I ‘quit’ coffee 26 days ago (but who’s counting..?) Understandably – I thought – this led to a feeling of mortal elevation and social superiority akin to that one experiences on going out to dinner with friends and primly announcing ‘I will just have a lemon lime and bitters, thanks’ (Ed: you’re saying that’s not normal?) whilst gazing disapprovingly down their nose at the wine glasses hoisted by the rest of the table. Like some kind of anti-alcohol martyr – only coffee-based. And believe me, I know how annoying these people are. The ‘no, I don’t need X beverage to find fulfillment in our union’ people. An odd and unwelcome genre of human. The kind you definitely do not relish in your social sandwich. Yet here I am, ordering my English breakfast tea and giving an unacceptable, unforgivable and unfortunately unpreventable raise of the brow when I hear a double-shot latte leave the lips of my caffeine-driven companion.
Thus, this post is an effort to spare the raised brow and turn the tables on the aforementioned self-dubbed ‘socially-superior’ breed of human. For coffee has always been considered to be the most ‘cultured’ of beverages, has it not? It’s ‘European’, for Pete’s sake! To us down (doooooooowwn, thanks Jonno) in this hemisphere, this is obviously an impressive feature as anything labeled ‘European’ obviously implies ‘class’.
Orstrayans (Ed: Australians) are typically uncultured. So ordering a ‘strong soy latte’ adds a certain element of elegance and sophistication to one’s person (as well as a much-needed kick up the backside following a night of steady drinking in dubious watering-holes). As such, my ‘organic green tea’ phase will be fleeting – mark my words! And I only meditate on this post-hearing the Bob Dylan cover by The White Stripes of ‘One More Cup of Coffee’.
An entirely alternative view on the jitter-bev. Not a sleek beverage for the upper echelons of society but its cheap, rustic counterpart – the American diner version. Yet funnily enough… equally as (if not more) desirable? At least that’s the case when Jack White is slinging it into our eardrums with his soul-grinding vocals. I want to sit in a diner and drink an entire pitcher of black coffee with some kind of significant other in the booth opposite. Who hates me. Purely for the emotional, brooding element of the relationship that would be appropriately backed by this version.
This rendition lacks the heart-wrenching violin that Dylan provides – and purely because of this I say it is not so much better as ‘different’. It is a completely separate emotional experience. Jack White, as usual, provides a grit and rawness to his piece inaccessible (no matter how hard they try) to his peers. God, that voice. The song was originally written (apparently) by Bob Dylan, and performed with Emmylou Harris, about a beautiful gypsy woman and the singer’s lament that her love and dedication are not to him but to her life of liberty and atypical expectancies. There is a gorgeous middle-eastern influence to the original that White does not capture. Definitely makes me want to take up coffee again though.
Perhaps it’s the modernity that Jack White’s version recalls. Perhaps it’s just that I dare not preface anything Dylan-covered without an aside. Either way, the Stripes’ version makes me want to start drinking coffee again. And let’s keep in mind… I previously drank a double-shot soy latte. That’s powerful stuff.
Jack White – ‘One More Cup of Coffee’