses that would always make it into my top ten all time. I holiday in Pembrokeshire every summer and, I was schooled in Monmouth. Which is (I think) in Wales.

Look, enough cross-border appeasement. Happus belated Dewiwhatever to my Welsh readers.

I can’t be sure (partly as this column still very rarely makes it online – so it’s tricky to check dates) but I think this may be my 51st column for this paper, making next week my 1st anniversary. Not one week off, and 23,000 words. How about that? 

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