I recently travelled by train from Galway to Dublin to attend a meeting where my concentration was required. The train left early so there was no time to make my usual high-quality Arabica espresso coffee, and the espresso machine at Galway railway station was out of order. At Athenry, I was joined by a fellow academic, who provided a distraction from the early stages of caffeine withdrawal.
Half way through the two-and-a-half-hour trip, the hot-drinks trolley came into view. We were faced with a dilemma: should we have a coffee now, notwithstanding that it would be awful, simply to provide the necessary caffeine hit? Or should we wait to get a vastly superior one at Heuston station, but run the risk of missing our place in the taxi queue? After all, there would be coffee, though again of mediocre quality, at our meetings.
— Professor Roy Green, Galway, Ireland
Dear Professor Green,
A compelling yarn, and your journey must have been delayed all the more by the need to travel via County Cork to kiss the Blarney stone. Fortunately, the answer is simpler than the question…