I didn’t drink coffee until I was 22-years-old. And the only reason I started is because I got a job at a cafe – the coffee there was PHENOMENAL. Our beans were specially grown for our shop and they were SO GOOD. I got extremely spoiled with free daily coffees (and as many a day as I wanted, at that) and high quality beans and syrup (Monin – highly recommend if you are a closet barista in your own home – it is THE BEST). Unfortunately, the cafe closed after a couple of years, as family-owned businesses often do, and I was forced to search elsewhere for my delectable cups of coffee.
I should probably mention that by “cups of coffee,” I am, of course, referring to the shee-shee la-la foo-foo drinks that are served all over America. Lattes and mochas and cappuccinos.. That sort of thing. Black coffee is fine, if you like the taste of jet fuel.
The first place I went to, like any normal, twenty-something, American female would, was Starbucks. Now, I don’t consider myself any sort of coffee aficionado, mind you, however, I do know what a GOOD drink should taste like, and the one I got from Starbucks was way below par. I thought perhaps it was the drink I’d ordered – a mocha. There was way too much chocolate and the milk was burnt, not to mention the espresso was terrible. We all have our bad days at work – I figured maybe a new employee made my drink, someone who hadn’t quite learned all the tricks of the trade, so to speak. I was wrong. The white mocha and skinny vanilla latte I ordered in later visits were equally as bad.
Luckily, I discovered a Peet’s coffee about a mile from my house. ECSTATIC! If you live near a Peet’s coffee and you’ve never gone in, I guarantee that it will be well worth your time (and money!) to stop and order your drink of choice. You will be converted, I swear. For one thing, they use the same brand syrup (Monin) that I used at my cafe job. If you like syrup in your coffee, that’s your first clue that your drink is going to be great. The baristas there actually know how to steam milk – I drink Peet’s ALMOST every day (I know, I know.. $35 a week in coffee is a really large expense – but it’s THAT good.), and I’ve NEVER had burnt milk – EVER. I know that sounds extremely snobbish of me, but when 75% of the drink is milk, you want it to taste good. And, of course, their coffee is amazing. It has a really deep, bold flavor that just mixes so well with the syrup and milk.. It is perfecto! If you get nothing else out of this blog, AT LEAST go and try a Peet’s coffee. *The only downfall about Peet’s is their lack of salty snacks. When I’m having a sugary coffee, I usually want a little something salty to go with it. If you love pastries, though, theirs are really good.
My newest discovery is Java City. I had one experience with this place at an airport (go figure), and it was not a good one. However, it is the only coffee joint on the Sac State campus, so I figured I should try it again. LOVE IT. I might actually prefer it to Peet’s (insert open-mouthed shock face here) – their coffee is amazing and – BONUS! – the drinks are two dollars cheaper (insert another jaw-dropping face here)! Not to mention, they offer salty AND sweet food, and it’s good! Soooo many exclamation points!!!
So WHAT IS ALL THIS STARBUCKS FUSS ABOUT?! Why do you people insist on drinking the pisswater that they claim is coffee? Is it really that important to carry around a cup with a big, green mermaid emblem on it? Especially when you just throw it in the trash when you’re finished with it? Why not broaden your horizons a bit? I mean, if you’re going to spend $5 on a cup of coffee, might as well make it a good one. We should follow the examples of our fellow Europeans, who are, in fact, the coffee and espresso kings – make your coffee experience worth sitting down for, and enjoying every single last drop.