From The West of Ireland
    Go to Castlebar | Photo Gallery | Castlebar Directory | Nostalgia Board
General : Columns Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

A Lament for Coffee
By Colombia Man
18, Dec 2005 - 10:27

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Is it my imagination or has the standard of coffee being dished up in our hotels and restaurants taken a real dive recently? Back in the 80s they served up this light brown-coloured dishwater stuff and put in front of tourists and natives alike. It barely had a taste of anything other than boiled water with a delicate suggestion of lightly boiled rags and a soupcon of chicory. As if they had boiled up a dishcloth and carefully collected the water to serve up to their customers as coffee after their dinner. But we didn't know any better back then.
The delicate taste of lightly boiled discloth?

Then in the 1990s things improved immensely. People started to travel to France, Spain, Italy and the USA and discovered what coffee beans roasted and ground and extracted properly in hot water really tastes like. They demanded the same at home. Even small rural bed and breakfasts down the West Coast began putting French style coffee plungers on the morning breakfast table, with real coffee in them, and all was well with the world. Tourists too appreciated the effort. You could go and face the day with a decent shot of caffeine and a taste of Colombia inside you.

Now that we are in the Naughties it seems to me that, in Castlebar at least, good coffee is once again a thing of the past. I was at a meeting in a certain hotel during the week and wondered why everyone was falling asleep during the session after the morning coffee had been served. Coffee should revive a flagging meeting, keeping them alert and getting them productively up to lunchtime. But the coffee served up had that certain lack of ‘je ne sais quoi’. It certainly lacked any trace of caffeine. It was back to lightly boiled dishrags and the weakest spoon of instanto-cheapo-chicory coffee that the catering people can provide in those large drums. It might even have been a drum left over from 1983? Or maybe it was the fourth time the same coffee had been percolated?
Buck Up Your Coffee - When will Starbucks Come to Town?

Even when restaurants dress it up in a glass percolator thingummy you can't fool us - the boiled rags flavour or lack of flavour comes right through and you are left saying: ‘What's that? Where's the caffeine? Where’s my little bit of South America?’

Perhaps it's a health thing - perhaps like Minister McDowell they have something against people going to Colombia and they are trying to get us to cut down on our Colombian intake or have anything to do with the countries of South America that export coffee (amongst other things)?

So a note to hotels and restaurants in Castlebar. Improve the standard of that cup of coffee. (Even Starbucks will make mincemeat of yiz when they arrive with coffee that at least has a kick in it, even if it’s not the greatest taste on the planet.)

Colombia Man

Colombia Man is on the run for murdering his first wife after she deliberately provoked him by serving up a cup of Irel Coffee instead of the real thing. Like Lord Lucan he has lived in Castlebar now for quite some time on a false passport. His present wife is unaware of his murderous and revolutionary past and his yen to go back to South America in search of real coffee. His book entitled 'I was a Java programmer and a friend of Che' will be published shortly. He is not to be confused with another member of the revolutionary struggle against weak coffee who felt so strongly about this issue that he is reported to have faked a passport application in order to import coffee into Ireland.

© Copyright 2005 by © Contributor(s) and Castlebar Web Pages 1997 - 2018

.. Top of Page

Latest Headlines
End of an Era in Africa
Christmas in Bria
Africa Supports Mayo for Sam 2017
Greetings from Deepest, Darkest Africa!
In the Central African Republic
A Life Less Ordinary
Beat Stress in the Workplace Are you Ready for the Stress-Free Challenge?
The Holy Sites of Jerusalem
Crusaders and Castles of The Levant.
Join Alan Dillon
Sixty Years of Accident Free Driving
From Lebanon and Israel
Quick Look At Castlebar History
Following the Phoenicians Back to Lebanon
Ice Challenge at 40°C
Family Fun Day at Clogher
Canton Hall Athenry
History Tours
Final Tribute To Castlebar Inventor
Christmas in Mali
Mali - Week 13
Mali - A Return to Africa
Clogher Community Gathering
C'mon Mayo from Mali
A Day on the Bog
Mayo Heritage Tours
Historic Tours of Castlebar
Way Of The Cross Máméan
Winter in Western Sahara
Laherdane Pride of Place
Four Months Gone
Three Months Gone
Western Sahara - Close to Six Weeks
Up Mayo Crocs in Western Sahara
Patrolling the deserts of Western Sahara
Mayo Titanic Cultural Park
Can We Read Minds?
End of Mission - Final Countdown from Chad
Mayo Men Serving in Chad
Week 13 in Chad
Another Week in Africa
Week 10 in Chad
Soccer Match in Chad on St. Patricks Day
Chad - Three Weeks Gone!
Illustrations, Au Pairs and Prince Charming
What did Darwin ever do for us?
On a different kind of Beat
The Lighter Side of Gravity
Stand with me, stand by me
To See or Not To See
Magical Transformation
A Novel with a Twist
Argghh! It’s Argon!
Mozart Hit List
Catastrophic Chlorine
A Lament for Coffee
This Old Dog
Escape to Mayo
Reflections on the Mayo v Cavan outing
I’ve Got It All, Almost!
Columnists Wanted
Arthur and I
Sulphur – A whiff of Hell?
A Jewel in the Centre
‘Tis Pressie Time
Years of Mondays
Phosphorus - a piddling little element
Heritage in schools - What do my surroundings mean to me?
Hopeful Author
"Auf Wiedersehen" Friend
Belfast Anti-Racism Rally 27 Jan 2004
The Lighter side of Roundabouts?
Review of the Year 2003
Children's Liturgy Christmas Story
Leprechauns and four leafed clover
How I long to feel that summer in my heart
Sheep Damage Causes Mayo Landslide
One-off Housing Killed My Cat
How hard can it be to post a letter?
We should build our station before we start getting ideas above it
Squeezing through the Technology Gap
Throwing out the baby with the baptismal font
Why the election system should be more like the Lotto
The Land Question still haunts modern Ireland.
A Viewpoint on the War in Iraq
Why Didn’t the Iraqis Welcome their Liberators?
What are we fighting for?
The Prospect of War with Iraq
Crime Prevention Corner
Travel To The Wild
Sea Of Sad
Broken Spirits
A dream come true
Sending up Silicon
Back to School on September 11th
Turlough Park Book Review
Sounds of the past and what is to become
A 1970s Summer
Amazing Aluminium - Unlucky 13