And, speaking of coffee…

…here I sit, sipping a cup of Starbuck’s new VIA, the instant coffee answer to your favorite Columbian or Italian mermaid-supervised blend.

It’s not bad; in fact, I’m enjoying it more what they attempt to pass off as coffee upstairs in the staff lounge of my office.  (Of course, that’s like saying, “this burned, tough steak isn’t bad, I mean, like, it’s better than a shoe.”)  But Starbucks did a decent job of recreating their blend in a highly portable way, something I’m bound to appreciate at various moments when I’m in need of a cup and have no moolah, as is wont to happen.

I’ve heard a lot of people really losing their shit over the idea of instant Starbucks, but really, wasn’t this the logical next step in their empire?  Does anyone still entertain the desperate notion that Starbucks exemplifies some modicum of “cool” or “hip” amongst anyone?  Their coffee is great.  Their sandwiches and pastries are, too.  They’re as engrained an institution as the golden arches at this point, and to this all-American boy, that ain’t a bad thing. 

And anyway, it’s hard to be elite when you can close your eyes, walk twenty feet in any direction in this fair city, say out loud “grande iced latte,” and odds are, you’ve just spoken your order to a Starbucks barista because they’re on every block.  Jokes about the proliferation of Starbucks at this point are about as funny and original as jokes about W.  Try harder, for Christ’s sake.

More than anything, I think I’m amused by instant coffee.  As a coffee lover but not a coffee snob, I’m certainly not offended by the idea.  In fact, what a lot of hardcore coffee fanatics perceive as crap I perceive as rich and delicious.  Then again, maybe it’s by association.  My grandparents never drank anything but instant coffee, and they drank coffee nonstop.  And when Catherine and I met, we spent many spring afternoons at the Macomb Family Restaurant (R.I.P. even though your soup was spoiled by that last week and we were told not to order anything but burgers by a nervous-looking waitress on our last visit) drinking semi-fresh diner brew.  It wasn’t Starbucks uber-rare-reserve-collection-Kenyan-Mayan-Icelandic blend, but it didn’t need to be. 

Come to think of it, coffee never tasted better than on those days.  Maybe I could get used to this VIA thing.

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~ by thismarriedguy on March 18, 2009.

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