Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I can has coffee?

As I have mentioned before, I've recently started drinking coffee for the first time in my adult life. Hurray! It tastes good and I get to play it cool and sophisticated as I sip.

Well, sort of. Because this delay in coffee consumption has left me coffee-retarded. I'm almost middle-aged, and I'm completely intimidated by the process of ordering anywhere where there is more choice than just caf or decaf.

The other day I was in a bakery that had a board as tall as me covered in two columns of complicated coffee choices. What, I ask you, is a steamer? I assume it has something to do with the big, shiny machine that goes "WHOOOOSH!", but that's where my expertise ends.

I also have a sense of self-consciousness around complicated coffee orders, after hearing so many jokes involving barristas and half-caf-cappucino-grande-soy-blah-blah-blahs with a shot of mint. I used to sneer, smug in my coffee-free status. Now I'm like "Um, can I have a decaf latte regular?" Which to me seemed incredibly complicated.

When I said "Can I?" I meant it literally. That wasn't my passive aggressive translation of "I want a..." I'm still so insecure about coffee that I didn't know if I could have one, or if the girl behind the counter would laugh at me and go "Everyone knows that lattes are never decaf!"

In fact, as it turns out my order wasn't specific enough. I had neglected to mention what type of milk I wanted. (Skim is standard, and I was happy to go along with the girl's suggestion.)

Finally, frothy mug in hand, I settled in at my table, ready to show off my coffee habit. Look at me! I'm drinking coffee! I'm so mature.

17 comments:

Warped Mind of Ron said...

LOL, I'm not a coffee person. I will order up one of them thar coffee's that is 90% chocolate with whipped cream on the top. That's good stuff there. Hmmm.. I should just get a hot chocolate, it's probably better for me.

unsigned said...

As long as the "steamer" is not from Cleveland you're okay.

Karen said...

I drink used to be totally intimidated by Starbucks. Now, honestly I have come to not care. If I sound stupid, big deal. LOL.

And you are not middle aged. I nearly fell off my chair when I read that.

1218Blog said...

This so funny! I hate coffee and never drink it. But when my friends ask me to stop at Starbucks or somewhere and pick them up coffee I am so confused and intimated when it comes to ordering. I don't know how you folks do it. I feel like every one is listening to me.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: I recently read a very in-depth article on the supposed health benefits of caffeine, which is why I started experimenting with coffee. Supposedly it helps to stave off dementia. Although for some of us it might be too late... ;-)

Unsigned: Ew.

Karen: I'll probably live to see 90, so I guess I'm more like one-third aged. ;-)

1218blog: It's heartening to hear that I'm not alone in my feelings about ordering coffee. It's like a whole other language.

whatigotsofar said...

Dammit, unsigned beat me to Cleveland!

My first visit to a Starbucks resulted in me saying "Regular run-of-the-mill coffee. No fruity crap."

Keera Ann Fox said...

Being intimidated at Starbuck's is easy - especially if you don't go so often you can keep up with the menu changes. My favorite coffee order has become, "Regular, black."

Nilsa S. said...

Well, I'm still a few steps behind you. I don't drink coffee. But, should I ever start, I'm coming to you for the Late In Life Tutorial on Drinking Coffee. I mean it. Begin writing today.

Angel... said...

I hope you are doing well. I used to drink coffee back home.. I only like India coffee did you ever tried..Just try one "Nescafe" and you would love it.

Sparkling Red said...

Whatigotsofar: LOL I am stealing that coffee order! Next time. "No fruity crap." >:-(

Keera: I'm surprised they even offer a "regular" option. Do they have a fancy name for it, like "Regularista"? ;-)

Nilsa: Erm... sure, I'll get right on that...

Angel: I'd love to try coffee from India. I sure do like chai tea, if that's any indication.

H. said...

I still say things like 'the medium size one' and 'the big thingy' at Starbucks. I refuse to say Grandé.

Martin Crane the Barrista said...

Not being much for words myself, is this what you mean?
http://www.atomfilms.com/film/nonfat.jsp

Jenski said...

Mmmm, coffee. I seriously think it has helped me get through grad school. I highly recommend a non-fat vanilla latte. Yum!

Aurora said...

Yes, as a kid whenever I drank coffee it made me feel mature too. Coffee is definitely a grownup's drink. Welcome to grownup land!

Sparkling Red said...

h.: Yeah, Grande is way to pretentious. (And I'm too lazy to look up the ascii code for the e with the accent.) ;-)

Martin Crane the Barrista: I thought the worst case scenario was being publicly humiliated. I didn't know about Barrista Rage!

Jenski: Vanilla Latte. That does sound good. Just thinking about it might be enough to push me over the edge into flavour shots.

Aurora: One day I shall drink coffee while smoking a cigarillo in a long holder and reading the paper version of The New York Times. In a silk smoking jacket. Then I'll watch Masterpiece Theatre.

Aric Blue said...

Coffee does not taste good. And it makes your breath stink HORRIBLY.

Sparkling Red said...

Aric Blue: I have known a few people with horrible coffee breath. They always like to stand really close to my face while speaking. :-p