I am genuinely surprised that my husband will still offer to go out for coffee with me.
I have become the most pain-in-the-arse coffee date imaginable.
I’m not entirely sure how this evolved. I never used to care all that much about coffee quality or cafe ambience. The idea that ‘the tables are too plasticy’ or ‘the mugs are the wrong shape’ never entered my mind.
I never used to judgmentally inspect the scones and crinkle my nose at poor sugar to date ratio, nor comment on the quality of the nut milk. (oh, I beg your pardon; nut ‘mylk’ ) (and on a side note, why do they have to call it ‘mylk’ even spellchecker thinks that’s weird).
It used to be “flat white please”. Now it’s “what brand of almond MILK do you use?” Or the “Can I please have the cup heated extra hot, I drink it too slowly you see” (they don’t care. They hate me at this point). It’s the difficult decision to end a long standing relationship (because that’s what it is to me) with a cafe, because they no longer employ my favourite barista.
Why am I like this? More importantly, do I care?
Back in the day (think WAY back) when the boys were head-banging to Tool, and the girls were overzealously miming emotional gestures while screaming the lyrics to Zombie (you may have had a different circle of friends, go with it) the options for coffee haunts were few and far between.
We had one place that served soy hot chocolates out of Agee jars and was full of unemployed dreadlocked fire stick throwers eating bean curd, and another place that made rye sandwiches and sold clove cigarettes (which, by the way, you could totally smoke inside).
All the coffees were $2.50
The plants were probably fake, or ficus. I detest ficus. Save it for the office, Karen.
All this to say that no-one seemed to care that much about latte art and award winning crema.
I didn’t.When I was in high school, coffee was coffee. Coffee was ‘cool’.
I was just stoked to have convinced my teacher that I had an ‘orthodontist appointment’. Really, I had ditched my uniform in lieu of a furry blue skirt and a velvet choker and was swiftly purchasing my cappuccino (gag) and jumping on the bus to my boyfriend’s house.
Coffee was just part of the thrill.
But now? In this city that has about 2000 cafes? I have a preferred choice of about four. Oh, I’ll go elsewhere, but under duress, and carrying with me a deep sense of distrust.
I consider ‘going out for a coffee’ to be a privilege, nay, an experience. Hell yeah I’ll meet you for coffee… Here are your only options….
So I am a coffee snob.
I like latte art. Latte art is a whisper of hope in the chaos of the day. I appreciate single origin blends. I understand them. Like whisky.
If you spell it ‘expresso’ you will never (ever) see my money.
So I am picky. And a pain-in-the-ass to take out on a date.
But really….really I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Just a good experience, consistent taste and temperature, and the retainment of the good baristas.
Oh, and wooden tables. If possible. Please.