I have recently discovered the joy of coffee, having been a self-confessed tea addict for about eighteen years. And do you know why?
Because I just LOVE the fancy names!
I love saying them and hearing them, and (now this is a seriously lame-ass confession) I really do think I sound SUPER cool and sophisticated when I order them! (Please don’t judge me – I already know I am beyond lame..).
Have you ever seen one of those American films where a person goes to the counter and orders a coffee? A stream of words come out their mouths, at a speed on par with a racehorse, and the assistant just nods and gets the drink. I’m sat there, oblivious to the film carrying on while I am still, ten minutes later, trying to work out what the hell they just ordered!
Now I know you could say it’s just a film, both the ‘customer’ and ‘assistant’ have rehearsed their lines, they don’t need to understand it.
I’ve been to America, and I’ve witnessed it! It’s real!!
So I have decided all Americans are born with a natural ability to order complex coffees. It’s a gene developed as they grow in the womb, and while our English kiddies are at school learning their ABC’s and simple sums, American kiddies are refining their ability to order a coffee; “Now then Tommy, let’s hear you recite your coffee order.”
“I’d like a Flappa-Flipa-Mika-Tricka-Licka-Bipa-Loca-Nocka-Choca, please..”
“Very good, Tommy. You may sit back down.” (this is by no means an insult to American children or America’s education system, I realise they too learn ABCs and simple sums…)
So anyway, I decided I wanted to be a part of this seemingly exclusive club of coffee drinkers – my ultimate goal: to order a Starbucks!
So I thought I’d nip into the supermarket and get started…..
It’s was f@&*ing disgusting!
I had never tasted anything so bitter and foul-tasting in my life, making me want to vom on the spot! Gross!
BUT. I reeeeally wanted to be able to go into a Starbucks and order a coffee! So, I did what any sane person would do who knew anymore of that foul liquid would make them vom on the toes of their shoes….
…I kept drinking it.
You know, like they say you can train your taste buds to enjoy something, well, I was in training! (much like cigarettes – I’m pretty sure when I tried my first cigarette all those years ago that the coughing up of my lung wasn’t particularly enjoyable, but, you get passed these things, don’t you) Everyone else seems able to enjoy this disgusting drink, I’m sure I will eventually.
So, the training of the taste buds commenced, and I tried an assortment of things to assist the process: 7 sugars – White then brown; gallons of milk instead of water; minimal coffee and loads of water… But nothing seemed to work.
I discovered a Cappuccino sachet!!
Brilliant! It sounded cool, it tasted better (marginally), and I got to sprinkle chocolate powder on the top!!
Horrah!!!! (the angels sing).
So, I started drinking these, and I was able to go to a small coffee shop here in sunny Brighton and order myself a Cappuccino.
It still wasn’t the really cool order I wanted. “A cappuccino, please,” didn’t really have that same ring to it. And besides, if I’m totally honest, I really didn’t like it all that much.
So I continued my supermarket search, assuming there must be SOME variation of coffee i’d enjoy.
Then, as I was perusing the coffee aisle, I saw it: an amazingly named coffee sachet by Necafe.
The DOUBLE CHOCA MOCHA!!!
(angels singing pretty loudly at this point – aaaAAAAaaAAAAAAhhh!)
How fricking AMAZING did that one sound! I HAD to have it.
So I bought them, got home, and VOILA! I loved it!
Awesome. By now I feel I have the confidence to enter a Starbucks – my ultimate goal – and order a coffee. I rehearsed my line all the way to work on the train. I knew what I had to say, I knew the drink I wanted, and I knew I would no longer feel like an outcast in this exclusive coffee club of people.
I was ready.
I stepped into the darkly lit room, the smell of various coffees filling my nostrils. Bliss. I am SO ready to do this.
There is a queue of around four people at the counter, so I take the time to look at the board on the back wall, where all the types of coffee are listed.
And my heart stopped.
On said board, was not just the coffee I wanted, but THREE variations of it!
A Cafe Mocha
A Choca Mocha
And a White Mocha!
(I realise, NOW, that the above options are really rather simple to decipher: cafe (normal), choca (extra chocolate) and White (White chocolate), but you need to understand I felt WAAAAY out of my depth here, surrounded by coffee graduates (yeah, I just made that qualification up), and I felt so intimidated that my mind just froze! I couldn’t suss out what the hell it meant!)
So I stood in line, awaiting my turn like a lemon. I wanted to bolt – screw this coffee lark; I want my tea – but the queue had extended behind me, and I’d look like a right douche if I legged it now. So with that option out the widow, I had no other choice than to try and revise the line of my order….”a mocha please/a NORMAL mocha please/er, a tea please..”
My hands had began to get clammy as I nervously awaited my turn. And then, BAM, I was next.
“Erm, I’d like a Mocha, please.”
“What type of Mocha would you like?”
So, of course, I totally embarrassed myself.
I stood as tall as I could, cleared my throat, and went for it:
“Oh look, I’m not really au fait with this coffee thing-” nervous chuckle as the large queue behind me watch my increasingly reddening face, “I just know I like Mocha’s.”
I’m a Dickhead.
Stunned silence behind the counter and in the queue, and practically in the entire shop followed my lame-ass comment.
AN INTRUDER! This girl knows NOTHING of our coffee world – off with her head!!
I kid you not, I felt like I was five-years-old and the size of Thumbelina.
Fortunately, the Italian guy serving me took pity on this painfully uneducated woman standing before him, and lowered his voice.
“The White Mocha is great – White chocolate – I’d recommend it.”
“Yes, yes, I’ll have that please.” Relief washed over me instantly. Until..
“Okay. Tall? Cream?”
“Yes? To which?”
Flustered beyond belief, “YES, yes to both. Yes please.” GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!!!!!
He smiled. Then leaned forward and -joy of joys! – whispered, “next time you come in, order: a tall White mocha with cream.”
Woo-fucking-ha! That’s my super-dooper order! How cool did that sound?!!!
So I left, unharmed, with my coffee in hand and my objective met!
Life is great!!
And then my brother in-law – genius that he is – texted me this little beauty:
Double ristretto venti half soy nonfat decaf organic chocolate brownie iced vanilla double shot gingerbread frappuccino extra hot with whipped cream upside down double blended one sweet’n low and one nutrasweet and ice.