When I was going to high school, there was nowhere to get a fancy coffee in Cedar City. Kara Thompson and I would skip class (for me, this was usually seminary), go to Shoney’s, and share a pot of pretty crappy coffee while commiserating the state of our love lives (which were actually pretty jumpin’), our family lives (which were also down right reasonable), and living in a crappy one horse town (which did kind of suck).
I probably don’t need to talk too much about the Mormon/coffee connection. The bottom line is-they don’t drink it. It’s part of the “Word of Wisdom” which counsels against MANY things, including “hot drinks,” “strong drinks,” and even eating too much animal flesh (a caveat which most LDS people have conveniently dismissed.) It’s assumed that the caffeine is the enemy in the case of coffee—but caffeine in other forms is much more socially acceptable. In fact my #1 favorite Mormon joke is, “How do you tell a Mormon from a non-Mormon? Take the temperature of her caffeine.” (My second favorite is, “Why should you always take 2 Mormons fishing? If you just take one, he’ll drink all the beer.”)
Then, as I entered into my college years, the odd coffee spot began popping up. Those Cedar Cidians who were “into that kind of thing” were found scratching their heads at blackboard menus, trying to figure out the difference between a cappuccino and a late, as well as translate exotic terms such as café au lait, breve, grande, and vente. For years all I drank were cappuccinos and mochas because I knew what they were and how to order them.
Coffee shops came and went—and they all had 2 things in common. They were locally/privately owned, and the service and ambiance was crappy. Not much has changed in the last 10ish years, until very recently. Our 3 coffee places were ok. The barista was usually a college kid (and apparently, I’m an old lady) and more often than not, he/she was a bit grumpy. The shops themselves were all right, leaning toward the comfortable and hip, but falling short for a number of reasons. Then about 6 months ago, the devil came to town.
I stuck to my local coffee, as I do with most things. My husband’s family are all local entrepreneurs, so “shop local” is a matter of family, not just community loyalty. Yea, I did hit the drive-thru a few times when I had Soph in the car and didn’t want to drag her out into the snow. And yes, when E brought me a Starbucks in the morning I certainly didn’t turn it down. But today I went in.
Damn is that place nice! Yes, yes, yes, I know it’s all packaged and produced and designed for me to feel very comfortable and cool at the same time. And I did! Nice music? Check. Comfy seating? Check. Tasteful yet slightly exotic décor? Check. Friendly, helpful, and kind of hot red-head lady barista to patiently, but not at all condescendingly help me through my order? Check. I was having a MORNING today, and needed the big guns, so enter the Vente Cinnamon Dulce Latte. Yummy. Oh so, so, so yummy.
It’s official. I’ve been seduced.