Since today, Monday, September 29, is National Coffee Day, we thought you might like to suck less while enjoying some coffee. This piece originally ran September 10, 2014.
Everyone loves a good cup of coffee.
Did anyone see paper cup sugar garbage on that list? Oh I’m sorry – I mispelled pumpkin spice latte. My bad.
I’m from rural Virginia. Great coffee wasn’t an important thing growing up in the country back in the day. The only thing I knew about coffee was the little baby sip of Folgers my grandma would sneak to me when my mother wasn’t looking. There wasn’t even an espresso machine in town until the Starbucks opened when I was about 14. There shortly after, everyone became a Starbucks addict and completely abandoned their quiet country lives.
Flash forward to two years ago when I moved to Washington. I had never lived in a city before and for the first few weeks, I spent a lot of time talking to friends about how to survive this city life. One piece of advice that several people gave to me was find a good coffee spot.
If you think about though, this makes total sense.
This what you think you look like getting coffee:
This is what you actually look like getting coffee:
If you drink coffee regularly, you’re fucking scary before your first cup. You definitely want to find a space where it is safe for you to look and be as frightening as you are before your daily dose of caffeine.
That little baby cup of black heaven actual packs a few health benefits beyond making you alert and socially acceptable. In moderation, it’s decent for your liver which might be why people think giving a drunk person a cup of coffee is a great idea (it isn’t a good idea – but nice try). Beyond that coffee has shown to help with pain relief, small time prevention of Alzheimers and possibly help out your heart.
Coffee can be good in moderation. Sugar is pretty much always bad.
There’s a huge difference from getting a boost from a shot of espresso – averaging about 100 mg of caffeine – and the sugar buzz you get from 150 mg of caffeine and 48g of sugar in your pumpkin spice latte.
Being all hopped on sugar like that time you ate all your Halloween candy when you were 10 will be the reason nobody wants to hang out with you from time to time. Too much sugar will eventually make your depressed and give you a wicked tummy ache.
I’m in no position to judge. I grew up thinking Mountain Dew was delicious. Actually both Mountain Dew and the Pumpkin Spice Latte are delicious. Who cares that a 16 oz bottle of Mountain Dew has almost half the calories of a 16 oz PSL and almost half the sodium? Certainly not me.
There’s no shame in a good pick me up. Maybe you don’t know the difference between coffee and sugar. It’s not your fault. There are at least 91,000 other people just like you. You’re not alone.
Speaking of community – drinking coffee at an actual coffee shop is a great way to get in touch with your community. They’re a great meeting point and often inspire an environment of health and productivity. Washington actually has a decent coffee community and a thriving culture.
I understand ordering a real cup of coffee might be a little daunting as well. Fortunately for me, I’ve lived with a few good baristas and they overwhelmingly agree that building a relationship with your barista is great idea. You’ll learn about coffee. They’ll make informed suggestions better suited to your tastes. Everyone will win here.
I’ll leave you with this nursery rhyme – Sugar and spice and everything nice, you’re one cup closer to diabetes. A good cup of joe and a gangrene free toe – you’re one step close to sucking less.