"Jeez! What the hell was that last entry? Remember the good old days, when this "Ted" clown went by “caffeinator_x”, and he’d actually talk about coffee on this supposedly coffee-flavored web log? Nowadays, it’s just a constant stream of .02 cent philosophical pontificating, like some excruciating, low-rated daytime talk show - “Chillin’ with Chochem” - how long before this dork finally just disappears in a poof of bargain-basement special effects?”
Yeah, sorry about that, folks. Just so much else going on in the ol’ cranium, I ‘spose - what with the holidays and all.
But, hark! What’s this?... Some astounding miracle of the holiday season is actually inspiring me to engage in some real, live coffee-talk!
Now, this time of year can be a boon for us sales-support types; good old fashioned yuletide guilt sets in among the sales folk, who pity me the paltry sum I get for showing up with a smile on my mug every day. Truth be told, the gift-giving was a little more extravagant at my last job; but where I'm at now, I don’t have to work until 7 pm on a Friday while the sales staff begs off early for a “business meeting” (*coff* round of golf *cough*) Besides, I got some surprisingly good peanut butter candies, a pretty nifty-looking scarf from my manager, and, no matter how “indie” and “hip” you are, 30$ worth of free java from Starbucks is a hell of a lot better than a lump of coal in your stocking.
Sure, everybody has their own laundry list of issues with Starbucks, whether it’s the squeaky-clean corporate atmosphere, or how bitter the coffee is, or that their fully-automated, completely self-aware espresso machines debase the barista's profession, or the fact that the afternoon shift-lead won’t go to bed with them. And, hey... good points, all.
But you know what I absolutely, un-ashamedly LOVE about Starbucks? What keeps me going back, in spite of everything above? It's the fact that I could go back in time to Seattle, in 1991, order a grande drip coffee, put it in a locker at the bus station, come BACK to the ass-hole end of 2007 (where I’d now be ridiculously wealthy, what with all my Amazon stock) dig it out, and it would still be roughly the temperature of the sun’s corona.
For me, this is a huge plus. I can drink the vilest cup of mud in the world - brewed at some god-forsaken diner, from a vacuum-sealed packet, sitting on a heating pad since Neil Cassidy originally ordered it – and not even blink an eye.
So long as it’s hot.
Conversely, I don’t care what religious figure blessed which pound of ultra-rare beans that were digested through whatever exotic animal’s rectum – if it doesn’t scald my stomach lining – baby, that’s just not coffee.
Just what mastery of nuclear fission does Howard Shultz possess, that allows him to weild the power of the sun like a Greek god? Can all his money afford him even that?
The other unexpected, out of left field gift that'll be remembered at least as much as the more expensive presents I've received was a Dunkin' Donuts coffee gift set, from my wife's best friend in Conn.
Yeah, that's right - Dunkin' Donuts coffee, pre-ground, shipped across country, not even packed in an air-tight container, from a fast-food chain that specializes in keeping the U.S. the most morbidly obese country in all the world. And you know what?
It's freakin' good. And, no, my wife's friend isn't reading this now.
Dunkin' Donuts is one of those places that you take for granted when you live someplace where there's one on every corner, but once you can't find one, your rare visits are undertaken with the reverence of a religious pilgrimage, like Mecca for Muslims, or White Castle for displaced midwesterners. The wife (east coast born and raised) has been preaching to me about the virtue of this stuff for years, but only now have I seen the light.
This is not the gourmet, subtle cup from Kaladi or Pablos. This is the stuff Philip Marlowe drinks in a diner while talking shop with Sam Spade; a cup of joe. It does the trick, and it's as good of a coffee as my $20, Satuday-nite-special of a coffeemaker deserves.
The label reads "100% Arabica Beans", but then right below, there's something about "Natural and Artifical Flavors". Which I'm betting is code for "opium" and "cocaine".
Crack for Christmas... almost sounds like a missing Frank Capra movie, doesn't it? And it's a hell of a present.
As long as it's hot, of course.
About the Author
7 years ago