What We Buy: My Love-Hate Relationship With Iced Coffee
3:02 pm, June 25th | by Grace Rasmus
We need to talk. Now that it’s officially summer, our love-hate relationship is rearing its ugly head once again. The tension has gone on way too long and I’m ready to make amends if you are. Just hear me out….
We got off to a rocky start, you and I; at the tender age of ten, I drank “Pure Espresso Coffee Soda” before a soccer game. Now, before you call Child Protective Services, please know that the adult who gave me this drink is usually very rational and I obviously managed to survive this lapse in judgement. At first it was kind of thrilling, actually — I was finally a grown up, I thought. No one would ever give coffee to a kid. When I hit the soccer field, though, it was obvious that my coffee consumption was a huge mistake. I was running around in circles and even spectators on the sidelines could tell that I was blinking approximately 100,000 times a minute. I was promptly taken off the field and told to lie down. I assume that I haven’t heard of coffee soda since that fateful day because the industry heard about a little girl in New York who almost had a heart attack and they wisely pulled the plug on the whole affair before anyone could investigate.
Needless to say, we took a break. As I got older, I, like many 14- to 16-year-old girls, only flirted with the occasional Frappuccino. Apparently a trip to Starbucks required a full Facebook album back in the day, but aside from those incredibly embarrassing pictures that are probably still floating around on the Internet somewhere, this was a peaceful time for us. Just a casual fling, nothing too serious.
We didn’t really start up again until college. I had moved to Boston where Dunkin’ Donuts rules the streets, outnumbering Starbucks 10 to 1. Dunkin’ Iced Coffee is notorious for being super sugary and relatively cheap; soon I was hooked. Sure, my “medium” coffee order was about the same size as my entire torso, but that didn’t matter. You were good to me, Iced Coffee. You turned me from a sleep-deprived monster into an actual human being. The difference between an A paper and a B paper was just a cold cup of you. I snuck you into the library to help me with my schoolwork, even though the sign clearly said no food or drinks.We never got busted though; I think the librarians just knew that you and I had to be together. Forever.
Alas, nothing gold can stay and our relationship became toxic once again. While I had moved back to New York, where there’s a Starbucks on every corner, I wasn’t feelin’ the franchise’s high prices (they’re getting higher, by the way) or the fact that each drink’s calorie-count were posted on the menu. There was that brief period when I thought I was lactose intolerant. I would order you with soy milk, trying to recapture our magic, but that just increased your price and caloric-intake. Your tastiness? That decreased, tenfold
When I tried to quit you, things went from bad to worst: I got massive headaches from caffeine withdrawal, which is now considered a mental health disorder. I always knew that Your Luv was My Drug but I had forgotten that caffeine was a real drug. You made me mental, Iced Coffee; I really hope you’re happy about that.
We need to strike a deal. I’ll keep drinking you with semi-regularity if you promise to stop giving me migraines on our off-days. This morning, I ordered my coffee with milk, no sugar, and that made me feel…well, great. You also need to let me know where I can find a good, cheap cup of you near my office since my regular place just shut down for health-code violations. (Yeah, I know — yuck.) We’ve had a lot of good times together, Iced Coffee, and I think, with a bit of compromise, we can still make this relationship work.
See you tomorrow morning.