The last thing I think of every night before I fall asleep is, “I can’t wait to have coffee in the morning.”
(Well, that and “Please don’t lop off my feet with your rusty scythe, Mr. Closet Monster.”)
Unless I’m on late shift, I don’t have my first cup of coffee until I get to work, and immediately afterward starts my daylong wonderfing of “when will I have my next coffee?” because I try to have restraint.
I drink too much coffee. I don’t have a problem admitting that. Out of all the “too muches” in my life, it’s probably the least detrimental.
My usual routine is to make coffee using the office Keurig. I have one of those pods that holds actual grounds so I never have to buy a box of k-cups again (anything for you, environment!). I really like going to Nicholas Coffee in Market Square for some fancy-ass bags of coffee but it’s temporarily CLOSED on account of the adjacent restaurant catching fire for like, the third time this year.
So I brought in a box of Maxim instant coffee that I bought specifically after watching a video from Henry’s favorite Korean cooking lady on iced coffee.
(Gold star alert: I found it at the Korean market in the Strip because I could read the box! Granted, it also says “Maxim” in English but I saw the Hangeul first!)
I was expecting this to be disgusting because, you know, instant coffee like what is this 1993. But no! It’s delicious! And now I don’t have to fuck around with refilling the water in that damn Keurig when the person who uses it before me inevitably walks away with the ADD MORE WATER light flashing.
I’m sure I will eventually buy a bag of fancy coffee but it’s nice to know that I have a super convenient alternative that doesn’t taste like shit.
MY LIFE IS SO EXCITING.
I also have been drinking this delightful coffee milk tea in the afternoons. Everyone was all “oh ho ho ho, you have fun with that!” Because I have struck out with this brand of bagged-beverage before.
But holy shit, this shit is great too! It’s so good that I talked Amber and Glenn into trying it too and they both agreed that it was good and that they would probably drinking again (Glenn begrudgingly so).
It literally does taste like tea and coffee, in one cup, with a dash of cream. It is so good! I don’t know why or how it works, but it just does. Additionally, if you drink it anytime other than 3:15, you won’t actually die like I thought!
But I do have a small growth—I mean, what, no, I’m fine. It’s fine. Coffee tea milk is fine!
In “outside-of-the-office” coffee news, I have been searching for new places to get my iced lattes, which I tend to get once or twice a week as a gift for making it halfway through the day without (royally) screwing anything up at work or if Henry says no to me about something and I need to pair my pout with some espresso.
Typically, I go to Crazy Mocha (there are several around town) for a lavender latte but I’m growing tired of the same girl asking me every time, “Have you ever had this mixed with vanilla?” like it’s my first rodeo with lavender and hello, why doesn’t she know me by now?! I order the same freaking thing every time. UGH I AM SO FORGETTABLE. The other locations don’t always have the lavender syrup so I don’t fuck with them anymore.
Occasionally I will go to Coffee Tree Roasters to get a maple latte, and I love their goddamn lattes, but — and this is embarrassing — the door to their building confuses me and my anxiety over the impending exit starts to build before I even order my stupid drink and then I always end up making a commotion when I’m trying to leave.
So that’s a situation I try to avoid.
If I’m really looking to splurge, I’ll walk to Colony Cafe in the Strip because they have one of the best lattes in town BUT they’re kind of pricey—$5-something and then I always leave a tip because the people there are so goddamn nice, plus it’s a cat cafe (not a good one like you see in Korea and Japan, though. The cats are in a separate upstairs area and you have to reserve a block of time to chill with them, which is probably a good thing because then I’m not going back to work, like, “Look at the new fur pants I bought down the street at Burlington, guys!”
All of this is to say that I needed to change shit up a bit, so I used Yelp (ugh for days) and found a place called Gasoline Street Coffee Company that I had never heard of, probably because it’s on a different side of the city and not as convenient as the Starbucks inside our building, so why would anyone from work go there unless they’re psycho over stupid shit like me.
