Consumerism and My Coffee


I started drinking coffee to catapult me into my day in my late twenties.  I was employed at a donut shop and had to be at work at 2 a.m.  I wasn’t getting any sleep and I was tired all the time.  I was never successful in the winding down department. Who wants to go to bed when everyone else is getting home from work?  Coffee got me through but I never enjoyed it that much.  During the next fifteen years, we were mere acquaintances, coffee and I.

Enter Starbucks…

I remember the most important details so well.  We were driving to or from somewhere (or everywhere in those days) and we stopped at a toll road service center. We had my teenage daughter with us, and she wanted Starbucks.  My only previous relationship with the well-known supplier was dropping by to smell the roses (or coffee that is). While I didn’t care for its flavor, the aroma drew me in.

Back to the story…

My daughter ordered a white chocolate mocha and asked me to try it. Begrudgingly I did and a choir from a nearby church started to sing.  I ordered one for myself, and we began dating, coffee and I.

On dates, you see each other every now and again.  Share a brief kiss, ask about their day.  Every time after that when we passed by a Starbucks I wanted to stop.   That white chocolaty flavor brought a smile to my face.  Sure I can hear you mumbling in the background, “that’s not real coffee” you say.  You’re absolutely right!  It’s dessert in a cup. I was a sugar addict and coffee was happy to oblige.  I started to crave it and I was no longer happy with our short, brief dates.

Enter romance.  Enter small town.  Enter despair…

I wanted to see my new found happiness every day now.  I longed for the joy it brought me.  The sweet kisses, holding its warm hand and strolling through the park together.  I was hooked, what was I to do?  The nearest Mecca was sixty miles away.  Like a good and faithful consumer, I enrolled in the program where they send you gourmet coffee every month and a free pot to make it in.   Alas, It was not the same.  It was steamy and flavorful but that was it.  No spark, no love in a cup.  A year later I talked my sister-in-law into buying me a cheap espresso machine.  A complicated soul, it was difficult, and we argued a lot.

Enter Tassimo…

Love had returned.  Now coffee and I were sharing intimate moments.  We woke up together, exchanged ideas over the internet and experimented with syrups.  Part coffee, part creamer the awesome little pods came packaged together, or separate if you desired. The relationship lasted two years and suddenly I was having trouble scheduling time with it.  The pods stopped hanging out in our local store and I had to go out in search of it.  I went through five different relationships and five different brewing types.  In two short months, each one brought more pain than the last.

Enter Keurig…

On again, off again.  We managed a few great moments.  Time was manageable and close enough for to be routine.  I even found another friend.  An inexpensive third wheel that brought a frothy top layer.  Something wasn’t quite right though and the nagging begun.  We weren’t spending mornings reading poetry on a blanket.  It quickly became cold.  Hundreds of wasted dollars and hours later I still had not found true love.  I was frustrated and then I got lucky and went on assignment.

Enter the French Press…

It hung out on the end cap of one of my favorite out-of-town retail palaces.  I could hear it shouting – “pick me, pick me, I’m only 15.00.” Dancing around like one of those giant fluffy street advertisers, simultaneously waving a sign.  Well, I tried everything else, why not.  The investment was small, it takes a little longer to warm up to but the flavor is phenomenal.  It’s rich, great going down, no bitterness and we get along all the time. Only a touch of cream and Splenda needed.  It’s side kick the grinder, is happy to settle the slightest miscommunication. Perfection has come home to stay.

I could have led with that, right?  I wish I had gone for the thick French accent the first time around.   Now you know why I’m becoming a minimalist.  I’m surrounded by my first, second and third and more attempts at every relationship.  When the only one for me was there all the time if I had just done the research.  Looking for love in all the wrong products has cost me big!   On one of my most expensive and memorable dates, I went with a more complicated espresso machine.  It’s 80 ounces of tears covered my counter top and required a bucket to contain its sorrow.  That one I sent packing.

Every new gadget that we fall madly, deeply in love with makes its way into our homes and hearts and robs us of our hard earned cash.  Is it a keeper or do we call a shrink? Retailers bank on us NOT knowing the answer, NOT doing our research and NOT making informed decisions.  They are proud to display anything we desire right where we will trip over it.  Then as an added bonus, they make it in every color, style, and price.  This way we will buy more of the same.  I have spent weeks going through old purchases, facing bad decisions, and staring at money gone by the wayside.  We are in debt up to our eyeballs and not even a great cup of coffee from the original Starbucks can fix that.


So go out today and enjoy your favorite Joe, however, or wherever you like it…just don’t go into bankruptcy over it.




(As a side-note, today is my husband’s 55th birthday.  I never regretted making a home with him, even though he hates coffee.)




4 thoughts on “Consumerism and My Coffee”

  1. I love it!! Excellent comparison between coffee and relationships. Consumerism really does take its toll on your life the same way a relationship does. Bravo. And happy birthday to your husband!


  2. You write really well. I hate coffee (51 here) and always have. So I was hesitant to read a post about something I loathe. But what a pleasant surprise! Relating coffee to a relationship sucked me in. And tell your hubby that I’m with him! 🙂


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