6/27/2007

When I am King: Shakin' It

When I am King...

Coffee shops will offer an even wider variety of milkshake drinks.

I'm a coffee lover. Heck, I'm nearly an addict. Of course, I could stop anytime I want to ... as long as I was allowed to restart in a couple of hours.

And I like good coffee, the stuff that's best brewed at good coffee shops, where they use water that comes directly from mountain glaciers, super-heat it until it can melt steel, and pour it through two pounds of grounds per cup of coffee. The coffee beans are picked fresh daily, roasted hourly, and then hand-ground in batches of one by highly-skilled professionals. The final result is poured into the finest cups available, molded by the Master Roaster himself, to ensure that each cup matches his perfect specifications.

So of course I hit the coffee shop often, to ensure that I maintain correct dosage on my drug of choice.

I have to admit, I'm a bit confused at what people order at the coffee shop. Me, I like coffee. It's a pure dose of the drug, topped only, perhaps, by an injection of caffeine directly into my temple.

But it seems like most people in coffee shops order drinks that are, essentially, milkshakes. Mocha. Latté. Frappé. Chai Latté. Carmel on top, chocolate mixed in, whipped cream topping, blended frozen creamy carmel chocolate surprises.

There might, in some of these drinks, actually be some coffee-related substance, but not so that you could actually taste it past all of the rest of the creamy chocolate fluff.

So what's the point?

The point is that people love milkshakes. They are, essentially, a perfect food that combines the fat and sugar that our bodies crave with, well, more fat and sugar. And it's in liquid form, which means that we can inhale it with no time-consuming and calorie-burning chewing activity.

But “milkshake” just sounds too much like a kid's drink. And way too unhealthy, too boot. You're allowed to treat yourself to one very occasionally, like when you have a hamburger. A milkshake with a burger is like menu-ordered euthenasia; you don't want to put yourself in a coma from a heart-stopping burger, you might as well just pull the plug at the same time by downing a shake with it.

So clever marketing folks came up with the idea of selling milkshakes disguised as adult beverages. Chai Latté: what kid ever asks for Chai? Surely, such a taste sensation is reserved for an adult palate of distinction. Mochaccino: clearly, given the Italian “ccino” ending which means “trace amounts of coffee that costs more than my house,” this drink has espresso in it. So the drink is thus inappropriate for children and is obviously intended for adults.

All of the drinks are so laden with accents and foreign spelling that they are all clearly intended only for an adult audience ... which means that we adults feel less stupid ordering them than we would the Cherry Chocolate Malt Surprise at the ice cream shop.

But I feel that this doesn't go far enough. What kind of adult beverage market is it if it doesn't cover booze? Alcohol is clearly the exclusive domain of adults, since children do not need its effects to give them the mental state of a child. Besides, we need to regulate our systems; too much caffeine and I start buzzing like one of the players in those old eletronic football games. What better way than to offer drinks that both stimulate and depress our systems simultaneously?

I propose extending the current adult milkshake market to cover alcoholic drinks as well. I look forward to the day when I can stand in line at the coffee shop behind the construction guy ordering a Triple Two-percent Mocha Frappé with Whip and order myself a Beeraccino, or a Martinno, or Viente Scotch with Whip.
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