The modern era turns coffee into dessert

The modern era turns coffee into dessert

Elliot Munson, Former Culture Editor

This previously ran in our October 2021 print issue.  

A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, the world standard for soda, contains 140 calories. Starbucks’s legendary pumpkin spice latte, with all the default acutramone, clocks in at a meaty 310. 

And yet some people still pull out of the drive-thru, their path to diabetes in hand, thinking they are just grabbing a coffee. A real coffee, one as black as the misfortune that led you to start drinking Starbucks, won’t give you a single calorie. Even adding sugar and cream will only bring you up to 60-ish, or less than half a Coke. Of course, I’m here to make real distinctions, not split hairs.

A purist might refuse to call anything but crushed coffee beans snorted off the backside of a knife coffee, but I’ll be a reasonable person. Cream and sugar is A-OK.

You know what’s not ok? A Quadruple shot Double Sugar Extra Large White Chocolate Mocha Caramel Ribbon Oreo Cookie Apple Blend. Oh, sorry, that’s a Venti. My apologies.

“But, like, oh my god… I like, totally, need coffee to even function,” she says, as her blood turns into the very brown sugar syrup that sweetens the sludge-cup in her hands. And that’s fine. Obviously, needing coffee to function makes you a worse person overall, but it’s widely accepted enough that I’ve learned to stop spitting on those people in the streets. But if you say that, and then mention you’re making a quick Starbucks run, the real meaning behind your words is up. The secret is out, and you’ll have to seclude yourself behind the Teenage Girl’s Starbuxian Union.

Now, if you are a well-meaning bystander, and just want to try a sip of the nectar, there are a few things you should know.

1. It will taste good. 

Don’t panic. This is a natural reaction, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not one of them. You see, humans have evolved to like sugar. Back in my grandpa’s day, when he would ride his dinosaur uphill to school (and uphill back), sugar was pretty rare, and so people came to enjoy it when they could. Now, an industrial and agricultural revolution later, sugar can be almost as cheap as flour. This is all a long way of saying, yes, you may like it, but people like plenty of bad things. Just look at One Direction. 

2. It’s addictive.

Just like hard drugs, it can corrupt the mind, the body, and the soul. Anyone that’s lost their battle has clear signs–things like saying how it won’t yellow your teeth that much if you brush your teeth after every sip, or how you can burn off the calories with a quick three-hour run. Luckily enough, the infected often identify themselves as such, with a “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” mug or coaster.

Don’t let your mind sink to these depths. Anyone who’s tried it once can tell you what to expect, ranging from a glowing “Dirty Bean Water” to a more critical “sweetened porta-potty sludge.” A sip is fine. A cup is pushing it. 

Don’t go any further.