Saturday, March 19, 2011

Snot in my Sinuses and Thoughts in my Head

Being Saturday, this day marks the looming end of my last Spring Break ever. I did not go someplace tropical, exotic, foreign or even crazy. Instead, I went skiing in Vermont. There will be more on that endeavor later, don't worry there'll be pictures to boot, but first, just a random thought that came into my head at 10:22 p.m. on a Saturday night alone in my apartment listening to Ida Maria's "Oh My God" and attempting to work on my economics thesis.

Why is it that people have strong opinions and conceptions about the way a person takes their coffee, but not about tea?

A well-known caffeine addict, I do not discriminate and tend to absorb large quantities of both tea and coffee. I drink green tea, black tea, chai teas, herbal mixes, you name it. With respect to the bean, I like darker roasts, particularly French roasts and the occasional americano. When I have tea, if it is a black tea, then I drink it "grandma style" which includes milk and a copious amount of sugar. Other teas, due to their flavors, I drink straight. The only exception to my black tea protocol is when I'm skiing. In such instances, I enjoy black tea with lemon and some honey. In both of those situations, everything is fine. Drinking socially with friends, no one seems to bat and eye at my choice. If anything, tea drinkers go out of their way to provide the desired additions, like my friend Nate did at our last tea party.

With coffee, I prefer a splash of either cream or whole milk. No sugar, no crazy extra sweeteners or added flavors, but a little bit of real dairy is ideal for me. Drinking coffee around friends for the first time, or discussing how one takes their coffee results in horrified stares at my declaration of dairy. How could I? The tiniest drop of milk is sacrilege!

Believe me, I am not uneducated in the knowledge of coffee. Through living in Portland, aka Stumptown and land of overly opinionated hipsters, my own research, and a good friend who works in the production of the plant, there is no doubting my ability to be informed. I know that coffee is one of those beverages that should be savored in its pure, true form. If it makes anyone feel better, I don't add anything to an americano.

For some reason, my inclusion of milk is this horrible abomination and, I can't quite figure out why. Yes I have been told time and time again that it's better black. I can, and have, drank coffee black with no milk or sugar, however, it is just my personal preference to drink it otherwise. Even as I compose this, I have been racking my brain for a logical explanation as to why the way someone takes their coffee seems to indicate some gargantuan statement about their character. Perhaps it is because I have been sick and congested for the better part of the past few weeks and the mucus is getting to my head, but I just can't think of any reason.

For some reason, the way you take your coffee says a statement about your moral fiber, but no one bats an eye at the way you take your tea.



  1. I take my coffee black, with tequila and kahlua. There is nothing better. :)

  2. My guess when it comes to Tea v. Coffee, it's that more people drink coffee than tea. From DDs to Starbucks to local bakeries, I feel that the average person purchases a coffee than a tea; then this average person cares more about how coffee is taken than tea.

    My preference is:

    (1) any hot beverage, that is [black] tea or coffee is taken as is. That said, I do have a strange taste in beverages mostly due to my father and paternal grandfather.

    (2) (A) Iced coffee is taken with cream, no sugar required. I think cold, black coffee is repulsive. (B) Iced tea must be taken with sugar. Unfortunately due to recent issues, sugar consumption must remain low. Unless I feel like turning to Sweet-n-Low, I see minimal iced tea consumption in my future.

    I cannot understand why people care if you require creamer/milk/50/50 for hot coffee. To me, it's like someone getting mad at me for adding sauerkraut instead of relish to my hotdog: it's a matter of personal taste, not a sort of 'collective' taste.