Monday, August 26, 2013

Selling Your Soul for a Cup of Joe

Being a snob is something that everyone has to get out of their systems at some point in their lives. As much as the nice people protest, it's fun to be a snob every once in a while. Just don't let it carry too far, lest you end up painting your walls a horrendous shade of California poppy red and take to wearing teal linen pants with perfectly careless cuffs as if to say you were born this way, although we all know you spent about fifteen minutes getting those cuffs perfectly cuffed. Thus, it's important to remember to never let your snobbishness take over your entire life. Become a snob about something that is relatively harmless. I'm a coffee snob. I'm also a snob about music, but that's a topic for another day.

Coffee is a decision. Like choosing to start a retirement fund even though you can't comprehend actually retiring, coffee is an active choice. Some people will tell you they always loved coffee. These people are liars. No one loves coffee from the first time they taste it. It's bitter, bites back, and stains your teeth. All logic says not to love it. But just like the guy you know isn't good for you, there's something about it that you can't quite shake. Maybe it's the caffeine that promises to wake you up enough to care halfway about putting on makeup. Or maybe it's just an idea, like a glamorous champagne love affair. Whatever it is, it quickly becomes a life long passion. During times of stress and little sleep, you'll cling to it like you cling to a useless boyfriend because you can't imagine life without him, and during the good times you'll cling to it because it just goes so well with your life.

But while it's okay to be a snob and preach the salvation of the French press or your air press or that certain kind of coffee that combines notes of vanilla with African evenings under the stars, it's not okay to be a snob about Starbucks. Starbucks is responsible for the renaissance of coffee that America is now in the delicious throes of. Without Starbucks we would all be drinking black coffee out of boring white mugs in the kitchen. Starbucks took coffee and elevated it into a lifestyle. They enabled us to be the snobs we profess to be, by creating safe places for people to pretend to read when really they were only watching other people pretend to read, and helping us define ourselves through what drink we ordered. Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

So this is why everyone should have a signature Starbucks drink. Yes, sometimes their espresso tastes like Faust's lost soul, but if you're a true coffee lover then you realize that just as leopard print is a way of life for the Kardashians, coffee is a way of life for the coffee snob. Sometimes you can't get a good cup of coffee at work because work has bought into the Keurig way of the future. Or you're stranded in an airport for four hours without your French press. And Starbucks is there, like a kindly friend, to offer you your grande cinnamon dolce latte with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar topping. Starbucks doesn't judge you for your addiction, and having a non-judgmental force in our social media driven lives is valuable in the age of Klout.


Leita said...

This is brilliant. I am sharing this with everyone. My favourite line has to be "Yes, sometimes their espresso tastes like Faust's lost soul..." because YES.

Zana said...

I may have to disagree. Starbucks *commercialized" coffee snob-dom. Before Starbucks you had to make an effort to find an independent coffee shop and cultivate that love of a half-caff mocchiato. Your snob-dome then was more truly earned, and more to be respected. (And most independent shops avoid the Faustian lows... because their coffee usually isn't as nasty.)

Cheryl said...

Have to agree with Zana on this one. Real coffee shops that roast their own beans and take take pride in not using and automatic with a pod, still time the perfect shot to achieve that beautiful, rich, carmel colored cream. Those places may owe their heritage to "Charbucks" but are evolutionaryily more superior in their drinks and usually in their atmosphere. Starbucks is still go to in a pinch like the airport. So what does that make me - an elitist? I shall proudly wear the title! Express yourself!!