The Coffee In My Coffee Spoons

I love coffee.

I love everything it represents. It ties the world together; it’s the universal equalizer between people and places. Writers, artists, and musicians have spent hour after hour pouring all their intensity and inspiration into their crafts. You can’t control when the muses inspire you. If this happens to be at 4 AM and you need coffee to keep your body awake as your brain labors furiously over your creation, so be it.

You could also be Jimi Hendrix and stay up all night playing guitar because you took speed. Coffee just seems safer.

Coffee is relaxing. It’s sitting in a fuzzy purple chair doing your homework while listening to jazz, or curling up with your cat after a long day. Coffee is hectic. It’s running to class, trying not to spill your freshly brewed coffee all over yourself as you weave in and out of all the other people doing the same thing. Coffee is for the intellectual brainiac who likes to read scholarly journals for fun during their downtime. (This is what I do, but not because I’m an intellectual brainiac. I just do it because I’m a nerd.) It’s for the slacker kid who didn’t study for their test until midnight the day of. It’s for the rich snobby lady with five designer sweater-wearing Chihuahuas, who orders a venti nonfat caramel macchiato with an extra shot and no whipped cream in a snazzy coffee shop where such an item costs seven dollars. It’s for the ragged hippie who orders a one-dollar cup of fair-trade black coffee from the local independent coffee shop.

Coffee represents contrasting ideas, polar opposites, and radical differences in demographics. It’s what brings the world together.

I typically try not to read girly dating websites, due to the fact that they mess with my head, spinning it in circles that I can’t seem to control. I’ve looked at advice column after advice column, but none of them say what you want them to or give you what you need to hear. However, at one point I did find an article on a dating blog that I really enjoyed. It was about coffee shop dates, and how you can tell a lot about a person by the kind of coffee they drink.

The post was pretty controversial, with responses from people who said that they don’t want to be judged by their coffee preferences. Judging a person from their coffee is a pretty trivial thing to do, but then again, so is judging a lady based on her amount of sweater-clad sissy puppies. We all judge someone based on something that seems stupid.

I suppose that if I went on a date with some guy and he ordered a very girly-sounding latte with about 10 specifications as to its construction, I would be wary. Is he heterosexual? Is he gay? Does he secretly just not like coffee but doesn’t want me to know, so he’s trying to pretty much turn it into a coffee-flavored milkshake? Does he have certain allergies or health issues?

The guy could say the same thing about me. Considering that my normal order at Starbucks is a regular coffee with room for cream, several things could be inferred about me. Since I use half-and-half and like a little extra room for cream, does this mean that I am not “hardcore” enough to drink it black? Since I bring my Starbucks-purchased mug (25 cents off every time I use it!) this would imply that I am a regular. It could also make me look extremely environmental conscious and anti-paper cup. It might mean that I don’t have a lot of money, since I’m not ordering some big fussy costly thing. Then again, it could mean that I am diabetic and can’t handle the sugary drinks. My relatively simple order also might make me look a little more low-maintenance and chill rather than high-strung and picky.

I see pumpkin spice lattes as being a bit more sissy than a normal cup of coffee. I don’t typically order them, number one because they’re more expensive, and number two because I pride myself on being low-maintenance and chill. Maybe that makes me a coffee snob.

In coffee contradiction to the previous paragraph, I do believe that coffee should not be about perception. This is why occasionally I do splurge on the pumpkin spice latte, because they happen to be amazingly delicious. Today, for instance, I made my own lunch and ordered a pumpkin spice latte instead of buying lunch and then making tea in my room. I decided to forgo hardcore sustenance for a sissy latte, but it’s very tasty!

I occasionally run into one of my favorite professors at the Starbucks on campus. The other day he kept poking my book bag while I was in line for my daily cup of caffeine. I thought it was some dumb obnoxious frat guy or possibly one of my friends from the trombone studio, so I was surprised when I turned around to find him smirking at me.

Anyhow, I ordered my plain cup of coffee; he ordered a nonfat pumpkin spice latte. I questioned his choice of nonfat. During a girly spree of weight watching, I once ordered a nonfat pumpkin spice latte after realizing that there’s whole milk in the regular kind.

(Though really, I’m not sure which is girlier, weight watching or pigging out. I tend to do both of them at different times, but only when I’m feeling girly. I mean, there’s the watching-your-weight girly thing, but then again what is girlier than eating all the chocolate in the house during that very girly time of the month?)

Anyhow, I never ordered it nonfat again. It kind of tasted like pee, not that I know what pee tastes like. I once heard skim milk described by a fellow student as “water with white-out poured in it.” I’m inclined to agree, and tend to prefer 1 percent when I’m drinking it straight. I’m making milk sound like vodka (which is particularly disgusting straight, or in orange soda, or in orange juice, fruit punch, or anything else you can think of, in my personal opinion, though I’ve started developing a taste for it nevertheless).

I therefore questioned my professor’s motives at drinking nonfat. I believe I wrinkled my nose at him and said something along the lines of “Dear God, nonfat? WHY?”

He laughed and replied that he had somehow gotten used to it, though he wasn’t sure it was a very tasty thing to get used to.

Indeed.

I’ve heard people say the same thing about alcohol, cigarettes, etc. I’ve gotten used to alcohol (vodka excluded) and have never smoked a cigarette, but DEAR GOD I HATE NONFAT PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES! The grande one I just consumed (and thoroughly enjoyed) may make me a grotesquely obese individual, especially because I don’t think I’m going to make it to the gym today, but I DON’T CARE! I would rather be fat and happy than thin and miserable, drinking white out-flavored water in a corner.

After all, I’ll still fit into my favorite purple fuzzy chair even if I gain another 50 pounds!

So this concludes my pointless, rather dull rant on the multiple faces and perceptions of coffee. I apologize if I have hit the snooze button on your brain, forcing you to sleep away your afternoon.

(Hint: Drink some coffee!)

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2 comments

  1. Cindi Deviney · · Reply

    so THAT’s why I’m not a famous musician – I don’t like coffee!

  2. Rick · · Reply

    So how will you judge me since I don’t drink coffee? On the occasions that I do I drink it black with no sugar and only have half a cup (4 ounces not half a grande). Tea on the other hand is a fine beverage, one that involves a variety of preparations and ingredients. There is green tea for the first beverage at work followed by a cup of peppermint tea (no caffeine) later in the morning. If the day is warm enough a bit of ice tea in the afternoon is refreshing. In any case each of these drinks cost an average of 13 cents and is immensely satisfying.

    Obviously I don’t understand the girly thing you are talk about but I do understand that an average is an average. As an example to maintain weight you need to control average caloric consumption. It’s ok to binge at Thanksgiving or other special occasion like passing an exam or just because you feel like it. Of course to maintain the average there are days when you must eat less than your body needs. Over time for some people it just becomes easier to avoid the extremes. Other people, not so much.

    Glad to see you blogging again. You write very well.

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