It pains me to say it, but I’ve become one of those people. You know the type. They stroll into your local Starbucks – which given how many there are, that is probably a redundant statement – ever so nonchalantly and nondescript. They peruse the baked goods on display, glance the menu board as if they’ve a decision to make, then pick up a CD and pretend to be interested in the artist. Then when asked, they spout out an encyclopedic coffee order.
Mind you, I did not set out to be one of these people. This was never my goal or my intention. Anyone who knows me will tell you I like to keep things simple. “Simplify before you die.” A friend of mine and I came up with that motto at a bar once. Life’s too short to purposefully make it complicated. Nevertheless, there I found myself ordering a morning brew and using more than 3 words to do so.
If I may and to my defense, I’d like to explain my transgression from casual coffee drinker to java snob. First of all, I wasn’t drinking coffee at all. It was Chai. Chai is a spiced tea that is brewed and served with hot milk. Venti Chai Latte. That’s it. That was the order. Sure it’s three languages all at once, but it’s a very simple order to get out.
The problem with Chai is that in addition to being chock-full-o taste, it’s also chock-full-o carbs. In looking at my mid-section one morning, I noticed there were more curves than corners and I decided to do something about it. So the immediate decision was to reduce the carb intake. And as much as it pained me to give up the Chai, I figured I would surely find a tasty replacement.
So there I was, perusing the blueberry muffins and feigning interest in a Sergio Mendes CD. I double and triple checked the menu boards, all the while finalizing what I was to order. Low carbs. Low cal. I needed to be consistent. Then I was asked for my order. Ugh. The moment of truth.
Café Latte non-fat with three, no four shots of sugar-free Hazelnut (of course).
And so it was official. I crossed over. I took the plunge into that mysterious world of dark brews and holiday blends. It’s not like when you stumble into a Waffle House at 3:30 in the morning, conscious only of the amount of money in your pocket and the location of bathroom, and simply order “coffee”. No. This is a much more involved experience.
So the next time you’re at Starbucks, or any other gourmet coffee place for that matter, and you find yourself behind someone whose order requires them to actually pause and breath, please don’t be quick to judge. Remember, we were once just like you.