I had to use Google maps to help me get there because I don’t know street names and the only directions I can follow are things that involve landmarks, like, “Turn left where your stalker works and then make a hard right at the corner where the Dunkin’ Donuts protester stands with his middle fingers up.” While I was following the moving blue dot on my phone, Henry called.
“I can’t talk to you right now, I’m on a mission,” I said in my secret agent voice.
“OK, bye,” he said, and then HUNG UP. He didn’t even ask me what my mission was?!
You may be shocked to know that I followed my map accordingly and found the damn place. It’s located in an area I have never been on foot before (for my Pittsburgh peeps, it’s over by the First Avenue T station) so I had to walk beneath overpasses and it was pretty daunting. There was some construction going on nearby too so I kept expecting to get jack-hammered or hit by a rogue chunk of asphalt. You don’t know my fears.
Since I was on late shift and taking my break much later in the day, I rolled up to this spot about 40 minutes before their 5pm closing time. The decor is old gas station/repurposed licence plate chic, and I feel like that trend peaked in the late 90s, right? But it didn’t feel too hipster-y, so I was willing to embrace the outdated-ness as vintage.
There was one man sitting in a balcony-thing, reading a paper. Other than that, the place was dead. The coffee counter was located halfway up a ramp, to the side, and it was so awkwardly situated that I had to practically stand on tiptoes to see over top of the counter. When the guy asked me for my order, I told him it was my first time there and he said, “Oh take your time” and started to walk away.
“No, I mean, what do you recommend?” I called after him.
He had next to no personality and was clearly lacking any drop of desire to engage in my wishy-washy coffee needs. I was hoping he would say something like, “Well, if I were YOU, I would get a cortado because we use blah blah blah beans and then blah it and add some blah” or maybe he would gesture to the Specialty Drinks portion of the chalkboard behind him and give some smooth sales pitch about matcha.
But instead, with a sigh, he started naming things like, “Coffee, tea, lemonade” like OK I get it, bro. So I interrupted him and just ordered my go-to iced latte.
THEY DIDN’T HAVE SOY so I got it with coconut milk instead. Then I had to stand on the ramp, on an angle, while he made the damn thing and it was kind of like standing in line for an elevated ride at an amusement park but WITH LESS THRILL.
It was fine. It was reasonably priced. But it was just a latte.
^^^Just a latte.
Of course, now that I had a real menu in front of me and I was back on a level surface, I was able to take my time and really give it a good perusal and now I wish I had ordered the Chocolate Orange, whaaaat!? I guess I will have to go back someday, maybe this week. I can’t commit to anything right now though.
Also last week, I was in the Strip and decided to stop at Prestogeorge, which I have never been to for some reason. They’re located far enough away from my work that I really had to quicken my pace, so I was full-blown sweating by the time I got there.
I ordered an iced cinnamon latte and it was super refreshing and lovely, but the best part about this place was that the people working there were very down-to-earth and didn’t have a single drop of barista snob in them. For as much as I love coffee, I usually stick with straight-up hot coffee, lattes, cold brews, and macchiatos (the real kinds), so sometimes when I feel like trying something different, it can be daunting! I have had so many baristas make me feel stupid. So if I can walk into a place and join in a conversation about Pink Floyd’s The Wall and then only pay $4 for a latte AND a lemon fig bar thing instead of the NINE DOLLARS it would cost me at Crazy Mocha, then you’ve got yourself a new regular customer.
Except that I can’t be TOO regular of a customer because it’s a far walk and sometimes I have other parts of town to visit on my aimless lunch break walks YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE.
Also, the ladies at Prestogeorge loved my birdcage ring and I love it when people love my jewelry because for someone who hates small talk, I sure wear a lot of conversational pieces.
OK, and that has been 1700+ words on the coffee I drink at work. I am truly such an interesting person. Sign-ups to be my friend are hanging on the glass window behind the milk crate that my favorite homeless guy sits on. If you have any questions, I’ll just be over here drinking my second cup of Maxim coffee.