Skin Deep 251

Skin Deep 251
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When I can’t be found in a studio or in front of a fifteen inch screen wondering either a) how somebody got so damn good at putting ink into skin and remains largely unaware of how good they are or b) how somebody didn’t get so damn good but thinks they did, I can be found in one of two places. Either a bookshop (not fussy which—the more varied the better) or a coffee shop. There used to be ‘the record shop’ in this list too but that kind of died a death big time a million years ago.

There was a time when I would have imagined hanging out in a coffee shop was so far beneath me that Dante Alighieri wrote a large book about it but over the years, that’s where I’ve found myself anyway.

Given a choice, Starbucks is where it’s at. In the absence of the authority of the mermaid, Caffè Nero is no slouch when it comes to whipping up a great cup of Joe but in the great coffee scandal of the decade, I avoid Costa at every twist of the knife. It’s nothing personal but they serve up a latte in a glass mug designed some time in the mid 70s and it tastes like crap. The second of these is probably a better reason not to go there but it’s the first one that annoys me. Go figure.

Anyway, last week I ended up in a part of London I’ve never been in before (it happens to the best of us) and my long search for a coffee shop was finally rewarded with a Starbucks. The beauty of hitting these joints is you get what you want—which while it might not seem very supportive of the nice looking cafe down the street with orange chairs—I at least got what I was expecting: A latte is a latte and not some hot milk in a mug that came free with an easter egg.

Sometimes I feel guilty about my approach to coffee but for me, coffee belongs in the same category as your car or television—and I don’t see any of you driving around in a car manufactured by Jack Barrowboy and I definitely don’t see anybody lounging around in their pants excited to watch Daredevil in front of a 40 inch screen hammered together by Cynthia Bolthead, so please…

Realistic coffee in hand, I took a seat, whipped a book out of my pocket and kicked back for a half hour. The shop got busy and eventually, I was joined by an overly fat man in a suit because there was nowhere else left to sit. He kept himself to himself until I got comfortably numb and rolled up my sleeves—at which exact same time, he very visibly decided he didn’t want to sit at the same table as somebody with tattoos and chose to stand with his lunch instead.

Killer. Starbucks should advertise this may happen occasionally, because that right there is a win in my book.

-Sion

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