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How Does Coffee Sprinkled with Real Gold Flakes Taste?

People all over the world can’t get through a morning, never mind a day without their coffee fix, although not a hardcore caffeine addict, I do like my coffee and during a recent trip to Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, I felt enticed into the hotel’s glamorous world of black nectar. 

First discovered around 850 A.D. the Gala tribe of Ethiopia, became enamored by an alluring energy surge when they consumed ground up coffee berries mixed with animal fat.

Traders brought the stimulating substance to the peninsula of Arabia, where it was known as the ‘wine of Arabia’, before spreading through the world by the legions of pilgrims to Mecca, who regaled stories of an elixir of intelligence and social vibrancy.  That was it, coffee as we know it became ubiquitous throughout Europe and America leading over time to the birth of well know brands, from Starbucks to Nescafe.

Currently the hottest or coolest thing in coffee is cold brew, a process that uses time time, rather than heat – soaking beans in water for 12 hours or more in order to turn water into coffee; extracting flavour, sugar, oils and caffeine from the coffee beans. Whether this process makes it a better brew is probably contested by coffee aficionados with way more discerning tastes than myself. 

The blingy-est, rich kid of instagram thing in coffee, however, has to be the signature Emirates Palace Cappuccino, a coffee festooned with 24 carat golden flakes.  

I wrestled with myself whether this overtly over indulgent experience was actually worth doing, struggling with the idea that I’d be paying $20 for coffee that may taste like an overly keen bean roasters wet dream, a potential health hazard or that it simply signified a seminal moment in my life, being that once you start drinking coffee sprinkled with ‘real gold flakes’ you really have lost your identity as a working class lad from a mining town in Scotland.

Wrestling my reservations, inquisitive nature and identity, I asked the pleasant, attentive and impeccably dressed waiter if it really was worth getting the Palace Cappuccino instead of the much more reasonably priced and non instagram induced vomiting standard coffee. His answer was  swift and darting like pre-migration Swallows during their autumnal dusk dance, suffice to say he had made my mind up. 

I succumbed and started sipping away, managing to blow many of the flakes into the ether with an ill timed blustery nostril exhale.   Post nose flare, I composed myself and thought about the taste, the notes, and about how comfortable the sofa I was resting on was, as a rendition of Chopin surrounded the air with gusto and poise.  Was I enjoying this golden coffee, was it the best coffee I’d ever had? For a moment I was lost in decadent self indulgence, but I found myself day dreaming back to those days of simpler things, where coffee meant a good roast, a fine blend and perhaps most importantly a catch up with friends.