Kristina Enger talks about her love of coffee and the curative and joyous powers it possesses.
Apparently, and quite ironically, the two most coffee-drinking countries in the world are Finland (9.6 kg per capita) and Norway (7.2 kg per capita). This equals to about 2.64 and 1.98 cup of coffee per day per person.
Being the lucky winner of half Viking (Norwegian) and half Finnish heritage, you can only imagine not only the need, but also my deep, deep love for coffee. Whether the former enforces the latte (pun intended), or if the case is the opposite, I do not know. What I do know is that this beautiful black fuel is what makes grumpy and ice-cold queens of the far north more likeable. I mean, as long as there is an omnipresence of coffee, whether it is smoothly sloshing around in a cup in front of us or we can feel the scent of freshly grounded beans filling our noses at the local café, we will look up from our phones and act more or less like normal human beings. Don’t jump to conclusions though, we will still not smile at you in the café (only serial killers do that) despite the fact that a coffee shop is pretty much the only place you will ever even have a chance to see us smile. Don’t believe me? Just stop by The Kitchen sometime and see for yourself.
“My dating experiment taught me one thing: always ask to have your drink in a takeaway cup”
Speaking of talking to strangers. I did try it. Once. It didn’t go so well. I decided to finally test out this ‘dating’ thing. We don’t get the deal with that in the North (no, seriously though, can someone do a piece on “what’s the deal with dating” and teach us Scandies a thing or two?). We sat there and he was cute and nice and all that jazz. Oh well… Little did I know, and without any warning, the dude said he doesn’t drink coffee?! Excuse me monsieur-pas-du-café, but I have no intention, whatsoever, of spending any time with someone who won’t share the glory of morning coffee with me. I didn’t really know what to say, so I just got up and left, leaving a cup of freshly pressed coffee behind. At least my dating experiment taught me one thing: always ask to have your drink in a takeaway cup.
Putting my failed attempt at love aside, let’s put some facts on the coffee table, shall we? Research done at the University of Vermont claims that there is such a thing as a “caffeine withdrawal headache”. While I thought I would somehow prove to you that there is no such thing, I can’t remember the last day I didn’t have a cup of coffee. On that same note, I haven’t had a headache since I started drinking coffee at the age of… well, forever, really (I suspect my mother’s breastmilk was full of it). Anyhow, I don’t want to take the risk of experiencing any headache, so let’s just say the Vermont study must be true. However, the same study did also claim that there are no benefits associated with chronic caffeine administration. As much as they might not have found anything particularly beneficial on that fancy EEG machine-thingy (apologises to all medicine/psychology students for calling it a thingy), I’m a living proof that consistent intake does indeed bring joy. At least, it makes me less of a stone-cold ice-princess. The staff at The Kitchen can confirm this.
“At least, it makes me less of a stone-cold ice-princess”
On behalf of my mother- and father-lands, I want to extend a large gratitude towards globalization for allowing our cold countries to get the hold and taste of this elixir of life. Although I have to pay up to £6,5 for a fancy type of coffee with my English salary when I go home, I will still pay for it – at any time, without a doubt. It’s sooo worth it.
I intend to abstain from the caffeine withdrawal headache and continue living a life full of joy. And coffee. Because that cup makes (my) everyday-life beautiful. It’s not about the caffeine, and it’s not that it’s keeping me warm (although that comes in handy up north). I can appreciate decaf and ice-coffee as the regulars like fresh filter coffee, a newly pressed americano, macchiato, cortado, and not to mention the royal-hipster-decaf-latte-on-soy-milk-with-a-hint-of-hazelnut-sirup-but-no-artificials-thank-you-very-much. The world of black gold is huge. The thought of the amount of different types of beans and roasts almost gives me as many butterflies as being in love (not that I really know anything about this considering my one failed espresso shot at love). What I do know, is that there are about three things that gets me up in the morning; Norwegian tap-water, wool socks and coffee. Studying abroad and often in warmer countries than my own makes it obvious that Norwegian tap-water is out of the question and wool socks are rarely needed. In other words, coffee is my savior and it seems to be what keeps all Scandinavians going. If you want to get out of your despresso state of mind, meet me at The Kitchen at 9, and let’s café olé! You might even get the chance to see a half Viking-crazy smile.
This is the third article in a weekly column on current issues and topics of general knowledge and interest, run by Marthe Rossaak. If you are interested in contributing, please email your draft to firstname.lastname@example.org