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Tuesday Timewasters – A Lesson In Coffee – 05/08

So here’s the thing, before I became a teacher, I had never touched coffee. Never ever.

A month into my first year as a kindergarten teacher facing 12 hyper, smily children every morning at 9am and I was begging for something to give me more energy. A slap in the face. A shot of epinephrine. Some cocaine (I kid, never touched the stuff…I promise Mammy!). As is happens, the coffee culture is alive and well here in South Korea with a new coffee shop popping up each week. It was only a matter of time (four weeks) before I got round to tasting the stuff.

And that was it. My morning coffee became a habit and a permanent fixture in my life.

Shelves in grocery stores and convenience stores are lined with coffee in all it’s variations. In a can. In a plastic cup. Beans. Ground. Instant. In sachets with powdered milk. They’ve got them all.

The sachet one you’ll find in most offices near the water dispenser. I once got offered one by a police officer while sitting around the CSI area waiting for The Canadian One to be fingerprinted. I keep some at school for those coffee-related emergencies that plague my day. Although, usually, I’ll make an iced latte at home, fill the container with ice and keep it in a mini cooler so it stays icy cold until I need it at around 2pm.

There’s honestly nothing better when you think you’re about to die getting off a plane in Dubai airport after 15 hours of travelling, going  through a security scanner, having your water – your lifeforce at that very moment – confiscated, tired, beaten and reaching the top of the escalator to see those glorious green letters spelling out happiness: Starbucks! Yes, Starbucks is terrible. Yes, we all read the bad press about them, blah blah blah but oh my good God, on the back of struggling to remember your mother’s phone number to let her know you’ve arrived safely in a foreign country, there’s nothing better than that first taste of familiarity: the tall iced latte.

Near our apartment, at a guess, I’d say there’s about 50 billion coffee shops ranging from Starbucks (of course) to Dunkin’ Donuts, Urban Coffee to Tom and Toms, Mango Six (opening today!) to Christmas Coffee (actual name). My coffee brand of choice ’round here after 10:30am is ‘Angels in Us’, although The Canadian One boycotts them as their barista, well, he’s a little on the hormonal side most mornings. Pre-10:30am, I’m a ‘Fox Coffee’ girl. What with them being right on my way to work as I walk past at 10:00 10:10, who I am kidding, 10:20am and they have this wonderful deal of half priced coffees between 7:30am-10:30am. Ironically, when I wake up late and barely have time for a shower and make my lunch time coffee, I’ll always happily pop in there and wait the 5 minutes it takes to make me my store-bought coffee.

My morning routine usually consists of:

20 minutes: Getting ready for work.

15 minutes: Putting new songs on the iPhone to listen to on the subway / looking for hairbrush

10 minutes: Walking to the subway

5 minutes: Waiting on coffee at coffee shop

30 minutes: Journey to work, drinking coffee and playing on Rumble / reading the news and not listening to music at all

The people over at thinkgeek.com are selling ‘Grow Your Own Coffee’ kits. Good in theory but alas they cannot ship outside of the US…and also warn that it’s not suitable for under 4’s…which one would think was obvious, no? Don’t Give Coffee To Kids…EVER.

I learnt a lot about coffee this week from The Oatmeal. I’m sure I’ve mentioned The Oatmeal to you…perhaps once before…or twice….or just last Tuesday!! According to them, coffee all started with:

Read the rest of this comic, the next comic and every other comic The Oatmeal has to offer here!!

And finally, here’s a handy lil guide to making your own fancy coffee at home:

To read more about my adventures in coffee and that time I DIDN’T break the coffee machine, feel free to click here. Otherwise, Happy Tuesday Everyone!

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‘I did NOT break the coffee machine!’

When The Canadian One and I moved in together, my mother sent him a Facebook message warning him to get insurance for his personal possessions. Now, why, I can hear you wonder, why would my mother do this? Well, let me explain.

I don’t exactly have the best history in the world with not breaking things. Things just break when they’re around me. It’s like my gravitational pull causes inanimate objects to self-destruct.

Take anything nice my mother ever owned and there’s a 98% chance it was broken by me. Not on purpose, just from me being in the general vicinity of it. Her Yankee Candle candle holder bought in New York, fell off the microwave and smashed on the tiles when I opened the microwave door.

Crystal glasses, mysteriously self-combusted.

The washing machine, a coin inside it (we’re not 100% sure that was me but in all probability, it was).

My car I owned less than a week, scratches all over one door from me misjudging the distance between the car itself and the pillar in the driveway.

Every cell-phone, cd player, laptop, iPod, I’ve ever owned. Even my mini-fridge spontaneously started spouting smoked one afternoon.

Umbrellas, mugs, bowls, plates, a turtle tank (seriously), a grill, a TV (perhaps two), several of my own teeth, my leg, a laptop fan, all the DVD players, my God the list could go on and on.

My blender, my suitcase, shelves, a desk, Christmas ornaments (too many to count), the window in my mother’s porch.

All of which brings me to this morning. The Canadian One and I drink a lot of coffee. But while he owns a fancy espresso maker to make his morning lattes, I own a less fancy, more self-preserving / cheap to replace type of device in which to make my coffee with: