The Caramel Brulee Latte

I am in no way, shape, or form paid by Starbucks to promote their shit.

Yet.

My introduction to Starbucks occurred gradually. It started off as a few beverages my mom bought for me when she stopped there, and eventually graduated to me picking my own drinks.

I initially only liked two kinds of drinks. I liked those tea-lemonade hybrids which they still have to this day, and I also liked a straight-up coffee frappuccino. As you might have noticed, these are both signature cold drinks, meant to be enjoyed during the height of summer.

One winter day, my sister suggested we walk to our local Starbucks. I was reluctant. I whined how it was too cold for Starbucks.

Side note: Remember, I only knew to order my favorite chilled drinks from Starbucks at the time.

My sister looked at me like I was an idiot. Told me to just order a hot drink. I whined some more, complaining that the menu was complicated and I had no clue what was good and what was terrible based on these extravagant espresso monikers.

My sister insisted/demanded we go there anyways. Told me to be more experimentive.

Since I was still hesitant to pick (and pay) for a drink I knew nothing about, my sister ended up choosing the drink for me.

And thus, I was introduced to the Caramel Brulee Latte.

After the first initial sip, I was in sweetened, caffeinated heaven. The taste of caramel graced the edges of my tongue, the rich espresso flavor coated my throat, and the warmth of the drink touched my fingertips and my heart.

Side note: Am I being overly poetic? Yes. Yes, I am.

It was the best drink I’d ever had.

And unbeknownst to me until it was too late, it was a seasonal holiday drink.

These days, I wait for the Caramel Brulee Latte’s season in an neverending state of agitation; I hunger for it. Eight months out of the year, I’m in constant torment. Fuck the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I crave a different sugary sweetness.

Okay, I sound like a basic bitch, but come on. Where I live, Starbuckses are practically a form of entertainment. There is nothing to do around here except go to the movies, shop at the local mall, or hang out at a Starbucks. It is the only place to chill at that is not my or a friend’s home.

And now that the holidays are here, I can guzzle that caramelly, brulee-y goodness to my heart’s content.

Or at least until I get diabetes or something like that.

Being Alone in the Morning

Mornings are my favorite time of day.

I like waking up to dim morning light peeking through my window slats. I stay in bed for a few minutes, reveling in the warmth of the blankets bundled around me. Eventually, the need for my day to begin presses against my consciousness, so I get up and make my bed.

Brushing my teeth, cleaning my retainer, and peeing are the first activities I do every morning. Afterwards, I head to my writing table. I start up both my desktop and my laptop and prepare myself for tackling the day’s work.

I love these first few hours before the morning melds into noon. It’s just me, my pencil (or keyboard), my thoughts, and the morning.

Coffee becomes a priority about an hour after I wake up. The sound of the coffee machine burbling away has now become as integral to my routine as that initial burst of caffeine. The feeling of a warm mug of coffee in my hands, even if it is a blazing-hot summer day, is an utter joy to me.

The solitude of it all is magnificent.

The phrase “being alone” has some unfair connotations to it. People equate being alone with being lonely.

I think being alone gives you time and space to think properly. The focus you lose when people are around you, taking up your attention, is sharpened when you are by yourself. My head clutters up very easily with runaway trains of thought and daydreams, so being alone lets me tidy up my mind.

Or, on occasion, lets me take a ride on one of those trains.

My mornings aren’t always spent in the solace of solitude. And if that’s the case, I just make do.

But when I get the chance, I enjoy being alone in the morning.

Coffee Is the Spice of Life

Game of Thrones coffee mug and cranberry juiceI love coffee.

I know I’m not the only one to say that. It’s like a hipster must to adore coffee these days. That’s why all those local coffee shops are filled to the brim with fedora-wearing, vest-sporting hoity-toity bragsters who only listen to niche music and drink the strangest alcoholic beverages.

Wow, I don’t know where all that venom came from.

Anywaysies, I love coffee.

However, my tastes run on the sweet side. This is absolutely terrible news for my teeth’s enamel and for my desire to stay more or less physically fit.

Still, I can’t help it. (Well, I could if I wanted to, but I don’t. I let my taste buds wreak their own havoc. I take full responsibility for letting them run amok.)

If you asked me how I like my coffee, I always make sure to say that I like it sweet.

Actually, I’ll say I like it sweet by using some kind of simile. I’ll say something like “as sweet as a stolen kiss” or “as sweet as a Care Bear.” You know, something creative that’ll show off my wit and personality.

This did not go over too well one time when I ordered some coffee at this coffee shop and the barista asked me how sweet I wanted it. This particular little shop sweetened their beverages with lumps of hardened sugar. So when this barista asked me how sweet I wanted it, he wanted me to indicate how many lumps he should shovel into my drink.

Instead, I looked him dead in the eye and said, “As sweet as sin.”

He stared at me for a moment, blinked once, then twice. Then he haltingly asked, “And how many lumps is that?”

I haven’t gone back there since; I’m mortified.

Anywaysies, my point is that I like my coffee sweet.

Those satchel-toting hipsters might look up their noses at me and say that I’m not truly enjoying coffee then if I like it like that. I’m enjoying sugar, they’ll sneer.

This is technically true. I’ve always found it ironic whenever I sweeten my coffee. I mean, coffee is notoriously bitter. Bitterness is its signature taste. Added spoonfuls of sugar are just spoonfuls of betrayal against coffee’s true nature.

Alas, I can’t help it. Have you ever tried to drink coffee straight-up black? My god, it’s disgusting.

There was only one time in my life when I was able to drink pure black coffee.

I was in my first year of high school, and I had an exam coming up on Friday. Unfortunately, Watchmen was set to come out in theaters on that exact same day at midnight. If I wanted to watch the Watchmen, I would need to stay up all night Thursday till 3 in the morning on Friday, wake up at 5 in the morning two hours later (for band practice), and then go to school and take my exam.

But this was Watchmen we were talking about here. I have never loved a graphic novel the way I love Watchmen. 

Side note: Seriously. I’ve asked my sister to take my ashes to Alan Moore’s house (he’s the writer of Watchmen) if I die first and then blow them into his beard.

To not be at the first showing of its movie adaptation would have been sacrilege.

I begged my parents to let me go. I told them I could handle it. My mom was skeptical, but my dad helped me out with persuading her. After strenuously promising that I would get an A on the exam, she relented and let me go.

Side note: I don’t mean to brag, but I was a straight-A student. Getting an A was something I could promise and then deliver on.

So when the night of the premiere came, I was able to ecstatically go watch the movie in the near-empty movie theater.

I came home a bit after three, excited and hardly able to sleep.

I woke up about an hour and a half later, foggy-headed, crusty-eyed, and tired.

My dad came to my bed with a mug in his hand. He told me, “Here, drink this.” I numbly drank what I thought was lukewarm water, and then started to get ready to go to school. As it turns out, my dad wanted to help give me a boost to get me through my day so that I wouldn’t get in trouble with my mom. What was actually in the mug was straight-up black coffee. I just couldn’t tell because my morning breath was in full effect.

That was a long-winded tangent.

Anyways, the point is that I love my coffee sweetened, and aside from being extra careful with my dental hygiene, I don’t see why I have to be less of a bad-ass to like my coffee with a lot of sugar.

SO TO THOSE OF YOU WHO LAUGH AT MY SWEET TOOTH (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), STOP BEING SO SNOBBISH AND LET ME POUR AS MUCH SUGAR IN MY GULLET AS I WANT.