“I can’t imagine a day without coffee. I can’t imagine!” ~ Howard Schultz
Oh Mister Shultz neither can I. Neither can I. Both Sarah over at LifewithLilRed and Jenny from SitBackAndJustLive are the inspiration for this post, having read their posts, literally with-in a couple days of each other back in April, I realized I needed to pay homage to my first and probably only true love (sorry Doctor Mer-man).
I have written a lot about coffee, and coffee shops, but not about what I actually drink. Which let’s face it, is very important. Even my nephew who cackles as he calls me a caffeine junkie, knows my drink of choice at Starbucks.
I should start this by stating I never make it at home. I tried. Lord have I tried, but it just tastes SO MUCH BETTER when someone else makes it. (as a former chef I know all about being a harsh critic of my food!)
First of all I do not drink crap coffee.
America does NOT run on Dunkin’. I have not had Dunkin’ in 12 years. After several bad experiences, and lackluster taste, I will be dying of dehydration, have raging caffeine withdrawals (Which I surprisingly do not get) and still pass. You can not even pay me a million dollars to drink it!
Hard to believe I am from New England huh?
Recently I was at the train station in Albany Rennselear and ordered a vanilla latte. Oh. My Lanta! Pure sugar, and I am pretty sure the barista skipped the espresso. I couldn’t drink it. And while I cried at the five dollars wasted, my taste buds thanked me. I refuse to drink crap coffee. Calories people!
All the Feels
Another reason I don’t make it at home, is for me coffee is an experience.
I love saying hello to my baristas in the morning and catching up on their lives. In a city of millions it is nice to see that familiar face, to make a simple connection. My baristas are seriously the sweetest people on the planet! They always say I make their day, but guys, they make mine!
Coffee really involves feeling. It is an event. If you have ever been to Europe you know what I am talking about with food and drink. They don’t scarf it down, they savor it. You don’t chug coffee like it is a tequila shot, you sip it like it is fine wine.
Unless it is the polar vortex and I am torn between it being a hand warmer and an internal heater. But then, there is always that exception.
It is also a ritual for me. It is a way to signal my brain that it is time for me to sit down and work. As someone who can telecommute, I am much more productive going to a coffee shop then working in my PJ’s from home. It is a way to channel my energy on whatever project I am working on at the moment.
It is also a great way to socialize. Much like drinking, coffee is the sober version, yet still just as fun. I love sitting with friends in a cafe with amazing vibes and just soaking it all in. It is a perfect way to connect with people, yet without being outlandish.
Okay so confession time I can’t really say I have a drink of choice, because it varies on where I go. Their are probably six coffee shops I go to and I order something different from all of them. The one constant is I always do espresso, and dairy of some kind, is a must.
I will say Starbuck’s Coldbrew with Vanilla Sweet Cream is heaven during the summer. My baristas were laughing because the moment it hit fifty-six degrees (Weird number I know don’t ask me) I was ordering my grande extra vanilla sweet cream cold brew with light ice and jumping for joy. (mouthful I know.)
I admit I actually have a harder time with a hot drink at Starbucks then other coffee shops. I will order a grande chai soy with extra foam but my heart isn’t really in it. Give me that cold brew please!
Now places like Peet’s or Cafe Jax I am all about that hot cup of java. A havana cappuccino or caramel latte (respectively) is heaven on earth on a cold winters day. Even during the summer when cafe’s will crank the air conditioner to arctic temps, I will order a hot drink. Skim maple latte’s from Frontside, hot or cold, always hit the spot. I can honestly say, I have never had as good a maple latte as I have at Frontside. At my other two coffee chops, I tend to keep it more simple. At Maison Kayser I do a straight up latte. And at Le Pain Quotidian it is a cafe au lait.
Some people have that candy bar a day, I have my coffee. It isn’t just a treat but something that I look forward too whether I am working, meeting friends, or just saying a quick hello to my baristas. It is the one event that is always guaranteed to brighten my day, not just because of the taste of a good coffee bean, but because of the people that come with it.
Do you like coffee? How do you take it? Is it an event for you or just a caffeinated necessity?