I have this really complicated relationship with coffee and drive thrus. If you only purchase from places that have a drive thru…you might be a millennial mom. If I cannot order ahead of time and have things handed to me through a window or loaded up in my trunk, you had better be REAL special for me to endure the torture known as loading and unloading my four tornadoes (children) out of a suburban….as in a large bus made with doors that my little people have to open and shut themselves without dinging the car next to us (Don’t even with your minivan propaganda. I know. They’re amazing and no doors are dinged. I get it.) Unless you are Target, you are not worth the unload/load ritual that always ends in deep breaths and a longing for a nap after… Or at least another trip through the drive thru for a caffeine hit.
Before you tell me about how much money I could save by brewing my own coffee at home, you should know that 1. I do that. Every morning. And usually once in the afternoon during The Witching Hour (3-5pm). I’m talking about my “mid-morning” coffee ritual and 2. If you have any tiny humans, who require 3 meals a day (and 100 snacks, if they’re of the giant variety, like mine) you will understand that something made by someone else is like a gift from Heaven. It’s like a small substitute for a pedicure or a massage. It’s something just for me that someone else made. And for whatever reason, that makes it taste a million times more amazing.
In Minnesota, I had a special daily coffee ritual. My nearest and dearest, Katie and I would take turns bringing the other one a Caribou every day during the week. It was our daily check in usually lasting 10-20 minutes. If we missed a day, it felt like the world was off balance. It was my daily therapy. It centered me. If you don’t have a Katie, I suggest you get one.
The days that I would pick up our coffees, the manager Michael (an earth angel, really) would recognize my voice from the order speaker, call me “hun”, and tell me regularly how much I look like Carrie Underwood. (I mean, I don’t. But we both have blonde hair and brown eyes, and I WILL TAKE IT, Michael!)
I miss my small town Caribou Coffee. Like the deserts miss the rain.
Caribou’s light roast is my favorite. I love coolers, too. Frequent Caribou Coolers may or may not have contributed to my 60-70 lb pregnancy weight gain, per baby. (All my babes were 9+ lbs. No I did not have gestational diabetes. We will talk about my 11-pounder-emergency-c-section another time.)
The only Caribou Coffee in Richmond is IN THE AIRPORT! As in, if I am getting myself a ‘bou, it’s either on my way to or from MSP!
Okay, now I hope you fully understand my love for Caribou. It should now make sense why seeing the adorable new Caribou cups/coffee sleeves in all of their Midwest charm had me tearing up the other day.
Anyway, I have been embracing my new Starbucks. In our Minnesota home, my nearest Starbucks was 40 minutes away, and you can bet I would make that trek for a Pumpkin Spice Latte at the start of every Fall. I didn’t care if it was 70 degrees. I would crank the AC in my ‘burban and wrap myself up in a blanket scarf with my PSL. I would likely Instagram it and use hashtags such as #basic and/or #blessed. Judge away.
So Starbucks. I love their espresso. I love their PSLs, their holiday-everything, their bakery….but I can’t get on board with their drip coffee. I want to. I want to love their drip coffee more than any person should want to spend $3 on one cup of drip coffee…but I just don’t. So I have been “indulging” lately in Americanos. A grande Americano has three shots of espresso and hot water. At 15 calories and $3.11 after tax, I am all in. (Also, please overlook the fact that my “baseline” is a morning drip coffee from home and 3+ shots of espresso by the time my girls get off the bus.) It’s like black coffee, but with a milder flavor.
Time for coffee talk. I want to hear from you. Do you love drive-thru coffee as much as me? Do you also have complex feelings and/or high expectations? What is your drink of choice? Have you tried the blonde espresso at Starbucks yet?
Please comment below — I love hearing from you!