Anna Wintour may settle for less, but I’ve grown out of bad coffee


Saturday Guardian fans (my favourite people) may have read the brilliant interview with Anna Wintour in The Fashion supplement a few weekends ago. I am afraid I was disappointed by a certain reveal (and I use the word “reveal” loosely, as I was widely mocked by friends who said this was a well-known fact): Wintour drinks Starbucks coffee. Anna Wintour, the world’s chicest. Drinks Starbucks. Not the worst ever coffee, but a close second, behind Costa (it should be criminalised). In the same interview, Wintour talked about playing tennis with her good friend Roger Federer. Starbucks. You can see the discrepancy here.

Anyway, those friends responded with “duh” and an eye-roll when I mentioned this (had I never seen The Devil Wears Prada? Or The September Issue? I’ve seen both, but maybe I blocked the Starbucks cups from my mind).

I, too, used to drink copious amounts of Starbucks, but that was when I drank lattes, or, as my friend calls them, “giant cups of milk”. I am now a flat-white girl and take my coffee more seriously (look, I’m from Liverpool and have zero interest in food or drink for the most part; I didn’t expect this development, either).

The problem with good coffee is that once it grasps the taste buds with the vigour of a newborn grasping a lock of hair, it is difficult to go back to any old sludge. I have managed to cut my intake down to two a day: I carry them around in a luminous reusable cup and sup my anti-fatigue elixir at the Guardian’s morning conference and again after lunch. Of course, I know that giving up caffeine is supposed to make one more energised – but it’s no longer just about the hit.

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If I am not working in the office, I go to one of my favourite cafes and drink a (Fairtrade) Colombian blend, and revel in the fact I am consuming something which, while bringing me much pleasure, is not as bad for me as so many other things I might be imbibing.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not so obsessed that I have spent a lot of money I cannot afford on a home espresso machine. But I am at the stage where, if I don’t think the coffee will be up to scratch, I order tea. I have grown out of bad coffee. It doesn’t have to be from a fancy place; there is a kiosk close to my nearest station that sells great coffee. An Italian man owns it, naturally. (PS: Try ordering a “latte” in Italy, where it just means “milk”.) I am not sure it is true that brewing coffee before showing a potential buyer around your home increases the likelihood of a purchase, as is claimed, but reader: I can 100% believe it.


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