Posts Tagged ‘Coffee’

My One, True Love

My thoughts are rambling today, as is normal when I think about my one love. I get distracted, happy, contemplative, unfocused.

Yes, I am talking about coffee.

Yesterday at a work dinner, my coworker and I agreed on an important thing: We’d give up alcohol before coffee. Alcohol is a fling when you’re young, but coffee is a truly committed relationship.


I’m not telling how little time it took for these to accumulate in my trash. At least there is one water bottle in there for a semblance of health.

I’m beginning to feel like I should join a support group. Last week, I went to three different coffee shops through the course of a hellish day because I was too ashamed for the baristas to see my all-too-familiar face in their shop mere hours between the visits. It’s the behavior of addicts, hustling from one place to another to keep the buzz going.

I always rolled my eyes at people who dissed Starbucks, and viewed them as uncool haters, but I’ve now joined the ranks of independent free-thinker snobs. SB is like every other manufactured socialist chain’s coffee. However, the hipster-haunted coffee shop around the corner roasts their beans to perfection. Their milk is foamed into puffy little clouds. The brewed is piping hot and rich. Starbucks now tastes sour, weak and lukewarm.

Last fall, my friend and I began to dream wildly about starting a coffee shop here downtown. We took stock of all the places where the coffee was shizzy and judged them in our heads. We predicted the downfall of one shop, and low and behold, it is soon to close up. And boy, does it deserve to.

Scenario 1:

Mariann: I’m sorry to be a pain, but the coffee is cold.

Chick behind the counter: Yeah, sorry, it just doesn’t stay hot for long. (Chick goes back to texting)

Scenario 2:

Mariann: I’m sorry to be a pain, but the coffee is cold.
Agreeable stoner behind the counter: No prob! I’ll throw it in the microwave for you.


One of my few successes. Fortunately, I perfected it around 10 p.m., so I was able to stay awake for hours that night rejoicing over my victory.

Anyway, my friend and I spent two months imagining our own coffee shop. I even bought a cheap espresso maker and drenched my entire kitchen in whole milk after watching numerous YouTube videos on how to properly foam it. Then my doctor told me to stop drinking milk and my latte making took a vacation.

However, I’m also happy to make guests lattes, so feel free to visit, guinea pigs!


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The other day, in my favorite coffee shop, stood a small girl with a headful of curls and angelic eyes.

Her mom was ordering coffee, when, lo and behold, her sharp eyes came level with – oh glory – a whole case of donuts behind a glass counter.

Except – they were not donuts. They were bagels. Really gross, uninteresting bagels.


Alert to small children everywhere: Those are flecks of onion, not candy.

Yet, her small mind, not very discerning, apparently had yet to discover the difference between a heavenly jam-filled, sugar-frosted bomb of fried carbs and a tasteless bland bagel smothered with equally bland cream cheese.( Raisin bagels, in fact, adding another layer of deception to those who prefer chocolate.)

“Mommy, donuts!” she exclaimed, her nose pressed to the glass in gluttonous anticipation of the feast before her.

“No, honey,” said Mommy, absently counting change.

“DONUTS,” Shirley Temple said firmly.

Mommy snapped out of her lethargy and realized shit was about to get real.

“Those are bagels, honey. They are gross.”

Shirley’s brow was furrowed in utter disgust. Her mind was racing: Lady, do I look like I was born yesterday? Clearly those rings of goodness are donuts and nothing else.

Yet, she patiently said one more time to poor, dumb Mommy, “Donut. I want a donut.” To clear all confusion, she pointed to the glass case.

“Those are not donuts, honey, those are bagels,” Mommy reasoned desperately, with the look of a woman who knows she’s going down into fiery defeat.

Shirley hit the floor about the same time her voice hit 100M decibels.  Cruel world, evil mommy, elusive, unattainable donut! Mommy alligator-wrestled Shirley outside leaving the placid baby brother alone in his stroller.

Not exactly sure how she was appeased, but she was sullenly munching a chocolate scone when I left.

As much as I want to say I don’t act like that kid, I guess I do. “Come on, God, just give me that donut already.” And no matter how many times God tells me, “Dude, it’s a bagel, just trust me, I’ll give you an awesome donut later,” I know better and cannot.think.of.anything.else.but.the.donut.I.cannot.have.

Thank the good Lord for chocolate scones …

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My life has been littered with hipsters lately.

Upon reflection (pre-publication of this non-important post) I’m not exactly sure what a hipster is. Perchance it’s subjective and everyone has their own definition? I’m going to be responsible and research this …

… OK, Urban Dictionary tells me:

Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

Not sure how you can be counter-cultural if Urban Dictionary acknowledges you as a subculture. Whatevs, just ignore those bothersome semantics whilst engaging in witty banner. (Also, Urban Dictionary, apostrophes ain’t needed in “20s” and “30s.” Thanks.)


“Do these glasses make me look fat? Oh wait, I’m 30 pounds undernourished ’cause I drink non-fat lattes.”

I like coffee shops, big glasses, old man-style cardigans and vintage typewriters. I do not consider myself a hipster, however. I like hugs and my last name is Hughes. Hugster? I could get on board with that.

Yesterday, in a coffee shop, I heard a thin, eager grad student [hipster] tell his professor, “I try to use the artistic insomnia that plagues me to craft what I think will be a telling and emotional story.”

Screw you, punk in skinny jeans [I wear skinny jeans, but I am female].  My insomnia is so much more artistic. It’s the sum of human experience. Ceaseless mental distress, followed by a few choice curses, migrating from one part of the endless bed to the other just in case one side is more comfortable, squinting at my iPhone here and there, learning Manti T’eo’s girlfriend was fake (sob), leaving bed to pee (all that laughter over witty banter really hits ya in the bladder!), stubbing my toe, cursing, repeat cycle. Do you really think a night-long séance with your thin-as-skinny-jeans-pale-pink-pro Mac pad-pod and free-trade tea while listening to the Lumineers is really the proper setting for the soul-wringing words you’re about to commit to screen? (OK, fine I love the Lumineers, too). If I had the willpower to scribble on the notepad, filched from work, on my nightstand, I’d show you a telling and emotional story. “This Sucks: A True Memoir of A Girl Who Drank Coffee at 4 p.m. And Can’t Stop Peeing.”

Whatever, I’ve become resigned to the fact that this town’s combination of thrift stores and coffee shops makes it a veritable watering hole for the little guys. In fact, I stumbled over one on my front steps this morning while he read a book, waiting for the bus. His presence scared the crap out me;  something had to be said.

“Love the scarf,” I said in affirmation of his striped neckwear, raising my soy-skinny-decaf-soy-sugarless-non-fat tasteless latte.

JK. It was a jelly donut.

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