It's the afternoon after the day before; despite everybody telling me that I'd be more wired than a telephone exchange I discovered something odd, and a little intriguing about how I handle coffee. Basically, I love coffee. Black for preference, either a named type of filter or a good, fresh-ground espresso-derived drink like an iced espresso or a good americano, no need for sugar and milky coffee is really not my thing. I can understand the differences between preground and fresh ground coffee, I know how a Guatemalan bean tastes different to a Kenyan one, how espresso beans are roasted differently to French or Italian roast.
But, despite all of that, I can get sick of drinking the stuff before I get seriously jittery.
By the end of the day I was yawning, ready for my bed. I got slightly twitchy at lunchtime, but that soon passed and by the time we packed in - more on that later - I was feeling fine, if a bit bloated. People had been making jokes about my thrumming along like a hummingbird, but the last time that happened to me I was in my first year at University and being a bit of a muppet. Yesterday I realised that I could, yanno, stop drinking coffee when I got sick of it. Thankfully I was accompanied by people - stars, each one - who would buy coffee that I could then sip for comparison purposes.
These people - in order of joining, my old friend Jo (plus Bump), her husband Glenn, Katie Leedsgrub and my delightful lady wife - did sterling work in keeping me sane and buying more stuff for me to try. Outstanding company, and I thank them all dearly for joining me on what turned out to be less of an epic adventure than I thought might happen.
The original plan was pretty vague, I have to admit. "Take a day to research as many indie coffee shops in Leeds as I can manage". The detail got fairly grandiose fairly quickly, threatening at least 20 locations which didn't take into account areas in general I'd never been to. Twenty different coffee shops is a lot, although I did still think I'd be able to manage that right up until the point at the Victoria Quarter when I said "no, I need a break now". The crash - when it happened - happened quickly. In the end I managed a mere eleven locations, but I did at least try a coffee in each one...
(next: where did we go?)