What would you like to drink? – part 2
When water was drawn from the river the cows shat in, or from the well next to the pit toilet, it wasn’t safe to drink. In the 14th and 16th century it was safer to drink beer. Small beer, with a low alcoholic content would be drunk in the morning, and stronger beer would be drank in the evening. You can imagine what a change it was for the capability of the mind to shift from drinking beer to coffee. Swapping a depressant for a stimulant fuelled the age of enlightenment, invention and the industrial revolution.
In Italy coffee is served with milk in the morning, ultimately known as ’the cappuccino’, but after 11am it is against the law* to drink frothy coffee. Instead it is Italian custom to order an espresso, with a glass of water. The espresso keeps you stimulated, while the water keeps you hydrated. The perfect balance huh?
Whenever you meet with friends or colleagues in the UK, like me, I am sure you tend to greet your guests by offering them a tea or coffee (pre 6pm, before the alcoholic offering becomes more acceptable!). Usually these are processed drinks, tea bags containing the dust of tea leaves or instant coffee. Connoisseurs may offer you a cafetiere of coffee, or a posh branded tea bag, but let’s face it, who roasts their own beans or serves loose ‘whole leaf’ tea? The mug of tea of coffee is served as a stand-alone drink, without the glass of water, despite us knowing that these drinks are diuretic, stimulating your kidneys to produce more urine and leave you with an impeccable thirst (or headache caused by thirst) shortly after. Man cannot live on tea and coffee alone.
The coffee house has become very popular again, but this time it is in the American image of Starbucks. The ‘Cappuccino’ can be drunk all day long. Super sweet coffees laced with caramel syrup and creams are the most prized treat. On top of the caffeine, your body now has to process an unnatural amount of sugar out of the body too. It is perfectly ok to ask for a glass of tap water with your coffee, but most people don’t; and if you only asked for water, would you be entitled to take up a table? Would you be forced aside in place of ‘profitable’ customers?
How can we make it acceptable to drink what is best for our bodies, without feeling embarrassment or guilt, and without having to sit on the floor in the corner during the morning coffee rush?
* Cultural not legal