I’m a twenty-year-old white college girl with blue eyes and blonde hair. If it were socially acceptable, I would wear leggings, Uggs, and my extra large furry NorthFace like a second skin. I devour almond butter and kale chips like they’re going out of style.
I’m basic AF. But I’ve never been to Starbucks.
I just "happened" to bring all my coffee gear on this hike. Might as well make a cup on this mountain top like any normal person would do. #vsco #vscocam #socality #liveauthentic #livefolk #kinfolk #visualcoop #getoutside #letsgosomewhere #neverstopexploring #exploreeverthing #explore #adventure #lifeofadventure #pnw #pacificnorthwest #thatpnwlife #northwestisbest #thegreatpnw #greatnorthcollective #socalityportland #pdx #oregon #upperleftusa #peoplescreatives #wildernessculture #instagoodmyphoto #herpnwlife
In elementary school, I watched my parents drink their morning brew with a cringe—why would anyone keep sucking down a drink that gave you bad breath? “Don’t worry,” my mom said. “You’ll understand when you’re older. I didn’t like coffee when I was your age either.”
High school health warned me about the dangers of caffeine dependency. But all of the multi-colored brain scans and threats of constant insomnia could not stop me when I went to college: it was time to experiment. Everyone else was drinking it, why couldn’t I?
I had done my research before going into the store: browsed the interwebs, scrolled through Starbucks’ online menu. But when I was face-to-face with the cashier, it was an entirely different story.
I had picked the pumpkin spice latte because it seemed fun, cute, that one drink that everybody always had some passionate opinion about. This was a gross underestimate of the complexity that lay beyond such a friendly order, “What do you mean they’re two different sizes of small? They say bigger’s always better: gimme the tall please. Milk? I live in the dairy state and I wasn’t aware that there were these many ways to drink the stuff! Soy, I guess?”
And so I waited for my latte to meet me at the counter. I waited in the corner of the store, nervously scrolling through my Facebook feed with the rest of the anxious students hoping they would be summoned by the sweet good morning kiss of caffeine.
Finally, my name was called. I stumbled over to the counter and tucked the little cup into my hand before finding a table on the second floor to nestle behind. For a few moments, I sat there—eyeing up the sleek white cup, taking a peak under the lid at that soft orange froth, studying the tiny brown cinnamon freckles that floated on top.
I dove in, took a tentative sip. And then another, and another. I couldn’t get enough of that hot and creamy comfort: it was all of the happiness of Thanksgivings gone by—but better. Eating cold, bland pumpkin pie from the garage freezer was as familiar a ritual as getting pinched in the cheek by my great-aunt.
But this was not some once-a-year obligation. This was smooth, warm, and silky; the sweet and spicy notes of nutmeg and cloves were not even close to the squished concoction that I muddled through on an already stuffed stomach. The bitter bagged coffee that I’d sipped from my mom’s morning mug didn’t come close to what was in my cup. It was as satisfying as a hot cocoa, but without the overwhelming richness.
My only regret was not asking for it to be topped off with whipped cream—there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to dessert for breakfast.
As soon as it began, it was over. I tossed my empty cup into the trash with a little wave: this morning’s PSL was over, but I knew that a beautiful relationship had just begun.
But, I mean, it has been 22 whole hours—I think I’ve left a big enough window. I’mma go see if PSL wants to meet for brunch…If not, that Toasted Graham Latte caught my eye on the way to class. I sure could use a little cinnamon and sugar right now… *wink.*