“Do you like coffee?”
This, apparently, is the sort of thing you ask a person who peruses the coffee shelf in the supermarket.
Earlier this week I ran out of coffee, so I had to make a shop stop. When I entered the aisle where the coffee is shelved, I saw another lady there. I didn’t pay her much attention. Nothing out of the ordinary about that. I’m not in the habit of browsing through other people’s shopping carts – their shopping lists are none of my business after all.
I parked my trolley and fixed my eyes on the wide range of coffee brands on the shelf. You have to understand, it takes me a while to decide on which tin or jar is making the trip to the checkout point with me. I seldom buy the same brand twice. Now don’t go off thinking that I’m a connoisseur of everything coffee! You’ll be greatly disappointed. I’m afraid my eclectic taste in (selection of) coffee is dictated by that pesky thing called “budget”!
The first products my eyes find on the shelf are the cheaper stuff (by the way, cheap is a relative term), mostly out of habit. Oh, blech – the taste memory my brain kindly send to my taste buds make me close my eyes in despair. Really?! Think about it before you reach for that tin, it seems to tell me. If you buy that you will have to live with it for many months to come. That’s true. The cheap stuff has the uncanny ability to last a lo-o-o-ng time in my house. Skip that.
The more expensive brands are the ones that boast with the “100% pure coffee” labels. Yeah, okay. Mind you, I’ve been misled by that label a time or two in the past. I don’t know beans about coffee beans, but I do know that I don’t appreciate all of them. I’m also not much for flavored coffees. I came across an Arabian blend once and was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, this particular supermarket doesn’t sell it.
“Do you like coffee?”
This from the other lady in the aisle. At first I thought not to answer – scared that she might want my opinion on beans.
“Um. . . YES!” Oops!
She pointed at the shelf, specifically to a brand that’s a fair bit over my budget.
“You should try that. It’s really wonderful.”
I just smiled politely, relieved that I don’t have to voice an opinion.
“Or that one. It’s marvelous!,” she gushed, pointing at a brand that is so way over my budget it makes the distance to the moon look like a tiny step.
“Maybe, but it’s EXPENSIVE!” Oops!
“It’s worth it.” And off she goes.
Now look, I really do like coffee. I’ve limited myself to two, maybe three, mugs a day so I really do want to enjoy my coffee. I draw the line, however, at paying an arm and a leg for it. Nope, the expensive stuff is something I’ll drink at a coffee shop as a special treat. At home, I settle for the pleasure of instant, 100% pure coffee. Not too strong, not too weak. Ahhh. . .