Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!
Today, I would like to share my thoughts on something with which most of us can identify. Coffee! Who hasn’t “needed” a cup of coffee at one point or another. Some need it to wake up, others need it to warm up and still others need it to sober up. The latter two sometimes go together, because let’s face it, during a Central New York winter, the two main pastimes are drinking and freezing. I think the way you take your coffee, says a lot about you as a person.
First there are the complicated coffee drinkers. You know the ones. Those people you always seem to be stuck behind in line when you’re running late.(Only the magic bean can detour an already tardy person with the promise of caffeinated goodness) They walk up to the counter and begin to order and by the time they finish, you’re not sure if they ordered a coffee or recited the bar scene from Good Will Hunting(“My boy’s wicked smot”). …and by the wide eyed look of fear (usually reserved for the Pea Soup scene from The Exorcist) on the clerk’s face, neither do they. I have no idea what a “Hot, skinny hazelnut macchiato, sugar free with an extra shot and no whipped cream” is, but I’m pretty sure it stopped being coffee somewhere in the middle. These people should have their own line where they could discuss their impact on high society.
Then we have what I call the novice. Those people who turn their coffee into liquid cake. If you are getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from spooning sugar into your coffee, then you should save some time and start lining up kidney donors, now. I have actually heard someone order a coffee with extra cream and ten sugars. You need a knife and fork to consume that beverage. Is the caffeine not enough? Do you also need a sugar rush? I’m sure you are a dynamo at work for about an hour and a half. I believe this behavior should be discouraged, unless you’re in the dental field. That’s called job security. This should also be a separate line where the conversation would consist of reality television and the impact that Sponge Bob has had on their lives.
The one group I don’t understand are the “decaf” crowd. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes, for medical reasons, they need to eliminate the caffeine, but what’s the point? I’ve had decaffeinated coffee before and it always disappoints. They say they can’t have the caffeine, but still enjoy the taste of coffee. I’ve had decaf and I’m not sure how to describe the taste, but the word “coffee” would not enter into that description. Maybe it really tastes different, maybe it’s just a psychological thing or maybe it’s the fact that people rarely drink decaf, so the flavor suffers after six hours in the pot. The topic of conversation in this line would consist of how veggie burgers taste “just as good as real ones” and which cleanse is best for your colon.
The final group and most tolerable are the “basic coffee drinkers”. I fall into this category myself, so I may be slightly prejudice. We are the movers and shakers of the coffee world. We get in and get out with the efficiency of a Navy Seal team, but without the body count(unless one of those complicated drinkers is in front of us, then all bets are off). Cream and sugar, cream only, dark roast or just plain black. Look at how fast that was! I just ordered five coffees in less time than it takes the complex “coffenoisseur” to get halfway through their spiel. Of course, when we go to a sophisticated coffee shop, those orders are usually met with an eye roll and a sigh. I’m use to that happening to me after sex, but not when it comes to something as important and satisfying as coffee. The chatter in this line is nil. We just want to get our coffee and go, so we can warm up the world for the rest of you who are still in line.
Finally, there is the Espresso group. They add a shot of rocket fuel to an already blazing inferno. Adding concentrated caffeine to a caffeinated drink is like emptying a Pixie Stick onto your plate of vanilla fudge. That’s some high test fuel you’re pouring down your throat. Do you need to wake up that bad? If so, I suggest you save your money and pour a small black coffee directly into your eyes. That will wake you up a lot faster and save you several trips to the bathroom. The talk in this line is all incoherent grumbling and bleary eyed confusion, until after they finish their coffee.
Coffee is almost universal. There are still a few who still haven’t discovered the wonderfully intoxicating flavor and aroma of this magic elixir, but most of us have been enjoying it for years. Let’s all try to get along and a hint to coffee shop owners: if you want to keep the harmony in balance, have separate lines for each category of coffee drinkers. Juan Valdez isn’t hiking through the mountains of Columbia, dragging a mule and handpicking beans to be ground by child laborers so you can have a soda for breakfast.
About: Ted Snyder
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