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- Graphic Design

novum editorial: The java jive



»Hot as Hell, black as the Devil, pure as an angel and sweet as love« – that’s what a good espresso should be like, say the Italians, and they should know! I personally drink all my coffee without sugar … but, prompted by recent news reports, I am tempted to order just a cup of sugar with only a dash of coffee. For whenever there’s yet another food-scare story, it gets my anarchistic side into gear. Now sugar is the supposed enemy! Haven’t we seen all this hysteria before? For many years eggs were bad for us (cholesterol!), for a while butter was the enemy, but now that it has been rehabilitated, margarine is getting it in the neck. Not to mention the fuss about vegetables contaminated with pesticides, meat full of antibiotics, life-shortening salt, acrylamide in chips and baked products – the list is endless. Now refined sugar is being tackled, because good citizens as we are, we can only be considered capable of making our own decisions when we are putting our crosses in the voting booth. At all other times we need to be told what to do and think.


What is true is that sugar is everywhere in our food and in considerable quantities, too. As I see it, however, cause and effect are often not very well correlated. What use is a proposed sugar tax in the battle against obesity and diabetes, when people have forgotten that they can make a fruit yoghurt in less than five minutes from fresh ingredients? And when they’ve also forgotten that there is an invention called a staircase which does not require you to wait to go up it? Meanwhile we remain in suspense to find out – as soon as the researchers get around to it – just what is in these »tasty« sugar substitutes …
   Perhaps we could all just agree that probably even apples are bad for us if we eat nothing else. Yes, I am touched – almost – by all those people in Brussels and Berlin who are so concerned about my health, but I do wonder ser?iously, just what I might be allowed to die of eventually? Perhaps I’ll just get myself run over one day … by a diesel … on a country road of course!

But back to coffee, a food substance about whose effects there are of course many contradictory claims (depending on who commissioned the study and the strength of lobbying). In the dim and distant past an absolute luxury, reserved only for the upper classes, coffee has experienced many highs and lows (one being the invention of instant coffee). Today it is regarded as not only a stimulant but as a top lifestyle drink – provided you don’t order just »normal« coffee, but indulge in an expensive, latte, frozen-whatever version. But truly »hip« coffee these days is coffee enjoyed – once again – in its purest form: quality beans, ground with love, brewed by hand. Now, I mustn’t forget the other side of the cult drink coin: tea drinkers, often in the opposing camp to the coffee drinkers. Of course tea has never fallen out of favour. On the contrary, it seems now as if it might even be overtaking coffee in the popularity stakes. Even old-fashioned tea shops are now offering more than just black or peppermint tea. A new »in« drink could well be on the way here.
As ever, if something is sought-after, it needs to be presented attractively: We looked around the world to see how this is being done with coffee and tea – and it proved to be a boon that in our editorial team we have aficionados of both camps.

This article was first published in novum 07.18 – single copies: