Here I am – a precocious, intelligent, fine-looking young lad, sitting with my parents and my brother over dinner at our very classy “Sambo’s” restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was kind of a glorified “Denny’s” but with all the racial overtones that the name could manage. Truth is, the name came from a combination of the owner’s names and they never had a clue about what would happen years later, but such is life in the 1970’s.
Regardless of the negative stereotypes, my parents loved the place. However, invariably after we had ordered, sat there, eaten, sat there, talked and sat some more the waitress would come around to present us our bill. Every single time my parents would, at that very point at which we were about to be released from fine dining prison, ask for a steaming hot cup of coffee. It was through this simple, innocent action that I came to despise coffee and all that it stood for.
Spring forward to the last year and all of that malice and hatred is out the window. For some reason I’ve developed an almost insane taste for all things coffee. I’ve tried coffee or espresso-flavored cookies (amazing), coffee-flavored ice cream (good), coffee-flavored yogurt (vomit-inducing), and dark chocolate covered coffee beans (scintillating) just to name a few. If there were a coffee-flavored cereal, I’m sure it would be up in my cereal cabinet (yes, I have one of those) with the Captain Crunch and Lucky Charms. I love the bitterness, the aftertaste and the comfort. I have become my parents.
I have also become a fan of the Keurig Coffee assortment packages on Amazon, because I don’t want to be pinned down to one type of coffee. As Miley Cyrus SO perfectly put it, “It’s the climb….” I want to try every cheesecake flavored, blueberry smothered, hazelnut injected type of coffee there is. I want bitter with a tinge of flavor. I want dark with a smidge of light. No creamer, no sugar, just pure coffee.
With this newfound love of coffee of course the behemoth known as Starbucks comes creeping into my life. Now I’m not one of those people that show up their every day and ask for a Mocha Grande Tall Macchiato Latte with a double shot of Espresso in a warmed cup with whole milk and served at 123 degrees. I walk up to the counter and speak the King’s English as much as possible with no mucking about on Short, Tall, Grande, or Venti . It’s small, medium or large just like every other size option in Amurrica. And don’t even talk to me about the whole ‘barista’ position. They are fine hard-working people that deserve to be called ‘coffee makers’. That’s their job no matter what Italian word you throw at them.
Anyway, the reason I visit Starbucks is to experiment on new flavors and new tastes. I’ve always enjoyed the White Chocolate Latte and found it to be a very comforting drink. Then they rolled out the Smoked Butterscotch Latte and I semi-enjoyed that as well. It tasted a little like butterscotch that had been, well, smoked. And what is butterscotch anyway? Where do they grow butterscotch? Is it next to the root beer tree or the spaghetti bush?
Imagine my delight when about three weeks ago and I noticed a new item on the menu – the Caramelized Honey Latte. SCORE! Seriously, what could be better? I nervously stepped up to the counter in shivering excitement and asked for a MEDIUM Caramelized Honey Latte. Imagine my disappointment when the COFFEE WORKER said that they were out of that right now. It must be so hugely popular that there was a veritable deluge of people ordering it. I had to have one!
I’ve now been to at least four different Starbucks in the last 3 weeks asking for the same thing. Not a single one of them has had the drink, although every one of their menus proudly display the item clearly. The last COFFEE WORKER actually said to me, “No, we don’t have that now – it’s kind of a seasonal drink…” which is fine, except IT IS ON YOUR MENU THAT I’M LOOKING AT WITH MY OWN EYE HOLES.
So that’s it. I’m obsessed with Caramelized Honey Latte and have never even tried it. If anyone wants to send me one I would be eternally grateful and will do a special call-out to you in a future blog that I’m planning about why anyone ever reads my drivel.
In the meantime, I’ll just continue to smoke my butterscotch and white my chocolate.