I’ve slowly worked my way, it seems, since Christmas, through a coffee back catalogue. 

Like with many things in life, I tend to stick with a brand – and with coffee, it’s Taylor’s, redolent of Betty’s Tea Rooms, York and of course Harrogate.

I started with Taylor’s of Harrogate Strength 3 ground coffee “Lazy Sunday” as the name seemed quite apt for a freelance writer where every day is like Sunday (without the trudging slowly over wet sand).

It’s a fusion of Latin American and African beans apparently with the strap-line “Lovely and laid-back”.

The blurb for it waxes lyrical:

“This isn’t knock-your-socks-off, drag-you-awake coffee. This is coffee for lie-ins and Sunday papers, for lazy mornings with your feet on the sofa.”

Lazy Sunday coffee served me well for about a month – until I realised I’d fallen too eagerly for its marketing and was in danger of developing deep vein thrombosis from sofa stasis.

I skipped its Strength 3 sibling, Cafe Imperial, as Imperialism don’t impress me much, as Shania intoned and headed for Strength 4: Brasilia.

“Call your friends and invite them over – this coffee deserves a crowd. It’s our love letter to the sheer exuberance of Brazilian beans.”

We quite liked this blend – but the implied sociability and gathering crowds (something I hate) collecting around the stove top espresso in our kitchen, scared me.

It’s hard enough sating two with coffee but friends and a crowd.


And who calls friends nowadays?

It’s Skype or FaceTime, dear Taylor’s.

Brasilia jettisoned – I went next for their cocaine of coffees – Hot Lava Java – even the name implies danger and adventure. It’s strength 6 too and I can imagine the big bods at Betty’s and Taylor’s sourcing the strongest beans globally and high-fiving their marketing team for the name and blurb:

“Need your fire starting? This is extra dark and super strong, a rich, fierce, smoky blend that grabs your brain and hits the ignition.”

That is me to a tee.

A smouldering fire which, when stoked with Hot Lava Java, makes me go into blogging overdrive, foot WordPressed down to the accelerator speeding through the green lights of Yoast SEO.

It took me too far though and I realised I had to control this coffee intake, before it controlled me.

I dropped a Strength rating to 5 and reached for “After Dark”, but instead of being in “The Fast and the Furious” I was now reincarnated as Swiss Tony, with the description sending me and my testosterone to unheard-of levels.

“Heat creates taste. So we take these beans to a deep, dark roast until they release seductive, moody flavours.”

As with Hot Lava Java, After Dark nearly tipped me over the edge.

Grades 5 and 6 are simply too hot to handle.

I was a man on the edge of either 100 mph school runs or seducing people with my hashtagging charms as dusk fell.

Something had to give.

I dropped to Rich Italian a month ago and remain there. Its name jars as the beans are from Latin America and Africa, but its description fits me perfectly:

“Put your best suit on, because this is a coffee with class – a sophisticated roast that takes its cues from the elegant blends of northern Italy.”

I love this blend but dressing up for coffee daily is seriously irritating me.

I think feet up, Sabbath day chillaxing, with developing DVT, is beginning to appeal to me again.