September 1, 2010

Whether the Weather

A heavy sky weighs down over you. The air seems to cling like a wet sock, musty and damp. It is neither hot nor cold, but manages to impersonate the malevolent aspects of both. A jacket will keep the drizzle from you, but it is far too humid for layers. A t-shirt leaves you defenseless, endlessly assailable. You will not be comfortable. Like so many, you seek comfort in food and drink. But there, too, are conundrums.

Yet there is coffee. There is always coffee.

You stand in line, weighing your options. Hot or cold? Damn. Must everything, even this most base of pleasures, be an ordeal?

I, earlier this day, was this "you". So, in hindsight, perhaps I should have framed this entire narrative in the first person. In any case, I found myself considering whether a damp, muggy, oppressive, 72-degree afternoon demands hot or iced coffee.

This morning, the decision was simple enough -- hot. It was cooler then, as the sun hadn't yet turned campus in to a rice cooker.

So iced, right? Easy enough, except that 70 degrees is still 70 degrees. Hardly cool, but near enough to comfortable that, shorts and t-shirt clad as I was, a slight chill was not out of reach.

Thankfully, the decision was made for me. The barista in charge of this particular campus coffee shop noted that their iced coffee was running a little acidic. My interest piqued. Acidic iced coffee? I had tried such a brew before, at Starbucks. But that was just hot coffee, with ice added to it. Hardly the same thing as the Toddy prepared brew offered on campus.

This, I had to try. And so try I did. The result was pleasant, probably more so than I expected, frankly. Iced coffee, for all that I do love it, can feel a bit heavy in its richness. Like chocolate, say, you really can only consume so much -- unless, of course, it's balanced out by the proper touch of sweet. Good iced coffee will be, typically, even without the addition of sugar. In any case, this particular iced coffee, of Guatemalan ancestry, did indeed have a bite. It was neither heavy nor rich. Still, it maintained that smooth feel you expect from cold brewed coffee. To continue the chocolate analogy, let's call it bittersweet.

In theory, I should tie back in to the the second person, narrative beginning now. But my creativity has run quite dry, in that regard.

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