Coffee is for closers

Posted: June 20, 2012 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In my unending attempt to act like a real adult, whatever that means in the Self-Entitled Era, I’ve taken up drinking coffee. Sometimes. Sort of.

See, I’m hopelessly addicted to caffeine, and not for reasons related to taste or fun. Rather, I’m a slave to the 24-hour news cycle, a father of roughly 3-5 kids and a narcoleptic. Without caffeine, I’d be a zombie, except without the strength to eat faces.

My drugs of choice: energy drinks, energy drinks and diet soda. (And, yes, I call it soda rather than pop. It’s one of my lame attempts to sound un-Midwestern.) The nutritionists that I know swear that diet soda is worse for you than regular soda. Meanwhile, there don’t seem to be any conclusive sides into the benefits or detriments of energy drinks, but I’m willing to admit they’re probably not healthy. Why? Because they’re so effective. (Side note: Energy drinks have given me new perspective when watching drug-centric movies. I figure that folks hopped up on cocaine feel the way I do after slamming a can of Minotaur. It’s like method watching.)

Alec Baldwin says that coffee is for closers. But TV uses it in order to stay open for business.

Plus, carbonated drinks are fairly expensive, at least by modern-journalist standards.

So about three weeks ago on a whim, I began the great coffee experiment. That is, I started trying to drink it on a regular basis.

I’ve since brewed it in the morning, noon and night. I’ve tried it hot, cold and in a smoothie form. I’ve ordered it from restaurants and hotels. And I’ve mixed in various amounts of creamers, sugar and milk. That last part feels like an asterisk because, in my mind, there are two types of java junkies: People who drink coffee and people who drinks “Starbucks.” Coffee drinkers skew strong and probably dabble in espresso. People who drink “Starbucks” – they often use the store name in lieu of coffee – require caramel and whipped cream; they’re more info what the taste of the artificial flavoring than the taste of the coffee.

I began my journey in the latter with hopes of moving to the former. (To be clear, that’s because it feels like the right thing to do and not some sort of macho stunt. After all, my Man Card was revoked years ago when I purchased three pink shirts in less than six months.) Fortunately, my favorite breakfast spot, Queen City Bakery, uses real-deal beans in making all of its coffee drinks – that allowed me to notice that Starbucks is far more popular than good. However, I’ve also learned in short order that iced coffees and frappucinos are difficult to duplicate at home. My go-to mix at this point: Some regular-old Folgers with one serving of a liquid, skinny white chocolate mocha creamer and a shot of milk.

I know, I know – it’s hardly an Americano. But it’s not nearly as sugary as Starbucks, and I’ve taken a liking to it in a way that makes me believe I’ll be able to cut back on the creamer in the near future. It’s sort of like the first time you drink a beer – it doesn’t taste good in the way that a piece of chocolate cake does. But with time and practice you develop a taste for it, your palate adapts.

More importantly, it does quench my thirst for life-sustaining caffeine without making me jittery. The last thing a guy with 3-5 kids needs is a drink that makes him more anxious. The warmth has been an unexpected bonus, too. I anticipated drinking a steamy beverage in the summer would be akin to a bearded Ron Burgandy slamming milk in downtown San Diego. Instead, it’s proved delightful, like a loving hug for my insides.

Supposedly, coffee is for closers. I’m not really sure what that means, nor do I fancy myself a closer. I’m just a working schmuck/family man trying desperately to ward off that 2:30 feeling at least three times a day. If coffee can do that without killing me, so be it. I’ll give it a whirl.

  1. Rich Jensen says:

    Try going slightly upscale from the standard Folgers in the tubs. 40 oz. bags of the stuff from Sam’s (say Caribou @ $18/each) will drastically improve your day-to-day coffee experience.

  2. Mark says:

    TV, I love my coffee, it is my greatest addiction.

    I actually order mine from Green Mountain ( ) They have a “Cafe Express” club, that lets you select how many bags of beans you want, what kind you want, and you can order ground, whole bean, or the popular new “K Cups”. Really Excellent Coffee.

    Welcome to a lifetime addiction!

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