The list of differences between my wonderful Peggy and me is seemingly endless. We've talked about it for 40 years and it just fascinates me, how many things she likes that I don't, and vice versa.
Let's talk about hot beverages for now. Peggy likes coffee. I like tea. If she drinks tea, it's got to be one of those herbal atrocities such as Jasmine-Lavender-Orange Blossom, which sounds like it was on the way to the shampoo factory but wound up in a teabag. Tea. Regular tea, black tea, the kind with Colonel Lipton on the box, that's what I like. Tea.
For those of you who are not tea drinkers, especially in restaurants, here's the deal. The server comes around after a nice meal and says, "Who's for coffee?" and all the adults say, "Yeah!" and "Me too" and "Me three" and a couple of them say they want decaf and then the lone tea drinker asks for hot tea and the mood chills instantly, as if a member of the Hasidim had asked for a ham and cheese sandwich.
Minutes later, the server returns merrily, balancing 5 cups of mocha java and a dozen little cups of creamer. And a cup of lukewarm water and a tea bag with a lemon on the side.
I have been alive for many years and have yet to see a hot tea drinker dump a lemon in their tea. Just sayin'.
And Lord help you if you want more tea. The server buzzes back around with the regular carafe of java and the tub o' decaf and everyone gets their fill, and if you ask for more tea, they might bring you some water that they drained out of the relief valve of the sprinkler system the other day, and your used teabag gets to do double duty, while the Jittery Java The Hut lovers smack their lips and say it's "good to the last drop®!"
I hasten to add that this does not occur at the wonderful Friendly Farm restaurant, my favorite in all the world, because they have good coffee there and I drink their coffee happily!
Now. About coffee. The specifications! It's got to be piping hot, scalding hot! No more than 10 cc of cream! Then they get into the whole latte grande /frappuccino/ cappuccino/ Al Pacino thing. Caramel brulee! Macchiato, the forbidden dance! (Not to be confused with Ralph Macchio, the forbidden actor.)
I think the people at Starbucks take a certain pleasure in being confusing, being a land where a tall is a short and gingerbread is a liquid.
And of course, if you like to make your brew at home, just get yourself a Keurig machine, where you use tiny little plastic cups of ground coffee that only cost about $3 each. And then add a little instant coffee to that so it's strong enough and then by the time you get all that done you need to put it in the microwave to heat it up.
It's true. Coffee makes me nervous. Not from drinking it, but from hearing about it!