Coffee is a blessing. There are not many feelings which can compare to the slow gentle delight of a fine cup of coffee.

Raising a cup to inhale deeply the aroma, breathing out slowly and relaxing into that strange anticipation which only the distinct smell of coffee can arouse. Be it the first or last cup of the day, each must be savoured.

I first discovered coffee living in Greece at the tender age of 6. What a find, Greek coffee is an experience of its own! Brewed in a small, open, metal, pot and poured directly off the grounds it leaves a mudlike sediment at the bottom of every cup and a ringing in your head.

Since then I have progressed through several stages of coffee drinking in my travels, from straight and black with lots of sugar in Greece, through "cawha bil-helik" (coffee with milk) laced with tons of sugar sipped in the Café de Paris in Tangier Morrocco, to the purist stage of straight black esspresso in cafés around Ireland in quest of the perfect taste!

Now I take the experience as it comes, each day different according to my whim. I love the Illy esspresso available frm my local coffee den Bar Bazaar in Sligo, but the best coffee must be made at home according to certain rituals:

  • Personally the blend should be a mocha/java 50/50 mix, freshly ground.
  • Definitely percolated not filtered, and preferably not in a machine, on a hob, trusting to judgement to take off the heat at the right point.
  • Poured off, smelt, savoured and then condimented to taste
  • finally (after this process which takes at least 5 minutes) the delicious first taste!