Having worked at cafes, coffeeshops, and retail in general, I am attuned to the disdainful groan elicited when someone orders a ridiculous beverage. These charming customer (read: assholes) wander into Starbucks, Caribou or their local coffee joints and, while they probably couldn't describe the difference between a latte and a cappuccino, attempt to order something like a "Half-caf soy skinny latte, no foam". Um.
Ri-goddamn-diculous, I say.
I started ordering coffee a while ago, satisfied with my intensely strong and heavily creamed "wake me out of a coma" brew. It's just easier...on me and on "baristas". I don't want to risk having some inexperience kid behind the bar scald my milk or pour disgustingly bitter espresso shots, and I don't want to constantly have to adjust my palate when my Caramel Macchiato isn't as caramelly or sweet as it should be. All I have to do is walk into the shop, stare longily at the pastry case, ask for my cup of coffee and doctor it up so it's at least palatable and move on my way.
But my coffee loving experience changed recently...BECAUSE I CAN'T HAVE MILK. Argh! Coffee and milk are like corn and peas, or peanut butter and jelly, or Barnes & Noble and a really bad date. They are meant for each other! I decided that rather than torturing myself with bad coffee and non-dairy creamer, that I would give coffee up completely and just drink tea. But sadly, it's unsatisfying.
I started my move back to coffeedom at home, with my fancy little Keurig one-cup brewing machine. I made some strong organic joe, added the non-dairy creamer, a little sugar and stepped onto my front balcony to enjoy the morning and, hopefully, the coffee. And I did! For the past few weeks, I've continued in this tradition and picked up coffee at work with friends or even out on the town, so long as a dairy free creamer was available.
My BFF and I were training up to Baltimore last weekend and she ordered an iced caramel soy latte at one of the coffee stands in Union Station. I took a swig and found it was divine. Normally, I can't really stand the flavor of soy milk but this was delicious! When we made it up to Baltimore, I bought one of my very own at Red Canoe and again loved it. I had one more Sunday morning at One World Cafe in Charles Village and confirmed my adoration.
Caramel Soy Latte...I <3 you.