November 24, 2010

Pleasant, But Ordinary Vanilla Coffee for a Cold Day,

Starbucks Natural Fusions Ground Coffee, Vanilla Flavored, 11-Ounce Packages (Pack of 2)
The doorbell rang on a frozen rain-rattled November afternoon. The postman left a box of Starbucks vanilla flavored ground coffee.

Raggedly tired from the day, from the week, from the month, finding later autumn is rarely pleasant on its own merit, this was a good surprise. While plenty of coffee I had stocked in readiness for the first dismal days on winter, packages in the mail are like Christmas day presents. Eager, though already knowing what was inside, I smiled at the scent. Familiar. It reminded me of inexpensive coffee I bought before late novel-reading nights in college.

Brewing quickly four cups, I poured the first taste into an old mug one of my first clients gave me, the one with pelicans on a sunny pier.

Holding the mug with two hands, I sipped as anyone would hot coffee. Was it better, I wondered. No. Just ordinary. The vanilla was the same. The coffee was the same. Only the label was new. As it was already ground, it missed the freshness I can find even in any grocer who will grind the beans.

I will finish the bag, and be glad I did, but having found nothing to compel me to look for it, I won't. If you have had vanilla flavored coffee, you have had this one.

--Brockeim

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