Originally uploaded by try to touch.
Even after 2 and a bit years living in Chicago, people's coffee-making habits still defy explanation and manage to make me smile.
I do not frequent Starbucks these days, unless I absolutely have to, so I'm spared the mind-bending orders issued by impatient customers that need their fix of wannabe coffee and sugar-high syrups. For my way of thinking, syrup of any kind has absolutely no place in good coffee. [Fortunately Starbucks cannot really be called GOOD coffee to begin with, but you get the point.]
I've come back to having my weekday heart started at Lavazza, home to the second-best coffee in the City (first place is still Intelligentsia). Of course the intensity of the caffeine trip makes me vibrate around the office for most of the morning but, on occasions, that is entirely the effect I was going for in the first place.
After getting off the bus this morning, I followed a fellow passenger into Lavazza and waited for my turn in line. Both of us ordered your basic run-of-the-mill coffees with some room for cream in the top. "Ah," I thought, "a kindred coffee spirit".
Not so, as it turned out.
The chap ahead of me, regular untainted coffee in hand, wandered over to the 'condiments' station (for want of a better description), and proceeded to pollute his perfect beverage with any and all of the sprinkles, sugars, flavours, and preservatives on offer. WTF?!
While the very sight of the travesty burned my retinas and scarred my very soul, I was able to stare open-mouthed long enough to notice that he dumped AT LEAST 5 packets of artificial sweetner into his cup. When he reached for the cinnamon and began to liberally douse the drink with it, I had to look away.
I mean seriously, if you don't want to taste coffee in your drink, don't order coffee. Am I right?
Anyway while all this process was playing out, the fellow was hogging the whole condiment station - there was no room for me to sneak in, do my thing, and leave. So my only option was to stand there, take up space, and endure the longest 4 minute coffee preparation I'd ever (not) been involved in.
When his theatrics were nearing their conclusion, I wandered over to the station, sloshed the tiniest amount of half-and-half into my pristine cup and dashed out the door.
Ahead of him.