Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
A Bummer of a Blended Coffee Drink
It’s a matter of pride for me that I take my coffee black with no sugar. Not just because it sounds macho (and often makes people squinch up their faces in disgust and awe), but also because it has no calories. This is particularly important because I’m super dependent on my daily coffee and refuse to ever put it on the list of possible items to eliminate from my diet during those weeks when I think I need to be thinner.
When I see people walking around with slushy, whip-topped “coffee drinks,” I have two contradictory internal responses: First I think, That looks good! Then I think, Lame. It’s not even real coffee.
Yesterday, I found myself at a bizarre and unfamiliar crossroads, craving a smoothie but desperate for caffeine. I stood in front of the menu board at Filter Coffee House in North Park and hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before finally deciding on a blended coffee drink. I ask my friend Nick behind the counter which of their offerings he considers best. He said the java chip mocha was yummy because it has chocolate chips in it. That sounded repulsive to me. Not that I don’t like chocolate chips. I do. Just not in my coffee.
In the end I bypassed the caramel, the chocolate mint, the chocolate peanut butter, the heath mocha and the vanilla latte in favor of the flavor listed as “coffee.” Once I’d ordered it (hold the whip), I settled into the idea of indulgence right away. Silly sweet coffee drink or no, I planned to enjoy every last slurp.
Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way. Firstly, I don’t know if the straw was too skinny or the slush was too thick, but every sip I got was watery, not slushy. I tried moving my straw around so that I would get that thick slush, but all I could ever do was suck the liquid out of the slush. So that was annoying.
Secondly, what came up through my straw tasted like powdered mix and it left me with a bitter taste at the back of my tongue that took six glasses of water to wash away.
One would think this unfortunate experience would turn me off of blended coffee drinks forever. But instead, I opened myself up to a new craving. I am now in search of a blended coffee drink that’s indulgent and satisfying. I won’t make a daily habit of it, but in the event that I should ever find myself at this crossroads again, I need to know where to find the answer to my craving.