David Moseley

One cup to rule them all

2014-10-31 13:56

David Moseley

About 10 years ago a PR package arrived at my desk. Included in the pack was a fancy box with a fancy coffee mug inside, decorated with fancy artwork.

At the time I wasn’t a coffee drinker and didn’t drink too much tea, so the mug sat in its “award-winning” box for just over a year.

Eventually I succumbed to the coffee-drinking boom that hit our trendy media company just as a trendy Vida e Caffe store opened below our office.

(If anybody needs the inside story on how Vida e Caffe became so popular, they need look no further than the efforts of 2005 Men’s Health team, where we spent as much time writing Vida coffee orders as we did writing about how to give your partner 37 orgasms in 16 different places for 27 hours in one night).

Coffee, of course, is now trending in Cape Town harder than the wind blows. If you trip over someone in the CBD streets, it’s more likely to be a latte-appreciating arts dropout than a slumbering vagrant, though some might argue they are one in the same. But in those dark days, Vida was all we had.

Eventually, my fancy mug came into play. Opening the press pack a year later than I should have, I discovered that the mug was a Ritzenhoff, a brand you swanky people who shop at stores like Spilhaus and online stores like Yuppiechef will be well-acquainted with.

I noted further that the price, just like the look of the mug, was rather fancy too. (I think they cost between R400-R500 now, back then it was R300).

Well, I thought. If I pour my coffee into this thing the experience should be akin to the everlasting life promised from drinking out of the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusades. My ill will fade, my vitality should rebound and I’ll be slurring in a thick Scottish accent in no time.
And so I marched off to the Vida (apologies to all current happening coffee spots, I was but a callow coffee novice in 2006) and demanded that they pour my double meia de leite, wet, hot, to hamba, into this mug which by now I just simply adored.

Coffee poured, I stood in the store attempting to discern any different notes that might have been coming from the mug. Nothing.

As a crowd of baristas gathered round, I took a delicate sip, as one does when your mug costs the same as your monthly motor insurance.

Instant bliss. For a fleeting moment East embraced West, warlords freed their child soldiers, developers cleared their minds and pondered the future of the hashtag and the raging summer south easter died down to a gentle whistle that calmed the soul.

I floated back into the office. “You’ve changed, Dave,” noted my colleagues.

Yes, yes I have you slovenly, takeaway-cup drinking fools. I have changed. I now understand coffee. I know coffee. I am coffee. My precious mug is coffee.

Sitting down at my desk and cradling my precious, the mug eventually said to me, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no coffee comes to you but through me.”

Yes. Yes you are. My precious.  

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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