You can have it in an instant (but you'll want to burn off your taste buds later).

After all this talk of budgeting and not smelling like a woman, I decided to see what I could do in my day-to-day to cut back on costs. I’m not going to ever get that jet unless I tighten the purse-string a bit.

Downstairs in my office building we have a canteen where the food is subsidised (kind of) and the coffee is brewed by Starbucks. When we first came into the building I was all, ‘YAY! Starbucks right under my feet! Coffee all day long! Wheee!’ but now I’m all, ‘€2.50, you say? For coffee? This is an outrage! This coffee doesn’t even have the same cups as Starbucks! What a gip!’

So, what does a girl do when she’s down on her luck and she needs her cup of joe? She raids the company’s instant coffee stash, of course. Now, don’t turn your nose up. Nah, okay, turn your nose up. It’s instant coffee and it’s not the greatest but it’ll have to do during these difficult times. When I first moved here I noticed that Irish people drank three things (in order of importance):

1. Guinness
2. Tea
3. Instant coffee

I remember being disgusted. Instant coffee? That’s the devil’s drink, I would say! I would question why they would make instant coffee when they could go into one of the billion coffee shops and get a grande skim latte for only €15.75. Coffee shops, they would say, are a product of the Celtic Tiger. Ireland wasn’t always so posh as to have a different coffee shop every four feet. So I would continue to look at them like they were dogs on their hind legs and they would shake their head at me for wasting money on coffee, something I could get for free at the company coffee station.

And here we are, six years and a massive recession later. Most of the coffee shops have closed (even my neighbourhood shop – RIP Dalkey Starbucks) and Ireland is still happily drinking, well, tea, but sometimes even branching out and having a slightly bitter cup of instant coffee, as well.

And look, it even comes in an environmentally friendly cup. Take that, Starbucks. (I still love you.)

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Liz in Dublin