Caffeine Crazy

Espresso I’m all jittery after a very early start (I’m definitely NOT a morning person), a long day, and an afternoon drinking coffee. We’re opening the shops again tomorrow after a short winter break, and there’s always so much to do. One piece of that was getting our coffee right.

Every time we have our espresso machines serviced, it takes a lot of tinkering and tasting before we’re happy again with the taste. This year, we’re extracting our coffee for longer at a slightly higher pressure, and the result is a little more Italian than what we’ve been serving – a little more flavour and kick, although we’ve worked hard to retain the smoothness.

It’s part of our Continental drift, I suppose. People talk about whether Ireland is more aligned with Boston or Berlin – for us and coffee, it’s more a matter of Seattle vs. Sorrento. Anyone who reads this blog knows we gravitate toward the latter…

Gravity is not something I’m feeling much of, though, at the moment. I probably tasted 30 espressos, and I’m bouncing off the wall. The good news is that I have copy of the Instituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano‘s “Espresso Italiano Specialist” book, and they say that 20% of caffeine is metabolised every hour, so I’m sure I won’t be up all night. I’m bound to fall asleep by 4 or 5 in the morning…

They also make some considerable claims for the health benefits of coffee. I knew about the healthy side of chocolate, but I’m already feeling slightly less jittery in the knowledge that coffee:

  • Heightens memory capacity
  • Alleviates headaches and migraines
  • Heightens conditioned reflexes
  • Increases artery tone and improves circulation
  • Increases pulminary ventilation
  • Helps digestion

… and so on (it’s a long list). They also point out that to reach dangerous levels, one has to drink 100 espressos right after the other. I’m relieved I stopped after 30.

Finally, I’m happy to pass on the fact that we will almost certainly be going organic on the milk for our coffees (thanks to everyone who took part in the poll). We will have to add an average of 10c to pay for the additional cost (on top of a price increase to deal with price increases from our suppliers), but I think our customers will appreciate the added value of organic. We work hard to be the best and organic milk will taste better and feel better. We’ve been using Fairtrade coffee for a while now, so I guess it’s a natural step.

Now I’ll go and try to relax. Maybe I’ll test my conditioned reflexes or test my memory capacity. Mama Mia. How do the Italians do it? Bring on the grappa?

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10 thoughts on “Caffeine Crazy

  1. Well, I drank a lot of water as well with the espressos. Not sure how wise that is either as coffee is such a diuretic… Still, the strange this is that I had a great night’s sleep!

  2. I hate, hate, hate the caffeine jitters! Luckily I drink so much coffee (the old-fashioned American stuff) that I have a high tolerance.

    Good luck with your opening. If I ever make it back to Ireland, I’m definitely stopping at one of your shops.

  3. That must have been an interesting day testing 30 espressos…I am trying to decide if it sounds like heaven or a bit of torture. hahaha I do love my coffee so it leans towards the heaven side for me.
    I had actually heard of caffeine alleviating headaches before. Good Luck with your shop reopening!
    p.s. I can not leave this blog with out craving coffee, chocolate or ice cream…so thanks. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  4. I had an espresso yesterday afternoon in the park and went for lunch after. The waitress asked me at the end ot the meal if I wanted anything else and I replied ‘no thank you’ but she brought me out a double espresso anyway. I drank it and was shaking for about half an hour after!!! I’m a peppermint tea junkie, you see? Espresso is a rare treat in my life and three in the same afternoon was very unusual for me.

  5. Not sure how the Italians do it, but while I was in Italy I drank a ton of caffe’ and never got sick of it. But caffe’ corretto (with grappa) is NOT the way to go. Ick! Try it with a little Amaretto… now that’s good.

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