Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Espresso Shrine

Whatever happened to the simple and humble cuppa joe? The kind that you wrapped your fingers around and savored in your favorite old chipped mug at home or that you grabbed in a styrofoam to-go cup from the local Choke-and-Puke greasy spoon diner? It seems that it has gone the way of David Hasselhoff's career, namely, into desperate oblivion. Now some up-and-coming executive wanna-be with his hair slicked back like a bad Elvis caricature, saunters into the ubiquitous gourmet coffee shoppe staffed with an army of trained beverage consultants and begins to rattle off with a straight face the following clearly fictional utterance:

Sweety, make mine a decaf double venti, 5 pump white mocha, 3 pump peppermint, half soy,half non-fat, no foam, light chocolate whip, carmel drizzle inside and out, with cinnamon and chocolate powder on top, shaken and not stirred.

What's worse, the peppy "barista" on the other side of the counter actually understands this nonsense. Wow, this world we live in is clearly off its collective rocker.

In the old days folks were satisfied to keep a small Mr. Coffee coffee maker in their office. A scoop of Maxwell House, a splash of water, and poof, a cup of foul-smelling mud. You didn't care what it tasted like, it only mattered that this go-go juice gave you the fortitude to make it through your incessant day without drooling all over your keyboard or hanging yourself from the fluorescent light fixtures. But today, I witnessed with my own two eyes a new and disturbing trend in utter java-ocity, the personal espresso shrine. In a co-worker's office, sitting on a sturdy brass and polished chrome table, was a coffee maker the size of a 1978 Yugo. This behemoth was outfitted with more plumbing lines, steam towers, gauges, dials, and buttons than the control room at the downtown power plant. What's next?