During the time I worked at a coffeehouse and later became mistress of my own coffeehouse, I formed certain opinions about men and their espresso drinks. Now why I waste my time forming these useless opinions and then actually posting about them is truly beyond me. I’m sorry. I just don’t understand myself. Really. I lack basic self-awareness on every possible front which creates untold suffering for everyone around me, alas, including you. I probably should be writing about how SWINE FLU IS GOING TO KILL US ALL, but, so far, I’m a bit agnostic on that point. Besides, this topic — the men and espresso topic — falls in the range of slightly-to-somewhat more fun, based on my knee-jerk assessment of both topics a mere two seconds ago, so I’m running with it.
All right. My expert coffee analysis on men and their espresso drink boils down to this:
The more milk your espresso drink has in it, the less manly you will seem to be.
I’m sorry. It’s true. Do you think the (hetero) chicks who work in coffeehouses don’t discuss this stuff? I tell you they do. And they especially do if I’m there because, well, I initiate the discussion.
Because I care deeply about manliness, because I oppose the gender neutralization seeping into the culture, because I believe men in general are simply yummy, I give you, from the bottom of my heart, my list of ….
What Not to Order if You’re a Man in a Coffeehouse:
~ Cafe Au Lait: This is half coffee, half steamed milk. No, menfolk. This is not appropriate for you. This is a drink you give to gammie to help her fall asleep, not a drink to carry around in your thick, manly grasp. In fact, did you know that a recent Johns Hopkins study showed that male rats who were given cafe au laits every morning for a mere week lost their sex drives entirely and never got them back and later, drowned themselves in their water dishes? S’true. I don’t make this stuff up.
~ Any kind of Latte: Oh, please, no. Please. It’s espresso and steamed milk with foam on top. Very soft and milky and girlie. I forbid you to order these. If you currently order these, well, you simply must stop. In fact, right now, I wish I still had a coffeehouse because I would immediately institute a tough-love espresso policy wherein I tell various charming yet unenlightened menfolk, “No, I’m sorry. I care about you too much; you cannot order that. I implore you to pick something else.”
~ Hot cocoa: In the privacy of your own home, fine, I don’t care what you do. But don’t strut into a coffeehouse, looking all hunky, open your mouth to order a hot cocoa and then expect me, your certified barista chick, to ever look at you the same way again. Two exceptions: You have children with you and the hot cocoa is for them OR the children plead with you because they want YOU to have one, too, Daddy! If you are forced, as an act of solidarity with your kids, to partake of public hot cocoa, I give you a pass. Also, if you seem like you’re on a date and it’s late and everything is suddenly getting cozy. Fine. I will grudgingly facilitate the romantic hot cocoa vibe you’re trying to create with your little snuggle bunny. Whatevs. Just don’t do it in front of me, okay? And I don’t mean snuggle; I mean drink the hot cocoa.
~ Mochas: Espresso, steamed milk, a widdle bit of chocolate, whipped cream on top. No. NO again, menfolk! May as well just sidle up to the nearest cow and suckle on its teat. I’m serious. Ugh. At Boheme, we had this jolly group of gay guys who hung out on the patio every Saturday morning, about five or six of them, and I tell you true, every last drink was a vanilla latte, a hazelnut latte, a raspberry mocha (ick), extra syrup, heavy on the whipped cream, etc … sweet, frothy, milky drinks. I rest my case here.
~ Any drink involving espresso and sweetened condensed milk. They have various names: a bonbon, a Vietnamese coffee, etc. Good Lord, no. This is strictly verboten for men who care about manliness. Are you aware that a recent Harvard University medical study showed that poo-flinging male monkeys who were given just one espresso drink with sweetened condensed milk and were then informed by the researchers that the drink was, indeed, called a “bonbon” all suffered instantaneous atrophy of their bicep muscles and were forced to fling their poo with their feet only? So sad. Do you want this to happen to you, Peaches? Yeah, that’s right. I didn’t think so. I just present the medical facts. That’s what I do.
~ Any drink with syrup added. Hazelnut, mint, raspberry, coconut, almond, caramel ….. you get the idea. I give a slight pass for vanilla. Don’t ask me why. I couldn’t tell you. Again, with the lack of self-illumination. A mind ravaged from the drink and the drugs.
So. All right. What’s left for the menfolk to order at a coffeehouse, you ask?
Well, basically, everything else:
~ Coffee: Yep. A straight cuppa joe. Red-blooded and muscular.
~ Espresso shots: Also kinda sexy, but a tad on the over-compensating side for me. Again, I don’t know why. Someone tell me.
~ Americanos: espresso with hot water. Good choice. Robust.
~ Eye Openers, Red Eyes, Hammerheads, whatever you want to call them: coffee with espresso shots. Another good one. Although because of the name, I always think men who order these are hung over therefore I judge them harshly, which is a glaring double standard considering I’m a raging alcoholic, now isn’t it?
~ Macchiatos: espresso with a touch of foam on top, nothing too emasculating, I promise. Manly, if slightly Euro.
~ Cappuccinos: espresso with steamed milk, but much less than what a latte requires, foam on top. I don’t know why I give a pass on this one because there’s still milk, just not too much. Maybe it’s a matter of proportion, for me. Some proportions simply seem too milky to be masculine.
Then again, I have no problem whatsoever with menfolk eating cheese of all kinds. In fact, I heartily support it. Cheese is men’s chocolate and they seem to require it just to survive. So, cheese away, I say.
One dairy, bad; the other, good. Again, who understands me? I sure don’t.