January 16, 2013

Kicking it old people school.

You know, sometimes Europeans do things differently. Like everything. They pretty much do everything differently. When I was on Santorini, the public bathroom was a hole in the ground with designated spots for your feet. Imagine that at the local baseball diamond here. Never mind, it might actually be an improvement.

I spent seven months in England when I finished high school. While there I didn't have many friends and was incredibly homesick. I'd spend my free weekends either in Bath or one of the other surrounding cities, visiting Starbucks and writing letters or reading over my coffee. I felt about as classy as they come. Except I was paying practically double for my drink because prices are so inflated there. Go figure.

Anyway, coffee in the UK is not what it is here. Instant coffee is the norm and people don't simply drink drip like they do here. Here it's like a life force. There, I guess, that's what tea is.

Well, when I went to Starbucks I'd usually order a latte or London Fog (once I explained it to them), but sometimes I'd go for a good old cup of coffee. Back when I didn't think Starbucks drip coffee tasted like burnt death. Well, in England, as probably with everywhere else in the world but North America, white coffee is a thing. Every time I'd ask for a coffee, they'd ask me if I wanted it white. Which means with milk. It would make sense to ask if there wasn't a milk/cream/sugar station right beside the bar, but there was.

The first couple times I said sure, just to be culturally aware, but eventually I figured out how stupid that was. I also felt like people looked at me with a little more respect when they figured I drank my coffee black. Which, for a period in my life, I did. Now it's creamer, eggnog, or nothing. Milk just doesn't cut it. Coffee Mate is an acceptable substitute when necessary.

I used to think that instant coffee was an abomination, but in order to get me through my horrible elementary school days of  teaching swimming lessons and counting grapes, I learned to love it. Maybe I thought if I put enough of it in my glass I would eventually grow wings like a on a Red Bull commercial and fly home. I think it just made me grumpier.

Well, when I got back to Canadian soil I reverted to my old opinions of instant coffee: abominable and only appropriate for my grandfather. Now, though, things are different. Decaf instant coffee is like my happy juice. I feel like a classy grown up drinking it and, jokes on everyone else, it's super easy. It also never goes stale. No pre planning, no big dishes, just me, my kettle, and a mug. And, since eggnog is not longer in season, some Coffee Mate. Mmm, dehydrated chemically goodness.

I even put some decaf instant coffee in my smoothie the other day. Nothing like a little decaf kick to make the banana, chocolate, peanut butter, milk, and spinach combo more mature.

I can now honestly say I drink it for the flavour. Like a granny. Like a decaffeinated, 24 year old granny boss.


  1. Haha - what brand do you drink?? I've tried a couple different instant coffees and they all tasted like burned acid. Not even creamer could cover it up. Good idea to put it in a smoothie though - I need to try that!!

  2. I had instant coffee pretty regularly when I was in Paraguay for 6 weeks and don't remember it being horrible either.
    And yes, Starbucks drip is the worst!


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