Ask Chrissie Swan: Coffee snobs and condescending celebs

Coffee snobs and condescending celebs

Q:I am so tired of coffee
snobbery: “Have you got a pod machine?”, “Have you tried civet?”, “I
only do drip brew”, “I only have soy milk”. Am I the only person who
orders a cappuccino with full-cream milk?

Charlotte, Carlton

A:FIRSTLY, you are
absolutely not the only person in the world still asking for a
cappuccino with full-cream milk. I know this because that just happens
to also be the standing order of my darling fella, The Chippie, and I
procured one for him just a few moments ago. So if nothing else you have
matching and clearly wonderful taste in coffee.

And columnists.

I love coffee and I will not (cannot) live without it.

think I have identified as a coffee snob at a few points in my love
affair with the roasted bean but when coffee became a necessity to get
through a day, I dropped the coffee snob part and took (and enjoyed)
anything I could get. I have experienced a full evolution from novice,
to snob and am now officially a coffee bogan. Read on.

I started drinking coffee when I was 17 with warm mugs of Nescafé
Blend 43 consumed in my free periods in the school common room. I
quickly graduated to a plug-in Sunbeam dripolator using carefully rolled
up paper towels when I’d run out of the brown paper filters.

was the Bialetti stovetop, which made coffee so strong it transformed
me from early morning sloth to vibrating meerkat within minutes. I burnt
out approximately 17 of these wondrous machines in the early 2000s,
mainly because I got distracted by what was happening with my dial-up
internet in a “Married & Flirting’” Java chatroom and didn’t hear
the telltale sound of popping and crackling from the kitchen. Eventually
I graduated to a Gaggia home espresso and literally wore three of them

Next was the big kahuna: my plumbed-in coffee machine of dreams that cost more than my first car.

When we sold the house that hosted that magnificent piece of
equipment I wept. I actually did weep. Huge sobby weeping. Weeping to
rival when Dr Patrick died in

The scene on
settlement day when I had to be torn away from that machine was not
dissimilar to the scene where Meryl Streep is dragged away from whatever
kid she doesn’t choose in
Sophie’s Choice. I am still mourning the loss of that Siemens. For reals.

up though because the final piece of my coffee snob evolution is almost
complete. I have now come full circle (via a brief stint with Mocopan
coffee bags, where I had to use three bags at a time to get the hit I
needed) and now pump out the brews with my Aldi pod machine.

I buy
approx. 7000 pods at a time and Bob’s your uncle. Good brew. Quick. And
cheap. What’s not to love? I’m actually proud to say I’m not a coffee
snob. I’m more hardcore than that. Because if it’s brown and hot bring
it to me and I will drink it. And yes. I’m talking to you, International

Q:I Know that when celebrities deign to teach us mere
mortals, their condescending advice should be mostly ignored; but I
can’t help but feel inadequate when I read some of their interviews. Any
advice on how to avoid comparison with Gwyneth Paltrow et al?

Mel, Yarraville

is only one person in the world who can live like Gwyneth Paltrow and
that is Gwyneth Paltrow. I recently saw her take the ice bucket
challenge, dressed in a tiny black bikini after presumably having just
feasted on a bowl of salad flowers.

She looked ah-mazing. And she
nominated her ex Chris Martin just so we could all go: “OMG she’s had
two kids and she looks 15 and she’s totes cool with her ex as well. Pass
me the activated almonds so I can be as thin and bilingual and well
adjusted as her. Also call my travel agent because I think she’s
wintering in a village near Barcelona.”

I actually shelled out and
bought Gwyneth’s book. And I love it. But I haven’t cooked a thing from
it. I use it more like a humorous pick-me-up.

To be honest, the
recipes look so delicious and healthy. I could easily cook exclusively
from this book if I was living on my own and earning $17 million a year,
or even better still, if I could hand the book and a shopping list to a
maid called Irena and let her do all the heavy lifting for me.

I’ve got kids, three of them, and a carpenter to feed EVERY SINGLE
NIGHT and there amid that nightly pressure there is no room for
coriander scattered with edible violet blooms.

For example, she
tells us: “Mealtimes should always feel good, not like a punishment”,
and then she goes on to suggest a family dinner of lentil salad with
mustard and tomatoes or quinoa with mushrooms and arugula.

Now I’m
sorry … but that is definitely a punishment … not for the recipients of
the meal but for the poor woman who served it up … namely — me.

my kids could learn a thing or two from Moses and Apple because if I
handed them a plate of quinoa and arugula — aka rocket — one would cry,
one would throw it at the wall and the littlest one would choke on it.

love Gwyneth, I love Jessica Alba and I love Cameron Diaz. But thinking
you can own their lives simply by owning their books is a fool’s game.
Now pass me the freekeh.

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