If y’all have read my blog before, you might have noticed my obsessive love of bacon and blogging. Probably by now you think I have a pathetically addictive personality. You’re right. But, I only get addicted to things I love. Coffee is one of them.
I learned to drink coffee when I was very young by slurping the brew my Daddy boiled. It was strong enough to walk from the pot to the cup by itself. Daddy said, “It’ll put hair on your chest.” Fortunately in my case it didn’t do that; but it didn’t put much of anything else on my chest either.
Several years ago, I had a frequent strong craving for Starbucks coffee. By frequent, I mean daily, sometimes twice a day.
[Aside: Did you know that Starbucks was named after the chief mate in the novel Moby Dick? It was, but only after the owner had thought about naming it after the ship in the novel (the Pequod). Fortunately for him , a friend of his pointed out that no one would want to buy a cup of “pee-quod.”]
My first trip to a Starbucks was a bit confusing, because people speak in tongues at that store. Regular customers utter things like: “Give me an iced, decaf, triple grande, vanilla, non-fat, with whip latte.” The barristas (the coffee clerks) know just what they mean, but I was clueless. I was particularly confused about the sizes. In Texas, “grande” means “large.” In Starbucks, it means “medium.” To those folks, a “small” cup of coffee is “tall” and a “large” is “venti.” Why can’t they just speak English?
I finally learned to order a “Quad venti mocha,” which is a large cup of steamed chocolate milk with four shots of espresso. That’s all I ever get, because I don’t want to have to learn any more, since I’m not good with foreign languages. I tell you what, that mocha I get is an expensive habit! But, I needed it. When I traveled, I wanted to know where I could get a cup, so I went to the Starbucks website to locate all the stores across Texas.
One day, I was in line behind a handsome gentleman in an expensive looking business suit. His silver hair was perfectly combed and his fingernails professionally manicured. Mr. Silver Hair very gently held the elbow of an older man on a walker. The Old Man was probably in his nineties. Even though his back was bent like a question mark, he had dressed with pride. He would have looked quite dapper in his fedora and red bow tie at the throat of his crisp white shirt, except for the fact that his trousers were hitched up to his armpits and held with red suspenders.
While Old Man cocked his head and squinted at the sign board trying to decide on a drink, Mr. Silver Hair winked at me and said, “He’s my father.” The barrista asked Old Man what drink he wanted, and he squeaked, “Is that price by the pound?”
I guess they didn’t let him out of the house much.
I moved to a small town a few years ago, and discovered there was no Starbucks! At first I was devastated, and drove a twenty mile round trip to get my “fix.” Then, I started exploring the little coffee shops in town and discovered that I don’t even like Starbucks coffee! Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still drink it if there is nothing else available. But, after drinking other coffees, I discovered that Starbucks’ coffee tastes bitter and burned.
This morning, I discovered that I am not alone. There is a website called I Hate Starbucks where people write to say awful stuff about the place! I don’t dislike Starbucks well enough to post anything. I still go there in emergencies, and I don’t want them to have my picture posted by the register under the heading, “Do NOT Serve These People!” Instead, I discovered another site called Delocator where I can find independent coffee houses in various cities without having to go to a corporate chain.
But, Delocator is run by one person, and to make it work people have to list the coffee houses in their areas. I’ve discovered that my local coffee shops are not on the list. Later today, I intend to add them. And, you could do me a big favor: ENABLE ME! Go to the site and list the coffee houses in YOUR area, on the off chance I might someday be driving through. This coffee addict will be forever grateful.