I bounced cheerfully in the queue at Starbucks, chattering happily in the manner of an excited monkey (who has been on a coffee detox). Kate observed me with some amusement as she calmly ordered her Latte in a very orderly, grown-up kind of way. “A venti Americano with an extra shot and room for milk, please!” I chirped eagerly. I idly picked up a packet of Christmas blend and sniffed it with a sigh of contentment as we waited.
There is nothing, nothing in the world quite like going into the cosy haven that is Starbucks, leaving the dark, wet coldness outside, sitting on a comfy sofa and drinking coffee with a friend and a gingerbread man. I imagine the streets in heaven to be paved with gold and lined with Starbucks.
We moved along to the counter where they serve your coffee. A large mug slid smoothly across the surface into my waiting hand. “Five-shot Venti Americano With Room For Milk,” came an accompanying holler. I looked nervously at the mug in my hand. “Hey,” I said to Kate, who was also gazing in mild interest at the mug, “what did she just say?” Kate pressed her lips together, glanced at me, looked once more at the mug, and said uncertainly, “It sounded like ‘Five-shot-Americano-With-Room-For-Milk’, you know.”
We fell silent, a sense of awe falling over us.
“Yeah,” I said cautiously, “I thought that’s what she said.” I suppose I just never really considered how many shots were actually in a venti Americano. I really thought I was getting two, to be honest… anyway. I’m not afraid of caffeine. I was only slightly nervous because I hadn’t been drinking my usual 10 cups a day, and I thought I might faint from the shock or something. I calmly lifted the Monster Coffee and went to add the milk, aware of Kate’s gaze following me, no doubt admiring my bravery and fearlessness. We sat down and surveyed my coffee for a while. Watching. Waiting. Wondering.
Then I drank it.
It was like smoking a cigarette when you’ve been off them for a month… the moment when the rollercoaster finishes its ascent and suddenly hurtles towards the ground… sheer, undiluted, pure exhilaration. It was nearly worth the whole detox ordeal. I have never tasted coffee that was So Amazingly Good.
Unfortunately, I lay awake for approximately 3 solid hours on Saturday night – caffeine never kept me awake when it made up a large percentage of my bloodstream.
Still. It’s the price you pay.