Rankin says coffee is his crack cocaine


SCOTS author Ian Rankin has revealed he’s addicted to caffeine – and even compared his habit with crack cocaine.

Rankin suggests his caffeine habit could be part of his success, saying some of the ideas come when he’s “wired to the universe” at bedtime.

The 55-year-old admitted to his coffee habit in an article for lifestyle magazine ShortList.

He admits that when he began writing, he thought “booze was the answer” but found that the words “turned to mush with the aid of a couple of whiskies”.

The “real sharpener”, he discovered, was coffee.

Rankin called coffee his crack cocaine
Rankin called coffee his crack cocaine


“It kickstarts my day and powers me through the working hours,” he said.

“So what if I’m consequently wired to the universe when bedtime comes? Sometimes the ideas come then, too.”

He admitted that as a teenager, he added three spoons of sugar to his cup to improve the “blandest supermarket offering” that his parents would buy.

However, his grandmother then gifted him an old-fashioned percolator, which produced coffee leaving him “twitching for Britain”.

It was during a trip to Seattle that he first encountered American coffee giant Starbucks.

“To this day I remember my first hit of that smoky, almost burnt confection,” he said.

“People often talk of ‘meat sweats’, but this experience went beyond that. I was having coffee sweats, my toes tingling, synapses zinging.

“This was coffee as crack and I wanted more, more, more.”

Rankin also revealed that he used to frequent the same Edinburgh cafe as JK Rowling and Alexander McCall Smith, where coffee was a “godsend” when he was stuck on a story.

He concluded: “I can’t imagine starting the day without coffee.

“It has inspired artists and writers for centuries, and will continue to do so.”

In a reference to TS Eliot’s poem ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’, he added: “I measure my life in coffee spoons.”

Scots athlete Sir Chris Hoy has also spoken of his love for the drink – and is so hooked that he even brought a coffee machine with him to the Olympics in 2012.

He admits that be became obsessed after taking a barista course in Perth, Australia, and his daily ritual involves picking out his favourite beans before grinding them.