I grew up watching mum drink coffee as though it were the most important part of her day.
Whatever we were doing, or whatever she had planned, she would always make time for her morning cup.
It wasn’t a necessity, either.
‘Caffeine doesn’t touch the sides’, she always said.
I used to watch as she ordered. Never a request, always a conversation. The barista, her best friend.
I loved the way she used to find the perfect seat to enjoy it in. Always by the window. Always in a mug.
Coffee means so much more to this woman than just beans and milk, I thought.
Me? I didn’t start drinking coffee until university.
It became my fuel to function, often finding myself nestling into the armchairs of Exeter’s finest with their strongest brew and whatever book I was being made to read that week. Coffee was to help me study on very little sleep. No more, no less.
Once I’d graduated and taken a deep dive into the world of work, coffee became a bit more meaningful, I guess.
Although I’d fuel sleepless internships with the instant stuff found in staff kitchens, feeling like I didn’t belong, I also bonded with many a coworker over a brew – and being able to make a decent coffee for the one in charge didn’t go amiss, either.
In some ways, you could say that caffeine kick-started my career.
Since then, coffee and I have become more than friends.
It’s become less of a need and more of a lifelong love affair, now.
I now know what goes into getting it from bean to cup and appreciate a good one so much more than before.
I have at least two brews a day and I prefer to sit in than take it away.
I love the warmth. The smell. The opportunity to people watch.
I enjoy the moment to myself.
For such a small, almost non-event, having a coffee somehow has the capacity to feel so indulgent.
And now, I can send the same feeling to those I love.
So, in a couple of weeks, when we have launched huggg in London, my hometown, I know who will get my first one.
My mum, the woman who taught me that it’s so much more than just a coffee.