Saturday, July 10, 2004

Sunday Burst of Weirdness (offered on Saturday because, well, I can)

I like coffee. I really do. I didn't develop a taste for coffee until midway through the 1990s, though, for some reason, even though I discovered the wonderment of Coffee Haagen-Dasz ice cream a few years before that. I typically have two cups in the morning, maybe three, although never more than that; I also enjoy the occasional espresso or cappucino or even some form of cold coffee drink, like one of them newfangled "frappe freezes" the kids are drinking these days. Crazy kids. Anyway, my coffee drinking method springs from the wonderful Turkish proverb: "Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love." Therefore I take it black with a generous dosage of sugar, although when buying my cup at work I've taken to adding a bit of skim milk not for flavor purposes but because this instantly lowers the temperature a bit so I can drink it faster. Speed's of the essence, you know.

(BTW, check out How Coffee Works, from that "How Stuff Works" site that I don't spend nearly enough time perusing. Coffee's fascinating stuff, and I've always wondered how the leap was made from the raw beans to what we drink today."

So where's the weirdness, you ask? Well, I do admit that I take my coffee mildly seriously: at home I grind the beans myself, I don't use one of those coffeemakers with a timer so the grounds are sitting exposed to air for long periods of time, I periodically flush a vinegar-and-water mixture through the machine to clear out mineral deposits, et cetera. But I've never thought of myself as obsessive about coffee, and now I have proof that I'm not: I don't feel the need to consume coffee from every non-franchised Starbuck's location that exists. Here's the money graf:

It isn't all fun and games. "After about four stores, the coffee loses all taste," says Winter, who's unconcerned about any long-term effects of so much coffee. "It doesn't taste good at all—I'm not enjoying drinking it. After an extreme number of stores, I have to wash out the taste with water after every sip because it's starting to make me sick."

But maybe I could embark on a more benign quest...say, buying a book from every Borders in the world...I'll think on that a bit. While I'm drinking my morning coffee.

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