The following fact might make me sound like someone who's bad at Adulting, but here goes: I've never had a cup of coffee. I have tasted the general flavor—via coffee ice cream or espresso-tinged desserts—but my own negative reaction to that bitter tang has kept me from actually sipping it directly.
The one single swig I've ever consumed was actually an accident: I ordered a chai tea latte at Starbucks, and they must have called out for some other "Kaitlin" (there are many of us, to be fair). I took just one sip expecting spicy, milky goodness and literally spat it back onto the plastic cover. "Oh my god, you guys must have given me the dirty sink water!" I said to the amused barista. She laughed out loud and said, "No, that's just what coffee tastes like." Huh.
A few reasons why you may want to consider joining me over at the civilized tea party:
1. IT TASTES LIKE EVIL.
That foul flavor haunts me to this day. If you have to pack in teaspoons of sugar and almond milk and hazelnut whathaveyou, you're masking the fact that you're consuming poison. Yes, you can eventually get used to that bitterness, but you could likely add sugar to antifreeze and it would taste good at some point. (Just kidding, please don't ever do this).
2. IT'S BAD FOR YOU.
Rejoice over all of those studies that come out regularly swearing that a cup is like, maybe fine for your body. But any product packed with caffeine and (typically) sugar isn't something that you should be pounding back multiple times a day. Three mugs of soda in the morning seems pretty gross, too. Which brings me to...
3. EVERYONE'S ADDICTED.
And we're just supposed to pretend that's okay?! I'll read those testimonials about people who tried to reduce their coffee habits, or watched friends try to cut back, and then get headaches and feel very real symptoms of withdrawal. What kind of socially sanctioned drug abuse is this?!
4. THE CROP HAS LED TO SOME SHADY DEALINGS OVER THE YEARS.
"Fair trade" is a concept based on the fact that coffee-bean production is often unethical: as in, the farming and selling leads to trade wars and relies on child labor. Fantastic. And there's even debatethat fair trade is a label that makes us feel better but often means little.
5. IT GIVES EVERYONE AN EXCUSE TO BE A TOTAL ASSH*LE IN THE MORNING.
I won't say I wake up with birds chirping in my hand like Snow White. But because I've never benefited from that caffeine jolt in the morning, I'm bewildered by friends and coworkers who grumble-grumble-grumble like 5-year-olds and refuse to even speak until they've had their fix.
6. COFFEE MAKES EVERYONE PRETENTIOUS.
Statements that would be absurd or wildly impolite to say about anything else suddenly seem okay if they're in regards to coffee. "Ugh, the coffee here is disgusting," someone will complain after a fancy meal in a restaurant, or "You've never really had coffee until you've had an espresso in Italy." Ugh, get over yourself.
7. IT LEAVES YOU WITH REALLY FUNKY BREATH.
Sorry not sorry. If anything, coffee drinkers should apologize to the rest of us with noses.
8. THOSE LITTLE K-PODS ARE DESTROYING THE ENVIRONMENT.
Aside from all the other waste that coffee consumption creates—the discarded Starbucks cups, the sugar packets, the plastic lids and stirrers—there are the piles of Keurig cups. Go ahead, enjoy that quick brew! Our grandchildren will one day spend a day at the beach doing the back stroke through your little plastic capsules, just lying there crumpled and still somehow smelly even in the ocean.