Coffee Planet by Joe Haward

Flash Fiction

I hate coffee. Can’t stand the fucking stuff. It’s not the taste I hate. Granted, some of it feels as though it’s smashing your brain to a pulp whilst leaving your tongue coated in tar. But the taste really isn’t my problem. 


The other day a friend invited me out, and we ended up going to one of these generic coffee houses, all reds (or was it greens?), dark wood, and the unspoken acknowledgement that we’re all being ripped off. It’s expensive, shitty tasting, and boring, but we all keep going back. Why? Why the fuck not? Life’s dull, the world’s out of control, so fuck it; have a overpriced crappy cup of coffee and pretend like where you’re sitting isn’t going to be under water in twenty years. What else are we gonna do in an emergency? 


But none of that is the reason why I hate coffee.


My friend tells me he’s buying. I order a flat white, and the barista asks us if we want to try the special blend.

“What’s special about it?” I ask.

“Well, with every cup you buy, we donate 10% to charity.”

“What charity?”

“To fight global warming.”


You. Are. Kidding. Me.


Let me get this straight: I can now say I’ve done my bit to care about the planet via the purchase of a corporate-burn-the-world-never-pay-tax cup of coffee? It’s ingenious. On we go, telling the planet to fuck itself, assuaging our conscience of all responsibility by continuing to do the very things that got us into this apocalyptic nightmare in the first place, but now guilt free? The world will drown in non-recyclable coffee cups and plastic, choking on the emissions required to get the coffee across the world, the seas boiling like frothed milk on an espresso machine, but I’m in the clear, because I tried that new coffee blend. It’s ballsy, I’ll give them that.


I look around, and then laugh, realising that none of us have any idea how expensive this coffee really is. My mate asks me what’s funny? I try to explain, but he loses interest at “capitalism keeps mugging us off.”


We sit down, with our lukewarm mugs of morality cleanse, and I glaze over in our conversation, imagining a world where these coffee corporations build giant, floating coffee cups to rescue people from the floods. But, like some sort of capitalist Noah, they’ll charge you for a seat. Your six stamps for a free coffee won’t mean fuck all then. 


That’s why I fucking hate coffee.

Rev Joe Haward is an author, poet, and heretic.
As a freelance journalist his work challenges political, societal, and religious corruption, with articles regularly featured in the national news site, Byline Times
His work has featured in a variety of places, including Outcast PressCinnabar Moth PublishingNo Sell Out Productions, and A Thin Slice of Anxiety.
His debut noir novel, Burning the Folded Page (Cinnabar Moth Publishing) will be released in 2023. You can find him on Twitter @RevJoeHaward