Measuring My Life with Cups from Starbucks

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Since this is the first week of class for the Fall 2013 term at my University, I thought it was only fitting that I post about the substance that has kept me going since I woke up on Monday morning.  This is not to say that I’m renouncing my love of English Breakfast with milk and two sugars or oolong.  I just happen to need something a bit stronger than tea to keep me going, now that I’m teaching five lecture courses (three Freshman Comp. I and two Freshman Comp. II) for my University and two online courses (one each of Comp. I and II) at a community college.

This is nearly perfect timing, since a free-standing Starbucks just opened in my town a few months ago, the first one of its kind anywhere near me.  Oh, sure there are at least three of those kiosk incarnations who claim “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” within twenty minutes of me wherever I am in town, but previous until this summer, I had to go to the Starbucks inside Target to have access to a full menu or use my Starbucks gift cards.  Not that Target isn’t cool–I mean, just last night my roommates and I went there because we were out of cleaning supplies for our house, and one of them needed a new jump drive for work. When we were checking out, the cashier mistakenly thought we were buying Lysol and toilet bowl cleaner because we were students who had just moved into our dorms.  That’s pretty flattering for three girls in their late-twenties–it’s just that for some reason, the opening of the new Starbucks has exacerbated my obsession with java.  It’s an odd week if I don’t stop by to get a Venti Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino (in my blue plastic 24-ounce Starbucks Chiseled Cold Cup, of course) at least once.  And once, I bought five cups in one day . . . they weren’t all for me, though.  (I only drank two.)

I have a problem. I admit it. I think it started when I got a Keurig for Christmas a couple years back.  Ever since then, I make a cup before heading to work so that I’m properly caffeinated by the time I have to teach at 8:00.  However, I was relieved to find that I wasn’t the only one with an addiction to the bean in my family. When I went to Tulsa last month, I discovered that my aunt had procured an espresso maker, which can only be described as looking like something out of a science fiction novel, all shiny and chiseled to multiple points, but after I’d tasted the wonder that is my aunt’s homemade sugar-free, skinny white chocolate mocha and caramel macchiato (both of which rival the aforementioned aquatically adorned coffee franchise), I didn’t care that the little kettle looked like a space ship.  She and I had a cup each of the eight nights I was there.

My aunt’s amazing Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker. This model is called Moka Express.

Even though I could probably save a ton of money if I didn’t make weekly trips to Starbucks and buy a couple boxes of Keuring K-Cups every time I start to get low, I’m not thrifty enough to “kick the habit.” I may be a snob for drinking “designer coffee,” but if it keeps me awake despite my increasingly busy schedule and tastes as tantalizing as it almost always does, my increased productivity is more than worth the price…Now if I can just find the time to sleep…

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