The aroma. The taste. The ritual of the preparation, and the anticipation. It's more than just a drink.
Coffee is an integral part of cycling and cyclists lifestyles. But, like Campagnolo versus Shimano, or white socks versus black, the way we imbibe the magic bean can be just as polarising.
We received an email from a reader that anyone partaking in a soy-based brew, or a 'lite' milk additive, should be ceremonially beaten. "Harsh but fair" he believes, such as we always imply with The Rules.
But no matter how you enjoy your bean, there's one thing for certain; coffee is good. Some say it should only be consumed black, sans sugar, in a ceramic cup. Others, suggest it can be enhanced with a small amount of milk, i.e macchiato. While everyone has different tastes, I'm sure most of us would agree that caramel, butterscotch and excessive amounts of foam, sprinklings and flavourings have no place in any cup.
And personally, I feel that the very act of sitting in a cafe in Lycra is a little more embarrassing than drinking soy. Call me a hippy, call me lactose intolerant, call me soft, but at least I'll never be a 'cafe racer'. Not in my own town anyway, maybe in Belgium…