Saturday, August 2, 2014

Grande venti menti denti schlamenti.

Funny that more than two decades since I first was exposed to a latte*, I’m still confused by all the stuppiato coffee variations available. I was looking at this list of different coffee types---cappuccino, Caffé Americano, espresso, lungo, macchiato, mocha, flat white, tall black---with a friend even more bewildered than I am. I explained to her that a double espresso is called a doppio because it’s twice as dope as a single espresso. I think she only laughed at that because I’m so white myself. Fat white.

In my day, sonny, we were just emerging from the long era of American coffee being one kind, one way, with only varying degrees of lousiness supposedly attached. It was good enough for the America that won two world wars, the cold war, and became the greatest economic powerhouse the world has ever known, but it was not good enough anymore.**

On the whole I prefer better coffee, but people take it way too damn seriously. Look, you tell the guy who barely got through high school (or worse, is majoring in Grievance Studies at the local U) that you want a venti double half-caf vanilla macchiato with extra steamed milk and two Sweet'N Lows and a shot of caramel and a dusting of cinnamon, and you get sore that he screws up that dog's breakfast of a drink?

And it's getting worse. Seems like they’re coming up with new coffee drinks all the time, with many being trademarked drinks like the Frappuccino*** from those green guys. In fact, here’s some new ones that I hear are in development.

Short Gray: Maxwell House boiled in a percolator for five hours, served with clumpy nondairy creamer or milk of questionable freshness in a 1960s-style mug (plastic base with a pop-in disposable plastic cup).

Barista Peli del Pettiato: Named for the barista's chest hair, this is a frothy hot milk drink with smears of espresso.

Bolognaccio: Espresso with meat sauce.

Pantaloni Caffè: Triple espresso served so hot, fireproof pants are required as a precautionary measure.

Caffé Sudamericano: Discontinued, as President Obama plans to make them all into Caffé Americanos.

Mocho Loco: Caffé Americano with an extra shot of espresso, stirred with a Snickers.

Caffè Tonno in Scatola
Iced Tacuccino: Taco Bell's proprietary iced coffee drink, which comes with a shot of pico de gallo.

Einsteinicano: Billed as an atomic-powered coffee drink that will turn your hair white and make it shoot out like the famous scientist's. Get so buzzed you'll get lost on campus!

Coffee: Not sure what this is, but it probably will never catch on.

* I was going out to the coffee truck and asked the one kid younger than me if I could get her anything. She said oh, yes, but could I go around the corner to this new place, I'd love the coffee, and get her a large latte? Did not know what it was. Did not expect to drop four bucks on it. This was at a time in my life when four unexpected bucks could mean the difference between lunch or no lunch.

** The boss of the company I worked for at this same time loved to tell the story of working with Europeans who, when asked their opinion of American coffee, said after a pause, "It is a beverage." Eurosnots.

*** Dunkin Donuts developed the Coolatta, which quickly morphed from a Frappuccino imitator to a watery milk shake. Still tasty, though.

No comments: