I’ve long been a fan of Puccino’s, the little coffee franchises you sometimes find in train stations. Not only is their coffee good (if pricey – but no worse than anywhere else, I don’t think) but they have this unique humour thing going on thanks to (I believe) surreal cartoonist Stephen Appleby; certainly the jokes and images look a lot like his. Thus far I’ve only seen the spindly drawings and coffee-related quips on the Puccino’s signage and cups (e.g. a notice above the kiosk saying “INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Queue here. 2. Buy coffee. 3. Walk away with nervous smile” or a cup saying “Dispose of in bin, but sadly”) but the other day whilst indulging myself with the all-too infrequent treat of a cappuccino I found the trademark Puccino silliness all over the sugar packets to boot. The first one I picked up said on it, “Serving suggestion: Put in coffee and shut up.” There were plenty more to be had along these lines so I grabbed one of each – see pic of my nascent “collection”. Sadly the “shut up” one (which made me laugh the most) has since disappeared – I think someone at work might have blasphemously used it for actual sugaring purposes – but if I see another one I’ll be sure to get another “copy”.
Incidentally I say the cappuccino is an infrequent pleasure, not because I’m saintly and abstemious but because (a) coffee-shop coffee does, as I say, cost a small fortune, (b) although I love coffee I’m not a coffee nazi and make do 5 days out of 7 with instant (Douwe Egberts is the best, I find, although more often Nescafe is the best I can do), and (c) the caffeine content of real coffee-shop coffee has the tendency to put my eyes on stalks for about the next 9 hours. As Garfield once doggerel’d, “Coffee I love you, you make me glow / My nerves don’t like you, but what do they know?”