You say you'd kill for a latte but you probably wouldn't

Next time you are sitting in the trendy coffee bar, the man refusing milk at the next table might just be the Black Prince. I would not never ask him home for a coffee

Spot the psycho – how you take your coffee can say a lot about your attitude to life in general, apparently

FOR those of us who sleep walk, google eyed, into work of an early morning, whispering: “I'd kill for a latte”, there is good news on that far and wavering horizon.

Apparently, people who take their coffee black are more likely to be psychopaths. But those of us who go for white and frothy are more of an innocent sort.

See, you might say you'd kill for a latte, but, probably you would not.

Yet bah hiss and beware of ye black coffee fans.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, those who order black coffee are more likely to possess antisocial and psychopathic personality traits. They are strong and probably quite bitter.

The Post quotes a study in the journal Appetite. About 1,000 people were surveyed on whether they liked bitter notes in food and were then found to have scored higher on personality questionnaires that assessed Machiavellianism – a term used to assess dark, psychopathic, narcissistic and sadistic personality types.

So next time you are sitting in the trendy coffee bar, the man refusing milk at the next table might just be the Black Prince. I would not never ask him home for a coffee.

Apparently you should beware of those who enjoy radish and celery too. This comes as no surprise.

I have always been a tad suspicious of small children who protest that they adore broccoli... cute little trees – how could anyone?

I like my own coffee hot and strong. I like a double shot and always ask for a small jug of hot milk on the side. Belfast people are very obliging.

I learned to order this from a dear friend who lived in New York for a year and is quirky about her coffee.

Personally, coffee was outside our ken as children. Oh, apart from the Camp bottle with the Highlander and the Sikh soldier on the label. Once, I begged for a coffee and got a cup of that. I'm not over it yet.

One sip and I was cured. That experience tainted me for a long time. I stuck to tea – always tea leaves at home and always on the go.

We Irish are traditionally tea drinkers and we grew up on tea with two sugars.

Lenten penance put paid to the sugar one year but the kettle was forever on and tea would be pressed on all in the manner of Father Ted's housekeeper Mrs Doyle – “You will, you will, you will.”

My big sister has never gone cold turkey on her tea. She is so addicted that she brings her brew with her. And having moved across the water a long time ago, she has forsaken the local brands for the strong Yorkshire brew – ay up – she carries a few bags with her at all times.

Once we had a glorious week together in France with our children. We sat outside a caravan at a table on the campsite and talked and talked and talked.

The man who ran the site passed us several times on his bicycle. At the end of the holiday, he said: “Did you enjoy yourselves. Every time I went past you were sitting with a big pot of tea between you, drinking away.”

But coffee, that is another love affair.

A friend who recently gave up the demon fags has treated himself to the real McCoy –a fancy device that delivers a shot of the black stuff, hey presto. Perhaps I should be worried about his psychopathic tendencies? But no.

A year in Paris made me passionate about coffee. At the old Irish soup kitchens, I'd have traded my religion for it and I might even sell my soul in a Faustian pact for 500g of Jamaican Blue Mountain.

When I think of possible career changes, barista has a certain appeal. How do they get the hearts and the leaves on the top of the foam? If I need a job in retirement, I'll be delivering the caramel lattes.

I'm no coffee snob. Some women get lost at the lipstick counter, torn between hot pink, rock n roll red and orgiastic orange. Me, I'm down dirty at the coffee shelf, weighing up the relative merits of Colombian, Machu Pichu and Java.

In the grand scheme of life, there could be worse addictions. It is a sad fact that I could wave gin goodbye, say cheerio to chocolate, but if someone kidnapped my cafetiere and my grounds, I'd kill.

Whoops, I said it. Herein lies the psychopathic tendencies. Reader beware.


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