The only thing that I love the smell of more than a used bookstore is a freshly brewed cup of coffee. And both of those things said bye-bye after the start of the pandemic. A bold Americano. Creamy but spicy Dirty Chai Latte. A filling Cappuccino. I can only make one of these things which is something I never realized until the pandemic.
Sure, I have tried my hand at a weak Americano but my kitchen would never be able to give a latte the respect it deserves. The only syrup my kitchen holds is maple and corn syrup for pies, so I had to say adios to my beloved friend, coffee syrup. I haven’t allowed myself to own chocolate coffee beans because my impulse control will only allow me to eat a whole bag alone. So, I had to make friends with coffee products I could use without creating more work for myself.
The first few weeks of COVID, I thought I was only saying bye-bye for a short time, and in my head that sounded like a good idea. No more getting to talk me into buying an overpriced cup of sunshine on my commute to work. Maybe all the downtime was a real gift: isolation, I should have learned how to do a solid pour-over instead of making Ciabatta bread. But everyone’s priorities were different at that time. Now things are slowly opening up.
In the past, I used to find it silly that I would put lipstick on just to go to my local coffee shop and sip away all my hard work. Now, I go to coffee shops, with my mask, and I still kick myself for putting on lipstick. I’m just happy I get to go out at all! As an extrovert, I’ve truly missed my little hangouts at all my favorite coffee shops. I mean, I lived in Chicago, the Hipster capital of the world, besides Williamsburg, NYC. And you know what that means, overpriced but high-quality coffee. My favorite thing in the world.
I now appreciate my baristas more because I never truly understood how complicated it was to make a latte, how hard it is to not burn the milk, or the people asking you rudely to make their orders FAST. I miss coffee chats about the latest news in pop culture and I especially missed them since we were in an election year, because it’s different to talk about politics over a blonde roast than an IPA.
I’m happy that now I no longer have to dream about an Irish Breve latte, I can just go and get one. Coffee is how I get through my day with the enthusiasm of a Golden Retriever. I’ve gone months missing that atmosphere that a cozy coffee shop can bring. I miss walking up to my favorite barista who knows my order because I’ve put half my paycheck into their coffee shop. I miss dealing with people who actually know how many scoops to put for each cup of water.