Coffee trends through half-shut eyes

The first thing you notice about Wellington is how particularly un-trendy you are.

The first thing you notice about Wellington is how particularly un-trendy you are.

And then how much coffee people drink.

Checked woollen shirts, shaggy hair, fingerless gloves, and pants-that-do-not-fit are no longer just the domain of the fashion conscious rough-sleeper.

I was in a bar on Friday night listening to some young trendies play their trendy music to their trendy friends. TVNZ political editor Guyon Espiner was there. He was pretty trendy too. Guyon wore a black leather jacket and an attractive woman on his arm. I wore jeans and a t-shirt, and felt a little out of place.

Then the next evening I saw ex-All Black lock James Ryan (Wellington brings out all the stars). The last time I saw him was during TV3's coverage of the Rugby World Cup. Unfortunately for him he wasn’t particularly impressive then and the double blow is that on Saturday night he wasn’t very trendy either. Oh, and he couldn’t dance. But he least he wore pants which fitted him.

The trendies are everywhere in Wellington and they all seem to drink the gross national coffee bean exports of Guatemala in a single year. New Zealanders apparently drink 3.7kg of coffee a year- just edging out Serbia and Montenegro.

On Mondays in Wellington it’s fun to play the game “spot the takeaway flat white”. Recently released statistics show that one in every 1.5 people in Wellington will be carrying a takeaway flat white at approximately 8.21am on a Monday morning.*

Such is the scenario when good trends go bad - the unmeasured societal effect on a trendy city. The lost work hours, the time spent worrying if the jeans restrict enough blood flow to the thigh. “Have I cut all the fingers off my fingerless gloves” etc. The lost sleep, waking up an hour too early to use the hair straightener.

I have no doubt that this is why Wellington has so many coffee drinkers. They are just too trendy. And trendiness loves caffeine.

In Nelson, I have found Nayland College students very trendy. Walking into the school is like a mini Wellington but less windy, without a Beehive and way cooler.

These students probably don’t drink coffee... yet, but just you wait. Already they have long, straight, dyed fringes that creep out from under small black beanies and stray over indifferent facial expressions. They also might wear a long sleeved thermal vest under their t-shirt in 25 degree weather.

It makes them look curious, a little mysterious and like they have too much time in the morning to get ready before school. It looks like they may have skipped their Sultana Bran. Soon they will need their coffee.

Coffee, which makes the politicians wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut eyes.
~Alexander Pope


*Probably not true