Monday, February 18, 2008

Take this, all of you, and drink it...

I’d been searching lately for a few new coffee-related drinks to feature, in a half-hearted attempt to maintain my title as (one of) Denver’s greatest coffee blogs, but the products I turned up were mostly uninspiring. At the Valero gas station by my daughter’s day-care (purveyors of fine, Javalero brand coffees), they have “Stok” which is the semi-truck driver's equivalent of an “add shot” at Starbucks, served in those little containers that they put creamer in, that for some odd reason you never, ever have to refrigerate. Ass. I was ecstatic when I saw the giant tarp up at my nearby 7-11, advertising the “Slurpuccino”. Yes, I should probably be embarrassed to admit that, but I’ve been dreaming of just that sort of frozen sludge since my hazy-minded, munchie-addled early 20s - a $1.50, 40 oz. high-octane alternative to Peaberry’s Frozen Bear. Of course, you don’t really expect much from something that’s squeezed from the rear corner of an urban convenience store - but you'd expect it would taste, at least vaguely, like, y’know, coffee. I’m sorry to report, my fellow junk-food junkies, that the Slurpuccino is a Slurpee no-no. It tastes, more than anything, like an innocuous cream soda. If I was a maker of such decisions, I would market a Blak Slurpee and be done with it.

(And, please, don’t talk to me about “cost of product” – I’m sure the Coca Cola exec. who gave the okay to mass-marketing a $2 a bottle coffee and cola concoction has barrels of the syrup in his basement as part of his severance package)

Then, a few weeks ago, I discovered a new Mecca for myself: a new international market to satiate (but just barely) my well-documented, insatiable (and untented-to) wanderlust. H Mart in Aurora is a screeching, steel-twisting, no-reported-survivors car-crash of Asian cultures and goods, where Korean, English-as-a-second-language-speaking cashiers work amiably alongside the Spanish-as-an-only-language Mexican immigrants who bag your groceries. There are a couple of different food stalls, one of which sells the second best boba smoothies in town (next to, of course, Lollicup. Sorry “Boba & Crepes” – but, hey, thanks for playing), along with two dollar bags of popped rice cakes (which are blasted loudly from deep within the bowels of this massive steampunk looking contraption) and fish-shaped Korean Waffles on a stick(!?) For five bones, you can get a 40 minute, non-erotic massage (this is A-town we’re talking about here; so, yes, the clarification is apt). It’s from one of those high-tech chairs, as opposed to an earthy, associate’s degree wielding 23 year old hotty, but still. (If they ever manage to manufacture a chair that DOES give erotic message, sign me right the hell up!) On my first visit, they even had a flat screen TV set up in the front of the store, where the customers could sing karaoke (I don’t think that’s a regular thing: when I returned the following week, I psyched myself up to see if they had “Peace, Love, and Understanding” by Elvis Costello, but the whole set had up and vanished.)

Anyhoo, along with some frozen-ated coffee pops (mmm… like Mr. Brown on a stick) I got a couple of other Asian soft drinks, such as.........................

“It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.” Nigel Tufnel.

And that’s just how it tastes. Blacker that black. Like burnt charcoal basted in motor-oil. Like goth-poop. Yeah, I noticed that The Black Boss has some distinctly Anglo features, too. I’m thinking that maybe they mean it in the “deep, dark” underworld sense. Or the makers just aren’t giving it as much thought as I do. Or they’re just screwing with my mind.

Yes, yes, “What’s a Pocari, and why doesn’t it just get some damn antiperspirant?” Ha ha, you cheeky monkey. But all told, this stuff isn’t really so bad. You know in the 70’s how your mom, when she was doing Weight Watchers, she would drink “Fresca”, which - like “Tab” - was a diet soda with no non-diet analog? Well, this is it; Pocari Sweat is like Fresca, but with your garden variety, not good for you white-refined sugar, instead of the outright deadly poison that is saccharine. And it’s flat. So, it’s like non-diet Fresca, but left on the counter, with the cap off. Since 1976. So, no, it’s not actually “good”, per se, but it won’t kill you. Jeez, what do you people want from a soft drink named after an odorous bodily function?

Anyway, yeah, that’s how I’ve been spending my weekends. Sorry for the completely amateurish pics. Thank G-d The Onion just got a photo intern on staff – I am ass at taking pictures.

Maybe the H Mart offers a class.


Big Daddy said...

I just got a craving for a half polar bear/half frozen bear from Peaberry's.


Peter said...

on a recent trip to NYC i over did it with them YIKES

Anonymous said...

nice to leave the erotic looking massager in the background of the pics. keep dreaming!

- the wife

oh yeah...good entry btw