Friday, November 24, 2006

'Bucks stops here

I’m already a slave to the bean. 8am, 3pm, like clockwork, I must purchase a bean-y caffeinated drink to sustain me. I used to have friends that understood this need – then some switched to tea…some gave it up…some just stopped needing it twice a day. But I never wavered in my addiction. Coffee, strong, black, simple.

I sort of liked waiting in line at Starbucks. Looking at posters with coffee names that sound like foreign diseases…like Simtrachina, or Kenyan Rivan. Always perusing mugs and travel thermoses that I’d never buy. I mean…they require washing. That’s a deal breaker. I liked the banter of the barista. I liked them knowing me. Even if they didn’t know my name, they’ve give me that fake look that says “I think I know your name, but I’ll wait for you to tell me, and then nod knowingly.”

The familiar aproned starbucks people, like subversive racism, they all look the same. Green with a forced smile. The drinks are always too strong, too sweet, but I’m too lazy to order them correctly adjusted to my palate. I can’t stand those half-caf soy 3 pump no foam latte people. Just get a latte and deal. Suck it up. And really, who doesn’t like foam? If you have an aversion to foam, I just lost all respect for you.

However, despite my Starbucks tirade…this morning…I went to Peet’s.

Peet’s is an old lover, left behind from younger, prettier San Francisco days, when a Peets was on every corner, and Starbucks was on of those ‘new fangled Seattle’ places. But in getting the gingerbread latte, I realized that it not only was a rip off of Starbucks (they also had pumpkin spice) but it wasn’t as good. Or maybe it wasn’t the SAME. Conformity, consistency, normalcy…things I normally don’t consider in my coffee buying decisions, but apparently are important subliminally. There was a nice Peets man supplying my foam, and he even made a big flirty deal about how most men can’t do that AND sprinkle cinnamon on top…sort of a innuendo as well...and however much that might normally make me laugh, he wasn’t in a green apron and yelling my name knowingly while throwing a cardboard cup holder at me from afar…and that made all the difference.

I’m a slave to the ‘bucks. Slave to the 5 dollar coffee. Slave to conformity.

At least nobody gets a regular plain latte anymore – so I guess that makes me an original.


Hyperion said...

Someday - and this day will come, mark me - caffeine will be a controlled substance, and coffee drinkers will have to huddle outside holding their warm cups like smokers do now.

You're right at the end of Big Coffee's reign of Terror.

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

It'll never happen. Like women in the workplace or the end of segregation.

Postmodern Sass said...

I only drink regular plain lattes at Starbucks. With regular milk. And foam. (Who doesn't like foam? And, even if you don't, then why would you order a latte, which is basically coffee with a lot of milk AND FOAM? Just order a plain coffee. I don't get it.) And I swear, the baristas always look at me funny. Like they're waiting for me to say "with no-fat, half-caf, soy flavor, light foam" or something. When you order "a grande latte," period, it confuses the hell out of them.