Let’s get this out of the way. I have a confession to make. My close friends know this about me and love me anyway. When I meet someone and tell them this little tidbit about myself, I see their faces twist up into a blend of curiosity and disgust and they don’t know what to do with me.
See, the truth is: I don’t like coffee. I never did and I’m pretty sure that I never will. I love the smell of fresh coffee beans and I’ve always wanted to do like Amélie in the movie Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain and dip my hand into a deep vat of coffee beans just to feel the sensation of thousands of beans swallowing your hands whole. But the taste of it repels me. It’s bitter and harsh and I cannot for the life of me understand why people enjoy it so much. But I accept that I’m an anomaly on this planet and I’m okay with that.
But because I don’t like coffee, I sometimes feel somewhat limited by my choices at places like Starbucks or Bridgehead. Sure, they have a decent selection of teas, but let’s face it – it’s not terribly exciting to go into a coffee house rich with flavours, aromas and choices and order a plain old mint tea.
About as exciting as it gets for me (and trust me, it’s fairly exciting, sadly) is a chai latté. Love them. And the spicier the better. Every cup of chai in every restaurant, coffee house or home, tastes unique and I love that the blend of spices varies so much from cup to cup. But when I walked into a Starbucks yesterday where I waited for my son who ad his music lesson, it was 5:30 p.m. and far too late in the day for the caffeine laced chai and I wanted something more exciting than a herbal tea but not quite as decadent or sweet as a pumpkin spice latté. So as I hemmed and I hawed at the counter, the barista suggested I try a vanilla rooibos latté. I almost said no because it’s unfamiliar and I hate to waste money on something that isn’t a sure thing. But then I remembered that I’m trying to change things up in my world; live on the edge. So my living on the edge for the day yesterday was to try a vanilla rooibos latté. My body tingled with a little bit of excitement at the thought of having taken such a big plunge as to try something so different, especially since I’d tried a rooibos tea once before and wasn’t so fond of it. But as a latté with a bit of sweetener in it, I thought it was worth a shot.
So I watched her steam and mix, mix and steam, then she handed the frothy drink to me and I immediately sniffed it. Not bad, I thought. I stirred the tea bag around for a bit and took a sip. I couldn’t quite decide whether I liked the flavour or not.
I found a seat and set it down next to me. I watched the cup carefully, still trying to make up my mind. I sipped it again. It had a distinct flavour that I still can’t put my finger on, mixed with a hint of vanilla. Another sip. And another. I got about a quarter of the way through the cup and my decision had been made.
I’m sticking with the chai.
The vanilla rooibos latté made its way to the trash. It wasn’t repulsive but I didn’t like it enough to finish it.
So my little challenge to myself resulted in learning something clear: Chai latté – yum. Vanilla rooibos latté – not so much.
It may not be trying to conquer Mount Everest (sorry, but you’ll never see that one on my blog), but sometimes trying a new fancy drink is enough to remind me to live outside of what is familiar. Did I waste $4 that day? No, not really. Even though I threw most of that drink out, I felt good that I didn’t let the fear of throwing $4 away stop me from trying something new. These are things I must remember.
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