Friday, February 08, 2008

Bitter beans and washing machines

I have never been a coffee drinker. I've always thought it was foul stuff, and did my best to avoid all forms of it: in ice cream, in desserts, in candies, and in the ever-popular liquid form.

This fact explains why I recoiled in disgust when, last August in the San Fransisco airport, I ordered a chocolate caramel frappucino but without the coffee, and they forgot the "without the coffee" bit. One sip and BLECH! "Uhm, excuse me, I ordered this without coffee," I politely told the barrista, who fixed me a new one right away.

But as that one mouthful of frappucino sank into my tastebuds, I realized, "Hey, actually, that's not half bad..." I was halfway through my complaint to the barrista when it occurred to me, so I felt like a bit of a dweeb. The drink I ended up getting, in fact, was kind of gross, and way too sweet.

So I decided to give it another shot when I got home and tried out Starbucks' caramel mocha frappucino with only half the regular amount of coffee and an extra pump of chocolate. (Don't yell at me about the sugar/fat content, I know, I know!) And you know what? It was not bad! So for the rest oft he summer, that became my drink of choice. I even got daring on a warm September day and nixed the extra pump of chocolate.

And that was the end of me and coffee for a while. "I'll enjoy a treat every now and then, but I'll never be a full on coffee drinker," I told myself. Especially not one of those people whose drink orders take three minutes to rattle off and use up every square and then some on the side of their cup.

But then Christmas came along, and what with all of Starbucks' specialty drinks, I decided to give it another go. Grande peppermint mocha, with only one shot of espresso and an extra pump of chocoalte and extra pump of peppermint. Zah-ZING, was that ever a sugar high! I could barely taste the coffee. Perfect!

For Christmas, I got two twenty dollar Starbucks cards, so I treated myself to my cup of sugary goodness way more than I usually would have (hey! can't say no to free!), and eventually weaned myself off the extra pumps. But no way no how was I about to go all double shot. Blah!

At one point, I tried a regular cup of coffee at a workshop I was at, but smuggled in a pack of hot chocolate mix and stirred that into the cup. One sip told me it was not for me. Too bitter! TOOO BITTERRR!

But then, one day, with my clearly non-coffee drinker bumbling ordering skills - I ordered my peppermint mocha and forgot to specify the one shot. It was bitter, but you know... not entirely bad.

This continued for a few weeks as I slowly got accustomed to the ever-increasing taste of coffe in my otherwise lovely drink.

And then today, standing at the counter for the first visit to a Starbucks on my way to work (do we sense an addiction develloping here, folks?), I heard myslef: "Hi, I'd like a grandenonfatnowhipextrahotpeppermintmochawithextrafoam please."

And even though when they told me that they were out of peppermint syrup, I panicked and asked for an extra pump of chocolate instead ("... um, actually, make that two!"), I realized that I have officially become a coffee drinker.

Or have ALMOST become a coffee drinker. I'm pretty sure real coffee drinkers don't slosh their drinks all over themselves EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. they get in or out of the car.

I guess there's always room for some progress. Let's just hope there's also room in the wash!



sarah cool said...

hey! yay! welcome to the ADDICTION THAT IS COFFEE!!!! i love it. i can't live without it. .... uhh... yay?

niki d said...

ah-ha! You crack me did they have to write all over your cup to get your order straight?? :)

anne said...

Woo Woo!! I'm so excited for you. HA! Now, next time we all get together (when are we doing that, by the way? And...I may have to bring the baby)
We can ALL get coffee at Starbucks. Except for Jean. Still working on her.

And all "real" coffee drinkers actually prefer tons of milk & sugar. And chocolate. And whipped cream. And sometimes sprinkles.

Katrina said...

Oh, the joy of coffee--welcome to the good life, Hillary! My favorite is a grande caramel frappe with whip. YUM!

Brad said...

Guess what I decided to give up for lent this year. You got it — coffee.

Now I need to rely on things like 'breakfast' to keep me awake at work in the morning. Or tea. Or yerba maté. I haven't given up caffeine — that would be crazy — just my favourite roasted bean.

The Shan said...

It's funny that you are conditioning yourself for an addiction! Bahaha Usually it's like "Huh, what? I've had ten cups today? And I ran out of creamer on the sixth one?" Oh, and "real" coffee drinkers DO still slop themselves with coffee but I wouldn't expect this of Swing dancers (eyebrow Spocklike) ;). In our family "real" coffee drinkers also do accidental spit takes all over the windshield, trying to get the good stuff down the throat as quickly as possible. Welcome to the club! You do still want to join right?

Abbey said...

You know me...I am a MAJOR coffee addict...and I have about 20 stains on my car door from sloshing coffee EVERY time I get in the car. So don't feel just's something to deal with when you are a coffee drinker. Welcome to the twitching, sugar-coma club!

Tiffany Norris said...

I stumbled upon your blog, and I just had to comment on this post! My husband's addiction has been slowly and similarly growing since, um, we got together almost four years ago. He might have me to blame/thank, since I'm an at-least-three-cups-of-delicious-plain-black-goodness-every-morning kind of girl. And I still spill mine most days. :(
Keep up the fun blogging!
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