15 January 2008

Coffee: Black and bitter, just like my shriveled little heart

"What Starbucks did was make it acceptable for an adult to drink a milk shake."

That was said to me once upon a time on a "first" "date" (everything I do is unnecessarily complicated) at a local coffee shop sort of place. The date had an actual milk shake; he doesn't drink coffee. I probably had a cup of actual coffee that probably cost me less than two dollars. That wasn't the point. The point was that it was a social activity.

I drink regular coffee with absolutely nothing added, unless I also need a sugar hit. And it's not so much needing a sugar hit as knowing that subjecting my insides to nothing but caffeine would be a very bad idea but for whatever reason I'm not able to eat something first. Or maybe I just feel like treating myself to dessert in an insulated cup--which is exactly what those fancy coffee drinks are, you know.

Whenever I go anywhere that has a counter and menu boards and order a cup of plain old regular coffee and then specify (because they always ask) that I don't want anything added to it, nine out of ten times I'm looked at like I just ordered a ham and cheese sandwich at a Jewish deli. I spent a long time being bothered by this. Are the profit margins on milk, sugar, flavored syrup, and/or whipped cream-like substance ridiculously high? Do highly-trained baristas feel that simply pouring regular coffee is beneath them? Is there something about me that just says "soy latte"?

It's probably all three and more. Or maybe it's neither. I don't know. It doesn't bother me anymore. This is what bothers me. Also bothersome is the fact that since going out for coffee is a social activity, people often see me order a small regular with nothing added and conclude that I must be really boring. Or else a serious caffeine addict in desperate need of help. Because "coffee" isn't just coffee.

Which is exactly why I love Just Coffee. It's... just coffee. Paradoxically (because everything I do has to be complicated), it's also more than just coffee. And now I need to find somewhere else to get it; the Hyde Park Co-Op is closing.

This post really has no point except to warn you that in the coming days, if not weeks, I'm probably going to be whining a lot about all the stuff the Co-Op used to sell that I won't be able to get anymore. You never really miss something until it's gone, do you.


At 16 January, 2008 01:31, Blogger PhoneFeminist said...

Hmm. When I worked as a barista I really liked the plain coffee orders. They were nice and easy. Maybe these ones are gluttons for punishment?


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