I have to confess something. I love coffee. I drink it all the time. I need it to start my day. That isn't what I'm confessing here but I am always drinking coffee especially in the morning because I am not nor have I ever been a morning person. I am no coffee connoisseur (nor do I speak french) but the only way I can fake it even a little is with that two cup jump start in the morning. One right when I get up and one right when I get to work. Otherwise those cheerful morning pixies who apparently get ten hours of sleep and go to bed right after the 6 pm evening news and jump up at dawn with those little annoying bluebirds on their shoulders while they whistle a happy tune probably by Taylor Swift or Celine Dion are getting murdered the hard, messy way...slowly. Man I hate morning people! They are so happy while I have that hung over, body aching, head in cotton feeling when I didn't even drink the night before. I HATE those people. I HATE HATE HATE them. What the heck are they so cheerful about? It's too early to be up. It's too early to be working and thinking and planning our day. GOD DAMN them all.
|Find and Go get Coffee here!|
So anyway, my admission or confession or whatever, is that I am really uncomfortable in these coffee places. Dunkins I have down but recently I have determined that Dunkins is crap. I learned this accidentally. A friend showed up with a drink from Boston Common Coffee and was really enjoying it. Every time he took a sip he made a little noise much like the noise I make when my wife is touching.....me. He gave a little moan of pleasure after every sip. I asked what the hell he was drinking and asked him to either let me have a sip or get the heck away from me. He, apparently was enjoying some kind of vanilla caramel latte iced thing with whipped cream on top. This was life changing for me. I loved it! Soon after that I did a little recon & research and learned that there are all kinds of "fair trade" and "magical specialty" coffee beans and "pour over" and "scientific cool brewed" coffee ......things.
So like any typical working stiff with a caffeine jones I needed to experience these new and interesting drinks. The problem is that places like The Thinking Cup and Bourbon Coffee (what?) really intimidate me. You can not order a large regular in there. You need to know the lingo. You should learn what a Latte is. I actually thought it was pronounced "late" a while back. "I'll get a Medium , I mean a Venti. Late. Ravioli. Cup. Coffee. ....aww forget it."
|Scary but good|
Virtually every single coffee place has at least one guy wearing a winter hat in the middle of summer. AND two women with nose rings and purple hair. It's an actual prerequisite to work there. I'm not sure what a hipster is but there's no doubt that if they work at all they work at coffee places and they lay in wait for people like me to walk in and not know our Cafe au Lait's from our Americano's. You have to know the lingo or everyone gets a , "You're a dumbass!" look on their face. I started out simple. I got a small hot coffee. ok a tall. ok a short. Yes that is really friggin annoying when you can't say small. But the coffee itself is fabulous. I was at the Thinking Cup which serves Stumptown Coffee. I had this before when visiting family in Portlandia and it is good stuff. I was going to bring a pound home but I would have had to sell my car to do it so I just get it at the Thinking Cup. Oh and make sure when you order it you then move down to the area where you pick it up. Otherwise you get the , "HEY dumbass move down there to pick up your short tall latte you bitch!" They say it much nicer but I know that's what they are thinking.
|"No Man. We only have TALLS no SMALLS Dumbass!"|
Downtown Crossing where I live and work has a ton of coffee places now. Forget Starbucks and Dunkins. Go to Caffe Nero, Boston Brewin, Boston Common, Thinking Cup and there's more if you head towards the business district. They all have coffee making people making your good quality coffee. "NO we're Barista's!" No children, you are coffee making drink makers. Stop being pretentious and I will like you so much more.
|New with lots of comfy couches|
|Also with lots of comfy couches and it's 50% more Hipster-ish|
Hipster. definition - someone trying way too desperately to be hip. Please everyone. Stop trying so hard!
Things I do not understand: ( fashionably speaking )
1. Nose, cheek, neck, eyebrow piercings.
2. Tats that go above the neckline onto the face.
3. Winter hats in summer.
4. Facial hair, mutton chops and any steam-punk or 1800's look. What. The. F?
5. Purple, blue, pink or green hair.
6. Tights and no underwear.
7. Bikes as accessories. Why are you walking your bike?
8. Lizards, snakes, rats and Platypus as accessories.
9. Vests. I just don't get vests. sorry.
10. Guys with Rabbi beards. I really can't tell the difference any more between Hipsters, homeless people, Rabbi's or genuine hippies any more.
Now where was I. COFFEE. I love these quality coffee drinks. I love a Caramel latte with no whip cream and whole milk. I throw in a Sweet and Low then I moan all the way to the bottom of the cup. I always have appreciated quality in any form. Maybe it is worth overcoming my queasy intimidation of not knowing what's up in an uppity coffee shop.
(Did I just say uppity?)
|4 ft high filter pack|
I make my own coffee at home first thing in the morning when I'm barely awake. My coffee never ever turns out like the coffee I buy in Downtown Boston. It's always a frustrating ordeal for me. I bought my coffee filters at Costco so there is a four foot high stack of coffee filters in my pantry. Peeling one coffee filter off the top of this pile is almost impossible. I lick my fingers and peel one off. I now have 7 in my hand I put six back and go to the coffee machine. I still have three in my hand somehow. I finally manage to get one filter off and put it in the Black and Decker coffee machine. The thing you put the filter into is plastic. If you don't put it in the machine the exact right way and you turn the machine on then coffee will brew all over the counter top. This happens to me quite frequently. I hate Black and Decker coffee machines but when I used to have a Mr. Coffee ,coffee machine I would fill up the carafe with water and try to pour the water into the machine the water would somehow always pour all over the counter top.
|Curse you B&D|
So I used a scoop to fill my filter with coffee. I am never sure how much to use so inevitably the coffee will be too watery or too strong. The way I combat this is to put tons of sugar and creamer into my coffee. I am apparently not a Barista.
I wish I had a million dollars. I would buy a fancy Italian coffee maker. It would be one of those huge metal works of art you see in the North End while eating Cannoli and sipping Cappucino's. I would hire a Barista to make me Latte's and Frappaccino's . (copyright Starbucks) every morning. That is my wish.
|The Dream Machine|
A short time later I was walking to Boston Brewin coffee on Bromfield Street for a caramel latte and was pondering my wish when I saw a homeless man sitting on the ground with a cardboard sign that said, "I am not lying! I need spare change to eat!" My first thought was, "Why would he want to eat spare change?" Then I wondered if his wish was just for some spare change. I felt guilty about wishing for a personal Barista so I changed my wish and wished he would get some spare change. No one gave him any. Apparently wishing for money isn't the key here. As I continued on to the coffee place I was aware I had a pocket with lots of spare change in it. The irony of this did not escape me.
I asked for a large iced Caramel Latte with whole milk and two Sweet and Lows. I had already had a bucket full of sugar in my earlier coffee so I figured I'd cut back on the sugar this time. The coffee making person asked if I wanted some other better tasting coffee drink for a few cents more. I said sure. I never could have afforded it if I had given my change to the homeless guy. The irony of this didn't escape me this time either.
As I went on to work I pondered the irony of the morning and made a mental note to Google the word irony when I got home because I really wasn't too sure whether I was using that word correctly.
All of these thoughts went away and I started my day grateful for the cure to my caffeine addiction so close by in so many great places.
|Thanks for the Venti Americano dude!|