In Kuwait, we have cultivated a borderline unhealthy obsession with milky, caffeinated drinks. Breakfast tea, mochaccinos, herbal infused tea, frappuccinos, ice tea… the list is endless. We are surrounded by an impressive selection of coffee and tea shops from the British Costa Coffee to the US original, Starbucks. A stop-off at the closest tea house or coffee shop has become an integral part of the working day. Nevertheless, the non-stop nature of Kuwait living is enough to put the tea bags aside and move onto the stronger, bean-derived alternative.
Here are some of the reasons you should embrace your inner coffee enthusiast. But first, press play.
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1. Waking up at 05:30 every morning takes a toll.
Although some people can wake up to the gentle mid-morning sun on their well-rested faces, we can only dream of that luxury. Work and school days begin between 07:00 and 08:30, meaning that in order to have breakfast, get dressed and commute, we have to start our days ridiculously early. A coffee for breakfast and a sneaky one at lunch provides us with enough energy to get on with the rest of the day. But even after the working day is over, we are a long way from the comfort of our beds. Many people stop off at the gym before they go home completely exhausted.
2. On that note, post-workout coffee is the absolute best.
Many of the health clubs found in Kuwait are equipped with on site coffee shops or have one right next door. If you find yourself waiting for a ride home or for the taxi to arrive, you can while away the minutes with a brew.
3. You can laugh at the inexplicable variations of your name written on your take-away paper cup.
Sometimes all you need is a smile to take the edge off a rough day. For some reason, baristas always misspell my name and I’ve started to enjoy seeing what they call me next! Lilli, Lilo, Lola, Kelly, you say? It’s the little things.
4. The versatility of coffee knows no bounds.
There are so many ways you can get your caffeine kick. In a rush? A quick, concentrated burst of espresso will do the trick. Humidity at all all time high? You could indulge in an iced coffee with all the trimmings. Otherwise, most coffee shops offer ‘light’ options for those that are watching their weight. A personal favourite of mine is the iced coffee from Caribou, where skimmed milk and a sugar-free hazelnut syrup is used. You don’t just have to stick to a bitter Americano to enjoy a health-conscious cuppa.
5. It helps you keep in touch with the rest of the caffeinated world.
In Kuwait, our weather seems to strain to each extreme opposite. In summer, the heat is unbearable and in winter, the wind cuts deep. However, this means you can be part of the coffee movements of the northern hemisphere and watch the changeover from clear, icy cups to warmer, winter-themed mugs. This also applies to the drinks themselves; the chocolate iced coffee is replaced with a pumpkin or gingerbread flavour more in keeping with the colder weather. Personally, I think cute reindeer and penguin cups should be an all-year option.
6. Coffee will never get boring.
Almost everyone can identify the taste or smell of coffee in a dessert or wafting around the kitchen. However, the coffee connoisseur knows that there are hundreds upon hundreds of blends of coffee from all over the world available in the coffee houses we have in Kuwait. Why don’t you give the ‘blend of the day’ a try the next time you’re feeling restless?
7. Catching up over coffee is the best way to catch up.
We are all busy humans, with busy human things to be doing. This means that having a sit-down meal with friends sometimes simply doesn’t fit into a cramped schedule. Also, coffee is portable which means you can stretch your legs and go for a wander on the beachfront while you chat.
8. Coffee shops offer a great vantage point for people-watching.
As much as we love the free wifi, coffee shops are a good place to turn our devices off and look up. There are so many people popping in for a drink and it can be so entertaining to watch them all go about their business. From the hugs between old friends to the elaborate outfits worn by the fashion-aware, there is always something to look at.
9. Sitting alone tapping away on your laptop just emulates the ‘future-author’ vibe you’re going for.
For the bloggers among us, coffee shops are true treasure troves. They offer a relaxed space for work to get done over a mug of liquid inspiration. If you want to really look the part, order a large black coffee in a take-away cup. You’ll epitomise the struggling, tortured artist.
10. Flipping through a new book or a favourite magazine is always better with a coffee in hand.
No matter what you’re reading – a best-selling book or a set work you’re studying – the pages will start to turn themselves once you’re surrounded by lounge jazz music and the smell of roasted coffee beans. Even better, for interesting, up-to-date articles, you can pick up bazaar in over 280 coffee shops around Kuwait.